The type of cooking oil used when preparing a meal matters, especially when making the transition to a healthier diet. This is why one of the first recommendations that I make for people who are new to the keto diet is to switch up their cooking oil to a healthier option like olive oil.
But is olive oil keto?
Let’s find out.
What Makes Olive Oil Such a Popular Choice for Low Carb Diets?
Before we really dive into the nitty gritty of whether or not olive oil is keto or not, let’s first take a look at some of the reasons why it’s such a popular cooking oil option in the first place. Here are just a few of the main reasons why it’s so popular:
- Olive oil is a healthy, all-natural cooking oil that is rich in heart healthy fatty acids.
- It contains absolutely no carbs whatsoever.
- Olive oil is an excellent source of disease fighting antioxidants and other beneficial bioactive compounds.
Is Olive Oil Keto?
Olive oil is absolutely a 100% keto-friendly cooking oil.
It’s a calorie dense option that is an incredibly rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids. This type of healthy dietary fat has been found to help protect against cardiovascular disease, which is one of the main reasons why the Mediterranean diet (which olive oil is a staple part of) is so hugely popular.
On top of that, while olive oil doesn’t offer up any protein, it also contains no carbs whatsoever, which means it’s as keto-friendly as it gets.
Olive oil is also exceptionally nutritious as well. It’s loaded with antioxidants that can help to keep you healthy by protecting against disease.
The only other thing that I would add is to try and make sure that you’re picking up extra virgin olive oil over standard olive oil (or worse yet, faux extra virgin olive oil brands). It’s made from pure, cold-pressed olives and is the least processed variety of olive oil available.
With that being said, as long as you’re sticking with extra virgin olive oil, then it’s absolutely a no-brainer to recommend olive oil to any and all keto dieters out there.
Olive Oil Nutrition Facts
Here is the approximate nutritional breakdown for 100 grams of extra virgin olive oil:
- 884 calories
- 100 grams dietary fat
- 0 grams protein
- 0 grams carbs
- 0 grams dietary fiber
- 0 grams sugar
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 2 mg sodium
- 1 mg potassium
Health Benefits of Olive Oil
Here are three proven health benefits that you can gain by including olive oil as part of your keto diet plan:
- Protection against heart disease. Olive oil is undoubtedly the most heart healthy cooking oil option available. As a matter of fact, numerous studies have confirmed a direct link between regular olive oil consumption and reduced rates of cardiovascular disease. (1)
- Loaded with disease fighting antioxidants. Beyond just protecting against heart disease, olive oil also offers up a certain level of protection against other types of disease in a couple of different ways. The first is that it’s such a potent source of antioxidants, with studies finding that olive oil is indeed a powerful source of antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols. (2)
- Relieve inflammation within the body. The other way that olive oil can help to keep you safe from disease is by relieving chronic inflammation within the body. The polyphenols in olive oil have demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity that can help to prevent chronic inflammatory diseases from developing. (3)
Keto Olive Oil Alternatives
If you would rather use a different type of keto approved cooking oil, here are a few alternative suggestions that will work just as well as olive oil:
- Almond oil
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
(Read next: Are Olives Keto?)