FATS & OILS
WHAT FATS & OILS CAN I EAT ON A LOW-CARB, DIET?
list of fats & oils allowed on a lchf diet
Saturated fats, such as animal fats and coconut oil, are the best choice for high heat cooking because they’re more heat stable than vegetable oils. Put simply, they have a higher stability against oxidative damage (oxidised fats are known to cause inflammation in the body, which can lead to disease). I avoid all vegetable oils (aside from coconut oil) in favour of grass-fed butter and natural fats I collect from bacon and pork belly. They’re far tastier and feel cleaner in my body. I’ve only included the fats and oils I eat (or would eat) in this list – if you’re going to use oils, I would recommend doing your research and opting for cold-pressed versions over heavily processed oils.
- Avocado oil
- Bacon fat
- Beef fat
- Coconut oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Goose fat
- Pork fat (lard)
Blueberries contain more carbs than other berries but the good news is that we’ve found a berry that is actually a true berry – yay! Blueberries contain one of the highest antioxidant values of any berry (or fruit). I eat them probably three or four times a year and devour all of them in one go – they are one of my favourite snacks.
Fun fact: Blueberries may reduce blood sugar spikes directly after a high-carb meal because they block certain digestive enzymes and can help slow down digestion, causing a slower release of sugar into your bloodstream.
✓ vitamin C, K, manganese, iron, flavonoids, antioxidants
✓ good for heart, skin, bones, blood, brain, diabetes management, UTI’s, cancer prevention, inflammation, mental health, brain function etc.
Cucumber is botanically a berry (it’s a pepo) but is commonly referred to as a vegetable (even though it is a fruit) because of how we use it in savoury dishes. It’s naturally low in calories and carbohydrates, high in water content and has calming, anti-inflammatory properties. I eat cucumber mainly in salads or with a cream cheese dip and a variety of very posh crudités 🙂
Fun fact: Water-rich cucumbers can aid in reducing bad breath by boosting saliva production that washes away odour-causing bacteria.
✓ vitamin C, manganese, potassium, flavonoids, antioxidants
✓ skin, bones, heart, digestion, eyes, immunity, constipation, diabetes management, brain health, cancer prevention
Peppers are exceptionally rich in vitamin C and antioxidants and yep, they’re actually a berry. Although they’re primarily made of carbohydrates, the carb count is relatively low and this makes them a great addition to a low-carb, high-fat diet. Eating raw peppers with iron-rich foods like red meat or spinach can aid in increasing your body’s iron stores, reducing the chances of developing anaemia. I enjoy green and red peppers fairly regularly in salads and fajitas, and also with carrots and a dip.
Fun fact: The bell pepper is the only pepper that doesn’t produce capsaicin, the chemical that causes a burning sensation when you eat it.
✓ vitamin A, B6, C, E, K, iron, potassium, folate, antioxidants
✓ good for eyes, blood, brain health, anaemia, digestion, inflammation, immune system, cancer prevention
Raspberries are my preferred berry, except they’re not actually a berry at all. They’re derived from a single flower with more than one ovary, which apparently puts them into the ‘aggregate fruits’ category. Why not just call them raspfruits then? I don’t know and I don’t care – I love raspberries and have them with a dollop of extra thick cream as an occasional treat. Raspberries are known to be anti-inflammatory and are high in tannins, which may help reduce the absorption of carbs and thereby lessen a spike in blood sugar after a meal. Good to know.
Fun fact: each raspberry consists of around one hundred tiny fruits called drupelets, each of which is filled with one seed.
✓ vitamin C, K, manganese, antioxidants
✓ good for heart, blood, eyes, digestion, obesity, inflammation, diabetes management, cancer prevention etc.
Strawberries are surprisingly low in carbs and very rich in antioxidants. Even more surprising is the fact that they’re not a berry at all but are ‘aggregate accessory fruits’. Who cares about the botanicals though (I do, clearly) – they’re delicious with clotted cream and a few flaked almonds sprinkled on top! Strawberries contain significant amounts of phytonutrients and flavonoids. Their fibre and fructose content may help to regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down digestion.
Fun fact: the teensy little pieces that appear to be seeds on the outside of a strawberry are actually a type of dry fruit called achene and each one contains its own seeds.
✓ vitamin C, manganese, folate, potassium, antioxidants
✓ good for heart, blood, digestion, teeth whitening, cancer prevention, diabetes management etc.
I’d just got my head round the fact that tomatoes are a fruit, only to find out they are actually a type of berry. Tomatoes are around 95% water and 5% carbohydrate and fibre. The carb content consists mainly of simple sugars and insoluble fibre. Tomatoes are often harvested while green and ripened artificially with ethylene gas – for this reason I tend to want to eat them when they’re in season, picking them from my parents’ garden or the gardens of homes we look after, as they’re far tastier when fully grown.
Fun fact: Tomatoes are a rich source of the antioxidant lycopene, which is important for mens’ prostate gland health.
✓ vitamin C, K, folate, potassium, antioxidants
✓ good for blood, heart, bones, skin, cancer prevention,
It’s flippin’ massive as berries go but it’s a berry nonetheless. Watermelon is packed with a surprising amount of nutrients given that it has such a high water content (over 90%), and is inevitably an excellent source of hydration and electrolytes. I turn to it when I need something to fall back on during long-term fasting. I don’t eat them very often as they tend to go soggy before I can eat the whole thing – I probably enjoy one or two a year for a sweet, refreshing treat.
Fun fact: Watermelon is one of the only foods to be classified as both a fruit and a vegetable.
✓ vitamin A, some B’s, C, potassium, copper, lycopene, citrulline
✓ good for hydration, skin, blood, muscle soreness, constipation, kidney stones, asthma, metabolism, inflammation
Disclaimer: I am not a qualified dietician or health coach. The purpose of the ‘diet’ area of this website is not to offer nutritional, health or weight loss advice or information; it is simply to share my own version of a low-carb, high-fat, intermittent fasting diet after years of fine-tuning what works best for me. This food list is based purely on what I choose to eat personally as part of my 5 Steps to Well-Being plan and is not part of a recognised diet programme.