On ways to add fat to your diet when you’re new to a ketogenic diet
I got some blood tests taken again to see if I had managed to improve my fasting glucose and HbA1c since my last test. Despite not having eaten a single grain of wheat, rice, oats, rye, amaranth, etc. for about nine months, neither metric had improved. I was still at the top end of a healthy range and was advised by the (private) doctor interpreting the results that I might be on my way to developing diabetes. The GP at my surgery just told me that I should lose weight and exercise more, which shows you how useless the NHS is, since I work out 4 times a week and am 171cm tall and weigh 54kg FFS.
Anyway, this made me decide to follow a ketogenic diet: high fat, low carb, moderate protein. I am back on cronometer weighing my every ingredient which is annoying as hell, but is helping as I think I know now why my blood sugar results were so high: I was eating too much fruit. One day, I blew my whole carb budget (40g max) on two dates. RIP dates, thou shalt cross my lips no more. 😢
The hardest thing for me has been figuring out how to increase my fat intake. I already ate fatty cuts of meat (e.g. lamb cutlets, chicken wings, etc.) and lots of cheese, but I was not coming anywhere near my goal of eating ~250g (min) of fat a day. I don’t think I am alone in this struggle to eat more fat when you are new to a keto (or even carnivore diet), so here is my contribution to the lonely, fat seeking ketogenic internet surfer desperately wondering how to eat more fat.
1. Bulletproof coffee: this is where you add butter and MCT oil to your coffee. I was incredibly sceptical of this and thought it a foul idea, but it is honestly absolutely delicious. I use 12g Kerrygold butter and 1tbsp Hunter and Gather MCT oil per 400ml cup. The only downside is that I can’t really taste my delicious Gajah Mountain coffee doing this, and I think it would be just as good if I switched out for a cheaper coffee. I have two caffeinated versions in the morning and then a third Clipper decaf instant version in the afternoon. At 23g of fat per cup, this has proven to be a super easy and delicious way to get more fat.
2. Homemade mayonnaise: I have started making my own mayonnaise as I can’t find a shop bought one that uses olive oil (I refuse to eat seed oils). I don’t know why I didn’t do this before as it is so simple and so much more delicious than crappy Hellmans or whatever. You can add in herbs or avocado (etc.) to the mix to change the flavour. The other day I made some with avocado and fresh coriander and ate masses of it with these salmon cakes and it was BANGING. I make it using this recipe if using olive oil and this recipe if using butter. YES TO BUTTER MAYO!
3. Devilled eggs: As well as using the mayo as my salad dressing, I am also going through a devilled eggs phase. I adapted this Nigella recipe: after hard boiling the eggs, I just put the yolks into a bowl, add some Colemans, Tabasco, and the mayo and then mash it all together. Taste and once you are happy: scoop it back in to the whites and SCOFF. I usually just make how ever many I feel like eating on the fly.
4. Cheesecake-mouse things: I adapted this recipe from Volek and Phinney’s The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. I take 150g of goat’s cheese log, blend it with 1 heaped tbsp of coconut oil, 1tsp vanilla essence, and 1tsp lemon essence. Then I cook down 120g of a frozen berry (blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries) with 6g Demerara sugar (I refuse to use artificial sweeteners and this only adds 1g per cheesecake) and a little water until the berries turn into a puree. You want it to be a little soupy but not too much. Then I add 1/2 sachet of gelatine to the hot berry mix and whisk. Finally, I add the fruit-gelatine puree to the cheese and oil and blend. Then I spoon the mix into six muffin cups and refrigerate for a few hours. I cherish the fat boosting love they bring to me.
5. Pork scratchings / crackling: I eat a lot of pig fat as it is so delicious to me. Alas, I cannot source enough pig skin to only eat homemade. iWeep. However, I have recently found Awfully Posh crackling in awfully posh Waitrose and they don’t have any nasties in them, like most pork scratching snacks. Highly recommended and loads of fat but a fair amount of protein too.
6. Stock cube butter drinks: This I also got from the Volek and Phinney book – crumble one stock cube in a cup of boiling water. I like Kallo Beef cubes the best. As with the cheesemousecakething, I improved on their idea by adding a teaspoon of butter to the cup. Good for an evening hot drink.
And there you have it. Those are my suggestions for how to add more fat to your diet when you are new to keto. If anyone has any other simple ideas, then please feel free to let me know, as I would be grateful.
Yours, in fat love.