Home / friendly / processed / oils / Is Marula Oil Keto-Friendly?

Is Marula Oil Keto-Friendly?

Marula Oil on a kitchen counter

Have you ever wondered, "Is Marula Oil Keto-Friendly?" If so, you're in the right place.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the fascinating world of marula oil and its compatibility with a ketogenic diet.

Marula oil, a nutrient-rich, monounsaturated fat, can be a game-changer in your keto meal plan, thanks to its zero net carb content.

But, there's much more to this oil than just its keto-friendliness.

We explore its health implications, ways to incorporate it into your meals, and even provide keto-compatible alternatives.


  • Yes, Marula Oil is keto-friendly, thanks to its high-fat, zero net carb content. But there's more to it!
  • Marula Oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, contributing to overall health and wellness.
  • There are various delicious ways to incorporate Marula Oil into your keto diet - keep reading to find out!

Is Marula Oil Keto-Friendly?

Now, let's get to the heart of the matter: Is marula oil keto-friendly? The answer is a resounding yes. In our world of nutrition, we use the term 'keto-friendly' to describe foods or ingredients that are low in carbs, which is a crucial aspect of a ketogenic diet. Marula oil fits this definition perfectly.

Let's take a look at the macro-nutrient composition of marula oil. It contains 0.0g net carbs per 100g. In simpler terms, it means that the carbohydrate content in marula oil is virtually non-existent. That's right – zero, zilch, nada. So if you're adhering to a keto diet and keeping an eye on your carb intake, marula oil is something you can freely incorporate into your kitchen rotation.

But what about the other macros in marula oil? Like other oils, marula oil is primarily composed of fats. Don't let that word scare you, though. In a ketogenic diet, fats are what we call 'energy currency.' They are the main source of energy for your body when you're limiting your carbohydrate intake. Marula oil, being high in monounsaturated fatty acids, provides you with this much-needed energy on a keto diet.

Can Marula Oil be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

We've established that marula oil is keto-friendly, but you might be wondering if it can fit into a strict keto diet. The answer is, once again, absolutely yes. Being on a strict keto diet generally means keeping the daily intake of carbs below 20-50g. As marula oil contains 0.0g net carbs per 100g, it fits perfectly into this low-carb threshold.

The beauty of marula oil lies in its versatility. Whether you're whipping up a hearty keto salad, sauteing vegetables, or even baking keto-friendly desserts, marula oil can be your go-to choice. Its delicate, nutty flavor complements a wide range of dishes, and its high smoke point makes it suitable for cooking at higher temperatures.

Moreover, marula oil's high fat content aligns with the dietary fat requirements of a strict keto diet. In a ketogenic diet, fats should comprise 70%-75% of your total daily calories. Marula oil, being primarily composed of fats, can help you reach this quota.

That being said, it's essential to remember that even though marula oil is carb-free and high in healthy fats, balance is key. A well-rounded keto diet should also include a good mix of protein and fiber-rich, low-carb vegetables.

For those of you keen to incorporate marula oil into your strict keto diet without breaking ketosis, we suggest tracking your carb intake diligently. There are several apps available that make tracking your macros a breeze. These tools will allow you to accommodate marula oil in your diet while ensuring you stay within your daily carb limit.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Marula Oil

Let's dive deeper into the carbohydrate content of marula oil. As we've mentioned, marula oil contains 0.0g net carbs per 100g. But what does this mean and why is it important for those following a ketogenic diet?

In nutritional parlance, 'net carbs' refers to the total carbohydrates in a food minus the fiber content. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body cannot digest, which means it doesn't raise your blood sugar levels. Therefore, when calculating your daily carb intake for a keto diet, you can exclude fiber and focus only on net carbs.

When it comes to marula oil, the concept of net carbs is easy to grasp - there are none. Whether you use a teaspoon or a tablespoon of marula oil, the net carb content remains the same: zero. This is a significant advantage for those following a keto diet, as it allows you to add flavor and healthy fats to your meals without worrying about exceeding your daily carb limit.

To give you a real-world example, consider a keto salad dressing. If you were to create a dressing using two tablespoons of marula oil, you would add a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fats to your meal, but the net carb content would remain unchanged. This is a prime example of how marula oil can enhance your keto meals without disrupting your carbohydrate goals.

However, remember that while marula oil is carb-free, it's still calorie-dense. As with any oil, using it in moderation is essential to maintain a balanced, healthy diet.

Nutritional Snapshot of Marula Oil

A 100g serving of Marula Oil is a nutritional powerhouse. With 100.0g of total fats, it is an excellent source of healthy fats, including 17.8g of monounsaturated fats and 51.9g of polyunsaturated fats, which are known to support heart health.

Not to be overlooked are the micronutrients. The notable content of Vitamin E, or alpha-tocopherol, in Marula Oil (35.3mg per 100g) plays a significant role in maintaining skin health and boosting the immune system. Additionally, it contains 24.7ug of Vitamin K1, a key element in blood clotting and bone health.

Interestingly, the total Choline content, though minimal (0.2mg per 100g), is essential for liver function, normal brain development, nerve function, muscle movement, and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

Lastly, a 100g serving of Marula Oil provides 884.0kcal, which can contribute a significant portion to your daily caloric intake. However, the energy derived from these calories is mostly from healthy fats.

Regarding the saturated fats, Marula Oil contains 25.9g per 100g. Though higher in comparison to some other oils, it's important to remember that not all saturated fats are bad, and they can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Total fats 100.0g
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 35.3mg
Vitamin K1 24.7ug
Choline, total 0.2mg
Calories 884.0kcal
Fatty acids, total saturated 25.9g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 17.8g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 51.9g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Marula Oil' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Cottonseed oil' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Marula Oil on a Keto Diet

When it comes to the health implications of marula oil on a keto diet, there's quite a bit to unpack. Marula oil is more than just a zero-carb, high-fat ingredient—it also comes with a host of potential health benefits.

Firstly, marula oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, especially oleic acid. This type of fat is known for its potential heart health benefits, including supporting healthy cholesterol levels. For those on a keto diet, this is an added benefit—while you're focusing on reducing carb intake, you're also consuming heart-healthy fats.

Moreover, marula oil is loaded with antioxidants, compounds that help protect your cells against damage by free radicals. This is particularly beneficial for those on a keto diet, as the diet itself has been associated with reduced oxidative stress.

Additionally, marula oil is packed with vitamins E and C. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as a powerful antioxidant, while vitamin C is known for its immune-boosting properties. These vitamins can contribute to overall health and wellness, further enhancing the benefits of a keto diet.

Furthermore, the high fat content in marula oil can help you achieve and maintain ketosis, a metabolic state where your body uses fat as its primary source of fuel. The healthy fats in marula oil can provide your body with a steady release of energy, which can be beneficial for those following a keto diet.

Incorporating Marula Oil into Your Keto Meal Plan

Incorporating marula oil into your keto meal plan can be a fun and tasty endeavor. Its light, nutty flavor complements a variety of dishes, and its high smoke point makes it a versatile choice for cooking. Here are some practical tips and methods to seamlessly integrate marula oil into your keto regimen.

  1. Salad Dressings: The rich, nutty flavor of marula oil makes it an excellent base for keto-friendly salad dressings. Combine it with a bit of apple cider vinegar, a squeeze of lemon, some minced garlic, salt, and pepper for a simple, delicious dressing that'll liven up your leafy greens.
  2. Cooking Oil: Marula oil's high smoke point makes it suitable for sautéing and frying. Use it to sauté low-carb veggies or sear a piece of fatty fish for a healthy, keto-friendly meal.
  3. Marinades: Marula oil can also be used in marinades for meat, poultry, or fish. Its subtle flavor profile enhances the taste of the protein without overpowering it.
  4. Baking: Believe it or not, marula oil can also be used in baking! Use it in place of other oils in your favorite keto-friendly baked goods recipes.
  5. Drizzle: Lastly, don't forget the power of a simple drizzle. A bit of marula oil over a finished dish can add a unique flavor and beautiful glossy finish.

Here's a quick, easy, and delicious recipe idea:

Keto Marula Oil Pesto:

- 2 cups fresh basil leaves

- ⅓ cup marula oil

- ¼ cup pine nuts

- 2 cloves of garlic

- Salt and pepper to taste

- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients except the cheese in a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth. Stir in the cheese, and voila! You have a flavorful keto pesto, perfect for zoodles or grilled chicken.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Marula Oil

While marula oil is a fantastic keto-friendly ingredient, it's always good to have options. Here are a few alternatives that are equally keto-compatible, along with ways to incorporate them into your meal plan.

  1. Coconut Oil: Known for its high levels of saturated fats, particularly Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), coconut oil is a popular choice for keto dieters. It can be used in baking, sautéing, and even as a dairy substitute in coffee. Like marula oil, coconut oil has 0g net carbs per 100g.
  2. Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet, known for its heart-healthy benefits. It's perfect for salad dressings or for drizzling over cooked meats and vegetables. It also contains 0g net carbs per 100g, making it a great keto alternative to marula oil.
  3. Avocado Oil: This oil is prized for its mild flavor and health benefits, including high levels of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat. It has a high smoke point, making it versatile for cooking, sautéing, and grilling. It's also perfect for homemade mayonnaise. Like marula and the other oils mentioned, avocado oil has 0g net carbs per 100g.
  4. MCT Oil: This oil is a byproduct of coconut or palm kernel oil that's rapidly absorbed and converted into ketones, providing quick energy on a keto diet. It's typically used as a supplement and can be added to smoothies or coffee.

When choosing an oil, it's essential to consider the flavor profile, nutritional content, and cooking use. While marula oil offers a unique flavor and health benefits, these alternatives also provide variety and versatility in a keto diet. In the end, the best oil is the one that suits your dietary needs, taste preferences, and cooking style.

Concluding Thoughts on Marula Oil and Keto

Throughout our exploration of marula oil and its compatibility with a keto diet, we've uncovered an array of intriguing insights. Marula oil's distinct combination of zero net carbs and high fat content aligns perfectly with the nutritional requirements of a ketogenic diet. Its high oleic acid content, antioxidant properties, and vitamin richness further contribute to its health benefits, making it a valuable addition to your keto meal plan.

Whether you're using it as a cooking oil due to its high smoke point, drizzling it over salads for that extra flavor, or incorporating it into your keto-friendly pesto, marula oil brings both taste and nutrition to the table. Remember, though, moderation is key. Despite its many benefits, marula oil is calorie-dense, like all oils, and should be consumed in reasonable amounts.

We've also explored alternatives to marula oil, such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and MCT oil. Each of these offers unique benefits and can bring variety to your keto diet.

In conclusion, while marula oil is undoubtedly a keto-compatible choice, it's worth noting that every individual's dietary needs and preferences are unique. Therefore, experimentation is essential. You might even try creating a marula oil-infused keto butter, a twist on the popular 'Bulletproof Coffee' concept, for an energizing start to your day.

Explore our Is It Keto Knowledge Hub.

Is Cashew Oil Keto-Friendly
Are Oils Keto Friendly

Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Marula Oil is considered keto-friendly due to its high fat and zero net carb content.

Absolutely! With its high smoke point, Marula Oil is suitable for sautéing, frying, and even baking.

Marula Oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, which are essential for overall health and wellness. However, it does not replace a balanced diet.