Fat bombs: for when you’d rather blow up the kitchen than wash another dirty dish!
Fat bombs: the explosive new way to get rid of dinner guests who won’t take a hint!
…OK, maybe they’re not quite as dramatic as the name suggests. But fat bombs can be a pretty good snack for Paleo or keto eaters, so here’s a look at the concept, the pros and cons, and tips for getting the most out of your fat bombs.
(No idea what keto is? Go here first!)
What the heck is a fat bomb?
Fat bombs are the granola bars of the low-carb world. They’re quick, on-the-go snacks with flavors that remind you of dessert – but instead of the typical granola bar carb-fest, fat bombs are full of delicious, delicious fat.
The basic recipe is simple: fat + flavorings. For example…
- Coconut oil + lemon extract
- Cream cheese + vanilla + cinnamon
- Almond butter + cocoa powder
There are also savory varieties (cream cheese + bacon + chives, for example). You can roll them into bite-size balls, make a sheet and cut them into bars, or pour them into candy molds for fun shapes. But before you head for the kitchen, consider…
Are fat bombs right for you?
The short answer is “if and only if you need more fat in your diet,” but that’s not super illuminating, so let’s break it down a bit more.
Even if you’re eating keto, there’s no real benefit to eating more fat simply for the sake of eating more fat. If your carbs are low enough, you don’t need to slam down gobs and gobs of extra butter just to send your daily fat consumption through the roof. That’s especially true for weight loss. Even keto is ultimately about creating a calorie deficit: metabolic changes notwithstanding, adding hundreds of calories above your body’s actual needs is going to stall weight loss, even if it’s fat.
If you’re eating well, you’re not hungry between meals, you’re not crashing during workouts, your weight loss is proceeding apace (if applicable), and your life is generally humming along just fine, adding fat bombs won’t make you superhuman. But there are a few situations where fat bombs can be helpful:
- You’re hungry between meals and need a quick, low-carb snack.
- You need something to eat before/during/after a workout that won’t be too heavy.
- You’re struggling to get enough calories on a Paleo or keto diet
- You want to add a specific type of fat, like coconut oil, into your diet for health reasons but you don’t know how to work it into real recipes
- You want a treat but can’t fit Paleo-friendly sweeteners or other Paleo treats into your macros.
Fat bombs basically take a big dose of fat, put it in a small package, and make it yummy. If that’s what you need, then fat bombs might be the answer.
Making great Paleo/keto fat bombs
Step 1: Picking your fat
If you’re reading this, you probably already know that fat doesn’t make you fat and that high-fat diets can actually make you pretty thin! You probably also understand that saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease, cancer, sea level rise, or alien invasions. Just in case this is news to anyone, check out some more here:
- Fat doesn’t make you fat
- Fear of dietary cholesterol doesn’t make sense
- Saturated fat isn’t bad for you
With that out of the way, a look at some great Paleo-friendly fat choices for fat bombs:
Butter, cream cheese, and other high-fat dairy
Fat highlights: Dairy fat is delicious in both sweet and savory fat bombs. Fat from grass-fed cows is also rich in conjugated linoleic acid, which has benefits for immune health, weight, and metabolic health – it might even be protective against cancer
Potential cons: if you don’t handle dairy well, then cream cheese especially can cause some gastrointestinal issues. Butter or ghee is less likely to cause problems, but some people really are sensitive enough to feel bad even after eating butter.
…except peanut butter, because peanuts aren’t really nuts and they’re not Paleo!
Fat highlights: Nut butters are great for people who cringe at the thought of biting into a big square of super dense fat – because there’s a little more protein and fiber in nut butters, they’re not quite as intensely fatty as coconut oil. There’s a lot of taste variety to choose from and they go really well with chocolate.
Potential cons: Nut butters (except for macadamia nut butter) are high in omega-6 fats, which can be inflammatory.
Potential cons: the biggest con is the potential gastrointestinal side effects. Large doses of coconut oil aren’t advisable for people who aren’t already used to eating a lot of coconut oil (they tend to cause diarrhea and cramping). If you haven’t already been using coconut oil in your cooking, then scarfing down half a plate of coconut oil-based fat bombs is likely to cause some issues.
Flavorings that bring the nutritional A game
The main attraction of fat bombs is the fat, but they’re typically dressed up to taste like dessert: you’ll see a lot of flavors like raspberry chocolate, lemon creamsicle, peanut butter fudge, etc. Luckily, a lot of tasty fat bomb flavorings are also really nutrient- and antioxidant-dense:
Cocoa powder: cocoa powder has just 3 grams of carbs per 1 tablespoon, and it’s often added to fat bombs to make a kind of ultra-dark, dairy-free chocolate (sometimes with artificial sweeteners, sometimes without). It’s also packed full of antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation in people with a high inflammatory burden. This study even found that 250mg of cocoa powder daily (that’s a fraction of a tablespoon) improved mental fatigue and performance.
Citrus: citrus is also full of antioxidants, so adding some cirus zest or extract to your fat bombs is a great move. For example, in This study, orange juice or orange extract in normal dietary doses helped improve cardiovascular health,
Cinnamon: cinnamon is well-known for improving blood sugar, even in normal dietary amounts. For example, in this study, roughly 1 teaspoon of cinnamon per day improved blood sugar control in people with diabetes. Unlike a real cinnamon bun, cinnamon coconut cream fat bombs will actually do good things for your insulin sensitivity!
…Ready to try it?
Fat bombs are a convenient, tasty, portable solution to get more fat into your diet. They’re ideal for people who need a high-fat snack that won’t mess up their macros, people who have trouble getting enough food on keto, or people who want to gain weight?
Want to try them out? Have a taste!