What Are Fat Bombs? Should You Eat These Keto Snacks?
Keto dieters may think they need to eat these keto fat snacks, but are they really necessary? Experts weigh in.
You know those round, dense balls that keto dieters snack on? You might have even seen some at local health food stores. You may have run across a few in your Pinterest feed. They're called "fat bombs," and they are loaded with fat-rich ingredients, like coconut oil and avocado, that can fill you up fast and satisfy any sweet, nutty craving that might sneak up on you.
Fat bombs are essentially energy bites for the keto dieter. There's a growing body of evidence that suggests healthy fats are good for you, a stance embraced by the followers of low-carb diets such as Atkins and the trendy Keto diet.
"Instead of carbs and protein, which are sources of energy in energy bites, fat bombs have fat as their main energy-providing nutrient; sometimes up to 90 percent of calories in fat bombs come from fat," says Sofia Norton, RD and keto expert for Kiss My Keto.
"Another definition of fat bombs is that they're a high-fat, bite-sized keto snack. They can be savory or sweet and are usually spherical in shape; however, square, cylinder, and heart-shaped bombs are also popular," she says.
Are Fat Bombs Healthy? What Goes Into Them?
Fat bombs are typically made from a high-fat base, binding ingredients, and flavorings to tie them all together and make it nourishing, tasty treat. Keto fat bombs can be sweet, made with chocolate, and sweetened with zero-calorie or natural sweeteners that are keto-friendly, like monk fruit or erythritol. They can also be savory; think more along the lines of nut butter, cheese, and bacon.
"The nutritional value of fat bombs varies greatly between different recipes. However, in all fat bombs, fat is the main source of energy," Norton says. "Your typical fat bomb will give you between 70 and 500 calories, 7 and 50 grams of fat, less than 7 grams of carbohydrates, and less than 5 grams of protein. But these are just rough estimates," she says. The 70- to 200-calorie mark is more in line with a keto snack, and it's a healthier, portion-controlled option compared to a whopping 500-calorie fat bomb! (That is basically a meal replacement, and fat bombs are generally on the smaller side.)
"Most keto-ers consider fat bombs a snack. However, higher-calorie and savory fat bombs can be a meal replacements or even as a side dish," Norton explains. So, if you are using a keto bomb for a whole meal, then take that into account.
"Keto dieters need to know that fat bombs should not be used as a meal replacement on a regular basis since most fat bombs can't help you meet your daily requirements for fiber, protein, and vitamins," she says. It's best to use these fat bombs as a snack for the most part.
Fat bombs are OK for those following a keto diet, says Norton, as they keep dieters energized and full. "If you're not on a keto diet, however, fat bombs can make you gain weight since your body will likely store all that fat found in these snacks rather than burn them," she cautions. "Remember, you need to be keto-adapted for your body to successfully use fat for energy," she says.
What Are the Ingredients in Fat Bombs?
Most fat bombs use a fatty base like butter, peanut butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, coconut cream, heavy cream, lard, MCT oil, or bacon. "Other ingredients used in fat bombs are almond flour, coconut flour, cream cheese, stevia, cacao powder, berries, and so much more," Norton says.
"Fat bombs are best made with fatty bases that are solid at room temperature or when cooled. These are usually high in saturated fat, which tends to solidify easily," she says. A good example is coconut oil, a nutritious and solid base found in many fat bomb recipes.
"To make fat bombs soft and chewy, some recipes call for nut flours, milk, and cream. These help bind the ingredients while adding flavor and nutrition benefits to fat bombs," she says.
Norton loves using nut butter and coconut oil. "My favorite fat bombs are those made with coconut oil and nut flours because these are rich in ketogenic fat as well as g fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Not to mention they tend to be tasty and tender," she explains. When it comes to the healthfulness of individual recipes, variety is key. Make sure you rotate between bombs high in saturated fat and those high in unsaturated fats to get a variety of fats for a good balance.
How to Make Keto Fat Bombs
You can find hundreds of fat bomb recipes in keto diet books, blogs, and recipe websites. "In most cases, a fat bomb is made by melting or heating an oil — for example, coconut oil — adding flavorings and binding ingredients, like coconut milk and stevia, pouring into molds, and refrigerating or freezing until hardened," says Norton.
Here are two keto fat bomb recipes, savory and sweet, to get you started.
Bacon and Cheese Fat Bomb
This savory fat bomb will keep you full and satisfy that salty craving, too. Each one is around 200 calories, and it takes 45 minutes to make. Add in pepper and other spicy ingredients to make these cheesy fat bombs hotter, or mellow it out by using herbs instead. Make a big batch at once to keep on hand for the week as easy meal prep.
Get the recipe: Bacon and Cheese Fat Bomb
Keto Peanut Butter Fudge Fat Bomb
This fat bomb recipe is totally sweet, not savory, with delicious peanut butter and chocolate as a winning duo. It's a great snack or dessert to satisfy the sweet tooth, but it is made with stevia to help keep blood sugar balanced and to avoid any spikes or cravings afterwards. Each fat bomb is 341 calories, so don't make this an everyday snack, but it can be a good indulgence when you're in need of a sweet fix.
Get the recipe: Keto Peanut Butter Fudge Fat Bomb
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