Hi keto eaters! I gave a lot of thought as to what the first recipe here should be. Baked chipotle lime salmon was the clear winner. This salmon dish is easy, quick, loaded with healthy fats, and tasty. It’s perfect for when you are short on time or short on energy, but need to stick to your ketogenic lifestyle.
Like many of us, getting enough healthy fats into our diet is a foreign concept. We were taught for years that fat = bad. Turns out, fats are the one micronutrient that will not spike blood glucose and not raise insulin levels. Even too much protein will raise blood sugar levels.
Since elevated insulin levels is what leads to storing fat, eating low carb, moderate protein, and high fats is what leads to weght loss. Adopting this way of eating has been a game changer.
Salmon and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Salmon is known for it’s high omega-3 fatty acids. However, the amount of omega-3s will depend on the type of salmon you use. Pink, skinless, frozen salmon fillets are what I had on hand. They are the mildest option for salmon, which may be a consideration for some people (like my husband, who used to be strictly “turf & turf”). Pink salmon tends to be more budget-friendly as well, which can add up to a lot when buying wild-caught fish.
However, pink salmon has the least amount of fat and omega-3 fatty acids of all types of salmon, with most of it in the skin. If you want more omega-3 fatty acids, you either need to get skin-on filets, or get sockeye salmon which will have a nice, deep red color. It is more expensive and has a slightly stonger flavor. All sockeye salmon is wild caught. King salmon has even more omega-3 fatty acids. For more information on just how much omega-3 fatty acids are in seafood, check out seafoodhealthfacts.org.
Salmon is a mild tasting fish, making it a good choice for those who don’t like a strong tasting fish. If you prefer a milder white fish, the salmon could also be swapped out for cod, halibut, or barramundi. Barramundi has a comparable omega-3 fatty acid profile to pink salmon, at around 600 t0 800 miligrams.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and PCOS
Ketogenic eating is an ideal way to manage and reverse the effects of the most common hormone imbalance of women in the USA, Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Insulin spikes and exposure to excess hormone consumption in the diet exacerbate PCOS symptoms. This has helped me reduce and/or reverse my various PCOS symptoms. A key factor for me was upping my intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
Fellow PCOS ladies, we need to get more omega-3s. These fats help us lower androgens. Excess androgens, like testosterone, is what causes our thinning hair on top (male pattern thinning) and excess facial hair. These can be some of our most embarassing symptoms.
Check out this study demonstrating omega-3 fatty acids can significantly reduce androgen levels in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Increasing my omega-3 fatty acid intake through fish like salmon, herring, and barramundi has been a major component in my efforts to regrow a thicker, fuller head of hair.
Oh, and also drop fat pounds like a boss!
Since this salmon was skinless, I wanted to add even more healthy and satisfying fats into the dish. I spoon chipotle lime mayonaise made with avocado oil from Primal Kitchen over the fillets. It keeps the fish moist, add flavor, and is soy-free. Avocado-based mayonaise is a perfect alternative to most commercially-prepared mayonaise which is most often made with soybean oil.
Soy is problematic for a number of reasons, and is something women with PCOS should really avoid. Soy is a source of phytoestrogens. Since we PCOS ladies have excess estrogens (which get converted into excess androgens), we really don’t need to be adding more to the body. Honestly, men really don’t need excess estrogens from food either.
While the omega-6 to omega 3 ratio isn’t the best, avocado oil is loaded with omega-9 fatty acids. These omega-9s, or oleic acids, studies done on rabbits and rats have demonstrated avocado oil to have beneficial effects on HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, inflammation, and biochemial indicators of metabolic syndrome. PCOS automatically raises our risk of metabolic syndrome and developing diabetes, so anything that may lower that risk is important to consider.
Admitedly, this specific mayo is kind of pricey. One day soon, I will post how to make a fermented version of this mayonnaise (that’s right, fermented mayo). But for time savings and ease of use, I have to say, it’s pretty darn tasty. If you are trying to get your bearings with low carb, high fat foods, give it a try.
What to Serve With It
In the pic above, I served it with onions and bell peppers which were sauteed in MCT oil. This MCT oil comes in a BPA-free bottle, which might be important if you have PCOS and want to avoid hormone disrupting chemicals. One cup of these veggies is about 12 net carbs.
You could also serve this dish with with a cup of mashed cauliflower which would have about 5.5 grams of net carbs. Mashed cauliflower is so good and so filling, it’s a perfect side dish to this salmon.
Baked Chipotle Lime Salmon
Yields 4 fillets
An easy, quick keto meal loaded with healthy fats. The mild taste of salmon makes this a great lunch or dinner for anyone even if they don't typically like fish.
5 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 4 4oz salmon fillets, pink and skinless
- 4 tablespoons chipotle lime avocado mayonnaise
- Preheat your oven to 350°F
- Rinse your salmon fillets, pat dry, and arrange in a baking dish.
- Spoon the mayonnaise onto the fillets, and spread to cover the fish.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
If you get salmon with the skin on for more fat, saute your salmon instead to get the skin nice and crispy. Otherwise baking the skin will result in an unappetizing mush. It's slighly more effort to saute the salmon, but it's also faster.
Place room temperature salmon fillets which have been patted dry into a hot pan (I prefer cast iron) with plenty of cooking fat (butter, coconut oil, MCT oil, etc), and leave the fillet alone until it has cooked 3/4 of the way through. You will be able to tell by the lighter color of the cooked fish. Flip the salmon over, and the skin should be good and crispy. Add the mayonnaise to the skin side of the salmon, and let the salmon finish cooking.