In recent years, the Ketogenic diet has experienced immense popularity. In this article, we’ll cover the many reasons for this kind of attention, the benefits of the diet and possible side effects.
Most people who are on the Keto diet at some point in life asked themselves: How do I burn body fat? Which in its essence is exactly what the Keto diet is all about; burning fat rather than glucose, for energy.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet (which shares many similarities with the Atkins diet) is a very low-carb and high-fat diet. It works by reducing carbohydrates that are easy to digest, like sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. In case the body doesn’t have enough glucose for energy, it uses stored fats instead. This builds-up acid called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the low carb or ketogenic diet.
To reach a state of ketosis, cutting down your carb intake is vital. Large number of people think of the keto diet as a super high-fat diet. However, consuming massive amounts of fat isn’t nearly as important as cutting carbs when it comes to changing your metabolism to run on fat.
Is Keto Diet Right for You?
As expected, most often people use the ketogenic diet to lose weight. Other reasons are to improve manage certain medical conditions, or to help people with heart disease and certain brain diseases. But, it’s imperative for you to visit a doctor before starting with this diet (especially if you have type 1 diabetes).
Keto Diet Food – What to Eat and What to Avoid
Now that you understand the basics of the keto diet, it’s time to create your first low-carb food shopping list.
While on the keto diet, you’ll enjoy nutrient-dense foods and avoid high-carb ingredients.
Meat, Eggs, Nuts, and Seeds
Always select the meat of the highest quality you can afford. While doing so, make sure it’s grass-fed and organic beef whenever possible. Additionally, wild-caught fish, and pasture-raised poultry, pork, and eggs, will do the job. Nuts and seeds are also fine and best eaten raw.
- Beef: steak, veal, roast, ground beef, and stews
- Bone broth
- Poultry: chicken breasts, duck, and turkey
- Pork: pork loin, tenderloin, chops, ham, and sugar-free bacon
- Fish: mackerel, tuna, salmon, trout, halibut, cod, catfish, and mahi-mahi
- Shellfish: oysters, clams, crab, mussels, and lobster
- Organ meats: heart, liver, tongue, kidney, and offal
- Eggs: deviled, fried, scrambled, and boiled
- Nuts and seeds: macadamia nuts, almonds, and nut butter
Vegetables are a perfect option for getting a healthy dose of micronutrients, therefore preventing nutrient deficiencies on keto.
- Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, Swiss chard, and arugula
- Cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, cauliflower, and zucchini
- Lettuces, including iceberg, romaine, and butterhead
- Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi
- Other vegetables such as mushrooms, asparagus, and celery
Foods to Avoid on a Keto Diet
Try to avoid the following foods while on a keto diet mainly due to their high carb content. When starting keto, purge your fridge and cupboards, donate any unopened items, and throw away the rest.
Grains are loaded with carbs, so it’s best to stay away from all grains on keto. This includes whole grains, wheat, pasta, rice, oats, barley, rye, corn, and quinoa.
Beans and Legumes
While many vegans and vegetarians rely on beans for their protein content, these foods are incredibly high-carb. Avoid eating kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans, and lentils.
While many fruits are packed with antioxidants, they’re also high in fructose, which can easily kick you out of ketosis.
Avoid apples, mangoes, pineapples, and other fruits (with the exception of small amounts of berries).
Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes/sweet potatoes. Other starchy veggies that should not be consumed are certain types of squash, parsnips, and carrots.
Like fruit, there are health benefits connected to these foods but they’re also very high in carbs.
This includes, but is not limited to, desserts, artificial sweeteners, ice cream, smoothies, soda, and fruit juice.
Even condiments such as ketchup and barbecue sauce are ruled out. They are usually filled with sugar, so make sure you read the labels before adding them to your meal plan. You’re craving something sweet? Try a keto-friendly dessert recipe made with low-glycemic sweeteners instead.
There are some exceptions of alcoholic beverages that are low-glycemic and appropriate for a ketogenic diet. However, if you’re on a keto diet with the goal of losing weight, keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum! If you’re craving a cocktail, it’s not the end of the world IF you stick to low-sugar mixers and avoid most beer and wine.
3 Easy Keto Diet Snacks
- Veggie Sticks With Guacamole
Guacamole makes a great, portable, and healthy keto snack, as avocados are loaded with fat, fiber, and a hefty dose of essential nutrients. In fact, avocados provide 15 grams of fat and 24% of the DV of fiber per serving.
To make guacamole, simply mash a ripe avocado and combine with lime juice, diced red onion, and salt and pepper. Fresh jalapeno makes an excellent addition too. If you’re not up for making your own, you can buy pre-made and individually packaged guacamole. Although guacamole is good to eat by itself, you can also use sweet bell peppers, red radishes, celery, or broccoli for dipping.
- Keto Smoothies
If you follow a keto diet and thought smoothies would be forever off-limits due to their typically high-carb content, you’re in luck.
You can make keto-friendly smoothies using coconut, avocado, and nut butter as a base to boost fat content and provide a creamy texture.
Small amounts of low-carb fruits, such as berries, lime, or lemon, may be used in a keto smoothie. But it’s important to include nutrient-dense veggies like spinach, cucumber, kale, or jicama.
If you’re looking for something sweet, you can add keto-approved sweeteners.
- Bone Broth
If you crave something light and warming, bone broths are an incredibly tasty snack option for keto dieters. Unlike traditional broth, bone broths are cooked longer and typically contain more protein.
You can make your own bone broth on the stovetop or with a slow cooker or pressure cooker, however, this can be truly time-consuming and you can’t be sure of the final taste. If you don’t have the time you can buy bone broth from our online store.
One Week Keto Plan
The following menu provides less than 50 grams of total carbs per day.
Some people may have to reduce carbohydrates even further in order to reach ketosis. This is a general one-week ketogenic menu that can be altered depending on individual dietary needs.
- Breakfast: Two eggs fried in pastured butter served with sauteed greens.
- Lunch: A bunless grass-fed burger topped with cheese, mushrooms, and avocado.
- Dinner: Pork chops with green beans sauteed in coconut oil.
- Breakfast: Green (Pea) bone broth with grated ginger and spring onion.
- Lunch: Tuna salad with celery and tomato atop a bed of greens.
- Dinner: Roast chicken with cream sauce and sauteed broccoli.
- Breakfast: Bell pepper stuffed with cheese and eggs.
- Lunch: Arugula salad with hard-boiled eggs, turkey, avocado and blue cheese.
- Dinner: Grilled salmon with spinach sauteed in coconut oil.
- Breakfast: Bone Broth Vegetable Bouillon.
- Lunch: Steak bowl with cauliflower rice, cheese, herbs, avocado, and salsa.
- Dinner: Bison steak with cheesy broccoli.
- Breakfast: Baked avocado egg boats.
- Lunch: Caesar salad with chicken.
- Dinner: Pork chops with vegetables.
- Breakfast: Bone Broth Chicken Soup Flavor.
- Lunch: Bunless salmon burgers topped with pesto.
- Dinner: Meatballs served with zucchini noodles and parmesan cheese.
- Breakfast: Coconut milk chia pudding topped with coconut and walnuts.
- Lunch: Cobb salad made with greens, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, cheese, and turkey.
- Dinner: Coconut chicken curry.
As you can see, ketogenic meals can be diverse and flavorful.
Although many ketogenic meals are based around animal products, there is a wide variety of vegetarian options to choose from as well.
You’re following a more liberal ketogenic diet? Then you can add a cup of berries to your breakfast or a small serving of a starchy vegetable to your dinner. This will increase the number of carbs in this meal plan.
To Sum Up
A healthy ketogenic diet should consist of about 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% or less than 50 grams of carbs per day. Focus on high-fat, low-carb foods like eggs, meats, dairy and low-carb vegetables, as well as sugar-free beverages. Be sure to restrict highly processed items and unhealthy fats.
The popularity of the ketogenic diet has made it easier than ever to find a wide array of interesting and healthy keto meal ideas online. Using this article as a guide to get started on the keto diet can set you up for success and make transitioning to a high-fat, low-carb diet a breeze.