What is a Ketogenic diet? Firstly, before we address the question what to eat and avoid in Keto diet, let’s define what the diet is all about. This is a special diet that limits carbohydrate intake to a minimum. Yes, we only limit and not eliminate it.
Subtracting a macro-nutrient from your diet can be rather counterproductive. It may seem a surefire way to manage your weight but, your body may become weak from the total lack of carbs in the long run. Be informed and ask your physician before you actually begin your journey to a new lifestyle.
What is Ketogenic Diet?
The goal of the keto diet is to keep carbohydrates low to force the body to produce an alternative source of fuel, ketones. Ketones are small molecules produced and utilized by the body when there is a short supply of blood sugar in the form of glucose.
They are manufactured by the liver from fat sources. By consuming very little carbohydrates, your body will rely on converting fats to ketones. This means that the body will favor burning stored fats.
Fasting easily leads the body to a state called ketosis. This is your desired outcome when you engage with this diet. Fasting is ill advised for long periods as this may lead to malnutrition. However, a safer way to lose and manage weight is a keto diet.
The essential goal is to starve the body of carbohydrates and rely on other nutrients to maintain bodily functions.
How Much Do I Need To Eat?
The safe ground is to consume about 5% carbohydrates, 25% protein and the rest is fat. The small amount of carbohydrates makes sure that you would not starve. Your main source of energy is fat. That’s why your diet will consist mostly of protein and fat.
However, this does not mean that you will be following an unhealthy selection of food. Your main source of carbohydrates should mostly be plant derived.
Here is a guideline on how you should plan your meals.
If you love meat, this will not be a problem for you. Eat lots of beef, lamb, goat, fish, and poultry. Wild game meat is an excellent choice but can come more expensive than your regular meat. Do so if you can afford as they are not fed with hormone rich animal feeds.
You might want to prefer animal fats when cooking to augment your daily fat intake. Lard and tallow is an excellent choice. You can also use goose and chicken fat. Avocado is a good source of monounsaturated fats.
As for your carbohydrate intake, you may stick to leafy green veggies as they have very low carbohydrate content. They are rich in fiber which can help your bowel movement too. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower are a great choice.
If you don’t have much to prepare, you can also use whey protein supplements as a source of your protein.
You can have as much of these and other similar food as they have good volume to fill your stomach and avoid hunger pangs.
Eggplant and Lady Finger (okra) is another low carbohydrate vegetable. Steam it, add some salt and eat it. Onion, leeks, garlic, and mushrooms can yield low carbohydrates too. Fry some over lard and eat it like a popcorn if you will.
Berries are nice to eat too. It breaks the monotony in your diet. But do not overindulge as they have higher contents of sugar.
Have some seaweeds too. They are not just low in calories, they are also rich in vitamins and minerals.
Nuts are an excellent source of protein with little carbs in it. Macadamia nut is rich in protein, low in carbohydrates and has high contents of omega 3.
You can have soybean and fermented soy-based products too. Just read the label carefully and watch out for the carbohydrate contents.
Grains are a great source of carbohydrates. Avoid grains and whole grains! Stay away from rice, oats, corn and quinoa. It’s not just the grain in its seed form but their derivatives as well. This means no bread, no pizza, no cakes!
Avoid processed foods as much as you can! They tend to have starch and other extenders on it.
Tropical fruits are deliciously sweet! Avoid them! No pineapple, banana, and grapes. Avoid fruit juices as they are packed with lots of sugar!
Stay away from candies! Even the ones labeled sugar-free.
Keto diet can be a little troublesome at first. You have many things to avoid and you need to know the details of the food you eat! Logging your food intake can be a good way to measure how much you have consumed but can be a little of a hassle.
Meat lovers can easily switch to this diet as most types of food you can safely eat to lower your carb intake is meat and animal products. The right type of veggies can easily fill your stomach and steer you away from cravings.
Most of the food we can readily eat is rich in carbohydrates. That is why It can be a difficult diet to start. But with discipline, food knowledge, and the right selection of it can help you overcome this difficulty.
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