Some people associate the keto diet with the bad word “fat,” and are quick to dismiss it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fat is allowed because it is converted into energy. Our body needs healthy fats to thrive. Other foods on the diet could not be healthier. When you’re eating ketogenic, you’re filling your body with nutrition. Let’s take a look at the foods you’ll be eating.
As this book has already pointed out, the elimination of processed foods and sugar is one of the best things you can do for your health in general. Processed foods are filled with toxic preservatives that do nothing for you but rob you of your good health. Fresh is always better. When purchasing anything at the market, get into the habit of reading labels. They can be very sneaky and revealing.
Keep your carbohydrates under 50 grams a day, and you’ll feel the difference. A stricter ketogenic diet will contain approximately 20 grams of carbs a day.
Food to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet
Everyone knows about the healthy fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals in seafood. Very few of us eat enough. The keto diet encourages the consumption of all things from the sea. Shrimp and crabs are carb-free, and other shellfish contain only a low amount of carbohydrates.
Fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, are highly recommended because of their high omega-fatty acid content. Fish truly is brain food. Enjoy at least two servings or more of seafood a week on the keto diet. Simple canned tuna counts as seafood.
Can a diet that recommends unlimited green, leafy vegetables be anything but healthy? They are extremely low in carbohydrates and bursting with vitamins, antioxidants, and the fiber we need daily. Green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and kale are believed to decrease the risk of heart diseases and cancer. Cauliflower and turnips can be prepared to look and taste like rice or mashed potatoes, with much less starch and carbohydrates. “Starchy” vegetables, such as potatoes or beets do have carbs and should be limited on the keto diet.
- There are cheeses to satisfy everyone’s taste. They are high in fat content for energy, high in protein and calcium, and low in carbohydrates.
- Yogurt and cottage cheese are a great source of protein and calcium. They are low-carb and fit well into the ketogenic lifestyle. Be sure to stick with plain yogurt, as the flavored types contain a lot of sugar, as are the so-called “low fat” versions of yogurt. You can flavor yogurt and cottage cheese yourself with a few berries and nuts.
Avocados are true “superfood.” They are high in important vitamins and minerals, including potassium. According to a study, avocados are also believed to help lower cholesterol by 22 percent. Loaded with nutrients and delicious taste, avocados only have 2 grams of net carbohydrates. Use them in salads and sandwiches.
Meat and Poultry
The keto diet lets you eat plenty of meat. Meat contains very few carbs and is high in protein to help you build muscles. Whenever possible, choose healthy, grass-fed meats, which are higher in fatty acids.
Eggs are high in protein and contain a mere 1 gram of carbohydrates. As they are also inexpensive, they are ideal for anyone on a ketogenic diet.
Eggs also make you feel full, thereby helping you eat less. Many people take pride in only consuming the whites of eggs, but the true nutrition lies in the yolk, so be sure to eat the egg in its entirety.
Too many people are unfamiliar with coconut oil, another “superfood.” It is perfect for people dealing with diabetes and has been used with Alzheimer patients.
Coconut oil can be used in most recipes in place of butter or oil. You can also use it for frying.
Did you know that dark chocolate has a high amount of antioxidants? As a matter of fact, dark chocolate is reaching superfood status. Chocolate with 80 percent or higher real cocoa powder can lower your blood pressure.
An ounce of 80 percent dark chocolate contains 10 grams of carbohydrates, so it definitely counts as a healthy snack. Keep in mind the lower of cocoa content, the less healthy the chocolate will be. Milk chocolate does not count as healthy chocolate.
Foods to Avoid on a Ketogenic Diet
The keto diet has a lot less restricted foods than many other diets. Sugar, of course, should be avoided. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sweet desserts. There are many keto-friendly recipes that substitute unsweetened apple sauce for sugar in baked goods. Substitute sweeteners such as Stevia can also be used in moderation
Keep in mind that fruits are healthful, but they do contain a great deal of sugar, so limit the amount you eat to just a few slices a day. Fruit juices are concentrates that have vitamins but lack fiber. And their sugar content is extremely high. Read the label on any bottle of juice before buying. The best juices are “green” with just a hint of fruit for flavoring.
Be careful with cereals. Most are packed with sugar and robbed of any nutrients. Many claims, “nutrition added,” but all that means is that all nutrition has been removed and replaced with a small amount, and a whole lot of sugar for taste. One hundred percent bran cereal will fit into your keto diet, and you can sweeten it with a handful of berries. Just be sure to examine all labels in the cereal aisle. They can be very tricky. Also, remember that honey, too, is considered as sugar.
Limited Carbohydrates and Calories
Legumes and beans are healthy for you, but they are high in carbohydrates. You can have them occasionally; just make sure you keep it within your daily 20 – 5o carb-gram count.
Alcohols tend to be empty calories, but certain spirits will be better for you than others. Beer is filled with carbs and should be off your keto diet. The expression “beer belly” exists for a reason. Enjoy a glass of wine, instead. Of course, there are variances in different types of wine. Dry wines contain a minimum amount of sugar, while sweet dessert wines contain much more.
Pure alcohol such as whiskey and vodka are carb-free, but they do contain calories, so have a care. Mixing alcohol for fancy cocktails usually creates a haven for sugar, so avoid those.
Wine coolers may be a tasty treat, but in reality, they are just sugary sodas with some added alcohol. They should definitely not be on your keto diet at any time.
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