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What is a Ketogenic Diet?
Well, it started off as a way to treat epilepsy in children in the 1920’s. The way in which you eat, and what you eat forces your body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates for fuel. The typical ketogenic diet contains a 4:1 ratio by weight of fat to combined protein and carbs. This can be achieved by excluding high carb foods, like starchy vegetables, fruits, pastas, grains, and the big one, sugar! In place of those foods you would add foods high in fat like cream, butter, nuts, and cheese.
When you make that switch, your body will enter a state known as Ketosis. This means your body is producing more ketones that are burning fat rather than sugar.
- The Ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. Typical ketogenic diets consist of limiting carbohydrate intake to just 20–30 net grams per day and following the ketogenic diet food list.
- Fats should be consumed in high amounts when following a keto diet. Fats will provide 70–80 percent of all calories, proteins just about 10–20 percent, and carbs only 5–10 percent.
A “moderate keto diet” is an option that can still encourage substantial weight loss and other improvements in symptoms. A moderate keto diet includes more foods with carbs and, therefore, more fiber too. Carbs are usually increased to about 30–50 net grams per day, which means foods like more high-fiber veggies, some fruit or some starchy veggies can also be included.
This is what you need to do:
-Cut back on all those tempting carbs in your life.
-Start to eat more healthy fats.
-Once your body has burned off most of the excess glucose in the system, you will officially be in Ketosis.
Ketogenic Diet? What Can I eat?
What is a keto food? What does a keto meal look like? Here are some examples of high-fat low-carb foods on the ketogenic diet food list you can expect to eat lots of if you’re following the ketogenic diet:
- Your keto meals should contain high amounts of healthier fats (between 70-80% of your total calories!), such as olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and some nuts and seeds. Fats are a critical part of every ketogenic recipe because fat is what provides energy and prevents hunger, weakness and fatigue.
- Keto meals also need all sorts of non-starchy vegetables. What vegetables can you eat on a ketogenic diet without worrying about increasing your carb intake too much? Some of the most popular choices include broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini.
- In more moderate amounts, food that is high in good protein but low- or no-carb, including grass-fed meat, poultry, eggs, a good bone broth (check out our recipe page), and some full-fat dairy products.
Now, the other side of the spectrum, the types of foods you’ll avoid eating on a keto diet are likely the same ones you are, or previously were, accustomed to getting lots of your daily calories from before starting this way of eating. This includes keto-friendly items like fruit, highly processed food, or drinks high in sugar, those made with any grains or white/wheat flour, conventional dairy products, desserts, and many other high-carb foods.
Keto Food List
The biggest questions you might have are probably figuring out just what high-fat low-carb foods you can eat on such a low-carb, ketogenic diet. Just remember that the bulk of calories on the keto diet are from foods that are high in natural fats along with a moderate amount of foods with protein. Those that are severely restricted are all foods that provide lots of carbs, even kinds that are normally thought of as “healthy,” like whole grains, for example.
You will require the healthy fats in order to get into ketosis and have enough energy without the carbs. Overview of the Keto Diet Plan:
- The exact ratio of recommended macros, or macronutrients in your diet (grams of carbs vs. fat vs. protein) will differ depending on your specific goals and current state of health. Your age, gender, level of activity and current body composition can also play a role in determining your carb versus fat intake.
- Historically, ketogenic diets have consisted of limiting carbohydrate intake to just 15-40 net grams per day. “Net carbs” is the amount of carbs remaining once dietary fiber is taken into account. Because fiber is indigestible once eaten, most people don’t count grams of fiber toward their daily carb allotment. In other words, total carbs – grams of fiber = net carbs. That is what you will see on most packaged foods geared towards those on Keto or Paleo diets.
- HYDRATE! Getting enough water helps keep you from feeling fatigued, and is important for digestion and aids in hunger suppression. It’s also needed for detoxification. Aim to drink 10–12 eight-ounce glasses a day.
Most healthy fats contain zero net carbs, which also have other health advantages. Fats should be included in high amounts with every meal throughout the day.
- Healthy fats include saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and certain types of polyunsaturated fats like omega 3 fatty acids. It’s best to include all types in your diet, with an emphasis on saturated fats. MCT Oil or cold-pressed coconut, palm fruit, olive oil, flaxseed, macadamia and avocado oil — 0 net carbs per tablespoon
- Butter or clarified butter (Ghee) — 0 net carbs per tablespoon
- Lard/chicken/duck fat — 0 net carbs per tablespoon
Animal proteins (meat, fish, etc.) have very little, if any, carbs. You can consume them in moderate amounts as needed to control hunger. Overall, choose fattier cuts of meat rather than leaner ones. For example, chicken thighs and legs are preferable to chicken breasts because they contain much more fat.
- Grass Fed Beef, CAB, or other types of fatty cuts of meat, including lamb, goat, veal, venison and other game. Grass-fed, fatty meat is preferable because it’s higher in quality omega-3 fats — 0 grams net carbs per 5 ounces
- Organ meats including liver — around 3 grams net carbs per 5 ounces
- Poultry, including turkey, chicken, quail, pheasant, hen, goose, duck — 0 grams net carbs per 5 ounces
- Eggs and egg yolks — 1 gram net carb each
- Fish, including tuna, trout, anchovies, bass, flounder, mackerel, salmon, sardines, etc. — 0 grams net carbs per 5 ounces
- All leafy greens, including dandelion or beet greens, collards, mustard, turnip, arugula, chicory, endive, escarole, fennel, radicchio, romaine, sorrel, spinach, kale, chard, etc. — range from 0.5–5 net carbs per 1 cup
- Some of the most popular low carb veggies you’ll see in recipes out there are broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower — 3–6 grams net carbs per 1 cup
- Celery, cucumber, zucchini, chives and leeks — 2–4 grams net carbs per 1 cup
- Fresh herbs — close to 0 grams net carbs per 1–2 tablespoons
- Avocados are 3.7 grams net carbs per half. A delicious and versatile form of fat.
- Beef or Chicken Bone Broth (Did I mention we have a recipe to make it or a store page where you can buy it?) — 0 grams net carbs per serving
- Beef or turkey jerky — 0 grams net carbs
- Hard-boiled eggs — 1 gram net carb
- Extra veggies (raw or cooked) with homemade dressing — 0–5 grams net carbs
- 1/2 avocado with sliced lox (salmon) — 3–4 grams net carbs
- Minced meat wrapped in lettuce — 0-1 grams net carbs
- Spices and herbs — 0 grams net carbs
- Hot sauce (no sweetener) — 0 grams net carbs
- Unsweetened mustards — 0–1 grams net carbs
- Water — 0 grams net carbs
- Unsweetened black coffee and tea; drink in moderation since high amounts can impact your blood sugar— 0 grams net carbs
- Bone broth — 0 grams net carbs
Nuts and Seeds
- Almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pistachios, chestnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc. — 1.5–4 grams net carbs per 1 ounce; cashews are the highest in carbs, around 7 net grams per ounce
- Nut butters and seed butters — 4 net carbs per 2 tablespoons
- Chia seeds and flaxseeds — around 1–2 grams net carbs per 2 tablespoons
- Berries, including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries — 3–9 grams net carbs per 1/2 cup
Stevia and Erythritol are simply a must in your Keto toolbox because neither raise your blood sugar — combine for a more natural sweet taste and, remember, a little goes a long way!)
- No sugar added ketchup or salsa (We sell both)
- Sour cream
- Mustard, hot sauces, Worcestershire sauce
- Lemon/ lime juice
- Soy sauce
- Salad dressing (ideal to make your own with vinegar, oil and spices)
What you might feel while starting your Keto Diet
It’s not uncommon to experience some negative reactions and side effects when transitioning into this lifestyle. Some people will experience the following symptoms, often referred to as the keto flu, but which usually ends within a couple of weeks:
- Fatigue/lack of energy
- Muscle weakness or pains
- Poor sleep
- Constipation, nausea or upset stomach
To help you overcome these symptoms, here are several steps to try taking:
- Add bone broth to your diet, which can help restore electrolytes that are lost during ketosis. Adding bone broth is a great way to replenish these naturally, in addition to getting other nutrients and amino acids.
- Foods to eat more of than can also help increase electrolyte intake are nuts, avocados, mushrooms, salmon and other fish, spinach, artichokes, and leafy greens.
- Reduce your exercise load temporary.
- Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and also consuming enough salt/sodium.
- Consume even more fat if you’re hungry.
- Avoid eating synthetic ingredients in processed foods. Also try to limit “low-carb foods” that are still unhealthy and difficult to digest, even those that many ketogenic diet programs might recommend or include. These include cold cuts, processed and cured meats, bacon, and processed cheeses. Just look at the label and make sure there is no added sugar to the formula. There are options out there.