For today’s sedentary life, we spend & eat a highly disproportionate amount of food that doesn’t really help anyone lose weight. If you love your meats & veggies, but live with the guilt of eating all the sugar & carbs that usually come with your ‘happy’ meals, it’s time you look at switching to a ketogenic diet!
What’s wrong with my current diet?
The human body usually converts sugars & carbohydrates to energy. When you eat carbs, the glucose levels in your blood rise post digestion. This triggers your pancreas to secrete insulin, which does the job of shuttling the glucose in your bloodstream into cells. The mitochondria take over & create energy with the glucose, which is how glycolysis takes place. We unfortunately eat more carbs than we burn to create energy, and all that excess carb is stored as body fat over time. That’s where you switch to a ketogenic diet to lose weight safely & effectively.
What is ketosis & how does it work?
When you substitute carbs in your diet with fats, your body grows accustomed to breaking down body fat for energy & the fat-heavy food consumed in the diet. The keto diet puts you in ketosis, a metabolic state where your body burns fat instead of carbs for fuel. When your body is unable to get glucose from carbs, your liver converts fatty acids from your diet into ketones, an alternative source of energy. Burning ketones in place of glucose reduces inflammation and helps you lose weight.
What should I eat in a keto diet?
Vegetables: broccoli, asparagus, cucumbers and zucchini. Moderate portions of starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. Avoid overcooking leafy greens like spinach and kale to preserve oxalate content & nutritional value.
Protein: Fatty cuts of grass-fed, pasture-raised, or wild meat, and wild-caught fish are great. Red meats, pork, eggs (preferably pastured), fish, shellfish, and whey protein concentrate are all keto friendly.
Dairy: Organic grass-fed dairy is full of anti-inflammatory fats like Omega-3s. Full-fat butter, ghee, cheese, yoghurt, sour cream, and heavy cream work great.
Oils and fats: Butter, lard, and ghee, along with coconut oil, fish oil, and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. Your daily fat count also comes from egg yolks and fatty meats and seafood. Preferably avoid canola, cottonseed, corn, flaxseed, peanut, safflower, soy, and sunflower oils.
Fruits: Fresh berries, avocado, and coconut are the only fruits that qualify, as the rest all contain sugars & fructose, which are all non-keto. Lemons and limes can be used sparingly to flavor water, salads etc.
Nuts, seeds and legumes: Eat these in moderation. While high in fat, most nuts are also high in protein and carbs. Snack on lower carb nuts like pecans, macadamia nuts, and brazil nuts, along with chia, coconut, flax seed, hemp, pumpkin seeds, sesame, and black soybeans.
Beverages: It’s common to become dehydrated on the keto diet. Your insulin levels drop when you restrict carbs, and low insulin makes it harder for your body to retain sodium and water. Drink plenty of plain water, and sip on bone broth to replenish electrolytes, especially during the first couple of weeks when your body is adjusting to the new diet.
Healthy keto is scientifically proven to be a great alternative diet, with years of research proving its many health benefits. The initial week of ketosis might cause a change in how your sweat smells, makes your breath taste metallic, but that’s nothing to be concerned about. Your liver is releasing more ketone acetones as a waste product of the energy creation from fat, which is the reason why this happens. Don’t let this fool you into thinking something’s wrong!
If that doesn’t solve all your questions, stay tuned for more information, tips & tricks on ketogenic diets on the Baré blog!