Heard of the Keto diet but not sure where to begin? Fear not.
The latest Evolution Organics blog gives you everything you need to know about the Ketogenic diet and the way to change your eating habits to take advantage of its possibilities.
What is Keto?
In recent years, the Keto diet has evolved from a minor curiosity to a primary consideration for anyone looking for a reliable weight loss diet. Where many other diets in the past have urged avoidance of fatty foods, the Keto diet takes a holistic approach which isn’t initially intuitive.
Despite what you may think, Keto isn’t a kind of methodology or technique, but in fact a natural state of the body. When blood sugar is low, the body looks for alternative sources of fuel and begins to burn fats. This is called Ketosis.
What to eat
In order to achieve Ketosis, foods which contain even moderate amounts of carbs and sugars have to be removed from the diet. Immediately sounds like a struggle right? It doesn’t have to be. All kinds of exciting and tasty foods are available to those on a ketogenic diet. All of the following are suitable for maintaining ketosis:
- Cheese, butter, cream and other dairy
Much dairy is excellent for a keto diet, with fat content as high as 80% in many foodstuffs. Unfortunately, some dairy products will contain substantial sugars (lactose) so always be sure to read the label and not over consume.
- Meat, poultry and seafood
Fish and seafood are rich in fatty acids, and contain very few carbs and sugars. Delicious salmon, tuna and prawns are all on the menu, and ideal for keeping insulin in check.
- Dark chocolate, tea, coffee
All three of these can be integrated into a keto diet with one simple consideration. Keep it plain. Black coffee and tea, and dark chocolate. No added milk or sugar. Providing you enjoy these by themselves in a simple form without additives for flavour, they contain very few to no carbs.
- (Some) Fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are generally a great source of nutrients. However some may contain more carbs or sugars than ketosis will permit. A good rule of thumb with vegetables is that vegetables grown below-ground are generally higher in carbs, whereas veg grown above-ground, like kale, spinach and lettuce for example, are much lower in carbs and fine to eat. Many fruits have too much sugar to be compatible with a keto diet, however lemons, raspberries and some melons amongst others are all acceptable if eaten in small portions.
While eggs are not free from carbs, they do contain less than 1 gram per egg. Furthermore, they’re a great source for a wide range of nutrients, including carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which help stave off age-related degeneration.
- Nuts and seeds
While all nuts are different, the vast majority are low in carbs and rich in fats, while containing a fantastic profile of vitamins and minerals. Seeds, including hemp, sunflower, chia and others are great for keto for the same reason.
While ketosis can offer serious advantages over other diets, it’s not for everyone! If you have a history of high blood pressure or diabetes, or take medications for these conditions, talk to your doctor before making any changes to your lifestyle. Similarly, ketogenic diets may not be suitable for breastfeeding or pregnant women.
While many of the foods listed above are high in protein, it’s important not to over consume these foods. If excessive protein is consumed, the body begins to convert a small amount into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis, which can stop ketosis.
As a person goes through ketosis, they might also lose water weight. When this happens, essential minerals can be lost, so be sure to be replenishing these through a wide range of nutrient dense foods. Consider adding a small amount of himalayan salt to your meals, which contains an extensive range of trace elements and minerals to replenish those lost.
At Evolution Organics we offer a wide range of ketogenic products from top brands including Bulletproof, KetoSports and Dr Mercola. On our blog, you'll find a whole host of recipes, many of which are keto-friendly and simply delicious. Why not try this keto chocolate mousse to get started?
Have you tried a ketogenic diet recently? How did you get on, and which foods have you used to maintain ketosis. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.