WHAT IS KETO?!
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carbohydrate way of eating. By restricting carbs and sugar the body goes into a state of ketosis, which is where the body burns fats/ketones instead of glucose/carbs/sugar. When there are very little carbohydrates in one's diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source, it is this elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, which is known as ketosis.
When first starting a ketogenic diet you want to calculate your "macros", I use this one on the ruled.me site. Your ratios should be close to 5% carbs, 20-25% protein, and 70-75% fat. The ketogenic diet is not a high protein diet. If you eat too much protein it can turn to glucose, so it is essential to understand that this is a high fat way of eating.
Personally I eat under 20 grams of Net Carbs per day. Some people calculate actual carbs, not Net Carbs, it is a personal choice. Net Carbs are when you subtract the total Fiber from the total Carbs. So 1 cup of broccoli has 6g of carbs, but 2g of fiber, so the net carbs for that broccoli would be 4g. It is very helpful in the beginning to track all of your food with an app like My Fitness Pal, Carb Manager, or something similar. You can set the preferences to your macro settings.
The types of fats you eat are very important, they are not all created equal! Saturated Fats (coconut oil, ghee, grass-fed butter, sour cream etc...), Monosaturated Fats (avocados, olives, macadamia nuts), Polysaturated Omega-3s (salmon- my fav!), and Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are the GOOD FATS! Those nasty Refined Fats/Oils (corn oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil) and Trans Fats (margarine) are the BAD FATS!
You also want to eat high quality proteins. I personally buy grass-fed meats, wild caught seafood and pasture raised eggs (I buy the Vital Eggs brand, they are delicious and have the cutest packaging!). These all contain higher levels of Vitamins than if you purchase cheaper options. Factory-farmed meat and seafood are much lower in nutrients and may also contain nasty preservatives/nitrates which can cause a lot of issues in your body like inflammation and have even been linked to cancer.
As for veggies, again Organic is always best. For me the whole reason I started Keto was to reduce systemic inflammation, so eating unnecessary chemicals doesn't make sense to me. Avoid starchy veggies (potatoes, beans, corn, yams, etc...), better choices are things like celery, squash, asparagus, cauliflower (you can do so much with cauliflower!!!), and brussel sprouts. You can google plenty of lists that show carbs counts for every veggie.
TIPS AND TRICKS FROM 'REAL KETO PEEPS'
Check out the interviews I do each week with Keto Influencers! Who better to learn from than people who have been through it themselves?!
- Katie aka @kto_keto
- Kimberly aka @keto_kim
- Drew aka @fit2fat2fit
- Kristina aka @ellipticalicalifragilistic
- Lisa Jayne aka @foxyketo
- Connie aka @lowcarbdelights
- Brit aka @ketobrit
- Craig aka @thesuperheromaker
- Lezlee aka @lazy_keto
- Heather aka @ketosaurus_rex
- Kellie aka @kellie_keto
- Jessica aka @dailyketosis
- Alessa aka @ketoalessa
- Me! aka @keto_in_the_city
If you are looking for a one stop shop where you can get information on Keto, meal plans, and more I would highly suggest signing up for the plans that Leanne Vogel of Healthful Pursuit offers! She makes it super easy, so there is no guessing or frustration involved!
From her site:
Balanced Keto Weekly Meal Plans eliminates the time-consuming stress and preparation necessary to successfully follow a low-carb, high-fat (keto) diet. I’ve taken all of the latest proven, tested and real-world applied research and packed it into already planned meals, pre-made shopping lists, and invaluable tips to keep you on track. The plan is in line with the dairy-free, whole food-based Fat Fueled protocol. When you sign up today, you’ll receive a weekly email that includes…
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Allergen guides and alternatives
Low-FODMAP, dairy-free, grain-free, nightshade-free, egg-free, and nut-free alternative lists
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Carb-up practices for balancing hormones and breaking plateaus
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Each weekly guide you receive is made with love by me, delivered straight to your email, and includes absolutely everything you need to know to successfully follow a low-carb, high-fat diet—from what to shop for and how to prepare meals to how to stay on track, motivated, and moving forward, no matter how busy you are!