The keto diet, or ketogenic diet as it is formally known, has become very popular for weight loss and fat loss in recent years. But what does it mean and why is it a good option?
What is the Keto Diet?
The diet itself is designed with the science that when you deplete the body of its sugar reserves, then weight loss can occur. As a result of this, your body will start to break down its fat to be used for energy. As a result of this, the body will produce what is called ketones, and they are what the body can use for fuel and for energy. When our bodies start to burn fat, then weight loss can be much easier.
There have been studies into keto that have found that because it is a diet that is a high-fat diet, that is also very low carb (and thereby, low sugar), can be effective for weight loss and helping those with symptoms of diabetes. A ketogenic diet limits the amount of carbs that you eat each day to no more than 50g per day. This can seem like a challenge, but there is still a range of tasty and nutritious foods that can be consumed.
If you’re curious to know more, and which foods that you can eat, then here are ten foods that are going to keep you feeling full, as well as making sure that your carbs are low, you’re getting balanced nutrition, and you’re keeping you on track with keto.
1 – Seafood
Seafood and fish are some foods that are very keto-friendly. Not only will they help to provide you with the right kind of fat that you need in a ketogenic diet, but you can get a range of vitamins and minerals. As an example, salmon and some other types of fish are examples of foods that are rich in B vitamins, as well as potassium, and selenium. At the same time, they are practically free of carbs. Fish like mackerel, sardines, and salmon also contain omega-3, which is important to have in your diet. It can also help to lower levels of insulin, for those with hormone imbalances or diabetes. In shellfish, the carbs can vary, so you do need to check what you eat. Prawns and crab are super low carb, but squid, clams, and mussels contain more carbs, so should be used sparingly.
2 – Low-carb vegetables
It is important to make sure that you get a range of veggies in your diet. But the ones to look out for are the non-starchy vegetables. They are low in carbs and also low in calories, but still having plenty of goodness and nutrients that you need. Vegetables also contain plenty of fiber which your body needs. Vegetables are also full of antioxidants.
Some of the keto-friendly vegetables to include when eating a keto diet are:
- green beans
3 – Cheese
For any cheese lovers out there, the good news is that keto is a diet where you can have cheese. There are so many kinds of cheese, but many are low in carbs but high in fat, which makes them suit the keto diet well. You might think that they are too high in fat, but this hasn’t been linked to any increased risk of something like heart disease. Cheese can also contribute to reducing losing muscle mass that can happen as we get older.
Some of the best cheese to have on a keto diet that are low in carb are:
- blue cheese
- cottage cheese
- cream cheese
- goat’s cheese
4 – Avocados
If you are looking for healthy food, full of good fats, then it is avocados! They are relatively low in carbs and have fibre too. Avocados also contain a range of vitamins and minerals. Due to the healthy fats that they contain, avocados could also help to improve your cholesterol level.
5 – Meat and poultry
When you think of the keto diet, then meat is something that will normally come to mind. Meat and poultry are a staple for keto as they contain no carbs, but still have some vitamins and important minerals in them. Naturally, they contain a lot of protein too, which is important for your muscles when you’re on a low carb diet. Something like Biltong can be a good meat product to snack on when you’re on a keto diet. A beef Biltong stick, for example, can be handy for on-the-go, as no cooking is involved, and no refrigeration is required. Click here if you want to know more about how biltong can be suitable for a keto diet?
6 – Eggs
Eggs are pretty much a superfood, and they are one of the most versatile foods out there. They can be cooked at home in a variety of ways, hard-boiled and taken out with you, and many restaurants will serve food with eggs. They are low in carbs but high in protein, which makes them a good choice for keto. Eggs can leave you feeling quite full which can be helpful on a diet like this one.
Although the yolk of the egg is quite high in cholesterol, it is best to consume the whole egg, not just the egg whites. The yolk doesn’t show signs of raising cholesterol levels in the majority of people.
7 – Olive oil
Olive oil is a great thing to have in your diet, but it fits right into the keto diet. There are many benefits for your heart, because of the monounsaturated fats it contains; these have been found to decrease your risk of heart disease. Olive oil contains no carbs, which makes it a great choice for something like a salad dressing, or a base for making your own mayonnaise.
8 – Berries
A lot of fruits are too high in carbs to be considered for a keto diet, which is why consuming lots of low-carb veggies is good. However, the exception to this is berries. They are low in carbs as well as being high in fibre. Berries like raspberries and blackberries are some of the most fibrous, so are great to consume on keto. Berries have a lot of antioxidants too, to help keep you healthy.
9 – Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
Not only are dark chocolate and cocoa a good source of antioxidants, but they also contain flavanols, that could help to reduce heart disease risk through lowering blood pressure. You might be surprised to see this on the list, but it is important to have dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids, and also eat in moderation.
10 – Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are low in carb, high in healthy fat, and taste great too. Eating nuts and seeds is linked to reducing risk of heart disease, as well as other conditions. Nuts contain a lot of fibre, which is great for feeling full, and meaning that you have fewer calories in a day, overall. Some nuts and seeds contain more carbs than others, so the best options are Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and pecans.