If you’re sick and tired of trying fad diet after fad diet to lose weight, only to find yourself yo-yoing, constantly feeling hungry, and constantly having no energy, it could be time to try something new. Ketogenic diets are now all the rage, and for very good reason too. Keto diets are low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein intakes, and high in fat. That’s right, they require followers of the diet to consume large quantities of fat as their primary source of energy. To some people, the concept of keto is a little strange, as people fail to see how eating fat can make them lose weight. Rest assured however, the diet does work and it offers numerous health benefits in the process. There is however, a catch. In order for keto, or any other diet or healthy lifestyle to work, you must ensure that you’re eating and drinking the right things at the right time. If you’re starting keto or just want to learn more about the diet, here’s a look at 9 foods that are perfect for keto.
Avocado is a keto-dieter’s best friend. It is rich, it is creamy, and it is loaded full of healthy fats, oils, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that the human body thrives upon. Avocados are great because they’re so versatile. You can mash them to make dips such as guacamole. You can slice them and have them in salads, you can make low-carb desserts with them, and much more besides. Avocados contain metabolism-boosting omega-3 fatty acids that help fight inflammation, reduce cholesterol, boost the metabolism, strengthen the heart, balance your hormones, improve brain health, and much more on top of that. They’re also rich in antioxidants, and essential minerals such as potassium. For an easy and healthy keto breakfast, or snack, simply take a ripe avocado, cut it in half, crack an egg inside and bake until the egg is cooked to your liking. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a few chili flakes and enjoy.
When people follow low-carb diets like keto and Atkins, they automatically assume that all fruits are off-limits. After all, fruits are loaded full of naturally occurring fructose sugars, which are a form of carbohydrate and are therefore not permitted on a low carb diet. Consuming sugar or carbs of any form will knock you out of ketosis, which could then result in weight gain. Fruits are still good for you as they’re full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it’s just the fructose sugars that let them down. Some fruits, however, are far, far lower in sugars than others. Lemons and limes for example, are naturally low in sugars and are a low glycaemic index fruit. They’re loaded full of vitamin C and flavonoids which boost immunity, fight inflammation, and generally do you the world of good. The citric acid the fruits contain even helps to keep blood glucose levels stable. Because there are very few people that consume whole lemons like you would an apple, you also consume less per serving. Lemon is a wonderful flavouring and if you want a refreshing glass of water on a hot summer’s day, a handful of ice and a few slices of lemon will work wonders to quench your thirst.
Herbs and spices
When people follow ketogenic diets, they often focus on whole foods and overlook herbs, spices, and similar seasonings. One of the secrets to making any diet plan a success is to keep the foods that you eat tasty and interesting. This is where herbs and spices prove so useful. Many herbs and spices offer multiple health benefits, with the added bonus of being virtually carb-free. Turmeric for example, is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory spices on the face of the earth. Sage, rosemary, and thyme, as well as tasting great, also offer multiple healing benefits. To make your meat and fish taste even better, why not create your own healthy rubs and marinades? Always make your own rubs and marinades and never buy pre-prepared ones as some of them contain sugar, wheat, rusk, and other hidden carbs that could knock you out of ketosis.
Cheese-lovers unite, because there is now an excuse to eat cheese and still lose weight and improve your health and well-being in the process. Ordinarily, cheese is considered to be unhealthy as it is high in fat and calories, and is paired with junk food. In this instance however, cheese is very beneficial. Cheese is a great source of healthy fats, proteins, and calcium, with the added bonus of being virtually carb-free. Though cheese contains saturated fat, the saturated fat it contains is natural and is therefore considered healthy in the right quantities. This is because it helps to reduce dangerous LDL cholesterol and can literally help to prevent heart disease. It’s also rich in CLA, or Conjugated Linoleic Acid, which boosts the metabolism and helps to positively influence body composition. Basically, CLAs help to assist with fat loss. As it’s a great source of protein, it also helps to prevent muscle loss and strength reductions when following keto.
In terms of versatility, you simply can’t beat eggs. Eggs can be used in a whole host of different ways. You can fry eggs, boil them, coddle them, scramble them, make omelettes, make frittatas, make egg mayo fillings, use them for baking, use them in desserts, and much more besides. For keto diets, eggs are absolutely ideal as they contain good fats, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, whilst being free of carbs. Eggs are a complete protein source as they provide all essential amino acids needed by the body. In fact, they also contain all non-essential amino acids too. They’re also rich in B vitamins and minerals such zinc, and iron. The brain will also benefit from the consumption of eggs, as they contain choline, which has been linked with the prevention of cognitive decline. One average egg contains less than a gram of carbs and 6 grams of protein. The healthy fats in the yolks also help to balance your hormones and trigger the production of hormones responsible for satiety so you stay full for longer.
If you want a healthy oil for cooking with, coconut oil may even have the edge over olive oil, which is still very healthy by the way. Coconut oil is free from carbs. It is also crammed full of MCTs, or medium chain triglycerides. These are metabolized by the body much quicker, so they provide an instant source of energy, rather than being stored as fat for an emergency source of energy. As well as that, coconut oil has powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial effects on the body which makes it one of the healthiest ingredients in the world. As an added bonus, coconut oil also tastes extremely delicious as well, and gives a very subtle coconut taste to the dishes you cook with it. It also has a high smoking point so it can be used for frying various foods in. If you want a delicious fried keto food, why not coat a chicken breast with ground walnuts and fry in coconut oil before serving sliced on mixed salad leaves with a homemade blue cheese dressing.
When you follow keto, you want micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, and you want protein and fats. Well, Greek yoghurt has everything any keto-dieter will ever need. Greek yoghurt is rich, creamy, tasty nutritious, and is packed full of protein and healthy fats. While Greek yoghurt is not carb-free, it is still very low in carbs, which means that a small serving each day will not knock you out of ketosis. Greek yoghurt reduces your appetite and helps you to feel full for longer. Despite what some people may say you, it is still possible to overeat on keto, and if you eat too much, even if you keep your carb intakes low, you will still gain weight. Greek yoghurt therefore, is the perfect food to help keep you feeling full for longer.
We won’t list each piece of fish and seafood individually because we’ve got better things to do with our time, and we’re sure that you have as well. Take it from us however, all forms of fish and seafood in their natural states are suitable for keto diets and will work wonders. Fish and seafood is free of carbs, they’re high in protein, they contain important minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium, selenium, and manganese, plus some of them, I.E mackerel, sardines, and salmon, contain essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Meat on a keto diet is like salad on a regular diet. Basically, meat is synonymous with keto. Meat is rich in protein, it contains B vitamins, it’s full of minerals, and it tastes great. Fatty cuts of meat like lamb and Ribeye, work particularly well on keto, and they taste wonderful in the process.