Ketogenic diet, likewise referred to as Keto Diet or simply keto, is a type of diet that makes use of the mechanisms behind diabetes. If you know someone who has diabetes, often this disease goes unnoticed and the person undergoes massive weight loss.
Often, people who have diabetes used to be plump and can be more than overweight but with the onset of the disease and if not properly manage they lose weight and the process behind this is ketosis.
So, what is the ketogenic diet essentially? Basically, the diet is all about eating none to little carbohydrates at all—as much as possible. Your diet would consist mostly of protein and fat. Some sources would say that as much as 70% of the diet should be fat. This is the basics of the keto diet.
The Premise Behind Keto
When you put your body in a keto diet, something happens to it. Keto is not just a fad, it is actually based on a proven and repeatable scientific process.
Fact is, the body runs on carbohydrates. If you look at the food pyramid, it’s the starchy foods which are carb-laden makes up the bottom of the pyramid. This means that the usual diet should consist more of starchy and grainy food groups. Now, if you eat too much of carbs, the body stores these excess foods as fats. What happens is that, instead of losing weight you are gaining more fats.
So, what if we remove carbs from our diet? What’s going to happen? We did say that the body runs on carbs for energy. If we remove carbs, does this necessarily
necessarily mean the body can’t function because it doesn’t have energy? NOPE! As a matter of fact, the body has a plan B for sourcing energy.
When the body runs out of carbohydrates to use as energy, it can use our stored fats for energy. What this means? Reduction of our fatty tissues! Leading to ultimate weight loss. What happens is that, our fats are utilized for energy which creates ketone bodies as byproducts—hence the term, ketosis. The state of ketosis is when your body is no longer burning up carbs for energy but fats.
What to Eat and What NOT to Eat
As mentioned earlier, keto diet is primarily 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carb consumption. And logic will tell you that any food high in carbohydrates
MUST be avoided 100% of the time. Therefore, you now know that in the ketogenic diet, not all food is available to you for consumption.
Essentially, your daily consumption of carbs is restricted to 30-50 Net grams per day, but others would advise you not to exceed 20g of carbs in a day. This is because all foods have a little bit of carbs in them. But let’s say for your gender, height, weight, age, and type of lifestyle you need 2,100 calories a day. That would mean no more than 105 calories or 26.25-grams of carbs a day.
So, you need to be diligent in picking the foods you eat so that you will stay in a state of ketosis to lose all those belly fat, love handles, muffin top, arm flabs, and all those nook and crannies where fats just love to build-up.
So, to make things easier, here is a comprehensive, easy to understand and easy to remember of foods you can enjoy.
What you can Eat All the Time
- Nuts and Seeds – please note that peanuts are legumes and does not occupy the nuts and seeds category. Peanuts and legumes are absolute no-nos in the keto diet. Generally, most seeds are widely accepted in keto.
- Higher carb nuts: cashews and pistachios. Limit consumption. Two handfuls of these nuts are nearly equal to your one-day allowance of carbs.
- Fatty, moderate carb nuts: pine nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts. Use moderately for flavor and texture.
- Fatty, low carb nuts: pecans, brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts. Can be enjoyed frequently to augment fat con-sumption.
- Dairy Products – Keep your dairy consumption to a moderate level and choose those that have lower carbs.
- Lesser carb dairy (less than 3g of carbs per serving): Mayonnaise, brie, sour cream, and heavy whipping cream Higher carb dairy (more than 3g of carbs per serving): cream cheese, half and half, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, aged cheddar, and mascarpone.
- Fruit and Vegetables – Only green and leafy vegetables are 100%approved. But, you can enjoy some other vegetables and fruits in a less frequent basis because of their higher carb content.
- Green leafy veggies: anything that grows above ground and resembles kale or spinach is perfect for consumption any time and every time.
- Moderate consumption of: lime, lemon, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, strawberries, coconut meat, starfruit, avocado, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and others.
- Protein – all meat and poultry are approved but, we won’t be going into detail here as we won’t be using protein in our smoothies nor shakes!
- Fats and Oils – Essentially you are to stay away from processed fats like trans fats (margarine) and processed polyunsaturated fats (like heart-healthy margarine spreads). Here’s a list of what you can enjoy:
- Coconut oil
- Macadamia nut oils
- Avocado oils Olive oil
- MCT oil or Medium-Chain Triglycerides
- Other foods you can enjoy: Dark Chocolate, Cocoa Powder, and Spices. You can use sweeteners like monk fruit, erythritol, and stevia.
What NOT to Eat
Essentially, these foods are not allowed in the keto diet because of their very high-carb content.
- Legumes: peanuts, chickpeas, black beans, fava beans, etc.
- Tubers: such as yams, potatoes, carrots, and the likes.
- Fruits: oranges, bananas, apples, etc.
- Sugar: maple syrup, agave, honey, etc.
- Grains – cereal, rice, corn, wheat
Essentials of a Keto Smoothie or Shake Recipe
When making a smoothie there’s basically four components that you need: First, is to meet your keto needs which should be 70% fat. So, based on the list of food above you have choices between nuts, seeds, dairy, oils, low-carb protein powders, and even the avocado fruit.
Two, you need flavor in your smoothie or shake. That’s basically choosing nutty-flavored shakes and adding spices to make it more flavorful. If you don’t want to sweat it, you can always turn to chocolate powder for some outright deliciousness. And when used in right amounts, you can also enjoy berry-flavored smoothies and shakes.
Three, is your medium or liquid. If you want a very creamy smoothie then I suggest using avocado, heavy cream, yogurt, cottage cheese or even chia seeds soaked in water. And if you want something a little bit watered down, then make use of good old cold water, almond milk, or plain milk.
And last but not the least, the vegetables. I love to add vegetables to my smoothie to increase its nutrition and fiber. I always add a handful of dark green leafy vegetables to my smoothie, which you can always delete if you are not sold.
Tips and Tricks for Keto Smoothies
- If you want your smoothies and shakes to be cold, I suggest using ice cubes instead of water. I also freeze my berries so that when I make them in my smoothie they serve as my ice cubes. This also goes for other fruits like cantaloupe, avocados, and melons.
- Thickening your smoothies can be tricky. So, if you love thick smoothies, like I do, I hold off on the liquid until the very end. So, what I do is, I combine all of my ingredients in a blender except for the liquid (be it milk or water). I puree all ingredients until smooth and if it is hard to puree because there is not much liquid, that’s when I slowly add the liquid until I can puree all ingredients until smooth and creamy!
- When using oil in smoothies, make use of oils than do not harden in cold temperature—such as olive oils, avocado oil, and MCTs. Lard and coconut oil would definitely harden and might be hard to mix in with your shake or smoothie.
- If the nuts and seeds do not ground as fine as you want it to be, you can soak it in the liquid mentioned in the recipe overnight before using.
When using chia seeds, it is best to soak in the liquid suggested in the recipe for at least 10 minutes before pureeing.