There are three key elements to the ketogenic diet: low carbohydrates, moderate protein, high fat. In the right combination, this can be a good weight-loss/nutrition plan, but you’ll need to stick to a small number of specific foods to achieve the best results.
You can also enjoy improved overall health, including improvement in cardiovascular condition, blood-sugar levels and more.
People who follow this diet consistently also report an increase in energy levels and a thinking process that’s clearer than before.
The greatest “sacrifice” for most people is giving up high-carb foods, such as breads, sweats etc. But, it’s important to focus on the excellent food choices you can enjoy, rather than dwelling on what you’re giving up.
If you’re going to include citrus fruits in your new diet, use limes and lemons, which have much less sugar content than some other fruits in this category. These two are also great sources for citric acid, bioflavonoids and vitamin C – all good for reducing inflammation.
You’ll also benefit from more stable blood-sugar levels and your body will be more alkaline overall. You can add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to the water you drink each day, as well as use the juice in dressings and marinade for meat.
Most people drink some type of beverage during the day, usually tea or coffee. You can continue to do this with your keto diet, but you’ll have to do so without milk, sugar, artificial sweeteners and off-the-shelf creamers.
All of these tend to inflame the internal organs like the stomach and intestines. You may want to substitute stevia and MCT oil, even cinnamon. Studies also show coffee can have anti-inflammatory benefits in the body.
MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride. This oil is a type of fat that is easier for the body to digest than many other fats. You’ll get an efficient supply of energy because it converts to ketone bodies quickly. It’s a good substitute for those creamers you have grown to love, and can also be used when you’re cooking.
Herbs and Vegetables
The key word when thinking about herbs is: antioxidants. Try turmeric, and then use ginger or parsley to help your digestive system. These also help your body get rid of bile and help with fat digestion. You can also get additional vitamin A and amino acids you need.
With the keto diet you can also try dried rosemary, oregano and sweet basil. They can help destroy harmful bacteria and deliver antioxidant properties.
Vegetables can be an important part of your new diet, as long as you stay with low-carb varieties. Celery, parsley, bok choy cucumbers and spinach are all good sources of vitamins, fiber and also have antioxidant benefits.
In addition, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower are lower in total carbs and are great for their cell-protection properties. Stay away from vegetables with high-starch content, such as white potatoes and sweet potatoes.
If you include any foods in the dairy group, these should be plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. The yogurt delivers beneficial bacteria for keeping the internal organs healthy.
It also helps keep blood sugar levels stable and gives you some of the protein you need for energy and appetite control. It’s important that you don’t add sweeteners such as sugar. These items in the dairy category should be consumed in limited quantities.
Here’s one food idea that most people will be happy to include in a keto diet: dark chocolate. If this is made with 100 percent cacao powder it contains tiny amounts of carbs, but is a great source of minerals like magnesium and potassium, as well as vitamin A. You can also use cacao powder, unrefined, for its antioxidant benefits and for increased circulation in heart and brain.
When you start your ketogenic diet, you will definitely include organic, grass-fed poultry and beef in your meals. Meat and poultry that are highly processed and fed differently can contain hormones and toxins you don’t want and don’t need.
You’ll also get the fatty acids that help your heart and brain, as well as keep blood-sugar levels in control. This is just the beginning of the list of foods that should be part of your diet.