KETOGENIC DIET 101( A BEGINNER’S GUIDE)
When you lower your daily net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) your body switches from using glucose as its energy source to burning body fat.
When you burn fat, your liver produces ketones and this is called nutritional ketosis.
A keto diet allows lower and more stable blood glucose levels and your body will switch from being a sugar burner to a fat burner.
PROS OF THE KETOGENIC DIET
- Improved blood sugar control
- Less hunger
- Reduced risk of – heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and metabolic syndrome
- Weight loss
- Improved concentration
- Improved mood
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved skin, hair, and nails
CONS OF THE KETOGENIC DIET
- Some find it restrictive
- Temporary keto flu
- Temporary constipation
HOW MANY CARBS PER DAY CAN I EAT?
How many carbs you consume each day will be dictated by your health goals and carbohydrate tolerance.
Generally, a low-carb diet is considered to be:
- <100g/day = moderate low-carb
- <50g/day = low-carb
- <20g/day = keto
Many readers like to begin by simply reducing their carbs to a level that is sustainable and weight loss still occurs.
To work out your carbs, protein, and fat limits to enjoy each day, use the FREE macro calculator.
FREE MACRO CALCULATOR
You can use the free keto calculator (macro calculator) to know how many carbs per day and how much protein, fat, and calories to consume to meet your personal goals.
Carbs – set your limit
Protein – is a target
Fat – has a limit
WHAT CAN I EAT ON A KETO DIET?
Ketogenic diet foods are whole foods that are low in carbs, moderate to high protein, and high in healthy fats.
SEAFOOD, MEAT, AND POULTRY
- Beef – ground beef, steak, hamburgers patties, beef sausages, roast beef
- Pork – pork chops, roast pork, ham, bacon, pork sausages, pork rinds
- Seafood – oily fish, salmon, prawns, cod, canned tuna, mussels, canned sardines
- Chicken – ground chicken, chicken burger patties, chicken breasts, whole roast chicken, rotisserie chicken, eggs, eggs, eggs
- Organ meats
See the best meat protein charts.
Starchy vegetables (such as sweet potatoes and green beans) are avoided. The most popular low-carb veggies are:
- Broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus
- Leafy greens – spinach, kale, lettuce
- Avocados, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin
- Bell peppers, Swiss chard
- Low-carb fruits such as low-sugar berries
See fruits and vegetable carbs charts and fruits and vegetable protein charts.
HEALTHY FATS AND OILS
Choose healthy natural fats and cooking oils that can be found in nature, and that doesn’t need to be made in a factory. Avoid inflammatory seed oils such as sunflower oil, canola oil, and rice bran oil. And stop eating margarine.
- Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil
- Coconut oil, macadamia oil
- Lard, butter
See the ultimate guide to healthy fats and healthy cooking oils.
FULL-FAT DAIRY PRODUCTS
- Butter, heavy cream, double cream, full-fat milk
- Cream cheese, sour cream, mascarpone, plain yogurt
- Cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt
See the dairy protein charts.
LEGUMES, NUTS, AND SEEDS
Legumes are usually avoided but can be consumed n small quantities. Nuts are seeds are enjoyed as snacks and in various keto recipes.
- Macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans
- Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds
- Brazil nuts, almond flour
See nuts and seeds carbs charts and nuts and seeds protein charts.
SPICES, SEASONINGS, AND CONDIMENTS
Always check food labels to avoid added sugars.
- Mustard, salsa, guacamole
- Tabasco, herbs, spices, salt, pepper
- Dark chocolate, cocoa powder
- Tea, coffee, sugar-free herbal teas, carbonated water
WHAT CAN’T I EAT ON A KETO DIET?
All high-carb foods, anything with added sugar, hydrogenated oils, and trans fats.
- Table sugar, honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, agave
- All sugar-sweetened drinks, energy drinks
- Grains, wheat, rice, pasta
- Starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, sweetcorn, carrots, green beans
- High-sugar fruits, tropical fruits, fruit juice
- French fries, chips, crackers
IS THIS KETO-APPROVED?
There are no special keto-approved foods, but you should focus on lowering your net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) so you start to burn body fat and are in nutritional ketosis (the state of burning fat instead of sugar as fuel).
Some whole foods however will naturally have a higher quantity of net carbs than others such as bananas and potatoes compared to blueberries and cauliflower.
This doesn’t automatically make bananas and potatoes keto enemies, it merely means that we need to be aware of their carb content and adjust our quantity of consumption if we choose to include those types of foods into our diet.
These are the 10 most commonly asked questions from my readers on Ditch The Carbs and Ditch The Carbs PRO.