The keto diet offers significant health benefits, as is confirmed by research. They include weight loss, improved well-being in patients who have type 2 diabetes, and a considerable reduction in epileptic seizures in children. Studies of the ketogenic diet are ongoing, and new benefits are discovered regularly. However, there can be some downsides to this diet too. To avoid them, stick with us and get to know how to keto.
How to keto
Keto diet can be of no benefit if your meal plan isn’t well-balanced. An understanding of ketogenic dietary rules is vital if you want this plan to be healthy for you. It is essential to know which foods to avoid, which issues to prepare for, and how to plan meals which will protect you from nutritional deficiencies.
Prepare yourself for a bout of keto flu
Switching to the keto diet will prove a shock to your body. The body’s natural reaction to this change is called the keto flu. Keto flu is a short-term condition which can cause nausea, headaches, vomiting, constipation, and dizziness.
These issues are quite unavoidable because it is the body’s natural reaction to the change in nutrition. Therefore you can only learn how to power through the keto flu. In essence, this boils down to drinking a lot, resting, and consuming high-fiber foods.
The symptoms usually disappear within three to five days, and they shouldn’t be severe. However, some people might experience these issues for up to three weeks. Note that if your condition worsens, you should contact your doctor immediately.
How to keto on when you feel miserable?
One of the best foods you can enjoy when dealing with a bout of keto flu is chicken broth. Spice it up with ginger, anise, onions, and pepper to enhance the health benefits and restorative power of the broth.
Don’t get your fats from unhealthy sources
If you want to stay healthy, it is not only essential to eat the best foods for the keto diet regularly, but you also need to avoid foods which are bad for you in the long term. The main danger involved with the keto diet is in overloading your meals with bad fats, which can lead to an increase in blood cholesterol and subsequent heart problems.
As the ketogenic diet requires increasing your fat intake over and above the officially recommended amount, you do need to be extremely careful. Many fat-rich foods can quickly be consumed within the keto diet guidelines but are not exactly healthy. For example, processed meat ticks all the boxes and many people turn to it as an additional source of fat and protein.
However, processed food is low in nutrients, high in unhealthy fats, and might contain all kinds of chemicals that will damage your long-term health. Therefore, by adding it to your meal plan, you can make the keto diet dangerous. The same goes for any processed foods that are high in fats, especially trans fats.
How to keto and successfully avoid bad fats?
Instead of buying processed products and snacks low in nutritional value, you should make your own, which is better. For example, vegetables (non-starchy) dipped in homemade guacamole will be perfect. Or you can try a ‘fat bomb’ recipe:
Healthy Keto Fat Bombs Recipe
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 teaspoons coconut butter
- 2 tablespoons zero-carb sweetener (e.g., erythritol)
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder (raw)
- A pinch of salt
- Melt the coconut butter using a hot water bath until it is soft.
- Combine coconut oil, cocoa powder, salt, and sweetener.
- Fill about a half of a silicone muffin mold with the chocolate mixture. Freeze for 5 minutes.
- Take molds from the freezer and add a teaspoon of coconut butter in each. Return to the freezer again.
- Put another layer of the chocolatey goodness over the coconut butter layer and put in the freezer for the final 5 minutes.
Store the bombs in the fridge and don’t eat more than one in a single go!
Do eat high-fiber foods on the keto diet
Never forget that the ketogenic diet is about low carbs only. You should not cut down on other essential nutrients. In fact, eating high-fiber foods regularly is recommended.
This means that your meal planning needs to be rather creative as many healthy fiber sources are also high in carbs, which means you cannot eat them on this diet.
The best options are seeds, non-starchy vegetables, and legumes. Leafy greens, in particular, should be mandatory in your daily meals as they will not only give you fiber but also boost your overall health.
So, how to keto and get in enough fiber?
Be sure to eat your veggies fresh, grilled or steamed, because whilst fat used for frying technically fits within the parameters of the keto diet it is not a healthy kind of fat. Instead, mix your fiber sources with salmon, poultry, or cheese to get proteins as well as fats.
Roasted Cauliflower Casserole recipe
- 1 head cauliflower cut into florets
- 3 slices of bacon
- 1 ¼ cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 4 scallions (sliced)
- Pepper and salt to taste
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Cook bacon until it becomes crispy and then let it cool on a paper towel to enable it to absorb excess fat.
- Combine cauliflower, salt and pepper, and roast in bacon drippings for around 35 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is roasting combine the sour cream, a cup of cheddar and scallions.
- Pour the sour cream mixture onto the cauliflower when it becomes tender. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake the casserole for around 5 more minutes.
- Chop the bacon and sprinkle on top. Serve the casserole warm for maximum taste. Other spices can be added to taste.
Don’t eat processed low-carb products
The keto diet and low-carb hype has resulted in the market being flooded with low-carb products. Today you can find things like tortillas, candy, and bread that are all ‘low-carb’. And it might seem that they are perfect because they allow you to start the keto diet without sacrificing the foods that you like.
The truth is though, that whilst these products may have fewer carbohydrates than those they are intended to replace, they have few of other nutrients too. In fact, these processed foods are all but devoid of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Simply put, they give you calories without any actual nutritional value.
This creates two serious problems; Firstly, if you don’t pay much attention to calories, you will simply need to eat more to get all those other essential nutrients, which is likely to result in weight gain. Conversely, if you are on a weight loss diet and count your calories, those ‘bad’ foods will count toward your daily quota. Therefore you won’t be getting the important nutrients that you need, which in turn can lead to deficiencies.
How to keto without including too many processed products?
Look up delicious and healthy low-carb recipes. Choose something with greens to maximize nutritional benefits and get a serving of antioxidants to boot.
Steam-Fried Collard Greens recipe
- 2 pounds collard greens (stemmed)
- ¼ cup water
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (grated)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sweetener
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper
- Salt to taste
- Cut collard greens into ribbons, around 1/4 inch thick. To make this process easier, you could roll a few of the leaves together into green ‘cigars’ and cut while holding them tight.
- Heat up a skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook half of the greens. Be sure to add some salt.
- Cook for around 2 minutes, and stir frequently so that the greens do not burn. Then put the cooked greens into a bowl.
- Repeat the process with the remaining oil and collard greens, and salt.
- Combine both batches of cooked greens in the skillet and add water, sugar, garlic, and spices.
- Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.
- Finally, sprinkle your dish with the lemon juice and remove from heat.
One serving (half a cup) will contain only 7g of carbs, as well as 4g of fiber and 3g of protein.
Serve with chicken or turkey breast, preferably grilled.
Make sure your every meal is a healthy mix of proteins, fiber, and ‘good’ fats
The keto diet stops being healthy and good for you when it’s unbalanced. Of course, it will not be a perfectly balanced diet by default because it is low on carbs. However, you simply need to make sure your body gets all the other essential types of ‘fuel’ in reasonable proportions.
You need to do this for every meal in order to keep your metabolism at the optimal rate throughout the day. In effect, this means cooking meals which include a wide range of ingredients that provide you with all the necessary nutrients. Even your snacks should be nutritionally diverse. A proper meal should look something like this:
‘Egg in a Hole’ Peppers recipe
- 2 bell peppers
- 8 eggs
- 1 avocado (diced)
- 2 tomatoes (diced)
- ½ cup red onion (diced)
- 1 jalapeno pepper (minced)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Carefully slice tops and bottoms off the bell peppers and clean them. Remove the seeds and membranes, but finely dice the tops and bottoms.
- Next, slice each of the peppers into four thick rings.
- Meanwhile mix diced peppers, onions, avocados, and tomatoes in a bowl. Add lime juice and jalapeno and stir carefully. Also, add a bit of salt to the mix.
- Heat a large non-stick pan and oil it. Place as many bell pepper rings as possible into it and crack an egg into each.
- Season with salt and pepper (or any spices of your choosing) and cook until whites set. Note the yolks should still be a little runny. Flip and cook for an additional minute.
Serve the eggs with avocado salsa on top.
The Keto Diet: Is It a Good Choice for You?
The keto diet can be a useful aid to weight loss and a boost to wellness if you know how to keto properly. This approach is especially effective if you wish to reshape your body.
However, this diet can be a challenge. If you want to acquire the best in health benefits you need to make it healthy, which means careful planning of your meals and monitoring your overall nutrient intake.
About the author: Agatha Singer is a work-from-home mom of two little nuggets. Her interests range from the latest business management trends to healthy living and adventurous traveling. You can see her blog here
|Nutritional and medical disclaimer|
|Please note that I am not a nutritional or medical professional. I do not give out any medical advice. I only share my own experience on this blog and encourage you to consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. The nutritional information provided for my recipes is an estimate. Please calculate nutritional information on your own before relying on them. None of the recipes I post are meant to be used by any specific clinical population. The ingredients in my recipes do not affect my glucose levels or cause any allergic reactions to me. You should use my recipes and shared experience at your discretion. I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained on this website.|