So what is keto and what exactly can you eat on the keto diet?
So keto is the newest diet that will fix all of humanity’s ails. I have no doubt about and have read the scientific literature concerning the therapeutic effects. Essentially you are forcing your body unnecessarily into a state of ketosis. Where the term “keto” comes from. Basically your body begins to run off of ketone bodies rather than glycogen/glucose. Your body also becomes “fat adapted” meaning it begins to efficiently use stored body fat and dietary fat for energy. This is where the popularity comes in. In America fat loss = the healthiest thing ever. Case in point: Weight Watchers!
All joking aside, keto goes very well with intermittent fasting. In fact, if I just wanted to lose body fat as quickly as possible I’d shoot for keto, strength training and regular 18 hour intermittent fasting.
And I’m only mostly joking about the keto stuff. Again, anything that comes along and claims to be the Messiah of all diets should be suspect. Let’s make sure to glean the good and leave the bad. Or, eat the meat and spit out the bones might be more appropriate for keto. I intend to do a full ketogenic diet write up at some point. Just focus on food quality and for the most part, you’ll do great. You’ll lean out and feel great. For a while. Long term, I’m not so sure. Suffice to say the jury’s still out on keto as a household dietary staple. Always remember there is no one size fits all diet. Period.
This is merely a list of foods that you can eat to make it simple to shop. So here goes:
What to Eat: Meat and Protein
- Bacon (yes, bacon)
*Choose organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed meats whenever possible
*Choose wild-caught seafood, and try to avoid farm-raised fish.
What to Eat: Fats and Oils
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Duck fat
- Macadamia nuts
*Try to get your fat from natural sources. You can also supplement with saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated omega-3s.
What to Eat: Low-Carb Vegetables
- Swiss chard
- Bok choy
*Try to stick to local organic vegetables that grow above ground.
What to Eat: Low-Sugar Fruits
*What you’re looking for here are fruits with the lowest glycemic index possible.
What to Eat: High-Fat Dairy
- Hard cheeses like parmesan, swiss, feta, and cheddar
- Soft cheeses like brie, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and blue cheese
- Cream cheese
- Sour cream
- Full-fat yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Heavy cream
*Raw dairy is highly recommended. One my biggest contentions with keto is the fact that access to high quality raw dairy is somewhat limited. Recommending anything but pastured, raw dairy is dangerous especially in the quantities I’ve seen a lot of keto proponents suggesting. Pasteurized dairy is a processed food. Homogenized dairy is a processed food. Gross.
What to Eat: Nuts
- Macadamia nuts
- Brazil nuts
- Pine nuts
*Don’t go nuts with the nuts. You’ll go way overboard on the omega-6 PUFAs. We want to keep our ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 around 3:1 if possible. 1:1 would be ideal. Also, preparation is important. Buy raw nuts. Soak them and roast them yourself.
In summary and what to avoid on Keto.
So first and foremost, with any diet and lifestyle decisions, make sure to check with your PCP first. Especially if you have any preexisting conditions and especially if you take medication for said preexisting conditions. Keto can be a powerfully therapeutic tool for some. For some it’s probably not a good idea. My recommendation is to always see a local functional medicine practitioner and get some testing done so you can make the most informed decision possible.
If you’ve made the decision to give it a try, let us know in the comments how it works out for you! I personally have NOT tried full on keto so I’d love to hear some testimonials from our readers about the pros and cons.
For the full list of foods you can and cannot eat on the keto diet, be sure to check out the full article here on Popsugar.fitness.