Brain Health Nutrition

The Dos and Don’ts of the Keto Diet

The hardest part about committing to a diet is the transitioning process. This is especially the case if the diet you are switching to involves limiting certain types of foods like the the Ketogenic (Keto) Diet. The Keto diet is a diet that emphasizes low-carbohydrate intake and high fat intake. It has been compared to the Atkins diet and other low-carb diets.

Because of the emphasis on high fat intake over carbs, it becomes very important to learn early on what food you can and cannot eat while on the diet. Luckily, the foods that we generally need to avoid on this diet are the ones we’ve been told to cut out in various other diets. This leads us into the most important question…

What can we eat on the Keto Diet?

  1. Healthy Fats – There is a huge emphasis on embracing fats in the Keto Diet. Healthy fats found in different types of oils (coconut, olive, palm), nuts, and seeds are where you’d get the majority of your intake. Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and seafood will also help to sustain you. Obtaining fats is absolutely critical because it is what will help prevent hunger, weakness, and fatigue while undergoing ketosis.
  2. Non-starchy vegetables – Leafy greens like spinach, bok choy, and lettuce will become your new best friends on this diet. More popular choices of veggies that fit this category would be broccoli, cucumber, and zucchini.
  3. Foods high in protein with low-carb – This is a group more for moderate consumption, but grass-fed protein, cage-free eggs, and wild-caught fish are considered to be healthy and acceptable sources of protein on this diet due to their generally low-carb or no carb nature.

What to avoid on the Keto Diet?

As mentioned before, generally what you want to avoid while on the Keto Diet is stuff that we’ve been advised to quit anyway.

  1. Processed foods – Processed foods as well as food and drinks with high dosages of sugar in them are the first things to nix on the Keto Diet. We typically see processed foods that contain refined carbohydrates, so they are the unhealthy foods that would leave you with that empty feeling despite the high calorie and sugar content. Junk food and fast food are generally the best examples of this.
  2. Grains – Grains are our largest source of carbohydrates, so that means eliminating all or most grains from the diet is essential. Whole grain isn’t spared from this, so you would have to cut out wheat, rye, oats, corn, barley, millet, bulgur, sorghum, rice, amaranth, buckwheat, and sprouted grains. You would also need to cut out any products that are made with grains like pasta, bread, crackers, etc.
  3. Factory-farmed Pork – Pork is generally not the most healthy of meats, but factory-farmed pork are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can trigger inflammatory responses. Choose grass-fed beef, free-range chickens, or salmon instead.
  4. Dairy – Milk is large doses is generally not allowed on the Keto Diet, even with the recommended full-fat milk. Milk is generally difficult to digest and can cause inflammatory responses in the digestive system. It is also quite high in carbohydrates (4-5 grams of carbs per 100 ml), which makes it a no-go for the fat focused Keto Diet.

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