Keto Diet For Beginners

Keto, if you have a social media account then you’ve most likely seen or heard this word before.  The ketogenic diet, or the keto diet, is a low carb and high fat diet that was originally created in 1924 by the Mayo Clinic.  To follow keto properly a person needs to get about 70 to 80 percent of their calories from healthy fat, 15 to 20 percent from protein and 5 percent from carbohydrates.  When maintaining this golden ratio the body is put into ketosis, a metabolic state where the body creates ketones which it then uses as fuel along with fat instead of glucose and carbohydrates.  After a while the body will experience a reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels, helping to improve your energy levels, curb sugar cravings, and improve cognitive function. 


Types of Ketogenic Diets:

  • Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): this is the traditional Keto diet most people know.  Low carb, moderate protein, and high in fat with the ratio being around 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbohydrates. 
  • Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): this version of Keto requires periods of high carb refeeds.  This would allow the plan to have 5 ketogenic days and 2 high carb days. 
  • Targeted Ketogenic Diet: this allows you to add carbohydrates into your diet plan based on the workouts you take part in. 
  • High Protein Ketogenic Diet: similar to the standard keto diet but allows the dieter to include a higher amount of protein.  The ratio is 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. 

Health Benefits of the Keto Diet: 

  • The leading health benefit of Keto is the reduction in seizures in pediatric patients with epilepsy. Originally the Keto diet was created in 1924 with these pediatric patients in mind, and it wasn’t till the current day that it has been utilized by the regular person. 
  • When in ketosis the body produces a specific ketone, BHB, which can help reduce levels of inflammation in the body.  This can help combat symptoms of joint stiffness, swelling, and fatigue. 
  • Individuals on Keto will experience lower levels in their blood pressure, insulin, and blood sugar.  Making this diet a great option for those who are Diabetic, but as always check with your doctor prior to starting any diet plan if you have pre-existing conditions. 

Foods to purchase and base your diet plan on:

Meat, Poultry, and Seafood

  • Chicken - any part of the chicken will do, but pieces such as the thighs are drumsticks contain high fat content perfect for keto. 
  • Beef - any cut of beef is beneficial, but a fattier cut will keep you fuller longer. 
  • Pork - bacon, chops, and roasts.
  • Fish - any fish is keto friendly, salmon for example is high fat and a great choice while on the diet.
  • Seafood - scallops, lobster, crab, and shrimp are all great options.

Leafy Greens

  • Lettuce, Kale, Spinach, Bok Choy, Cabbage 

Non-Starchy Vegetables

  • Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocado, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Green Beans, Mushrooms, Olives, Onion, Radishes, Spaghetti Squash, Tomatoes, Zucchini

Low Sugar Fruits

  • Blackberries, Blueberries, Lemons, Limes, Raspberries, Strawberries

Fresh Herbs

  • Basil, Chives, Dill, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme

Eggs and Dairy

  • Eggs
  • Cheese - most cheese is keto but try to stick with hard, whole milk cheese because they contain fewer carbs.  Cream cheese is also a great low carb option. 
  • Heavy Cream 
  • Almond Milk - unsweetened
  • Coconut Milk - unsweetened
  • Sour Cream 

Fats and Oils

  • Butter or Ghee, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, MCT Oil, Olive Oil

Pantry Staples

  • Keto Flours - Almond and coconut flours are the best low carb options.
  • Keto Sweeteners - monk fruit, allulose, and erythritol.
  • Dried Herbs and Spices
  • Condiments - vinegar, high-fat dressings, mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, and salsa. 
  • Coffee and Tea - without the added sweeteners.
  • Protein Powders 
  • Broth, Bone Broth, and Soup
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder and Sugar Free Chocolate Chips
  • Extracts - vanilla, mint, and fruit extracts for example are all naturally keto.  They can add a nice natural sweetness to desserts or drinks. 

Snacks

  • Bars - low carb and or keto specific bars are a great and quick snack option on the go.
  • Meat Snacks - high in protein, jerky, meat sticks, and pork rinds are all great minimal to no carb options. 
  • Nuts and Seeds - almonds, pecan, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds. 
  • Nut Butters - great on keto bread but watch out for added sugar butters, try to purchase all natural varieties or freshly made butters. 
  • Chocolate - sugar free and keto specific chocolate treats can help fight off your late night sweet tooth!