People ask me all the time what I actually eat on keto. I suppose because there are so many people talking about it now, there are some rumors and some misguidance here and there. I just wanted to share a few initial thoughts here about what I eat.
It’s not all meat.
Actually, a well-formulated ketogenic diet should be roughly 20g or less of carbohydrates (varies) mostly from non-starchy vegetables (I think most people know that bit), only about 45-75g of protein to your personal tolerance (I’ll explain this more), and enough fat to satisfy your appetite. And I will say that this diet, when adhered to diligently, can be done for life!
We definitely don’t need as much protein as people commonly believe. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating steak and eggs and BACON and chicken wings and so forth. But if a human eats more protein than needed for their metabolism, that human will turn the extra protein into sugar. It’s not the worst thing in the world, of course our bodies do this on their own, the problem is that when people are insulin resistant, get really high blood sugar readings, or become type two diabetic to oversimplify it, extra sugar from that protein is a step back from fixing the broken system.
It is loads of fat.
The real trick to keto is getting most of your calories from fat. And I’m talking about animal fat, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, some nuts and seeds, and butter or ghee. The reason animal fat is important is the structures and the vitamins in it. I will make an entire post about animal fat another time, but just know that it’s vitamin and mineral rich! Take beef for example. It’s rich in B vitamins, selenium, and zinc, and is a good source of phosphorus and iron. The fat is rich in vitamins D, E, and choline, as well as both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. If you really want to get your mind blown, click this link for the nutrition data for beef liver. It’s loaded with vitamins A, all the B’s, D, folate (pregnant moms?), and has some vitamin K and E. The nice thing about keto is that the diet itself lowers inflammation, which will be a post for another time as well.
It includes plenty of plants.
You may have noticed in my image that I had some strawberries, bell peppers, celery, and you can’t see the onion in my salad but it’s there… or it was there until I ate it. Technically, my yogurt is sort of like a plant since it’s made of almonds. I just love Kite Hill. Maybe one day I can get a sponsorship… Anyway, I also eat green beans, leafy greens, broccoli, carrots and other roots sparingly and occasionally, and a few other berries here and there. I definitely don’t eat much fruit because it has a lot of fructose (fruit sugar, monosaccharide, half of sucrose/table sugar), and I don’t want it to raise my insulin too much later on when it gets processed in my liver. I could write a whole post about this too. It’s pretty nerdy and interesting. The moral of the story is that I do eat plants! In fact, I’m trying to devise a way for hardcore vegans to eat ketogenically and get real benefits from it but I’m not sure how to do this yet without supplementing. I’m obviously not a vegan but I have very close friends that are for reasons that I fully understand.
Hope that answers that question! It raises a few more though, I reckon…