If you’re interested in living a healthier lifestyle, you’ve probably been wondering which diet plan is right for you. With so many options available, choosing the correct eating regimen can seem confusing. One of the most popular plans is the ketogenic, or keto, plan.
What is a keto plan?
To put it simply, a keto plan is a low carb plan that incorporates a moderate protein intake along with a higher fat intake. The ratio of fat to carbs is designed to put your body into a state of ketosis which means that rather than blood sugar created by carbohydrates, your body is using fat cells for energy. This process continues until you begin to eat more carbohydrates again. A keto plan has been shown to be beneficial for people who need to lose weight as well as those suffering from diabetes, epilepsy, or alzheimer’s disease.
What foods are included in a keto plan?
A keto diet limits your carb intake to around 20 or 50 grams of carbs per day. Keeping your carbs at that level can seem like a challenge and leave you wondering what foods you should be eating.
Seafood is a keto friendly option for your eating plan. Be careful with shellfish, though, as some forms of shellfish actually contain carbs. Salmon, mackerel, sardines and other fatty fish that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids are good choices. Seafood has been shown to reduce insulin levels and boost immunity as well as mental health.
Cheese is a good choice for a keto diet because it is low in carbs, high in fat and it’s also a source of protein as well as calcium. Best of all, there are many different varieties of cheese available. Some studies show that eating cheese helps you lose fat and maintain muscle mass.
You should consume vegetables on your keto eating plan. Be careful to choose varieties that are non-starchy, such as cauliflower, broccoli or zucchini, as they have a lower carb content. Vegetables contain fiber and antioxidants as well as important vitamins and minerals. Some vegetables can be used in recipes to replace higher carb items such as rice or pasta.
Poultry and Meats
You will find meat and poultry at the top of your keto friendly food list. These foods contain vitamins, minerals and protein that are vital components of a keto diet. They have zero carbs. Grass fed varieties are recommended because meats that are grass fed have a higher Omega-3 fatty acid content.
Eggs are a near perfect choice for a keto diet plan. Each egg contains 6 grams of protein and less than a gram of carbs. The majority of the nutrition is in the yolk of an egg, so it’s recommended that you eat the entire egg for this eating plan.
How do you shop for a keto eating plan?
When shopping for any diet plan, it’s a wise decision to plan your meals. You can choose to create a plan for yourself, or you can use a meal planning service. Using a keto meal planner to plan your meals, helps you to identify the ingredients you need more easily. Based on your plan, and chosen recipes, you can create your keto friendly grocery shopping list. As with most healthy eating plans, you will want to shop the outside aisles of your grocery store. Choose low carb vegetables, fruits with a low sugar content, high protein meats and poultry, seafood with high Omega-3 content and dairy products like butter and cheese.
What foods should you avoid with a keto diet?
With a keto plan it’s important to avoid foods that have a high carb content. You might be surprised to learn that this means more than pasta and bread. Starchy vegetables like potatoes are also high in carbs. Any grains, like oatmeal and corn, are also full of carbohydrates. These should be avoided along with high sugar fruits like bananas and pineapples as well as dried fruits and fruit juices. Most eating plans include legumes as being high protein foods, but not a keto plan because legumes are also high in carbs.
For success with a keto eating plan, the most important thing is to educate yourself about the carb content in your foods. Doing that will help you to choose foods with the appropriate carb to protein to fat ratio to achieve ketosis and reap the benefits of this eating plan.