Ketosis is a typical process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this phase, our body produces ketones, which are generated from the breakdown of fats in the liver. The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force our body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates.
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What to Eat on a Keto Diet
Human bodies are especially adaptive to what you put into it. Once your body is overloaded with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source. Optimal ketone levels offer many health, weight loss, physical and mental performance benefits. However, you should eat the right food to stay on a Ketogenic diet.
The most important thing to reach ketosis is to avoid eating foods with most carbohydrates. You’ll probably need to keep carb intake to under 50 grams per day of net carbs, ideally below 20 grams. The fewer carbs the more effective.
According to Healthline, here are the foods with low and most carbohydrates.
Low Carb Foods
Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and others. Grass-fed is best.
Fish: Salmon, trout, haddock and many others. Wild-caught fish is best.
Eggs: Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs are best.
Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and many others.
Fruits: Apples, oranges, pears, blueberries, strawberries.
Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
High-Fat Dairy: Cheese, butter, heavy cream, yogurt.
Fats and Oils: Coconut oil, butter, lard, olive oil and cod fish liver oil.
You can have these in moderation if you want:
Dark Chocolate: Choose organic brands with 70% cocoa or higher.
Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and may provide health benefits if you eat it in moderation. However, be aware that both dark chocolate and alcohol will hinder your progress if you eat/drink too much.
Most Carb Foods
Sugar: Soft drinks, fruit juices, agave, candy, ice cream and many others.
Gluten Grains: Wheat, spelled, barley and rye. Includes bread and pasta.
Trans Fats: “Hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.
High Omega-6 Seed- and Vegetable Oils: Cottonseed-, soybean-, sunflower-, grapeseed-, corn-, safflower and canola oils.
Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose, Cyclamates and Acesulfame Potassium. Use Stevia instead.
“Diet” and “Low-Fat” Products: Many dairy products, cereals, crackers, etc.
Highly Processed Foods: If it looks like it was made in a factory, don’t eat it.
What to Drink on a Keto Diet
So what do you drink on a keto diet? Water is perfect, and so is coffee or tea. Ideally, use no sweeteners. A modest amount of milk or cream is OK but not a caffe latte. The occasional glass of wine is fine too since it has a higher amount of carbs. However, if you really need to drink wine, choose dry wines with no added sugar or carbs.