So, sound intriguing? Maybe it’s a little bit tempting, but you want to wait and see what kinds of foods we’re talking about. Unlike some diets that feature shredded cardboard or tasteless paste, the Keto diet is primarily what you’ve already been eating.
What Foods to Avoid
There’s not a lot of rules here. Stay away from high carb foods. Keep in mind the acronym GPS which stands for Grains / Potatoes / Sugar.
For foods to avoid, in a little more detail:
Because Keto has found a boom in popularity, companies are attempting to cash in on the trend, so be careful. There is no governing body that assigns permission to call a food “Keto friendly,” and many of them are not. Read the label and treat any packaged “Keto” food with suspicion.
As a side note, just because it says “sugar-free” doesn’t mean it is. Artificial sugar still acts on the body the way real sugar does; it just doesn’t burn as cleanly as sugar (and sugar doesn’t burn clean at all).
Don’t substitute junk for junk. Just because something says “keto,” there’s no guarantee that it’s true. Read the label. Find out what’s going on in that package. Look for keywords like “net carbs.” That has no meaning. It’s a marketing ploy to hide the number of carbs in the package.
Eat real foods. Unprocessed foods that need to be cooked. Packaged food is how we all got here, let's find a way to get back.
Ketogenetic diets are composed of three parts: fat, protein, and carbs. These are the elements that break down from fat that your body needs. These are required in great quantities, and if you get them wrong, the chance of your getting into ketosis is slim.
Macronutrients are the key to the keto diet. What are they? Simply put, they are nutrients your body needs to build muscle and fight off disease. These give your body energy, measured in calories.
Eating too much of any of these can lead to heart issues, diabetes, and obesity. The typical one to cause this problem is carbs, but any of the three out of proportion can cause health issues.
Just as your body needs these in abundance, it also needs other nutrients in lesser amounts. These are called micronutrients. This includes vitamins and minerals.
Keto Macros then are the ratio of a macronutrient in the body. To put it simply, how much of what comes from the three main nutrients. Ideally, in a keto diet, 60-75% of your calories should come from fat, 15-30% from proteins, and 5-10% from carbs.(10-35%), and then fat (20-35%).
This is almost a complete turnaround from common wisdom that says you should get the bulk of your calories from carbs (45-60%), then protein
Let’s take a look at each of these:
This is the body’s preferred fuel source. They are easy to break down and turn into energy. The less work the body has to do, the less it will do.
Ironically, however, unlike say fat, carbs are not an essential ingredient.
Carbs do, however, lead to low-level inflammation with is linked to dangerous diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
Carbs are laced into everything in the western diet. You’re going to find sugars in strange places that you’d never expect, everywhere from macaroni and cheese to canned corn. This makes it easy to overdo on the number of carbs consumed, even when you’re trying to watch your diet.
This is an essential nutrient that your body needs. Proteins build and repair muscle. Keeping in mind that the heart to is a muscle, so having adequate protein in your diet is crucial to heart health.
Proteins are large molecules containing amino acids. Out of 20 different kinds of amino acids, 9 of them are required by the body for a healthy life.
Protein makes you feel full for longer periods of time because your body takes longer to process it and burns calories to digest it.
Fat is the key to keto and the source of its controversy. We’ve spent decades hearing about the evils of fat in our diets, but fat is something your body cannot do without. For that past two decades, researchers have been decrying this myth to a lack of response. Why is there so much confusion? Mostly because there are so many different kinds of fat.
Between polyunsaturated fats, saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and trans fats, it’s no wonder you can’t keep track of the bad guys without a scorecard. Let’s make this simple.
The key word here is ‘processed.’ Eating natural foods are always good for you.
The important part of keto is tracking the numbers. If you don’t keep track, you’ll find yourself falling out of ketosis.
How do you track? The easiest way is with keto calculator, but there are several excellent apps available to help with that on your smartphone. A quick search in the app store will bring up several options, some that have great features that will delineate out for you the components of what you eat, so you know everything from the calorie count all the way down to each individual nutrient to be found in the food.
If you want to learn to calculate by hand, grab a calculator and pay attention:
Start with “net carbs.”
Net carbs are the carb count minus the fiber. Fiber has no effect on blood glucose levels. Find the total carbs, subtract the carbs from fiber and the balance is the net. Keep your daily limit of net carbs under 30. That’s not the suggested number, that’s the maximum. Around 20 is optimal for most non-athletes.
As a rule of thumb, your body needs 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of muscle mass. In pounds, it’s between 1 and 1.2 grams.
To calculate muscle mass, you will need to know your percentage of body fat. As an example, someone weighing 160 pounds and having a 20% fat content would be 160 X.2 or 32 pounds of body fat. Now to get muscle mass, subtract 32 from 160 and you get 128 pounds of muscle mass.
Now let's figure out how much fat you need to eat. First, are you trying to lose or maintain weight? Keep in mind that protein has 4 calories per gram, so do carbs.
Fats have 9 calories per gram….
Confused yet? You should be. Calculating this by hand is nearly impossible, and even the experts don’t recommend trying this at home. There IS no easy way to figure this out on your own unless you have a degree in advanced mathematics.
So what do you do?
Take all of this to an online keto calculator or download a free app and plug in whatever numbers they ask for. Seriously. Don’t give yourself extra work when you don’t have to.