Keto Diets are everywhere on the Internet. The label “Keto” on a recipe is sought out by dieters, bloggers, tweeters, and everywhere on Pinterest. It is definitely Today’s Hot Topic! Keto diets are low-carb, high-fat diets that share similarities with Atkins and Low Carb diets. In fact, many would say Atkins started it all, the label Low Carb took over, and now the catch word is definitely Keto.
For us, we began our life-style journey by creating low-carb recipes that met one important criteria – they had to be tasty. With that mission – Tasty Low Carb was born. We have never stressed that our recipes can be a key part of Keto Diets, but most are Keto friendly. Today it seems everything is Keto. There are keto cookbooks, keto meal plans, and recipes that are labeled Keto. We are not physicians or licensed dietitians. We are “foodies” who have adopted a low carb lifestyle for health, happiness, and life. But, let’s take a closer look at the Keto phenomenon.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
A ketogenic diet (shortened to just keto) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that helps you lose weight and also offers benefits against diabetes and even cancer. You reduce your carbohydrates (carbs) and increase the fat content of your food. If you reduce your carbs dramatically your body will enter a metabolic state called ketosis. This means your body will burn fat for energy. You will lose weight and see reduced blood sugar and insulin.
Standard Keto Diets usually contain 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbs. These are merely goals, but you can easily see that Keto means dramatic reductions in carbs and significant increases in fat. We need to stress the word “diet” here. The percentages can be weekly, daily, or a meter for measuring a single recipe. So, when you see a recipe that is labeled “Keto” or “Keto friendly” it likely comes very close to the percentages noted. Based upon this measurement tool you will also see those who list ingredients that are considered Keto.
Strictly following Keto Diets will result in dramatic weight loss. It will be so filling that there is no need to count calories. Using the low-carb recipes found on our website enabled me to lose 40 pounds in a little over one year. My triglyceride level dropped by 25%, my HDL or “good cholesterol” increased by 35%, and my LDL or “bad cholesterol” dropped by 14%. For the first time in many years my HDL was actually within range. Although I am not diabetic, I also found that my A1c reading dropped from 5.5 to 5.1. Clearly, I was in Ketosis and our low-carb recipes were the foundation of a Keto Diet.
Joanie is diabetic. But, you will see if you review “Our Story” that she needs to maintain a low-carb lifestyle, yet she needs to maintain her weight. Eating in a metabolic state of Ketosis would not be good for her since her diabetes is related to her cystic fibrosis. She needs to maintain a diet that enables her to maintain her weight with calories and fats and yet will allow for stable glucose numbers. That is a real challenge for her. She has successfully stayed off insulin and found that her A1c numbers have been reduced by adopting a low-carb lifestyle and even her monitored daily glucose numbers have been stable.
The close relationship between Low Carb and Keto allows us to both enjoy our recipes and maintain good health.
How to Measure the Correct Keto Percentages?
Again, the percentages noted above are simply guidelines. They are helpful provided you can measure them efficiently and daily to analyze the effectiveness of your weight loss program. The key to success is that this type of diet must be strictly followed and accurately measured. There are tools available. The one that we highly recommend is “Lose It.” This app allows you to set goals and record your food meal-by-meal. The goals can be the percentages noted above and the app includes over 7 million food and restaurant items. You can scan bar codes on food items and even snap a picture of an item to obtain a recommendation for recording. Studies have shown that keeping a daily log of your food intake is the best way to make sure that you stay on a diet. “Lose It” will help you stay honest and have results that you can use to motivate.
Foods To Avoid
Start your Keto or Low-Carb journey by eliminating carb heavy foods. Sugar is your enemy! Eliminate ice cream, candy, soda, and fruit juices. Avoid pasta, rice, cereal, and wheat-based products like flour tortillas. Fruits should be only used in moderation and only those that are low in sugars – like berries. Potatoes and most root vegetables should be eliminated as are beans. Many condiments contain sugar and most Keto Diets suggest not drinking alcohol, since most alcoholic beverages can take you out of ketosis.
Foods To Eat
So what exactly can you eat? Meat and fatty fish are perfect. Steak, sausage, ham, bacon, chicken, salmon, tuna, and pork are the cornerstone items for meal planning. Eggs are a perfect Keto food, as are cheeses and dairy products. Nuts are okay and healthy oils such as EVOO and coconut or avocado oil. In fact, avocados are a perfect Keto food. Most green vegetables, limited tomatoes, onions, and peppers are all fine. Shrimp is a perfect food choice for Keto diets.
Hydration is definitely important on Keto Diets. You will find that you will excrete more salt when you enter ketosis. This will cause you to lose a significant amount of weight in the first two weeks – much of it is water weight. With the water loss will also be a loss of electrolytes. This can cause some bothersome side effects. So, you will need to increase your water intake on Keto diets. Some articles will say to drink 8 glasses of water daily. However, our advice is to drink the amount of water you need. The right amount of water will flush your kidneys and that is a good thing! A good rule of thumb is to drink enough water until your urine is light yellow.
Can You Cheat?
You will cheat. There are too many temptations and sugar (remember carbs turn into sugar) has been such a part of our diet for so many years that it is not only difficult to shake, but food manufacturers and restauranteurs use it to sell. Sugar is addictive! However, if you do cheat, record the miscues and return to your diet. Eventually, you will maintain a target weight by following your dietary restrictions. Simply put, maintain a low-carb lifestyle for health and happiness. It is a journey.
Our recipes are definitely low carb and certainly pass the Tasty test! In most cases they are also Keto friendly and can be part of any of the Keto Diets!