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Keto is a low-carb diet that encourages weight loss by forcing your body to burn fat for energy – this process is known as ketosis.
To maximize weight loss, aim to limit carb intake to no more than 20-30 grams daily – that’s about three slices of bread, two bananas or one cup of pasta.
On the keto diet, there are plenty of dairy products you can enjoy. These include butter, ghee, heavy cream, whey protein powder and hard and soft cheeses.
These are an excellent source of fat and protein that can reduce inflammation and boost your body’s composition. Furthermore, they’re packed full of calcium – vital for bone health as well as a robust immune system.
However, you should be mindful of how much casein you consume during a keto diet. This protein can disrupt ketosis and lead to autoimmune disorders and inflammation.
It’s essential to monitor the amount of carbohydrates in each food item, particularly dairy products which tend to be high in carbohydrates.
Oils are often associated with keto, but not all oils are created equal.
When selecting a keto-friendly oil, opt for one that is heat-stable and healthy. Healthy options such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, tallow, lard or duck fat are the healthiest choices.
In addition to these options, high-oleic sunflower/safflower oil and toasted sesame oil can also be found on the market. Both of these are ideal for keto cooking as well as drizzling over your meals.
To optimize your diet, it is best to steer clear of refined oils that contain trans fats. These are vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated, a process which makes them shelf-stable.
Coffee & Tea
Keto diet enthusiasts often opt for coffee as a morning pick-me-up. Unfortunately, this can make it harder to stay within your carbohydrate limit if you enjoy a sweet treat in addition to coffee.
To minimize carbohydrates, opt for a coffee drink that is low in carbs – such as black or flavored coffee with heavy cream and sugar-free sweetener. Adding milk or other non-dairy products may also be beneficial, though be wary that many non-dairy items contain added sugar or sweeteners.
Tea is another ideal option, as it contains no carbohydrates and has long been linked to various health benefits. Not only that, but it’s an excellent way to stay hydrated while getting extra antioxidants into your system while on the keto diet as well.
Vegetables are an integral part of a nutritious keto diet, providing essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Furthermore, they contain heart-healthy fats which promote feelings of fullness.
Vegetables that are naturally low in carbs and high in fiber can help you reduce your total net carb intake. Low carb vegetables include leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and non-starchy produce.
Romaine lettuce is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C and folate as well as potassium. You can use it as the basis for a salad or add it to a sandwich wrap for some added nutrition.
Celery is a nutritious low carb vegetable that can be enjoyed either raw or cooked. It makes an excellent addition to soups, smoothies, salads and keto-friendly dips!
You can learn more about how vegetables affect your keto diet and how many carbs to include by checking out our Keto Diet Food List. It includes a printable version of the keto vegetables chart below as well as weekly keto recipes!