what can we eat?
You've probably already heard about one of the most popular diets right now: the keto diet. There are thousands of videos and even entire websites dedicated to sharing recipes and nutritional tips. But what is all this about?
The keto diet is primarily used for weight loss and is promoted as an alternative to achieving your goals faster. The reason is clear: it forces your body to burn fat.
In this article we briefly explain how it works and what are the foods that make it up.
What is the keto diet all about?
We can start by defining the keto diet as a low-carb diet. In fact, it's so low in carbs that it almost eliminates them entirely. All the dishes on the keto diet are high in fat and protein, and the proportion of carbs is minimal.
The reason we eliminate carbs on the keto diet is to promote a metabolic shift in the body. There are different ways to produce energy. The fastest is using carbohydrates, but we can also achieve it by burning fat. It is an alternate mechanism that is only activated when there are no carbohydrates.
So, as part of this diet, the most important thing is to consume protein and healthy fats (1,2).
Foods allowed on the keto diet
To be on the keto diet properly, all we have to do is change the ingredients in our dishes and try new combinations.
You will see that among the foods allowed in the keto diet there are many fats. That is why it is so important that it is high quality fat (omega 3 and other unsaturated fatty acids).
Among the foods that we can include for the keto diet are (2):
- Meats, fish, and eggs : Both beef, chicken, and other poultry are rich in protein and have no carbohydrates. The same can be said of the egg. As for fish, fatty fish is recommended, such as tuna, sardines, and salmon. However, you can safely consume any type of fish.
- Low Carb Vegetables : Green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, and green beans are examples of allowed foods. The ones we should avoid are tubers, such as potatoes and carrots.
- Greek yogurt and cheese : Dairy is also a good option on the keto diet, especially plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt. Cheese can also be used a lot, but taking into account that it is a source of saturated fat and we should not abuse it.
- Avocados and berries : Not all fruits are on the black list. We can consume red fruits on the keto diet, such as blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Among all these, the blueberry is the one with the most carbohydrates (9 grams in half a cup) and should not be consumed in large quantities. Another recommended fruit is the avocado, which has a lot of healthy fat, as well as fiber and potassium.
- Nuts, seeds, and oils : Clearly oil is allowed. However, it is recommended to use healthy sources, such as coconut and olive oil. As for nuts and seeds, the most recommended are almonds, pecans, Brazil nuts, pecans, chia seeds, pumpkin, sesame, and flax. The nuts with the highest carbohydrate content are pistachios and cashews, which should be eaten very sparingly.
Among the foods allowed on the keto diet are meat, poultry, eggs, fish, green vegetables, unsweetened dairy, nuts and seeds, and some fruits such as avocados and green fruits.
By basing our diet on these foods and avoiding flours, cereals, sweet fruits, grains, and processed foods, we will be on track to start ketosis in a few days. In turn, ketosis promotes the burning of fat for energy, helping to lose weight quickly.
- Perez-Guisado, J. (2007). Arguments in favor of ketogenic diets. Internet J Nutr Wellness, 4(2), 1-15.
- Johansson, M. (2017). The Keto Guidebook. Simon and Schuster.