Maximize your ketone levels with a ketogenic diet approved food list.
What is Ketosis?
Explore the health benefits of ketosis for accelerated fat loss, disease prevention, better brain function, appetite control, performance, and more.
Ketosis can often be a misunderstood subject. Some think it is part of a starvation diet or a alarming sign that something has gone wrong in your metabolism. But this is simply not the truth! You see, ketones -> contrary to popular belief and myth -> are a much needed and essential healing energy source in our cells that come from the normal metabolism of fat.
Have you ever heard someone say that fats are “evil”? This has become the standard way of thinking in today’s society, which has led to our primary energy source coming from carbohydrates -> sugar AKA glucose.
Most people eat a diet high in carbohydrates or glucose. When sugar is your body’s primary energy source, that sugar needs to be processed first in the cell soup before it can be passed into the energy factory of the cell- the mitochondrion. Energy sources from fat don’t require this processing; it goes directly into the mitochondria for energetic uses. That is, it is more complicated to create energy out of sugar than out of fat. The process of ketosis refers to the body’s ability to use fats as its primary source of energy, over glucose.
“Carbohydrates are not required to obtain energy. Fat supplies more energy than a comparable amount of carbohydrate, and low-carbohydrate diets tend to make your system of producing energy more efficient. Furthermore, many organs prefer fat for energy.”
CHRISTIAN B. ALLAN, PHD AND WOLFGANG LUTZ, MD SAID IN THEIR BOOK LIFE WITHOUT BREAD
When your body burns fat, it produces ketones, which consists of three bi-products: B-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), acetoacetate (ACA) and acetone. This is not new. This naturally occurring process dates back to when our ancestors were hunters and gatherers. It’s what allowed their bodies to survive during times of food restriction.
When a person restricts carbohydrates from their diet, in order to survive the body must look for another fuel source. With no sugars or glucose it turns to fatty acids and your fat stores to provide that more efficient source of fuel. The liver breaks down the fat, and releases ketones into the blood to be used by the brain and other organs to produce energy.
When nerve cell mitochondria use ketones and glucose, they show increased outputs of ATP and decreased output of ROS (reactive oxygen species, too much of which has been associated with cell damage) when compared to only using glucose. This means that ketones have the ability to enhance the brain’s metabolism and improve the process of it acquiring the necessary ATP needed for its various functions.
Is high cholesterol caused from eating fatty foods?
“The majority of high cholesterol problems are caused from carbs, not fats.”
Dr. Dalls Hack
What are the benefits of ketones?
Many don’t realize this, but the ketogenic diet first became popular as a treatment for seizures in children suffering from epilepsy. This is when the neuro-protective benefits of ketones really came to light. As research into the process of ketosis expands, the list of benefits just continues to grow. Many people do not realize the extensive list of health benefits associated with following this lifestyle.
Weight loss & Blood Sugar Balance
One of the most popular reasons people inquire about ketones is because they hear about the weight loss stories associated with it. Ketones or being in ketosis, has been found to improve insulin sensitivity, lower and normalize blood sugar levels, contribute to an increased state of fullness and dramatically decrease food cravings. The main stream diet gurus usually suggest that people need to eat 6 meals a day to successfully lose weight. Studies have found that people with high levels of ketones have been able to lose fat without following this idea. With the increased level of fullness and reduced cravings, you are able to only eat when you’re hungry. Great news, this means no more calorie counting or food measuring!! Results of fat loss are being reported widely from people following a ketogenic plan.
Ketones have been greatly shown to benefit type 2 diabetics and women suffering from POS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) due to the improvement in blood sugar levels.
Higher levels of ketones in the body have also shown to increase energy levels and athletic performance in individuals. Blood flow is also shown to be improved. The function of the mitochondria (our energy power house) is also improved with ketones. This in turn, causes blood vessels to dilate, and thus leads to an improvement in oxygen capacity. These things can enhance athletic performance and improve motor performance. For this reason, ketones are often referred to as a “super fuel.” They are also a very powerful antioxidant, have an anti-catabolic effect. Ketones help to preserve and promote muscle mass. We have see an increase in branch chain amino acids (BCAA) due to ketones, which play a role in muscle growth. Many people find that the presence of ketones help them sustain better and longer workouts.
There are so many benefits from ketones! Most known are fat loss, improved mental function and athletic performance. Here are a few more:
- Migraine/headache treatment
- Neuro-protective benefits in seizure disorders; ADHD; Alzheimer ’s disease, memory and cognitive function; Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis
- Autism and improved behaviour and social impacts
- Mood stabilization in bipolar disorder (type II)
- Stroke prevention; cardiovascular disease; metabolic syndrome management; improved cholesterol levels
Now that we know many of the benefits of ketones, the question is, what is the best way to increase your ketone levels?
Your brain and body deserve the best. Choose ketones as your fuel source!
Ketogenic diet food list:
Most people start a ketogenic diet to lose weight, but there are many other benefits to following a Keto diet plan.
A ketogenic diet is 75% fats, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates.
Approved ketogenic foods: Eat All You Like Of These Foods on a Keto Diet
Meat: Any type is approved for the keto diet, including beef, chicken, pork, game meat, etc. It is ok to also eat the fat on the meat because this will help you consume your daily fat requirement. The skin on the chicken is also ok to eat, although breaded chicken is not ok. Organic or grass fed meat is always the best choice.
Fish and shellfish: All kinds of fish are approved: Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or herring are perfect. You will want to avoid having any breading on your fish.
Eggs: Organic eggs are best. You can eat boiled, fried, scrambled, poached eggs.
Natural fat, high-fat sauces: Butter and cream are both great to use in cooking food. These will help you feel full and they make food taste great! Hollandaise sauce is a popular one for the keto diet, you can make your ow. Coconut oil and olive oil are also popular options for cooking. Coconut oil is great to use in baking.
Vegetables: Some vegetables are better choices because they are lower in carbs and/or higher in vitamins. Some examples are; romain lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts. asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, olives, spinach, mushrooms, cucumber, avocado, onions, peppers.
Dairy products: When it comes to dairy full fat is the better choice. Examples include; real butter, cream (40% fat), sour cream, Greek/Turkish yogurt and high-fat cheeses. Regular cow’s milk or skim milk contain a lot of milk sugar and should be avoided. Avoid sugary and low-fat dairy products. Unsweetened almond and coconut milk is a great substitute.
Nuts: Make a great snack but must be eaten in moderation. Choose nuts lower in carbs. A few almonds can cut the hungry feeling.
Berries: Berries can be ok in moderation or as a garnish. I like to use whipping cream with a few berries as a topping or treat!
Drink: Water, Coffee (best with full-fat cream) and Tea.
For Special Occasions:
Alcohol: Dry wine (regular red or dry white wine), whisky, brandy, vodka and cocktails without sugar. Can mix with Perrier or non sugar beverages
Dark chocolate: Above 70% cocoa is ok in moderation.
Foods to Avoid on a Ketogenic Diet
Sugar: This is the worst food on this list. Includes but not limited to; sugary soft drinks, candy, fruit juice, sports drinks, chocolate, cakes, buns, pastries, ice cream, breakfast cereals. Beware of artificially sweeteners as well. Try to choose naturally flavored foods and beverages.
Starch: Includes; bread (all kinds), pasta, rice, potatoes, fries, chips, oatmeal, muesli etc. Legumes, beans and lentils.
Root Vegetables: Small amounts of root vegetables are ok (unless you’re eating extremely strict keto)
Margarine: Man made, imitated butter. Has no health benefits, tastes bad. Possibly linked to disease. Avoid at all costs.
Beer: Regular beer is high in carbs and should be avoided. Low carb beers are now sold in some ares and are ok in moderation. See list of ‘ok’ liquor above.
Fruit: Natural fruit still contains lots of sugar. Eat in moderation. Treat fruit as a natural form of candy and eat sparingly. (Berries are your best fruit option if you are going to eat)
Can I drink alcohol while following a ketogenic diet?
Whether or not you decide to drink alcohol while following a ketogenic diet is up to you. It depends on how strict you want to be with your keto lifestyle.
If you do decide to include alcohol, it is best to do it in moderation.
Keto friendly alcohol list:
Check out more –> KETO RECIPES
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed here are those of the author. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Material found herein is not intended as, and does not substitute for, a personalized doctor-patient relationship.