From celebrities to new mums, the Keto diet is fast becoming one of the most popular lifestyle plans with all types of people. Similar to the Atkins diet, the Keto diet is a low-carb, high fat plan which limits carbohydrates to 20-50 grams per day. It has been credited by many for helping to achieve a slimmer figure and there’s some evidence to show that it may also be beneficial for Alzheimers diseases, certain cancers and other diseases, too. There is also growing interest in the use of low-carbohydrate diets, including the ketogenic diet, for type 2 diabetes.
So what foods can you eat?
Keto-friendly foods include seafood, meat, cheese, and low-carb vegetables and fruit, such a berries.
Banned on the diet plan are pasta, bread, root vegetables and high carb fruits like bananas.
Meat and poultry
Known as the staple of a keto diet, most meals are based around meat or poultry.
Fresh meat and poultry contain no carbs and are a great source of protein, which has been proven to preserve muscle mass when eaten on a low carb diet.
A study published in the US National Library of Medicine found that consuming a diet high in fatty meat led to HDL cholesterol levels that were eight percent higher than on a low-fat, high-carb diet.
Many types of seafood are carb free or very low in carbs. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are very high in omega-3 fats, which have been found to lower insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese people.
Dieters should aim to consume at least two servings of seafood weekly.
It’s important to remember however, that the carbs in different types of shellfish vary. While shrimp contains no carbs, other types of shellfish do.
Good fats are essential on the keto diet. In the past, high fat dairy products like cream and butter were believed to cause or contribute to heart disease due to their high saturated fat contents.
However, several large studies have shown that, for most people, saturated fat isn’t linked to heart disease.
Low carb vegetables
Vegetables are a great and tasty way to eat good fat on a keto diet. Most vegetables contain very few carbs.
However, consuming one serving of starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams or beetroot could put dieters over their entire carb limit for the day.
Therefore it’s important to make sure to eat the right vegetables when sticking to a keto diet. Some low carb vegetables include: bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, and avocados.
Most fruits are too high in carbs to include on a keto diet, however berries are the one exception as they’re low in carbs and high in fibre.
Often combined with real whipping cream, which is high in fat, berries are a popular dessert on the keto plan.