What should you not eat on a Keto Diet?
What should you not eat on a Keto Diet? Knowing about what not to eat on a keto diet is equally important as knowing about what to eat. Shifting on the keto diet demands a radical change in your mindset about food while selecting a healthy diet.
The selection of food items could be a challenging task. The conventional concepts of sugar-free, fat-free, calorie-free, low fat won’t work here anymore.
Some of the features of the keto diet are:
- It is a strict low carb and high-fat diet.
- On a keto diet, you can lose weight without starving yourself.
- It controls blood sugars and reverses insulin resistance.
Here is the description of certain items that may sabotage your journey to lose weight and get into ketosis.
Sugar, the real culprit, includes all kinds of white, brown sugars and honey as well. People usually misunderstand honey as a natural sweetener, but being affluent in sugar does not get along well with the keto diet. You have to skip your jam and toast breakfast.
Anything that you add to make food taste better has sugar in it. Jams, jellies, sauces, salad dressings, corn syrups, maple syrups; do check their labels to see the amount of hidden and apparent sugars they contain. The same goes for also low-fat kinds of ketchup, BBQ sauce, teriyaki, and Sriracha sauce.
Bread and baked goods
The tempting bakery items like bread, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, bagels, croissants contain tons of sugars and carbs. Such things increase insulin resistance. One plain bagel has 48 grams of carbs. One flour tortilla yields 36 grams of carbs. Replacing a slice of white bread with brown bread does not serve the purpose.
The good news is this; don’t get upset as you won’t be enjoying your favorite foods anymore. Bake your keto-friendly bread with organic butter, almond or coconut flour, without added sugars. The Internet is replete with innovative ideas to deal with your cravings, suggesting you tastier and healthier options.
Starches are linked chains of glucose; they break down into a single glucose molecule. Fiber is also carbohydrate in which glucose molecules link up so that your body cannot absorb them to yield energy.
Starchy vegetables containing more carb and less fiber content are not welcome on the keto diet table. A medium-sized potato has 36 grams of carb, a sweet potato has 27, and a cup of corn has 41 g of carbs. Other vegetables like peas, butternut squash, and beet are rich in carbs. Carrot can be consumed only in moderation.
Rice, grains, and legumes
On your journey of the keto diet, you have to quit these popular dinner time staples. Considering the carb content of white or brown rice makes no significant difference. Beans and legumes, though nutritious, are also high in carbs and fiber. Quinoa, though good for hormone balance, has high carb content and a high glycemic index.
Fruit and fruit juices
Fruit and fruit juices, the most abundant source of all sorts of micro and macronutrients, do not complement the keto diet. The fruit has sugars and carbs. Some fruits contain enough carbs that eating a piece will be sufficient for your required carb intake for the day. They can easily throw you out of ketosis.
Like bananas, although loaded with calcium and nutrients, keep them off the table. One average size banana yields 31 grams of carbs
The tropical treat mango is even worse than a banana. Each piece yields 59 grams of carbs. Two large dates yield 36 grams of carb. Similarly, replace fruits like raisins, grapes, pears, and apple oranges with small portions of all kinds of berries, melon, and avocado.
- Red wine and beer
Liquid carbs being less filling can do more damage to weight loss as solid carbs. Red wine is high in sugar and carbs; grapes have an adverse effect on ketosis. A can of beer contains 13 grams of carbs.
- Refined oil
Enjoying high-fat food does not give you the license to include any fat in your diet. Most vegetables and seed oils like sunflower, corn, and canola oils, spreadable kinds of butter, margarine, are not recommended. These trans-fat, processed oils may lead to heart diseases, reduced HDL, increased LDL. MCT oil, coconut, avocado, and extra virgin olive oils are healthy choices.
- Cashews and pistachios
Keto diet is all about healthy fats and oils. However, every nut is not safe. Pistachios and cashews are too high in carbs to support ketosis. Other nuts like almonds, pine nuts, macadamia, hazelnut, peanuts are good to use.
These are carb-heavy either flour, whole grain, or bean-based pasta. One cup cooked pasta yields 43 grams, and whole wheat pasta yields 37 grams of carbs. Consider making zucchini noodle carbonara, spiralizer vegetables, cabbage noodles, or sprouts. A healthier choice to combat your pasta craving. Having fewer carbs, are a rich source of vitamins and minerals as compared to traditional pasta.
- Gluten-free products
Labeled as gluten-free is not equivalent to carb-free. Sometimes, these are more loaded with carbs than non-gluten-free types. Almond or coconut flour can be good alternatives.
- Low fat and fat-free dressings
People consider any product with a fat-free or low-fat label as healthy. However, this does not work for the keto diet. Two tablespoons of fat-free ranch dressing have 11g of carbs with added sugars. On the other hand, full fat ranch dressing yields 2 grams.
- Dairy products
Milk is not keto-friendly food due to its higher sugar content (lactose). One cup of milk contains 12 grams of carbs. Low-fat yogurt with added sugar, low-fat milk, fruit yogurt with added sweeteners are not advisable for the keto diet.
- A big no-no for the keto diet
These foods cause a massive surge in blood sugars and insulin production. Long term consumption of these items leads to insulin resistance and a host of other health issues. For the keto diet, the goal is to cut out all the processed and refined foods. A big no to Ice-cream, pudding, jelly, frozen dessert, custard, candy, pastries, sodas, popcorn, cookies, chips, crackers, fried food, packaged snacks, energy drinks, and energy bars.
Some do’s and don’ts for the keto diet
- Don’t fear healthy snacks. Every cell in your body needs fat to function correctly. Replace your fear of healthy fats with the fear of sugars, carbs, and processed food.
- Take enough salt and electrolytes. Your body needs spices to function. Salts here not only mean sodium chloride only but also magnesium and potassium. Lite salt (potassium chloride) with sea salt is a good option.
- No snacking all day. Human beings do not have to graze all day in between meals. Two or three discrete filling meals with a few hours of intermittent fasting in between do a great job.
- Don’t worry about portion size. Eating less sometimes does not prove effective as it causes more cravings. The good thing about the keto diet is that you don’t have to starve yourself; instead, you get to eat a good filling meal. It will help you in a couple of hours.
- Don’t compare your results with others. It can be discouraging. Every individual’s body and the situation is different from other individuals. Bodies of different age groups respond differently to the same diet.
- Trusting a food manufacturer’s label on a food product can be misleading sometimes. They tactfully guise those sugars and carbs. Instead, go for a real whole organic product with the least number of ingredients mentioned.
- Before starting a keto diet, you should consult your physician and dietitian to prevent nutritional deficiency and health-related issues.
How does the keto diet work?
Our body can run on either of the two fuels.
1. Carbohydrates, which it gets from foods such as rice, wheat, potato, pasta, bananas
2. Fats, which it gets from foods such as eggs, meat, butter, nuts.
A low intake of carbohydrates, less than 50 grams in a day, gets the body in a different mode. The liver starts converting the fats into ketones to yield the energy required by your body to carry out its various processes. Putting it to a state called ketosis means the conversion of your body into a fat-burning machine. Now it is in a position to break down your body fat store.
How to calculate net carbs?
Calculating net carbs enables you to determine how much quantity you can consume in your diet. Simple formula is
Total carbohydrates – Fiber = net carbs
Total carbs mean all kinds of carbs present in food, including fiber, starches, and simple sugars.
Simply Google any food item.
For example, the nutritional information given at google says, every 100 grams of chia seeds contain 42 grams of total carbohydrates including 34 grams of fiber so, 100 grams of chia seeds contain
42 - 34 = 8 net carbs
People who should avoid the keto diet
Going on keto could be risky for some people like those with diabetes type 1, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, people having eating disorders, people who have their gallbladder removed, pregnant women, or with low hypoglycemia.
In short, the keto diet's crux lies in going for real organic food with low carb and high-fat levels. Limit the amount of sugary food and processed items.