So you want to start the Ketogenic Diet but you don’t know where to start?
You’ve come to the right place:
After you clean out your cupboards and throw out all your sweets, bread, crackers, cookies, cakes, rice, noodles, pasta, potatoes, chips, corn, and flour you’ll have to go buy some real food.
Most of this stuff you can get at your local mom and pop grocery store, but some of it needs to be located at specialty food stores like Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s or another organic/health food store.
If you can afford it, and if you can find it, try to find food that is naturally raised. Organic is always better than inorganic and animals that are raised in their natural state are going to be healthier than an animal raised in over-populated confinements.
In those confinements, the chickens, hogs, cows, and beef are raised without sun exposure and are fed unhealthy grains like corn. In some cases, for example, chickens are fed a sugar/syrup solution. Those animals are also given growth hormones in order for them to grow faster and then given antibiotics when they get sick.
So look for organic, pasture-raised or grass-fed beef, butter, and free range chicken and eggs. I get it, this stuff is expensive and most people can’t afford all these pasture raised, organic foods.
Don’t let that stop you from eating a healthy Ketogenic diet though. Get what you can afford. A hot dog is still more healthy than a honey bun.
Here are a few things to look for you while shopping:
1. Beef, eggs, pork, cheese, olives, cream cheese, avocados, pickles, bacon.
2. Frozen vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower rice or florets (for pizza crust), olive oil, avocado oil, heavy whipping cream, lettuce (for salads).
3. Frozen or fresh chicken wings and thighs, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, low sugar pizza sauce, pizza toppings of choice.
4. Almond flour, coconut flour, pecans, macadamia nuts, cabbage, spinach (green leafy vegetables), kimchi, sauerkraut, tuna. Especially spinach and dandelion greens. Spinach is high in potassium and magnesium and dandelion greens are loaded with prebiotic fiber that can prevent keto-constipation that sometimes occurs on the Ketogenic diet.
5. Sardines, sausage, lunch meat, fish (salmon), *sugar substitute, cucumbers, avocado mayonnaise, sugar-free salad dressing (Primal Kitchen).
6. Apple cider vinegar helps control cravings, improves insulin sensitivity and can even prevent Keto heartburn. A squeeze of lemon, a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a dash of salt in a cup of filtered water is a great way to stop cravings for sweets and help prevent the Keto Flu.
Sugar substitute: You’ll have to taste a few and find the one that you like the best. Some common sugar substitutes are stevia, monk fruit, erythritol, Xylitol. My favorite for taste is Xylitol.
Personally, I don’t like stevia and monk fruit because it has an aftertaste, erythritol and xylitol are sugar alcohols and they give some people an upset stomach.
Beware though all sugar substitutes will break a fast. Xylitol is not calorie-free, it has 2.4 calories per gram. However, Xylitol’s glycemic index is only 7, compared to table sugar (sucrose) which is between 60–70.
The ones to stay away from are aspartame, cyclamate, saccharin, acesulfame-k or sucralose (Splenda). They are artificial, man-made chemicals and have been reported to damage intestinal probiotic bacteria (flora). Just remember artificial sweeteners, while they don’t raise blood sugar, still cause an insulin response.
Insulin is what the Ketogenic Diet is trying to keep low, so eating artificial sweeteners can at times be counterproductive. Eat artificial sweeteners in moderation.
Now I am going to give you a few of my favorite delicious Keto meals.
Tuscan butter salmon. You can switch the salmon for almost any meat, like pork chops or chicken.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza. This is a must. It’s a little bit of work to make the crust, but it’s amazing.
Egg Roll in a Bowl. If you like egg rolls you will like this and it’s fast, cheap and easy.
Avocado deviled eggs. These are amazing and can be used with a Keto Egg Fast.
Non-breaded chicken wings or thighs with:
Bacon wrapped asparagus or Keto bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers.
Keto Cheesecake: I would use xylitol or erythritol as the sweetener, but that’s just a matter of taste. Caution, this cheesecake is addictive.
Snacks: cheese, green olives, and pecans or walnuts. Pickle wraps are one of my favorites. Use small dill pickles, spread cream cheese on your lunch meat of choice, lay the pickles on the lunchmeat and roll it up. You can cut them up into pieces if you would like.
Here is a delicious Keto Coffee recipe
Make sure you keep your gut microbiome healthy by eating probiotics. Fermented foods like milk kefir and beet kvass are excellent choices.