National Keto Day: Eat Good, Eat Healthy
Have you ever heard of National Keto Day, celebrated on January 5?
If we had a dollar for every time we heard or saw these phrases, we’d likely have to take a lot of trips to the bank.
“I lost 30 pounds on keto.”
“I can’t eat that, I’m keto.”
“I’m finally in ketosis!”
Keto has been growing in popularity for several years, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. In fact, many people swear by it, saying that it is the easiest way to lose weight and keep it off – and others boasting that you still get to eat all the good stuff.
But there is more to being healthy than just losing weight. Since we just celebrated National Keto Day on January 5th, let’s shed some light on how you can do it the right way by eating good and healthy with delicious ingredients you can add to your keto recipes!
Keto is short for ketogenic and ketosis. This is a diet that consists of eating low-carb, high-fat, and moderate protein. In other words, the keto diet significantly reduces the number of carbs that you eat while significantly increasing the amount of fat. Then, you throw in some protein.
This combination is what has helped many lose a lot of weight.
In the average diet, carbs are highly prevalent – and they provide lots of energy. When they are burned, it turns into glucose. Remove them, and the body has to find an alternate source. It decides to burn fat, creating ketones. And your body goes into a state of ketosis.
You feel good when you are in ketosis. You feel vibrant and energetic with a clear mind. And, when done right, there may be many health benefits in addition to weight loss, including a lower risk of:
-Type 2 diabetes
Dirty Keto vs. Clean Keto
There are different ways to try this diet, dirty and clean keto.
Dirty keto is low in carbs and high in fat – just as a keto diet is supposed to be – but the choices in foods are not as good. For example, someone following a dirty keto diet is likely to order a greasy cheeseburger with extra cheese rather than a turkey burger sans cheese or a salad with grilled chicken and high-fat dressing.
This is a diet high in sodium and high in processed foods.
Just because it helps you reach ketosis and, in turn, lose weight does not mean it makes your body thrive. This is important to remember as many who get deeply involved in dirty keto put themselves at risk for increased blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and even obesity.
Does that mean there is a clean keto? Yep – there sure is. Clean keto focuses on higher quality foods, such as whole foods that are full of nutrients and nourishing for the body. This is the keto that can lead to incredible health benefits and longevity. And this is the keto you should be following should you choose to give this diet a try.
What Does a Typical Keto Meal Look Like?
Your typical keto meal will be a combination of foods that include high fats, moderate proteins, and low carbs. So this can include things like:
Crustless Ham and Swiss Quiche. This egg and cheese goodness with ham and even some veggies is a great way to kick off the day – or end it. Change it up and use turkey sausage, cheddar, and spinach for a different flavor. It is not only delicious but healthy, too.
Tuna salad with hardboiled eggs on top of a salad made of greens is a great idea for lunch. Top with a high-fat, low-carb dressing. Or how about a steak bowl filled with cauliflower rice, avocado, cheese, salsa, and steak bites or ground beef?
Keto Stir Fry is another great meal to have, with chunks of chicken (stick to dark meat) and lots of veggies like broccoli, onions, bell peppers, carrots (or whatever you have leftover in the fridge). All of this is thrown together with a keto-friendly stir-fry sauce made of soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, sweetener, and chicken broth. It is a great combination of all the flavors.
What Foods are Allowed/Forbidden on Keto?
Alright, so let’s break this down by lists. For those who are giving a new diet a try, sometimes having lists to pick from – or to avoid – can make things a little bit easier in the beginning.
You are allowed to have a few carbs. They shouldn’t account for more than 10% of your caloric intake. And they should be good carbs, too. Here are a few examples:
Proteins should make up no more than 20% of your caloric intake. Some great options for protein include:
-Dark meat chicken or turkey
-Cheeses, full fat
-Plain greek yogurt, full fat
And, finally, fats. You will need to have some fats stored in your kitchen for easy access to add to your foods, as they should make up between 70% and 80% of your caloric intake each day. Good fat options include:
-Nut butter (no sugar added)
So, what do you avoid?
You may be surprised by some of the foods you should avoid on a keto diet, including:
-Low-fat dairy foods
-Beans and lentils
-Almost all fruits
-Snack foods like chips, pretzels, cookies
Eating Good and Healthy on Keto
There are many benefits to giving clean keto a try. Meal planning and sticking to a healthy combination of fats, proteins, and low carbs can lead to weight loss and offer you some mental clarity. Whether or not it is a long-term possibility depends on the person.
Either way, it is always fun starting a new diet and experimenting with new recipes in your kitchen.