Foods to eat on a ketogenic diet are those that contain relatively high amounts of healthy carbohydrates, but very low amounts of saturated or “bad” carbs. On this diet, you eat large amounts of vegetables and lean meat, but no more than about three thousand calories per day. Most ketogenic diets recommend that you eat one gram of carbs for every pound of bodyweight you have. That’s about five grams of carbs for every two pounds of body weight. This is based on the premise that any higher than that would be toxic. The higher the carb content in your food the better it is for you.
For example, if you weigh two hundred pounds you should be able to get away with about twenty-four ounces of plain Greek yogurt or one tablespoon of Greek or Italian yogurt, as both contain about four grams of carbs. If you wanted a little bit of dessert you could get away with one ounce of cream cheese containing two grams of carbs, or one tablespoon of sour cream containing three grams of carbs. So, basically, you’re not supposed to get too creative with the cheese and sour cream and you should be safe.
The problem comes when someone starts adding complex carbs such as bread, pasta, and rice to their diet and claims that they are following the Paleo diet. In one study that was performed, adult women were given a variety of mixed nuts and one type of grain each day for four weeks. At the end of the study, there were significant differences in the amounts of fats, proteins, sodium, and potassium that were present in the subjects’ bodies. In one study, coconut oil caused an increase in insulin levels, which can lead to higher blood pressure. In another, coconut oil caused an increase in glucose levels and an increase in triglycerides. In yet another study, after four weeks, there was a significant increase in insulin resistance.
There are some health benefits to following both types of diets, however. In one study, adolescent girls who followed a low-fat, high-fiber, low-calorie ketogenic diet for six weeks experienced significant weight loss compared with those who ate a low-fat, high-fiber, low-calorie diet only. Also, while many people are skeptical about the effectiveness of this type of diet to help people lose weight, there are others who swear by it. In one study that lasted three months, participants who took part in a ketogenic diet that included coconut oil lost more body fat than those who took a diet that didn’t include coconut oil.
One thing to consider when trying to decide which of these diets to use is which ones include healthy carbohydrates that you can eat. The problem with most low-carb diets is that they are too low in carbohydrates. This means that your body has to work harder to break down the foods that you consume, resulting in more energy and sometimes weight gain. This is because your body has to use more calories and gets fewer nutrients to work with. So an increase in metabolism, which comes from eating more carbohydrates, may help you lose weight.
To make up for the lack of carbs in your diet, you can eat high-protein, low-carb or high-fiber foods, which may provide some temporary relief because your body will burn off some of the stored fat for fuel. The problem with high-protein, high-fiber foods is that they are typically rich in simple carbs, which can also be turned into sugar when consumed in great quantities. So if you want to avoid the potential health complications of a carb-free ketogenic diet, keep your intake of simple carbs to a minimum.
Cheese, however, is a good example of a food that you should consume in moderation. While you shouldn’t cut cheese out entirely, you may limit its consumption to one or two grams a day, which is about the amount that you would have in a few ounces of milk. One or two ounces of cottage cheese can contain about 20 grams of carbohydrates, so don’t think that a handful of cheese is enough to do you harm. About half an ounce a day of cheese is about the amount that you would have in about one to two cups of cottage cheese.
Finally, here’s something else to keep in mind when following a ketogenic diet. Remember that vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach, contain less than one gram of carbs per serving, so feel free to include them in your meals. But don’t go overboard and cook them! You can find vegetables that contain less than two grams of carbs per serving by shopping at the supermarket or health food store and making sure that the product is steamed or baked rather than boiled. Vegetables that are steamed often contain less than half a gram of carbs, while boiling vegetables contain more than twice as much.