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Keto Facts

Can Keto Diet Affect Your Sex Drive?

Today’s not the day to be shy. That’s because we are going to explore whether the Keto diet can affect your libido.

This diet has become famous for the past years because of weight loss benefits. It is also believed to bring positive results to our overall health.

But what about your sex drive?

It is understandable if you are curious about how the diet can affect your sex drive. More so if you are experiencing a shift in libido yourself.

Will a ketogenic diet make your sex drive take a hit, or is it the ultimate secret to a better sex life? Let’s take a more intimate look.

A Rundown on Libido

To learn how keto could affect sex drive, we first need to understand what sex drive is and how it is controlled.

Sex drive, also referred to as libido, is a person’s impulse or desire to have sex. It’s part of the sexual response sequence, consisting of four stages: desire, arousal, orgasm, and resolution.

The first stage has the sexual drive as one of its elements, with motivation and sexual wish being two other components. Desire and drive to have sex depend on a wide array of factors, just some of which involve:

  • Sex hormones
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Age
  • Overall health
  • Stress levels
  • Relationship satisfaction
  • Body image
  • Social influences

As you can see, sex drive relies on internal (e.g., hormones) and external (e.g., relationship satisfaction) factors. The interaction between these different factors will conclude how high or low your sex life will be.

And since these factors are not static and change over a person’s lifetime, changes in sex drive happen and are normal.

In a Nutshell

Haven’t got time to read the entire article? No problem, here is a snapshot of what we learned about the keto diet and sex drive.

The keto diet will probably influence your sex drive. However, for many of us, that impression will be more positive than negative.

Transitioning to keto boosts your levels of sex hormones – estrogen in women and testosterone in men. This will help to improve your sex life. Of course, when you work out and lose weight, you will naturally develop your sex drive.

Any negative keto diet result upon sex drive will invariably happen in the first week or two of your transition for both men and women. You will feel tired, sluggish, fatigued, and lackluster throughout that period as your energy levels drop. 

This is when your body switches from blood glucose burning to a fat-burning energy system, and weight loss hits in. However, those lagging energy levels will soon bounce back.

When they do, your sex drive will supercharge itself – and you will be delighted that you turned over to the ketogenic diet. Your sexual desire and the pleasure of you and your partner will both go through the roof!

How Dietary Fat and Sex Hormones are Linked?

Most people are astonished to learn there’s even a connection between dietary fat intake and sex hormones.

Not only that, the link is much more vital than people realize. Here are some of them:

High Fat Diets Lead to an Increase in Estrogen

One little research found women who ate a low-fat diet (think: 20% of their calories from fat) had a significant decrease in estrogen levels. On the other hand, high-fat diets gave the opposite effect.

This is particularly important for women right before menopause. That’s because estrogen levels are already falling during this time.

Low levels of the female hormone can lead to a low sex drive and other unwanted symptoms. This includes vaginal dryness and disruptions in both your sleep and your mood.

These are not supporting your libido.

Another related, small research also found that low-fat diets lead to drops in two more critical female sex hormones, as we’ll discuss next.

Low-Fat Diets Lead to Decreases in Estradiol and Testosterone

Menopausal women also suffer a drop in other hormones like estradiol and testosterone.

While estradiol’s main job is to produce the female sex hormones, it also plays a crucial role in fat placement and sexual desire. These are two things any woman, no matter her age, can be impacted by.

As for testosterone, although it’s considered more of a male hormone, it’s just as significant in females.

Not only does it support a woman’s body to produce estrogen, but it also affects her libido, among other functions like keeping muscle mass strong.

As you age, there’s a spontaneous dip in these two essential sex hormones, so you don’t want your diet to add fuel to the fire by going low-fat.

These reductions in testosterone don’t just affect women either.

High-Fat Diets can Enhance Testosterone Levels in Men Too

For men, testosterone declines lead to low sex drive and erectile dysfunction, plus a reduction in energy levels, muscle mass, and hair loss.

It can also cause men to increase weight, specifically in their chest area, leading to gynecomastia, or “man boobs.”

Another little research found that when male participants ate a higher fat diet (minimum of 40% of their calories from fat), they had higher testosterone and free testosterone numbers.

Yet, the opposite was correct when participants consumed a low-fat diet.

One study verified low-fat diets could drop testosterone levels by as much as 12%. On the other hand, a high-fat diet may increase T levels by 13%.

How Fat Make a Difference

Now that we know that a low-fat diet can affect your sex hormones and libido let’s talk about another dietary concern.

And that is the type of fat you eat and how it can make a difference.

High Consumption of Trans Fat can Reduce Sex Drive in Both Men and Women

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can increase your sex drive. However, the fatty trans fat that’s found in fried foods does not act in your favor.

And this negative effect is shown in both men and women.

In men, trans fat can lead to irregular sperm production. Women may have difficulty with gestation anytime there’s an increase in trans fat intake.

The message is clear here: Avoid trans fat and stick to healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Your sex drive will thank you for it.

Since dietary fat can change your libido, the logical next step is to know how the fat you may carry around each day affects it.

With Fat Loss Comes Hormonal Changes

Consuming high-fat diets comes with the natural benefits of weight loss. But did you know that weight loss, in general, could also point to a boost in your sex drive?

In one research of over 275 overweight post-menopausal women, scientists discovered an average of 17-pound weight loss. This triggered a drop in free estradiol, estradiol, and free testosterone.

We’ve mentioned that low levels of estradiol and testosterone can lead to a low sex drive. So, what makes it a good thing?

The extra baggage of being overweight can lead to hormonal overdrive. And it has the same outcome as having a hormonal deficit, which is a low sex drive.

In this case, however, losing weight helped women manage their hormones to normal levels.

The key is finding the right balance where your body has just the right amount of hormones and nothing more. Luckily, a ketogenic diet can help do just that.

There’s also one more extra benefit to weight loss that can help your sex drive.

Weight, Confidence, and Sex Drive

Sure, the excess weight you’re carrying around influences your hormones, and that’s a bummer. But it probably strikes your self-confidence way more.

And when this is low, you can essentially bet your sex drive will be too.

When you look good, you feel good. When your clothes fit a little snugger than you’d like, this can alter how you feel both inside and out.

Researches have shown this exact situation can lead to insecurities, particularly ones that surface in the bedroom. This makes you less likely to be in the state to bare all.

In another research, it was discovered that men with a waist size of 40 or above doubled their chances of having erectile dysfunction, another major mood killer.

Lucky for you, a high (healthy) fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet practice like keto can help you stop all these issues simultaneously.

You’ll be able to enhance your hormone’s natural balance while also losing weight and boosting your sex drive. That will build your confidence in and out of the bedroom.

Even still, aside from your dietary fat consumption and weight loss efforts, there are a few more reasons your libido could be less than active.

Secondary Reasons for a Low Sex Drive

If your sex drive is still not-so-hot and you’re already adding healthy fats to your diet while losing weight, here are some possibilities:

You’re Still Transitioning Toward Ketosis

For readers who have already begun transitioning to a ketogenic diet, you may not be feeling your best.

As your body adapts from using carbs and glucose for energy to fat and ketones, you may encounter unwanted and uncomfortable symptoms.

The most obvious is the keto flu, but it’s a low libido for a small handful.

One of the causes your sex drive may be low during this time is simply because the change can affect your energy and mood levels.

When these are down, you won’t seem like doing anything — mainly having sex.

So if you’re encountering this, it’s essential to stay patient and stick with it. This won’t remain forever.

And once you enter ketosis, you’ll obtain all the positive benefits I mentioned earlier.

The same will occur with this next issue.

You’re Not Eating Enough Calories

Keto or not, you must eat adequate calories each day.

This guarantees your body has a sufficient supply of fuel to run all your essential bodily functions efficiently.

It’s also necessary for reaching ketosis.

See, without sufficient calories, your body goes into starvation mode. This is a critical thing for your health, weight, and sex drive.

When this occurs, your body holds on to your extra fat since it’s uncertain of when it will get adequate energy again to perform optimally.

This can also upset your hormones.

That’s why it’s essential to determine how many calories you need each day and then ensure you’re catching them every time.

Our final libido-lowering error may be one you haven’t thought of.

Alcohol Lowers Your Sex Drive

While some alcohols are safe to drink on keto, they’re a total buzzkill when it comes to your keto sex drive.

While alcohol may give you liquid courage, it won’t help you climax.

Some study even shows alcohol can lead to erectile dysfunction and less stimulation. This means that your orgasms will undoubtedly suffer if you can even get to that point.

And men aren’t the only ones hit by the bottle.

Women also encounter fewer sensations down there and can impact their chances of fertility long-term.

So just because your favorite tequila drink has virtually no carbs and clicks into your macros doesn’t suggest you should go overboard here.

Not only will doing so cause you to increase in weight, but it will also cause your sex drive to take a big hit too.

If you intend to enjoy a cocktail, cap it at two and be smart about it.

Remember, drinking adds useless calories to your daily budget and can slow your fat-burning potential.

Plus, being on keto indicates there’s a good chance your tolerance is no longer where it used to be. So watch out because it’s going to take fewer drinks to feel their impacts.

While you’re avoiding or cutting back on your alcohol, it won’t harm to add in a few libido-boosting foods to your diet either.

11 Foods for a Better Sex Drive

These keto-friendly foods may provide you the natural lift your sex drive needs to kick back into gear:

  1. Blackberries
  2. Blueberries
  3. Broccoli
  4. Dark chocolate (get as close to 100% cacao to be low carb)
  5. Eggs
  6. Pumpkin seeds
  7. Salmon
  8. Sardines
  9. Spinach
  10. Steak
  11. Tuna

Dairy, processed foods, sugary drinks, and fried and carb-laden meals can cause your sex drive to diminish. Your best bet is to restrict your consumption of such foods.

Better yet, avoid these foods altogether.

Improve Your Sex Drive with Keto Today

By now, you have a better knowledge of how dietary fat and weight loss can impact your sex drive. So you’re ready to fix your situation starting today.

You can start by reducing your alcohol consumption. Next is to increase your healthy fat consumption by adding the 11 libido-boosting foods listed above to your recipes.

And if you’re just adjusting to keto, give your sex drive some time. Once you pass the first stages, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the positive perks previously mentioned.

Just keep in mind to always meet your calorie and macronutrient goals. If you don’t hit those targets every day, you’ll kiss both ketosis and your sex drive goodbye.

The keto diet has many adherents, but some take the time to look past this diet’s weight loss benefits. But as far as your sex drive goes, a keto diet can transform a multiplicity of factors directly linked to your sexual health. This explains why it might influence your sex drive in a variety of ways.

Although the diet might initially decrease your sex drive, it will result in a greater libido level once you adjust to the diet.

Categories
Keto Facts Keto Nutrition

Perfect Keto Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day

It seems like everyone honors Saint Patrick’s Day, whether they are Irish or not. With all the drinking, dinners, and green-tinted desserts floating around, it can be challenging to stick to your Keto diet. 

But don’t worry, you do not need the luck to follow your diet plan. That’s because we have rounded up some Keto-friendly recipes that you can whip on St. Patrick’s day.

Keto Creamy Meatballs Recipe with Fried Cabbage

This keto creamy meatballs recipe is delicious. Plus, you can serve these to your whole family.

You can also make recipe Paleo or on AIP (autoimmune protocol) and experience sumptuous Keto meatballs. And most people won’t even recognize just how healthy of a meal this even is!

Of course, you can also increase this recipe to make a bigger batch for the whole family or a dinner party.

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

  • 12 oz (340 g) ground beef (or ground turkey or ground chicken or ground lamb)
  • 2 Tablespoons (20 g) garlic powder
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 4 Tablespoons (60 ml) coconut oil to cook with

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, finely diced (use beets for AIP)
  • 2 Tablespoons (2 g) cilantro, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or finely diced
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) coconut oil (if needed)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut cream (from the top of a refrigerated can of coconut milk)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (omit pepper for AIP)

For the fried cabbage:

  • 1/2 small head of cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste (omit pepper for AIP)

How to Make

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs and shape them into 1-inch balls.
  2. Add the 4 Tablespoons of coconut oil to a very deep pan/pot on high heat and liberally brown the meatballs on all sides. Place on a plate to rest.
  3. In the same pot, melt the 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (if additional oil is needed), add the onions and fry until lightly browned. Add in all the other sauce ingredients except for the coconut cream.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the cream. Cook until the cream is bubbling and return the meatballs to the sauce. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. When meatballs are 5 minutes away from being done, melt 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil in a large hot pan. Throw in the cabbage and fry until the cabbage has softened. Season to your preferred taste.
  6. Serve the fried cabbage alongside the meatballs in sauce.

Homemade Corned Beef with Low Carb Mustard Sauce

Corned beef is an excellent example of turning a cheap cut of meat into a delicious and hearty meal.

Cooked just right in a pressure cooker, corned beef comes out soft and delicious.

This corned beef recipe is ideally served with a white sauce or, in this case, our low-carb mustard sauce.

Ingredients 

Corned Beef

  • 4.2-pound Pickled Beef
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Onion Large Dice
  • 3 cloves garlic Cut in half
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Thyme
  • 1 Carrot Large Dice
  • 1 tbsp Whole Peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 34 oz Beef Stock

Low Carb Mustard Sauce

  • 2.4 oz Butter
  • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1.5 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 tbsp Parsley finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 pinch Salt 

How to Make

Corned Beef

  1. Rinse and dry the pickled beef with a paper towel. Prepare your ingredients.
  2. In your pressure cooker, saute the carrot, onion, thyme, and garlic in olive oil for 4 minutes over high heat.
  3. Add the peppercorns, red wine vinegar, and salt and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the beef and pour over the beef stock. You may need to add a little more water or less stock depending on the size of the beef and size of the pressure cooker. You want the beef to be only just covered.
  5. Bring the stock up to a simmer and fix the pressure cookers lid tightly to the base. Continue cooking on high heat until your pressure cooker begins to release steam, then drop the heat to low and leave to cook for 2 hours – or 1 hour per 1kg/2.2lb.
  6. After 2 hours, turn off the heat and leave for 20 minutes to release the pressure slowly. Carefully open the pressure valve on the lid to release any excess pressure, and take off the cover.
  7. Gently remove the corned beef. If you have a large piece, we recommend using a set of tongs to grip the meat from the top and a wooden spoon or lifter under the bottom to support the weight.
  8. Slice up your corned beef and enjoy. We discard the cooking liquid and vegetables as the pot’s contents are very salty. It can be strained and used to flavor soups if you desire.

Low Carb Mustard Cream Sauce

  1. Mix the butter and mustard in a small pan over low heat
  2. Add the cream and mix. Initially, the butter and the cream will stay separate but will come together as the heat rises.
  3. Be very careful not to boil the sauce, as it will not combine. As the cream reduces, the sauce will thicken. You want to reduce the cream by one-half.
  4. Add the chopped parsley, pepper, and salt, and drizzle over the corned beef to serve.
  5. We recommend serving it with our Keto Cauliflower Colcannon.

Slow-Cooked Corned Beef Brisket and Roasted Cabbage

Corned beef is exceptional when you brine it yourself, but you can spare yourself a lot of time by buying one that’s already brined.

Sadly, many pre-brined briskets have unwanted ingredients. But it’s a good thing that US Wellness Meats has a perfectly pre-brined corned beef brisket. 

It does have a tiny bit of xylitol in it, but it is so minuscule that it shouldn’t have any impact on anyone, and it’s made from birch wood and not gross corn. If you don’t want to do that you could always bring your own and prepare it without sugar.

Ingredients 

Slow-Cooked Corned Beef Brisket

  • 2½ lb corned beef brisket
  • ½ medium onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 cup chicken or beef stock

Roasted Cabbage

  • 1 head of green cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • salt and pepper to taste 

How to Make

Slow-Cooked Corned Beef Brisket

  1. Chop onion, carrot, and celery stalk coarsely and place in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  2. Pour chicken stock over onion, carrot, and celery, and place corned beef brisket on top of veggies in the slow cooker.
  3. Place the top on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. That’s it!

Roasted Cabbage

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Slice head of cabbage into eight wedges and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Brush both sides with avocado oil and sprinkle salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste on both sides.
  4. Place cabbage wedges into the oven for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through until you get nice crispy brown edges.

Note: Serve each dish with some slices of corned beef brisket, a cabbage wedge, and some of the vegetables from the slow cooker on the side. You can also choose to spoon the juices from the slow cooker over the sliced brisket because it’s incredibly divine.

Leek and Cauliflower Soup with Coconut Cream

Did you know that 100 grams of cauliflower only has two net grams of carbohydrates? Compared that to the same amount of white potatoes that have 15 net grams!

So, while potatoes are Paleo-approved, it’s still best to avoid them if you are watching your weight. The same thing goes if you have blood sugar problems or an autoimmune condition.

Moreover, cauliflower is one of those enchanting foods. Like coconuts, they are super versatile and can be in a ton of creative ideas to replace other foods.

For example, you can create creamy mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. Food processed cauliflower florets produce excellent “rice.” Roasted cauliflower can be used as a fun popcorn option. And you can even use cauliflower to create flatbread!

Ingredients 

  • 1 large leek (approx 10 oz)
  • 1/2 cauliflower (approx 10 oz)
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream, warmed + 2 additional Tablespoons (30 ml) for drizzling
  • 3 cups chicken or bone broth
  • Salt to taste 

How to Make

  1. Cut the cauliflower and leek into small pieces.
  2. Place the cauliflower and leek into a large pot with the chicken or bone broth (or use a pressure cooker).
  3. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour or until tender.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree the vegetables to create a smooth soup.
  5. Add in the coconut cream and salt to taste and mix well.

Note: If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can take the vegetables out, let cool briefly, puree in a regular blender, and then put back into the pot.

Cabbage Ground Beef Stir Fry

Cabbage is excellent for digestion, so for paleo and keto dieters, this aligns with increased meat consumption.

Tomatoes are a part of this recipe, so there is a moderate watch out for people who have trouble with nightshades.

Nightshades, as may or may not be aware, can cause digestive difficulties for some people. If that’s you, then beware. Otherwise, enjoy this recipe fully as part of your diet plans.

Ingredients 

  • 3 Garlic Cloves (roughly chopped)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup yellow onions (finely chopped)
  • 2 jalapenos (de-seeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 medium yellow or red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 12 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 medium-sized cabbage (finely shredded)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup cilantro (roughly chopped)
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp smoked sweet paprika 

How to Make

  1. Let the ground beef reach room temperature.
  2. Crush the garlic and mix well into the ground beef and half of the salt, pepper, and paprika. For best results, let sit for an hour.
  3. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet, add the onions, jalapenos, bell pepper, and salt. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking until most of the juice has been absorbed for about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Stir the meat into the pan and cook over medium-high heat, occasionally stirring for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add the cabbage, water, and half the cilantro and continue cooking over medium heat.
  7. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika to the desired level of seasoning and season from time to time as the dish cooks for about 15 minutes. The dish should be moist but not juicy.
  8. Serve with remaining cilantro.

Low Carb Lamb Stew

This soothing low carb lamb stew is made in the Instant Pot or slow cooker. Serve it with cauliflower rice!

A meat stew cooked in the slow cooker is one of those recipes that you think will be low carb but can be deceptively high.

This is usually due to the addition of starchy root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots. Not every vegetable stands up to low and slow cooking, though, so you’re required to choose your alternatives wisely.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless lamb stewing meat
  • 8 oz turnips, peeled and chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced or quartered
  • 14 oz can of beef broth
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch xanthan gum, optional
  • chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley to garnish

How to Make

  1. Add the lamb, prepared turnip, and sliced or quartered mushrooms to an Instant Pot or slow cooker bowl.
  2. Next, add beef broth, onion powder, garlic paste, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
  3. Cook on high heat for 3 hours, or low heat for 6 hours (slow cooker setting if using the Instant Pot). Check for seasoning again and add more if needed.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the lamb and vegetables to a serving dish, then spoon over some of the sauce.
  5. Garnish with chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley.

Note: If you wish for a slightly thicker liquid, whisk in a pinch of xanthan gum after you have removed the lamb and veggies. 

Leftover Corned Beef Casserole with Cabbage

This keto-friendly baked corned beef and cabbage casserole recipe is an excellent way to use up your leftovers. Moreover, this recipe fuses all the delicious flavors of St. Patrick’s Day into one super simple dish.

Ingredients 

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup low carb milk I used coconut milk in a carton
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ head cabbage cooked and chopped
  • 1 pound leftover corned beef cut into pieces and warmed
  • 4 green onions 

How to Make

  1. Cut cauliflower into florets and steam or boil until softened.
  2. Place cauliflower into a food processor with butter and pulse until mashed.
  3. Add milk, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to cauliflower and puree until smooth.
  4. Transfer to a 9×13-inch baking pan. Fold in corned beef and cabbage.
  5. Cover with foil and bake at 325°F for about 20 minutes or until heated throughout.
  6. Sprinkle with sliced green onion tops to serve.

Keto Matcha Fudge Fat Bombs

These Keto Matcha Fudge Fat Bombs are an excellent way to stoke ketosis! The ingredients of green tea matcha, MCT powder, coconut oil, and butter are a perfect “Fat burning” combination.

Keto matcha fudge fat bombs have a sharp white chocolate and vanilla flavor that pairs perfectly with green tea.

Ingredients 

  • 3.5 ounces cocoa butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar-free maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 scoops matcha MCT powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence 

How to Make

  1. Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and place over low heat.
  2. Heat until the cocoa butter has melted. Stir to combine all ingredients.
  3. Pour the mixture into an 8×8 inch square cake pan, lined with parchment paper.
  4. Set in the fridge for 3 hours, or until firm.
  5. Cut into 24 pieces and serve.

Irish Soda Bread

Make it at least once a year, always around St. Patrick’s Day, and fall in love with how it slathers its crumbliness in good Irish butter like KerryGold.

It’s got a lovely crumb and had a certain mild sweetness. This year, however, your low-carb dreams of yummy soda bread slices for St. Paddy’s Day will be dashed. And don’t forget to remember the miracle of almond flour.

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp sweetener
  • 1 oz raisins or currants
  • 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream, heavy cream, or half and half 

How to Make

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch cast-iron skillet or pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the dry ingredients and raisins and mix well, mixing in any clumps.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  4. Form an oval loaf on the skillet or pan and score the top in an X with a knife. Sprinkle with additional sweetener if you like.
  5. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until golden brown, and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Allow cooling for a few minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Once fully cooled, slice with a serrated knife and serve with good Irish butter.

Final Thoughts

In celebration of St. Patrick’s day, people will mark this special day with traditional Irish meals or add lots of green to their dinner table.

Making Irish meals Keto-friendly allows you to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day without falling off the wagon. Hopefully, you’ve found these listed above recipes helpful and enticing.

Categories
Keto Facts Keto Nutrition Keto Reviews

Can Ketogenic Diet Relieve Depression?

There is no denying that the Keto diet is known to help with weight loss. But did you know that it is also believed to help alleviate depression?

The Keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein diet. This diet is commonly recommended among people who suffer from seizures and epilepsy.

Such, diet allows you to reach a state of Ketosis, wherein the body burns fat as body fuel instead of carbohydrates. This explains why the Keto diet has become popular among those who want to lose weight fast.

But because the diet can influence the brain and nervous system, it is also believed to affect someone’s mood.

This article reviews whether the Keto diet may alleviate or worsen depression. Read on to know what the science says and how you can leverage the Keto diet if you’re feeling down. 

Depression and Keto: What Science Says?

The Keto diet has been around for a long time. It was first introduced in the 1920s to help people with epilepsy.

Researchers discovered that higher levels of blood Ketones cause fewer epileptic seizures in patients. Thus, the Keto can reshape and change the chemistry of the brain.

Since depression and the brain are connected, researchers have examined the possibility of using Keto as a treatment for depression. And the outcomes are promising.

In one research, rats put on a Keto diet ran around more than a control group. The latter shows low physical activity, which is used as a marker of depression). Thus, the researchers concluded that rats on the Keto diet are less likely to show “behavioral despair,” akin to rats dosed with antidepressants.

In another research, 8-week-old mice exposed to the Keto diet in the womb but who ate a regular diet once born were less likely to be depressed or anxious. They are also more physically active than those who were fed a usual diet in utero and postnatally.

The brain volume of mice on Keto also differed from that of the mice fed a regular diet. The decisions suggest that the Keto diet can adjust the brain’s size, at least before birth.

Other research also shows that Keto affects brain structure. In one report, Keto raised the thickness of blood vessels in the brain. In another study, it was revealed that Ketones protect brain cells from injury.

How Keto May Affect Mood and Relieve Depression

The Keto diet exerts some positive impacts on the brain and nervous system. It seems to have beneficial effects for epilepsy and migraine, other seizure strikes, and Alzheimer’s dementia.

What’s more, some scientific proof supports using the Keto diet to help treat mood disorders. This includes depression, as the diet may positively influence your brain and nervous system in many ways.

Below are some of how a Ketogenic diet may lessen depression. However, note that much of the supporting study has been conducted in animals, and more human studies are required.

Stabilizes Energy Levels

If you’re used to eating oatmeal for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch, then you’re probably accustomed to energy highs and lows.

High-carb foods create rapid spikes in blood sugar and just as rapid declines. Energy crashes alter your mood and make you feel anxious and depressed (it’s described as being “hangry” for a reason).

When your blood sugar starts to fall, your brain panics, thinking it won’t get more fuel to operate. This stress response can create depression or anxiety.

One research found that diabetic patients with fluctuating blood sugar levels exhibited higher rates of depression than patients with more constant blood sugar levels.

Ketones provide a critical source of energy for your brain since they’re metabolized quicker than glucose. Ketones give a longer-lasting, more stable source of energy.

And since your body knows it can also move into your fat stores for fuel, your brain doesn’t panic, thinking you’re running out of food.

Lowers Inflammation

When you turn to Keto, you’re turning your back on inflammatory, treated foods. This includes bread, cereal, and pasta that can harm the gut. 

Instead, you’re loading your plate with decent sources of protein, nourishing fats, and fresh vegetables. And this food can restore gut health and lower inflammation.

In one research, middle-aged people who ate a whole-food diet were less likely to be diagnosed with depression than those who don’t.

Consuming anti-inflammatory food is going to have a direct impact on your mood. Research reveals a connection between inflammation and depression:

  • Depressed people have immense levels of proinflammatory cytokines. These are molecules that the body discharges in response to inflammation.
  • People with cancer or autoimmune diseases show more excellent rates of depression. While it’s true that being sick can cause one to feel depressed, scientists think that the likely culprit is inflammation.

Keto Promotes Neurogenesis

The Keto diet can improve your rate of neurogenesis (how frequently you make new brain cells).

Why is this necessary for mood?

A profound rate of neurogenesis is linked to mood difficulties, including depression. A higher percentage, on the other hand, increases your emotional resilience. 

Diet is a crucial player in managing your rate of neurogenesis. Some foods reduce it down, while others speed it up.

A high-sugar diet (i.e., as a contrast to Keto) decreases your neurogenesis rate by spiking the insulin levels in your blood. Too much insulin diminishes all your organs, including your brain.

In one study, rats who ate a diet high in sugar and oxidized (damaged) fats exhibited diminished cognitive function after just two months. The section of the brain that was most involved was the hippocampus, where neurogenesis takes place.

Fat Feeds Your Brain

All that healthy fat that you intake on Keto feeds your brain, keeping your moods steady. Your brain is made up of approximately 60 percent fat, and it requires plenty of good fats to keep it running. 

Numerous researches confirm that omega-3 fatty acids can help overcome depression. You can find omega-3 in wild fish, grass-fed beef, and fish oils.

In one study, two varieties of omega-3 fatty acids called EPA and DHA helped serotonin’s secretion. It is a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger) that helps improve your mood. Low serotonin levels are connected to depression.

May Increase GABA

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is another neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in managing stress, anxiety, and mood.

Low GABA levels have been connected to clinical depression.

Animal studies have discovered that following a Ketogenic diet may improve circulating levels of GABA. However, more research is required.

May Improve Mitochondrial Function

Mitochondria are cellular components that create the energy cells need to operate. Like producing small amounts of energy for the cell to function correctly, mitochondrial dysfunction has been involved in depression.

People with depression have lesser adenosine triphosphate levels (ATP). It is an energy-giving compound in the brain.

However, Ketogenic diets may make it easier to provide ATP in people with mitochondrial dysfunction.

May Decrease Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress pertains to cellular damage induced by free radicals. These are volatile compounds you’re exposed to in your everyday life, and they can harm cells if they build up in your body.

Oxidative stress is linked to numerous diseases and health conditions. Greater levels of this stress have also been seen in people with depression.

However, following a Ketogenic diet may increase oxidative stress markers, develop your antioxidant status, and help reverse some of the damage caused by free radicals. This can lead to enhanced depressive symptoms.

May Regulate Insulin Function

Insulin, a hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar levels, may also play a role in depression and mood.

Some people, particularly those who follow a carb-laden diet, can develop insulin resistance. This occurs when the body doesn’t react to insulin as well as it should.

Insulin resistance is connected to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and depression.

However, following a Ketogenic diet, which restricts sugar and starch, can help you keep your blood sugar levels stable. This may also develop your insulin sensitivity.

How Keto may Cause Depression

On the other hand, the Keto diet may produce depressive symptoms or exacerbate depression in some people.

Keto can be hard to adjust to, and some general early symptoms of your body turning into Ketosis — identified as the “Keto flu” — can be challenging to control. Keto flu can include headaches, sleep disturbances, cramping, and fatigue.

However, signs occasionally manage if fluid and electrolyte intake is increased.

Although dealing with these symptoms may make you feel depressed.

You’re Not Eating Enough Nutrient-Dense Foods

It’s possible to catch Keto and still be living off junk food. It’s identified as “dirty Keto.” You follow the same analysis of fats, proteins, and carbs as regular Keto, but without being strict about counting your macros.

This means you can have a bunless bacon cheeseburger and zero-net carb soda for lunch.

Eating foods less in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes won’t do your mood any favors. Your body relies on nutrient-dense foods, especially high-quality protein and healthy fats. Doing so enables the body to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which help support mood. 

If you don’t eat sufficient of these foods, your brain cells can’t interact with each other as effectively and may transfer the wrong signals. The outcome? Your performance sanctions, and you may feel anxious and depressed.

Inflammatory foods can also tilt the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. 

Your gut and brain are constantly interacting with one another (it’s known as the gut-brain axis). And studies show that a gut imbalance can lead to depression and a host of other diseases and conditions.

You Have Low Levels of Electrolytes

When you first start Keto, your kidneys begin to urinate more water as your body switches from burning glucose to Ketones for energy.

This flush of water estimates the climactic weight loss people often experience when they first go on a diet. However, the downside is that your body wastes valuable electrolytes like magnesium, potassium, and salt.

Low levels of electrolytes have been connected to depression. It’s relatively simple to hack your electrolyte levels. Make sure you’re taking 2 to 2 ½ teaspoons of salt a day (Himalayan pink salt is best), and think of supplementing it with potassium (200-800 g a day) and magnesium.

Depression and Keto: A Sense of Isolation

Any diet that limits certain food groups can probably leave you feeling socially isolated, leading to depression.

When you meet your friends at an Italian restaurant and saw them all ordering pizza, you may feel left out. This sense of isolation can influence your mood.

Keto can have an impact on your socialization. And we all know how spending time with friends and family is crucial to our mental health.

5 Things to Do When Feeling Depressed Following the Keto Diet

It’s crucial to remember that there’s a difference between “feeling depressed” and having a depressive disorder.

It’s natural to feel sad sometimes, but if it’s affecting your capability to live your life normally, you should seek professional help.

If you feel that the diet itself makes you feel depressed because it’s excessively limiting, has unpleasant side effects, or is adding to social isolation, you should discontinue it.

Keto is not the only successful weight loss diet, and you can still lose weight by following other less-restrictive diets. But if you’re using the diet to control your blood sugar or epilepsy, you should discuss it with your healthcare provider for further guidance.

If you want to continue the diet, here are some approaches you can consider:

Get Support

Here’s the number one thing to consider about mental health: It’s not a field you want to navigate alone.

If you’ve begun feeling depressed while following a low-carb diet, it’s crucial to reach out for support. It can be from any of your trusted family members or a close friend, or a therapist.

A lot can trigger depression, and talking to someone can assist you in sifting through possible causes and drawing up a game plan.

Eat Low-toxin, Anti-inflammatory Foods

You want to concentrate on high-quality proteins, healthy fats, and lots of vegetables to boost your mood.

Perform Cyclically Ketosis

Cyclical Ketosis (aka carb cycling) requires carbo-loading one day of the week. The other six days, you stick with the regular low-carb Keto diet plan.

Supplementing healthy carbs like sweet potatoes and white rice once a week carries lots of perks, including improved mood. It’s easier to follow Keto when you can systematically satisfy your carb cravings and enjoy the occasional meal out.

Certain carbs, notably resistant starch, feed your good bacteria, and a balanced gut equals a balanced mood. 

Reap Mood-Boosting Supplements

Consider using mood-boosting supplements like zinc, glutathione, and l-tyrosine. An exceptionally potent supplement called 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) improves the production of serotonin in the brain. This can help balance your mood and enhance sleep.

Wait Out the Keto Flu

If you’ve only newly transitioned to the Keto diet, your symptoms may be tied to the Keto flu. Setting out the first few days and making sure to drink plenty of fluids and supplement electrolytes will make the shift easier.

Final Thoughts

Keto is a recommended diet for weight loss and blood sugar management, but it was intended to treat epilepsy. It can also have other powerful impacts on the brain and may influence mood disorders.

There is an increase in evidence suggesting that the Keto may help with depression in specific ways. However, the limiting nature of the diet may leave some people feeling depressed.

If you’re diagnosed with depression, you should seek help from a qualified mental healthcare provider. The same thing goes when you’re considering following the Keto to help alleviate depression.

Categories
Keto Facts

Simple and Easy Keto Recipes

While it is imperative to eat healthy and delicious food, busy people do not have the time to cook. Luckily, there are now simple keto no-cooking meals that are ideal for those who lack time to cook.

Below we’ve collected delicious keto recipes for lunch and dinner that you can cook or prepare in 20 minutes or less:

Italian Keto Plate

Authentic Food on a plate. Prosciutto. Mozzarella. Tomatoes and olives. Because a keto dinner doesn’t have to be hard.

Ingredients

  • 7 oz. (1¾ cups) fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh mozzarella ball in brine.
  • 7 oz. prosciutto, sliced
  • 2 (8 oz.) tomatoes
  • 1⁄3 cup olive oil
  • 10 green olives
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Put tomatoes, prosciutto, cheese, and olives on a plate. Serve with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

PRO TIP: Swap out the prosciutto for another fatty Italian deli meat. Soppressata, coppa, or speck come to mind. What’s your favorite?

Antipasto Salad

This filling antipasto salad is stuffed with traditional Italian cold cuts and covered with crumbled chili and basil. It’s low carb, packed with flavor, and needs zero cooking.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. Romaine lettuce, chopped into pieces
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 5 oz. (1¼ cups) fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into small pieces
  • 3 oz. Parma ham, “prosciutto”, thinly sliced
  • 3 oz. salami, thinly sliced
  • 5 oz. canned artichokes in water drained and quartered
  • 3 oz. canned roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1 oz. (4 tbsp) sun-dried tomatoes in oil strained and chopped
  • 1 oz. (31⁄3 tbsp) olives, whole and pitted, or sliced
  • 1⁄3 cup fresh basil
  • 1 red chili pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

Preparation

  1. Chop or tear the lettuce into smaller pieces. Distribute it on plates or a large platter.
  2. Add the parsley.
  3. Layer the antipasto ingredients on top.
  4. In a mortar or small bowl, add basil, finely chopped chili, and salt. Crush with a wooden spoon, or use the mortar and pestle. Sprinkle over salad and drizzle with olive oil.

PRO TIP: To keep the lettuce crisp, make sure to add the dressing at the time of serving, not beforehand.

This salad is based on classic Italian cold cuts, but you can always personalize it to your liking. For example, you can replace ham and salami with tuna or mackerel in tomato sauce.

You can also add chicken leftovers, marinated shrimp, or crab meat. For some extra protein, add some boiled eggs.

Low-carb Sashimi Salad with Sriracha Mayo

Delicate sashimi-grade raw salmon gets a touch of zesty mayo sauce and a side salad of green crispy veggies and creamy avocado. It’s the ideal low-carb, keto lunch with loads of protein and healthy fat — and an excellent taste.

Ingredients

Salmon

  • 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, roasted
  • ½ red chili pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1½ lbs raw sashimi-grade salmon, boneless fillets 0.15″ (4 mm) slices
  • salt (optional)

Salad

  • 2 (1 oz.) scallions sliced
  • 1 (11 oz.) cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 (7 oz.) avocado, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce

Sriracha mayo

  • ½ tbsp sriracha sauce
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed

Garnish (optional)

  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • ½ red chili pepper
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Preparation

  1. Put all the ingredients for the salmon marinade in a bowl and stir. Add the salmon and mix, so everything gets covered.
  2. Prepare the salad and mix it with the rice vinegar, soy sauce, and cilantro. Let it marinate for at least 10 minutes. Divide it evenly on plates.
  3. Mix all the ingredients for the sriracha mayo in a bowl.
  4. Add the marinated salmon to the plates and drizzle with the sriracha mayo. Garnish with extra cilantro, red chili, and lime. Serve right away.

PRO TIP: Sashimi or sushi-grade salmon is a deep-freezing of the fresh fish at a specific temperature and time. Typically it is a week at -4°F (-20°C) or 15 hours at -31°F (-35°C). It is found most often in the freezers of Japanese food stores or at high-quality fish shops.

Keto Salmon-filled Avocados

Avocado + smoked salmon = no cooking.

This creamy recipe is a sumptuous breakfast, quick lunch, or light dinner. You can also serve it as a bright appetizer at your following dinner party.

So simple, so tasty, so keto.

Ingredients

  • 2 (14 oz.) avocados
  • 6 oz. smoked salmon
  • ¾ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • Sour cream in this recipe, we use sour cream, which includes 19% fat.
  • or mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (optional)

Preparation

  1. Cut avocados in half and remove the pit.
  2. Place a dollop of crème Fraiche or mayonnaise in the avocado’s hollow and add smoked salmon on top.
  3. Season to taste with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice for extra flavor (and keep the avocado from turning brown).

PRO TIP: This keto plate can be served with any other fatty fish type—boiled, fried, or smoked. It tastes even better with a little fresh dill!

Keto Salami and Brie Cheese Plate

Authentic food on a plate. Salami. Brie cheese. Lettuce, avocado, and macadamia nuts. Because a keto dinner doesn’t require to be complicated.

Ingredients

  • 7 oz. Brie cheese
  • 4 oz. salami
  • 2 oz. (1½ cups) lettuce
  • 1 (7 oz.) avocado
  • 2½ oz. macadamia nuts
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Preparation

Put cheese, salami, lettuce, avocado, and nuts on a plate. Drizzle oil over the salad and serve.

PRO TIP: If you don’t have salami, any fatty deli meat will do. Pepperoni, soppressata, coppa, or speck are all delicious substitutes, so experiment and find your favorite!

Seafood Salad with Avocado

A fresh and tasty seafood salad with shrimp and salmon are excellent sources of protein. When avocado, mayonnaise, and sour cream are added, the blend of healthy fats makes this an ideal keto meal.

If you’re dairy-free, eliminate the sour cream and add a bit more mayo.

Ingredients

Salad dressing

  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1⁄3 cup sour cream
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup (1½ oz.) red onions, finely minced
  • ¼ tsp white pepper

Seafood salad

  • 1 lb cooked shrimp, chopped
  • 1 lb cooked salmon, boneless fillets, bite-sized pieces
  • 2½ oz. (61⁄3 tbsp) tomatoes, chopped (optional)
  • 1½ oz. cucumber, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 1 (7 oz.) avocado, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, roughly sliced 

Preparation

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine lime juice, mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, salt, pepper, and onion. Set aside.
  2. In a larger bowl, toss together salmon, shrimp, avocado, cucumber, and tomato.
  3. Pour mayonnaise dressing over the seafood and vegetables and toss gently to combine.
  4. Let chill 20-30 minutes before serving.

PRO TIP: You can also use drained, canned salmon and precooked shrimp to make this recipe more quickly.

Keto Oven-baked Brie Cheese

Pure. Creamy. Warming. Keto. Experience the exquisite flavor of warm Brie, matched with a rich blend of fresh herbs and toasted nuts.

Your following cocktail party just got easier! Brie works excellently as a dessert course, too.

Ingredients

  • 9 oz. Brie cheese or Camembert cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • 2 oz. pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Place the cheese on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or in a small nonstick baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, herb, and nuts with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place the nut mixture on the cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is warm and soft and nuts are toasted. Serve warm or lukewarm.

PRO TIP: If you’re feeding a crowd, use a larger wheel of Brie. Just double or triple the topping ingredients and plan for more baking time.

Serve with keto seeded crackers or thinly sliced pears or apples if you can tolerate fruit or alone with a fork.

Mix up the herbs! You can also use fresh parsley or thyme to get new exciting flavor combos.

Cured Salmon with Scrambled Eggs and Chives

Breakfast superstars glow in this light, easy meal. The seasoned scrambled eggs with a side of apple-cured salmon is a tasty, nutritious breakfast made simple!

Get out your whisk and participate ASAP!

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 oz. cured salmon
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

  1. Whisk the eggs thoroughly. Melt the butter in a pan, and then stir in the eggs. Add the cream and heat carefully while stirring.
  2. Let the mixture simmer over low heat for a few minutes while constantly stirring to make the eggs creamy.
  3. Season with chopped chives, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Serve with a few slices of cured salmon.

PRO TIP: Give our apple-cured salmon recipe a try. It uses the sweetness of apples instead of a lot of sugar. Just keep in mind that the salmon needs two days in the fridge to cure.

Keto Deviled Eggs

These fantastic keto bites are filled with flavor and redefine elegance in a little package. Serve these for every party or holiday, and be prepared for the rave reviews!

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp tabasco
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pinch herbal salt
  • 8 (1 oz.) cooked and peeled shrimp or strips of smoked salmon
  • fresh dill

Preparation

  1. Start by boiling the eggs by placing them in a pot and covering them with water. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a light boil.
  2. Boil for 8-10 minutes to make sure the eggs are hard boiled.
  3. Remove the eggs from the pot and place them in an ice bath for a few minutes before peeling.
  4. Split the eggs in half and scoop out the yolks.
  5. Place the egg whites on a plate.
  6. Mash the yolks with a fork and add tabasco, herbal salt, and homemade mayonnaise.
  7. Add the mixture, using two spoons, to the egg whites and top with a shrimp on each or a piece of smoked salmon.
  8. Decorate with dill.

PRO TIP: You could also add capers for a bit of an extra bit of salty and vinegary goodness.

Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamico Butter

This luxurious and filling vegetarian salad has gratinated goat cheese. It is also topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and balsamico butter. This recipe is so easy that it almost prepares itself!

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. goat cheese
  • ¼ cup (1¼ oz.) pumpkin seeds
  • 2 oz. butter
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 oz. (2¾ cups) baby spinach

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Put slices of goat cheese in a greased baking dish and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. While the goat cheese is in the oven, toast pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan over a relatively high temperature until they get some color and start to pop.
  4. Lower the heat, add butter and let simmer until it turns a golden brown color and a pleasant nutty scent. Add balsamic vinegar and let boil for a few more minutes. Turn off the heat.
  5. Spread out baby spinach on a plate. Place the cheese on top and add the balsamico butter.

PRO TIP: This dish can easily be customized to be served as an appetizer. Buy a smaller version of the goat cheese that you cut into slices and gratinate the same way just for a shorter time. They are ready when they get some color on the top.

Keto Pork Chops with Blue-cheese Sauce

Salty and rich, this blue cheese sauce dresses up the ordinary pork chop. Fire up your stovetop and let the party begin!

Ingredients

  • 5 oz. blue cheese
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 (21⁄3 lbs) pork chops
  • salt and pepper
  • 7 oz. fresh green beans
  • 2 tbsp butter, for frying

Preparation

  1. Start by crumbling the cheese into a small pot over medium heat. Adjust heat as necessary to let it melt gently. Be careful not to let it burn.
  2. When the cheese has melted, add the cream and increase the heat a little. Let simmer for a few minutes.
  3. Season the chops with salt and pepper. Fry in a skillet on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes before flipping. Cook until internal temperature is 145°-160°F (63°-71°C).
  4. Set aside and cover with foil for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Pour the pan juices into the cheese sauce. Stir and, if needed, heat it again. As blue cheese is often somewhat salty, taste the sauce before adding any additional salt.
  6. Trim and rinse the green beans. Fry them in butter for a few minutes on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.

PRO TIP: Mix things up a little bit! Any kind of meat, either bone-in or boneless, is exquisite with this incredibly versatile meal.

Try filet or chops. Try beef, pork, or lamb. Even humble poultry like chicken or turkey gets kicked up a notch with this sauce.

Just remember how much flavor the skin or fat of these meats brings to a dish—so definitely leave them on if you can!

Keto Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Balls

These cheese and bacon balls aren’t just fantastic, but they’re ketotastic! They’re packed with smoky bacon and sharp cheddar cheese.

Can you imagine the look on your guests’ faces when you put these on the holiday meal? Oh, yes. You want these.

Ingredients

  • 5 oz. bacon
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 5 oz. cream cheese
  • 5 oz. (1¼ cups) cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz. butter, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp pepper (optional)
  • ½ tsp chili flakes (optional)

Preparation

  1. Fry the bacon in butter until golden brown. Remove from the pan, and let cool completely on paper towels.
  2. Crumble or chop the bacon into small pieces and place in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. In a bigger bowl, mix the grease leftover from frying the bacon with all the remaining ingredients by hand or with an electric hand mixer.
  4. Place the big bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
  5. Make 24 walnut-sized balls using two spoons. Roll them in the crumbled bacon and serve.

PRO TIP: You can use any kind of grated flavorful cheese you prefer. If you don’t eat bacon, you can roll the cheese balls in chopped herbs, grated parmesan cheese, or chopped nuts. Let your imagination run wild!

Keto Chicken BLT Salad

Bacon, lettuce, and tomato. A classic blend — but why stop there? Make it keto by attaching lettuce, some tender pieces of chicken, and a touch of creamy aioli. Now we’re talking!

Ingredients

Garlic mayonnaise

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder

BLT

  • 8 oz. bacon
  • 1 oz. butter
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper
  • 10 oz. Romaine lettuce
  • 4 oz. cherry tomatoes, in halves

Preparation

  1. Mix mayonnaise and garlic powder in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Fry the bacon slices in butter until crispy. Remove and keep warm. Save the grease in the pan.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and then cut each thigh into thirds. Fry in the same skillet as the bacon until golden brown and thoroughly cooked.
  4. Rinse and chop the lettuce; be sure to use a clean cutting board and knife (different from the one used when handling the raw chicken).
  5. Place the lettuce on a plate and top with chicken, bacon, tomatoes, and garlic mayo.

PRO TIP: For a shortcut, sub in shredded rotisserie chicken. Then the bacon fat can be used to make a yummy bacon vinaigrette for the salad. Just add a little vinegar and salt and pepper!

After decades of being declined by health circles, fat has made its way off the forbidden foods list. And nowhere is its significance of redemption more likely than the ultra-popular ketogenic diet. Who would’ve thought that fat bombs like full-cream dairy, whole eggs, and snacks could help with weight loss?

Categories
Keto Facts

Is Hummus Keto-Friendly?

No, at least not in its traditional sense. That’s because traditional hummus uses chickpeas. And a cup of chickpeas has 35 grams of carbohydrates.

If you follow the Keto diet, you might want to stay away from chickpeas and other legumes. That’s because the Ketogenic diet only allows a limited carb intake daily.

What is Hummus?

Hummus is a middle-eastern staple. It is used as a dip, spread, or a savory dish. It is made using chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon, and garlic.

It is also the Arabic word for chickpea.

Luckily, hummus can be versatile. You can change its flavor by adding spices of your choice. You can also top it with artichokes or sun-dried tomatoes.

But more importantly, you can make it Keto-friendly. The best part is that this savory dish has tons of nutritional appeal.

Why is Hummus Not Keto-friendly?

Aside from the fact that chickpeas are carb-laden, they are also low in fat.

You see, chickpeas are a distinct type of pulse. Meaning, it is a dry, edible bean that comes from a pod. And unlike peanuts or soy, it is low in fat.

Meanwhile, a Keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet. This explains why traditional hummus is less likely to be Keto-friendly.

Antinutrients: Another Reason to Avoid Chickpeas

Achieving ketosis allows you to lose weight. But to be in ketosis means you’ll need to stick to a precise macronutrient ratio. You also need to ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need.

The problem is that chickpeas have several antinutrients.

Antinutrients are like plant toxins that work against your nutritional well-being. What it does is it blocks some minerals, including iron, calcium, and magnesium, so your body won’t be able to use them.

Antinutrients bind fast and securely to minerals, making them insoluble. This suggests that they no longer stay dissolved in your blood, making them unavailable for cellular uptake. 

So, even if you think you’re getting plenty of micronutrients, you may not be obtaining enough. Not even when you’re taking supplements.

The principal antinutrients in chickpeas are:

  • Phytic acid
  • Lectins
  • Oxalates
  • Hemagglutinin
  • Tannins
  • Saponins

Research shows that boiling and microwaving chickpeas decreased all antinutrients except for phytic acid. Germination, however, had a more massive effect in reducing phytic acid in chickpeas.

To germinate chickpeas, you need to soak them in water or sunlight for at least 36 hours. When done correctly, small roots that look like commas will sprout. This indicates germination.

Another study revealed that soaking the pulses in distilled water “significantly lowered” the lectins and oxalates. However, it doesn’t have an impact on phytic acid.

How to Make Hummus Keto-friendly?

Sure, traditional hummus is less likely to be Keto-friendly. However, you can turn it into something low-carb.

For one, you can use Keto-friendly alternatives like Cauliflower or avocado as your main ingredients. And then you can use it as a dip for celery, tomatoes, or cucumbers.

This is to ensure that you won’t go over your daily net carb allowance.

That said, here are five Keto-friendly hummus recipes that you should try:

Cauliflower Hummus

Cauliflower prevails supreme in the keto world, and it’s because it is divinely tasty and not that expensive.

Cauliflower is a low-carb, cruciferous vegetable from the genus Brassica. It is from the same family as Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts.

It has recently become a popular substitute for starchy potatoes and rice. It also explains why Cauliflower has become one of the pillars of a Ketogenic diet.

That said, roasted Cauliflower is probably the best way to approach keto hummus. It has the same texture and tastes great. Just by using seven ingredients, this roasted cauliflower keto hummus prepared by Wholesome Yum is excellent.

You can also try Food and Wine’s dairy-free and gluten-free cauliflower hummus recipe. 

Generally, a Keto-friendly Cauliflower hummus calls for vegetable oil. Hence, it would be best to go for olive oil or avocado oil for added fat. On the other hand, corn oil and soy oil are high in omega-6, which you want to bypass.

Another thing to keep in mind that tahini usually calls for an added 5.3 grams of net carbs for every two cups. If you want to keep your net carbs to a minimum, consider leaving off tahini or sesame seeds.

Otherwise, reduce the amount you will need.

Avocado Hummus

Avocado hummus is going to be a bit heavier in fat than regular hummus. But that’s not a bad thing. Moreover, Avocado hummus is not the same as guac.

This keto avocado hummus recipe from KetoDietApp is excellent. It uses macadamia nuts instead of chickpeas, giving hummus a unique spin.

In relation to this, Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats but low in net carbs. According to a survey of 17,000 adults, those who ate avocados had a statistically significant lower body weight.

The survey also showed the following:

  • Lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference
  • Higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL)
  • 50% fewer chances of producing metabolic syndrome.

In another survey, adults who eat Avocados have less chance of gaining weight.

Here’s the thing: The secret to creating an avocado keto dip that’s different from guacamole is in the mayo. The Spruce Eats has a recipe that ends in a delicious spread that’s sure to please. 

Artichoke Hummus

Artichoke hummus is also a fun alternative, although this one will taste slightly closer to a dip than “hummus.”

You can trade the olive oil for Greek yogurt to decrease the fat load if you want as well. If you prefer spinach artichoke dip, then this is the way to go.

All parts of artichokes have been used for their medicinal attributes for centuries. Not only are artichokes known to strengthen the liver and gallbladder, but researchers are examining artichokes as promoters of cardiovascular health.

A recent study shows that an artichoke leaf extract helps decrease the symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is a chronic liver condition common in obese people and is often the result of metabolic syndrome.

Made with artichoke hearts, mayo, and parmesan cheese, this keto spread is awesome! Adding low-carb spinach can make this Artichoke hummus one of your all-time favorite keto-friendly recipes. 

Zucchini Hummus

This is the lowest fat alternative here. Since zucchini is already filled with water, you don’t need any oil to help achieve a texture similar to hummus.

Moreover, it is lighter than a traditional hummus, making it an excellent choice for guilt-free snacking.

Use this cool zucchini hummus recipe from DetoxInista to get inspired. And remember that you can always make hummus your own with different flavorings and toppings!

Almond Hummus

This is a bit left of center, but the concept of using leftover almond pulp from homemade almond milk is a great idea.

After you obtain all the pulp, just throw all of it in the blender along with the usual hummus ingredients like tahini, lemon, and garlic.

For more inspiration, you can check out DetoxInista’s Almond Hummus recipe!

Tips for Making a Keto-Friendly Hummus 

Just because you are following a Keto diet does not mean you can no longer enjoy your favorite hummus. The recipes listed above proved that.

Hence, there is a way to reach that craving without falling off the Ketosis wagon. All you need to do is replace the chickpeas with Keto-friendly options.

Moreover, homemade and Keto-friendly hummus is so easy to make. Hence, you can make them in large volume, allowing you to snack on them for weeks.

Doing them from scratch is also a great way to keep your macro ratios optimal. This means that you know what’s in your hummus, and you can ensure that everything is Keto-friendly.

For instance, you can drizzle a tablespoon of MCT Oil over your Keto-hummus. It is an excellent fat source and allows you to burn fat as fuel fast. It also allows you to feel saturated longer.

The Bottom Line

Generally, Hummus is not Keto-friendly since its main ingredient is chickpeas, a carb-laden pulse. However, you can make it low-carb using a Keto-friendly substitute. 

Avocado, Cauliflower, and artichoke are the best choices. Try serving it with low-carb vegetables, such as celery, tomatoes, and cucumbers for a perfect Keto appetizer or snack.

Categories
Keto Facts Keto Nutrition Keto Reviews

10 of the Best Lazy Keto Recipes

Do you want to feel your family good food, but you’re on a Ketogenic diet?

We know that it can be challenging to do so. But we’re here to help you find the best keto recipes that you can also whip up for your family.

What is Lazy Keto?

The term lazy keto is used mutually with dirty keto.

Lazy keto (or dirty keto) is where the only thing people track is carbs, and they try to consume less than 20 grams of carbs a day.

They don’t follow any other macros—not fat, not fiber, and not protein—just the carbs.

Another distinction between lazy keto and clean (or pure) keto is that the former enables people to eat food from whatever source they want. What’s important is that they consume less than 20 grams of carbs per day.

Many people who follow lazy/dirty keto rely massively on 1-minute mug cakes, low-carb bars, and other fast meals.

It is not as stern with the types of meals you eat or the amount of the macro ratio as long as you adhere to the 20g of carbs or less.

Lazy Keto Recipes

For the busy, the tired, and the lazy – we’ve got you covered.

Keto Fried Salmon with Asparagus

Another one-skillet sensation to savor. Just three ingredients—salmon, asparagus, and butter —molded into a tasty dinner in only 15 minutes. It’s keto, and it’s simply exquisite.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. green asparagus
  • 3 oz. butter
  • 9 oz. salmon, boneless fillets, in pieces
  • salt and pepper 

Preparation

  1. Rinse and trim the asparagus.
  2. Heat a hearty dollop of butter in a frying pan where you can fit both the fish and vegetables.
  3. Fry the asparagus over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Gather everything in one half of the frying pan.
  4. If necessary, add more butter and fry the salmon pieces for a couple of minutes on each side. Stir the asparagus now and then. Lower the heat towards the end.
  5. Season the salmon and serve with the remaining butter.

NOTE: This keto dish can be prepared with other low-carb vegetables such as zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, or spinach. Feel free to use your favorite seasonings to give this dish more flavor.

Keto Vanilla Berry Mug Cake

This single-serve keto mug cake uses only 1 minute to prepare. It is filled with healthy fats and fiber. Plus, the fruit has antioxidants that your body requires to fight those free radicals.

Ingredients 

  • 1 tbsp (1 tbsp) butter melted
  • 2 tbsp (2 tbsp) cream cheese full fat
  • 2 tbsp (2 tbsp) coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp (1 tbsp) granulated sweetener of choice or more to taste
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) baking powder
  • 1 (1 ) egg medium
  • 6 (6 ) frozen raspberries 

Preparation

  1. Place the butter and cream cheese in your chosen mug. Microwave on HIGH for 20 seconds.
  2. Add the coconut flour, sweetener, vanilla, and baking powder. Mix well. Add the egg. Mix again
  3. Scrape down the sides of the mug, then press in 6 frozen raspberries into the cake batter.
  4. Microwave on HIGH for one minute and twenty seconds.

NOTES:

  • You can lower the total carbs further by eliminating the raspberries (1.5 total carbs) to make a simple keto vanilla mug cake.
  • Adjust the microwave cooking times according to the power of your microwave. Some microwaves are pretty powerful and only need a minute, but most standard microwaves may require the 1:20 as stated in the recipe.
  • No microwave? No problem. Simply bake at 180C/350F in a cupcake case or muffin tray for 12 minutes. 

Keto Meat Subs

These are the EASIEST keto sandwiches you’ll ever create.

Ingredients 

  • 9 oz (250 g) Italian style ham
  • 4 1/2 oz. (125 g) prosciutto
  • 5 1/2 oz (150 g) salami soppressata
  • 5 1/2 oz (150 g) genoa salami
  • 2 avocados (12 oz/340 g), peeled, pit removed, and sliced
  • 4 green onions, cut in half
  • 2 leaves of iceberg lettuce or kale
  • 8 toothpicks, optional 

Sub Sauce 

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) NOW Foods Elyndale Organics Avocado Oil, MCT Oil, Liquid Coconut Oil, or Canola Oil
  • 4 teaspoons juice from banana peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon grey sea salt
  • pinch ground black pepper 

Preparation

  1. Place a slice of ham on a clean plate or cutting board. Layer a piece of prosciutto, followed by three or four pieces of salami, layering like a pyramid or making a square shape with the layers.
  2. Add a couple of slices of avocado, followed by a piece of green onion and an iceberg to the far side of the meat stack.
  3. Roll the ingredients up like a California roll. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining meat and filling.
  4. Afterward, combine all sub sauce ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and serve alongside the low-carb sandwich.

Note: If you don’t want to make the sub sauce, no worries. You could add a scoop or two of bacon mayonnaise to the wraps before you add the filling.

Double Chocolate Chaffles

Chaffles are some of the most amazing creations for keto recipes. They are fantastic cheese waffles and super versatile.

These double chocolate chaffles taste like dessert! You make them right on your waffle maker in a matter of just minutes.

Ingredients 

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup pre-shredded/grated mozzarella
  • 1 tbsp granulated sweetener of choice or more to your taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar-free chocolate chips or cacao nibs
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 1 tsp heavy or double cream 

Preparation

  1. Combine the ingredients for your chosen flavor in a bowl.
  2. Preheat your waffle maker. When it is hot, spray with olive oil and pour half the batter into the mini-waffle maker (or the entire batter into a massive waffle maker).
  3. Cook for 2-4 minutes, then remove and repeat. You should be able to make two mini-chaffles per recipe or one large chaffle.
  4. Top, serve, and enjoy.

Keto Shrimp Scampi

The traditional shrimp scampi recipes include lots of fettuccine pasta. Not low-carb friendly at all.

This quick keto version uses a base on spinach instead. It only takes 15 minutes to get to your plate. Choose peeled shrimp to make it even quicker!

Ingredients 

  • 40 large raw shrimp
  • 1/2 onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp parmesan
  • 4 handfuls spinach 

Preparation

  1. To start, place your shrimp in a bowl of cold water and let them defrost. If the shrimp are not peeled, wait until they thaw and peel their shells off.
  2. While you’re waiting for the shrimp to defrost, chop up some onions into small pieces.
  3. Pour olive oil into a pan and cook your shrimp for about 2 minutes or until they are all pink. We’re not cooking the shrimp all the way through. Take the shrimp off the pan and onto a plate to rest.
  4. Then on the same hot pan, cook your onions until translucent. Add some salt to encourage all the ingredients to let their juices out! Then squeeze the garlic and let it cook for about another minute.
  5. Add your butter, cream, and parmesan, and stir until you have a combined sauce. Let this cook for about 2 minutes to let some moisture out and let the whole sauce thicken a bit.
  6. Now add the shrimp back into the pan and stir very well. Let all the sides of the shrimp soak up the delicious sauce. Cook this all together for no longer than 2-3 minutes. Overcooked shrimp are dry, rubbery, and hard to chew.
  7. When the shrimp are done, take them off and let them relax. On the same pan yet again, cook all your spinach slightly. Don’t let them shrink and get too soggy. The closer to raw, the more vitamins and minerals are spared.
  8. Now, combine the spinach and the scrimp to create one tasty, quick dinner! Enjoy!

Keto Muffins

When you are craving bread or muffins, make these keto muffins in just a minute. They come out pretty fluffy and taste just like carby muffins.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp coconut flour or more depending on the brand used
  • pinch baking powder
  • pinch salt

Preparation

  1. Grease a ramekin dish (or huge coffee mug) with coconut oil or butter.
  2. Mix all the ingredients with a fork to ensure it is lump-free.
  3. Cook the 1-minute keto muffin in the microwave on HIGH for 45 seconds – 1 minute. Alternatively, they can be baked in an oven, at 200C/400F for 12 minutes
  4. Cut in half and serve

Keto Chicken and Cabbage Plate

Do you want to know the secret to super-fast keto meals?

Rotisserie chicken!

It is the secret weapon for many lazy (or very busy) keto cooks. Just check at the deli that they don’t add any sauces to the chicken before cooking in the rotisserie.

This Keto chicken and cabbage plate recipe uses rotisserie chicken – but you can use leftover chicken too.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of rotisserie chicken
  • 7 oz. fresh green cabbage
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

  1. Shred the cabbage using a sharp knife or a mandolin and place it on a plate.
  2. Slice the onion thinly and add it to the plate, together with the rotisserie chicken and a hearty dollop of mayonnaise.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over the cabbage and add some salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE: For this dish, we’ve used rotisserie chicken, but you can use any leftover chicken.

You can also pan-fry a piece or two of raw chicken if you wish. Just make sure it’s fully cooked through (internal temperature of 165°F) before serving.

Sugar-Free Nutella

You can have that delicious hazelnut spread on the keto diet— just make it with clean ingredients and no sugar. This sugar-free Nutella tastes fantastic on your favorite chaffle!

Ingredients

  • 150 g (1 1/4 cups) walnut halves
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) vanilla
  • 4 tbsp (4 tbsp) cocoa unsweetened
  • 4 tbsp (4 tbsp) coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp (4 tbsp) granulated sweetener of choice or more, to your taste

Preparation

  1. Place all the ingredients in your mini food processor that attaches to your stick blender or small blender with sharp blades.
  2. Blitz until smooth. This will probably take a minute or two. The coconut oil doesn’t even need melting as it softens with the warmth of the blades rotating.
  3. Store in the fridge if you would like it to be a firm spread in the summer or store in an airtight container in the winter.

NOTE: Please taste the chocolate spread and adjust to your liking. Even though cocoa brands have similar carb values, their strength of flavor differs dramatically.

Easy Pork Stir Fry Recipe

Stir-Fries are one of the best meals for lazy cooks – it has your meat, fat, and veggies all cooked in one pan. And you can even buy the meat and the veggies pre-cut into strips, ready to drop into the pan.

Even for picky eaters, this Easy Pork Stir Fry Recipe is bound to be a hit!

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 pound pork loin, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 12 ounces broccoli florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 bunch green onion (scallions), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • 1 tablespoon extra dry sherry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons low carb sugar (or sugar or coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (or arrowroot)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Optional Ingredients

  • red pepper flakes
  • sesame seeds 

Preparation

  1. Mince a clove of garlic. Cut a 1-inch piece of ginger and peel the thin skin with a spoon. Mince the ginger and add it to the garlic. Cut the pork loin into thin strips and mix with 1 tbsp. oil and the ginger and garlic.
  2. Cut the red bell pepper into strips and place into the bottom of a medium bowl. Cut the green onions (scallions) into 2-inch pieces, including some of the green stems, and add them to the bowl. Cut the broccoli florets into large bite-sized pieces, layering them on top. 
  3. Add the sweetener and cornstarch (arrowroot) to a small bowl and mix together. Stir in the Tamari soy sauce, dry sherry, and sesame oil.
  4. Place the wok over high heat. It’s ready when a drop of water skips across the surface. Add one tablespoon of oil and quickly tilt the wok to coat all surfaces. Pour out the remaining oil. Place the wok back onto the heat and add the pork to the pan’s sides and bottom. Leave the pork undisturbed until it has cooked halfway through; the bottom half will turn white. Stir the pork and cook until it is almost cooked through. Remove from the pan to the serving bowl. 
  5. Dump the bowl of vegetables into the wok with the broccoli at the bottom. Cover with a lid and cook for 1 minute. Stir the vegetables and add the pork and any juices back to the pan. Stir the pork and vegetables together. Stir the stir fry sauce and pour it over the pork and vegetables. Push the pork stir fry to the sides and let the sauce boil at the bottom of the wok, occasionally stirring for several seconds until the sauce thickens. 
  6. If you would like the sauce a little thicker, remove the stir-fried pork and vegetables to the serving bowl and let the sauce cook a little longer. Pour the sauce over the stir fry when it reaches your desired level of thickness. Serve.

Keto Chicken Salad

Break out of the monotony of salads. Here are three completely different ways to eat the same zesty keto chicken salad. It’s a fun way to shake up your meal prep routine!

You don’t even need to cook the chicken, just pick up a hot rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, and voila! Dinner will be an assembly line.

Ingredients 

  • 450 g (1 lb) cooked chicken chopped or shredded
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt unsweetened natural
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs parsley, basil, etc
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cubed avocado optional
  • 1 tbsp feta cheese optional to garnish 

Preparation

  1. To bake your chicken, place the chicken in a baking pan and drizzle it with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake the chicken at 220C/425F for 10-15 minutes or until done. Alternatively, grill, broil, barbecue, or buy a rotisserie chicken.
  2. Chop your cooked chicken and vegetables. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Garnish and serve as lettuce wraps, with FatHead crackers, or with mozzarella dough flatbread. Store leftover chicken salad in the refrigerator.

Final Thoughts

Even if lazy keto seems fascinating, it is so much healthier to eat whole foods that take a little longer to cook at home.

Quit relying on the sweet keto snacks and desserts. Base your meals on whole foods made at home.

These recipes are the best idea to transition to clean keto when you don’t enjoy cooking. That’s because recipes don’t require much of your time.

Categories
Keto Facts Keto Nutrition Keto Reviews

The Truth Behind Lazy Keto

Lazy Keto is a popular adaptation of the Ketogenic diet. It’s often used for weight loss, and, as the name implies, it’s designed to be easy to understand.

The standard ketogenic diet requires calculating your caloric consumption and macros carefully. Doing so ensures that you achieve ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body burns fat as an energy source.

However, lazy Keto is far less complicated, as you only have to pay attention to your carb consumption.

In this post, we will walk you through the pros and cons of lazy Keto and how you can do it right.

What is Lazy Keto?

Lazy Keto is a less limiting version of the usual high-fat, very-low-carb ketogenic diet.

The ketogenic diet began in the 1920s as a medical approach to treating epilepsy. Recently, modifications of this diet, including lazy Keto, have become mainstream.

Traditional keto diets demand you to track your macronutrient consumption closely. You also need to follow a strict eating pattern that involves low carb, high fat, and moderate protein.

The aim is to induce ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body burns fat as its primary fuel source.

Like most adaptations of the ketogenic diet, lazy Keto restricts your carb consumption. Typically, carbs are limited to about 5–10% of your total daily calories — or about 20–50 grams per day for most people.

However, you don’t have to bother about tracking calories, protein, or fat on lazy Keto.

Health Benefits of Lazy Keto

The Ketogenic diet, in general, is believed to offer health benefits. However, there aren’t many studies about lazy Keto.

For example, various studies suggest that keto diets may support weight loss, potentially even more so than low-fat diets.

However, this effect is not unusual for keto diets. Investigations show that any diet that decreases calorie intake and is followed long term will likely begin to lose weight over time.

Even though lazy Keto doesn’t have any caloric limitations, studies suggest that this can help overcome food cravings. This may make it easier to lessen your calorie consumption without feeling hungry.

Additionally, it is believed that the keto diet can help develop blood sugar control for people with Type 2 diabetes. It also reduces the risk of heart disease.

However, conclusions are mixed, and the lazy keto diet has not been explicitly studied.

Keep in mind that the beneficial effects of keto diets are often attributed to being in ketosis. And this is achieved by measuring the level of ketones in the body.

The caveat is that people who do lazy ketone don’t know if they’re in ketosis. That’s because tracking caloric consumptions, macros, and measuring ketones are not required.

The Drawbacks

Like the regular keto diet, lazy Keto may steer dieters to experience the keto flu when transitioning to a keto diet. This involves symptoms of nausea, headache, fatigue, constipation, and dizziness.

Lazy Keto also has some other pitfalls worth noting.

You may not enter ketosis

Lazy Keto is encouraging to many because it’s less restrictive and easier to grasp than the traditional ketogenic diet.

The purpose of lazy Keto is to produce a metabolic state called ketosis, in which your body mainly burns fat for fuel. Researchers connect many of the potential health advantages of ketogenic diets to this metabolic state.

However, while on this simplified version of the keto diet, you may not reach a ketosis state, which has numerous signs and symptoms.

To enter ketosis, you have to critically restrict your carb and fat consumption and monitor your protein intake. That’s because your body can turn protein into glucose — a carbohydrate — in a process termed gluconeogenesis.

Consuming too much protein on lazy Keto could prevent ketosis altogether.

Calories and diet quality still matter

Focusing on your carb intake, as you would on lazy Keto, overlooks the importance of adequate calorie intake and diet quality.

A well-balanced diet that incorporates a wide variety of foods can supply your body with all the nutrients it needs for overall health.

Unfortunately, like the regular keto diet, lazy Keto restricts several nutrient-rich food groups. This includes starchy vegetables, grains, fruits, and legumes. This may make it hard to gain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Also, it can be challenging to satisfy all your nutrient requirements when you reduce your calorie consumption. Therefore, it’s imperative to focus on consuming nutrient-rich food instead of decreasing your carb intake.

Lack of research behind long-term results

No studies have been led on lazy Keto specifically. Long-term investigations on similar diets are also insufficient.

There are matters that lazy Keto — and high-fat diets in general — may wreck heart health over time, despite the weight loss they may produce.

One analysis of 19 studies linked low-carb, high-fat diets with balanced weight-loss diets. It discovered they had related weight loss benefits and effectively decreased risk factors for heart disease after 1–2 years.

Another study found that low-carb, high-fat diets ended in more significant weight loss than low-fat diets in the long-term.

However, the researchers also discovered that high-fat diets could lead to higher cholesterol levels. This can increase your risk of heart disease.

That said, the nature of the fat you eat on a high-fat diet may create a big difference. If you’re on a Keto diet, it would be best to lean on fatty fish, nuts, and olive oil for fat sources. Doing so decreases the risk of heart disease.

Also, the long-term results of following ketogenic diets are unknown due to a shortage of long-term studies. It’s unclear if keto diets are harmless or helpful to follow over the years or decades.

Food to Eat on Lazy Keto

What can you eat on lazy Keto? In a nutshell, the lazy keto diet is a very low-carb diet. It also involves foods like meat, fish, eggs, healthy oils, and non-starchy vegetables that should give the bulk of your calories. 

Here’s a more comprehensive list of low-carb keto foods to include:

  • Performance fats like MCT oil, coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, ghee, avocado, and fats are found naturally in meat, eggs, and fish.
  • Quality protein sources, such as poultry and pastured eggs, wild-caught fish, grass-fed meat, and full-fat cheeses.
  • Non-starchy, low-carb vegetables, such as leafy greens, cruciferous veggies like broccoli or cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus, artichokes, bell peppers, herbs, etc.
  • Fresh or dried herbs and spices.
  • Unsweetened keto drinks, including low-sugar green juices, water, seltzer, coffee, tea, or herbal tea.
  • Monk fruit or stevia extract instead of sugar to induce cravings for sweetness.

What’s Not to Eat on Lazy Keto?

  • Grains and products made with wheat/grain flours
  • Most fruit (berries can be eaten in smaller quantities)
  • Legumes or beans
  • Added sugar of all kind
  • All desserts
  • Sweetened dairy products
  • Soda, juices, and other sweetened drinks
  • Most starchy vegetables like beets, potatoes, and butternut squash.

Keep in mind that lazy Keto doesn’t distinguish between healthy, unprocessed fats and those that are inflammatory. To obtain the most benefits from the diet, refrain from highly-refined vegetable oils, pork rinds, sausage, bacon, and processed cheeses.

Lazo Keto Meal Plan

Now that you identify which foods to incorporate in lazy keto meals, let’s take a look at an example lazy keto diet meal plan:

  • Breakfast: Eggs cooked in oil or butter with sautéed veggies and sliced avocado. Another alternative is skipping breakfast altogether and doing intermittent fasting on Keto.
  • Lunch: Grass-fed burger with aged cheddar cheese, served over salad with dressing and pickled veggies.
  • Dinner: Wild-caught salmon, steak, or chicken cooked in butter or oil, served with sautéed veggies cooked in more butter/oil.
  • Keto snacks (optional): Deviled eggs with avocado, keto smoothies, a handful of nuts, or “keto fat bombs.”

Although there’s no need to track your food consumption, here are some broad tips to keep in mind to make sure you’re sticking to the correct keto macros:

  • Incorporate at least 1-2 servings of healthy fats with every meal.
  • Aim to consume small amounts of healthy protein sources throughout the day.
  • Eat numerous servings of veggies per day, ideally incorporating them with all meals.
  • Read ingredient labels thoroughly. This way, you avoid added sugar and carbs, plus difficult-to-pronounce chemical ingredients.
  • Consider using a keto supplement, such as exogenous ketones in the form of Keto FIRE, to help support you in getting into ketosis. Exogenous ketones, MCTs (medium-chain triglyceride fats), and adaptogens can all work together to boost your energy and athletic performance. It also supports healthy metabolism and promotes healthy weight management while on a keto diet.

Other Considerations

While it’s not indeed a “risk,” trying the lazy keto diet may make it more challenging to get into ketosis. Thus, it can be a challenge to acquire all the benefits of the traditional ketogenic diet. 

For example, if you aren’t consuming enough fat or consuming too much protein, your body may strive to make ketones. And we know that these are responsible for the many benefits of high-fat diets.

If you’re following lazy Keto and notice that you’re not achieving a healthy weight or you feel sluggish, then you have two options:

  1. Try a stricter, standard keto diet instead. This can help you get into ketosis, burn fat for energy, and experience many other benefits linked with ketone production.
  2. End following a low-carb diet altogether, and instead concentrate on enhancing the quality of diet overall (i.e., eat more whole foods, cut out processed foods, watch serving sizes, etc.).

Should You Try It?

Lazy Keto may be an alternative for those looking for a quick, short-term weight loss solution.

However, keto diets’ long-term results — particularly lazy Keto — are currently unclear due to a shortage of research.

Given that the diet limits many healthy foods, it may be challenging to get all the nutrients you need. This could lead to deficiencies and poor health over time.

Though studies advise keto diets may aid blood sugar control, those with type 2 diabetes should address lazy Keto with caution. 

Reducing your carb consumption can lead to severely low blood sugar levels if your medications aren’t adjusted.

Overall, make sure to discuss a healthcare provider, such as a registered dietitian, before trying lazy Keto. They can help you achieve the diet safely and effectively and guarantee that you meet all your nutrient needs.

Final Thoughts

A lazy keto is an appealing choice for those who find the traditional keto diet too limiting. While it limits carbs, there are no rules regarding your consumption of calories, protein, or fat.

Overall, lazy Keto may offer the same possible benefits as the traditional keto diet, at least in the short term. These involve decreased appetite, quick weight loss, and healthier blood sugar control in those with type 2 diabetes.

Nonetheless, there are downsides to neglecting your consumption of calories, fat, and protein.

For one, you may not obtain the metabolic state of ketosis, to which many of the traditional keto diet’s benefits are associated. Also, lazy Keto has not been well analyzed and ignores the importance of overall diet quality.

Experts agree that if you’re going to do the lazy keto diet, it’s crucial you also highlight the quality of the food you eat. Still, it could help you shift to the traditional diet.

Categories
Keto Facts Keto Nutrition Keto Reviews

The Best Keto and Low-Carb Chicken Recipes

Chicken is an excellent protein source, and it’s a delicious choice when you’re on a low-carb or keto diet. It’s versatile and often preferred by eaters of all ages.

The chicken, as is, can be too meaty to be keto (especially chicken breast without skin). But with extra fat and some vegetables, you’re able to make fantastic ketogenic meals.

When you purchase chicken, it’s often a better deal to buy a whole chicken and divide it into pieces. Chicken breast is the leanest part, but it’s also the most expensive. Hence, we recommend that you opt for thighs if you’re strapped for a budget.

They often come more affordable, have more natural fat, and, therefore, more flavor.

Meanwhile, did you know that baked chicken skin is an excellent crispy snack? So, if you have some leftover chicken skin, there’s no need to toss it away. 

If you are looking for more keto-friendly chicken recipe ideas, check out our list below:

Oven-baked paprika chicken with rutabaga

So tasty and so versatile! This one-pot dish is amazingly delicious. It boasts juicy chicken snuggled into hearty chunks of rutabaga with the colorful glow of paprika.

Mind you; the rutabaga is as colorful as it is modest in carbs. Thus, this can be your “go-to” weeknight dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs (bone-in with skin) or chicken drumsticks
  • 2 lbs rutabaga or celery root, peeled and cut into 2″ (5 cm) pieces
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
For Garlic and paprika mayo
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste 

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Place the chicken and the rutabaga in a baking dish. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika powder. Drizzle with olive oil and mix well.
  3. Bake in the oven until the chicken is well done, about 40 minutes. Lower the heat towards the end of the chicken or rutabaga is getting too golden brown.
  4. Mix the mayonnaise with seasoning and serve together with the roasted chicken and rutabaga.

Keto chicken wings with creamy broccoli

This is an easy-to-make crowd pleaser! These delicate chicken wings hit the spot and served with creamy broccoli; they make for a great weeknight dinner.

Ingredients 

Baked chicken wings
  • ½ orange, juice, and zest
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 lbs chicken wings
Creamy broccoli
  • 1½ lbs broccoli
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • salt and pepper, to taste 

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Mix juice and zest from the orange with oil and spices in a small bowl. Place the chicken wings in a plastic bag and pour in the marinade.
  3. Give the bag a good shake to cover the wings thoroughly. Put aside to marinate for at least 5 minutes but preferably more.
  4. Place the wings in one layer in a greased baking dish or on a broiler rack for extra crispiness.
  5. Bake on middle rack in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the wings are golden brown and thoroughly cooked.
  6. In the meantime, divide the broccoli into small florets and parboil in salted water for a couple of minutes. They’re only supposed to soften a bit but not lose their shape or color.
  7. Strain the broccoli and let some of the steam evaporate before adding the remaining ingredients. Serve the broccoli with the baked wings.

Indian keto chicken korma

Chicken korma is a typical Indian dish with dozens of different variations. However, they all have one thing in common: they are all oh so abundant of flavor, and we want them now!

Here is a keto version of this great Indian dish made with chicken and cooked in creamy onion gravy with spices’ arsenal.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. Greek yogurt
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-star anise
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 1½ lbs chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • ½ tsp garam masala seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish 

Preparation

  1. Heat the ghee in a wok or non-stick saucepan and deep-fry the onions on low-medium heat until they get a nice golden brown color.
  2. Remove the fried onions from the pan. Mix yogurt with the onions in a blender to get a creamy paste.
  3. Reheat the ghee in the saucepan. Once it gets hot, add cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, star anise, green cardamom pods, and black peppercorns. Fry for 30 seconds or until they start to sizzle.
  4. Add the chicken drumsticks. Season thoroughly with salt. Add the ginger-garlic paste, combine well and fry for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and cumin powder. Combine well and fry for two more minutes.
  6. Add the fried onion yogurt paste, combine well. Add some water. You can use the water to rinse out the blender, so don’t waste any paste. Mix well.
  7. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and tender.
  8. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Keto chicken casserole

Keto and casseroles go hand in hand, particularly when it comes to this tempting chicken recipe that will make your entire family swoon. The cream sauce is hearty, cheesy, and packed with yummy pesto. Your oven will feel privileged to bake this tasty goodness for you over and over again.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream or sour cream
  • ½ cup cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp green pesto
  • ½ lemon, the juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1½ oz. butter
  • 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 9 oz. leeks, finely chopped
  • 4 oz. cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 lb cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 cups shredded cheese 

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Mix cream and cream cheese with pesto and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a large pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and fry until they turn a nice golden brown.
  4. Place the chicken in a greased 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish, and pour in the cream mixture.
  5. Top chicken with leek, tomatoes, and cauliflower.
  6. Sprinkle cheese on top and place the pan in the middle rack to bake for at least 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

NOTE: If the casserole is at risk of burning before it’s done, cover it with a piece of aluminum foil, lower the heat and let cook for a little longer.

Keto fajita chicken casserole

Onions and peppers. Chicken and cheese. All made possible with Tex-Mex flavors. Our quick and straightforward keto fajita casserole is a no-brainer for busy weeknights. Because FAJITAS.. but easier and cheesier.

Ingredients

  • 1¼ lbs cooked chicken
  • 7 oz. cream cheese
  • 1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp Tex-Mex seasoning
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • salt and pepper
Serving
  • 5 oz. lettuce
  • 4 tbsp olive oil 

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Shred the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. Chop the onions and the peppers.
  3. Mix everything except for a third of the shredded cheese in a greased baking dish.
  4. Add the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Serve with leafy greens dressed in olive oil.

Low-carb imperial rice

Arroz Imperial is a Cuban casserole. It is created by layering yellow rice, chicken fricassee, mayonnaise, and cheese. And this labor-intensive dish got a low-carb and straightforward makeover.

Ingredients

Chicken
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce or pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
Mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (preferably with avocado oil)
Cauliflower rice
  • 8 oz. riced cauliflower
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
Cashew cheese
  • 2 oz. soaked raw cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup avocado oil 

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Mix the shredded chicken with the tomato or pumpkin puree and seasonings and set aside.
  3. Mix the cauliflower rice with turmeric, salt, and pepper, and set aside.
  4. Make the cheese. Combine all of the cashew cheese ingredients in the bowl of your food processor and blend until smooth.
  5. To assemble the casserole, use a 6 x 6 inch (15 x 15 cm) glass casserole dish. Spoon half of the cauliflower rice into it and flatten it down to the bottom of the dish. Spread two tablespoons of mayo over the cauliflower rice.
  6. Add half of the chicken over the mayo and spread it out evenly.
  7. Spoon half of the cashew cheese over the chicken evenly. Repeat again, rice, mayo, chicken, cheese.
  8. Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden and browned along the edges.

Keto no-noodle chicken soup

Created with healing bone broth, this keto chicken no-noodle soup with healthy cabbage is warm and comforting. You can have this during the cold weather or when you’re nursing a cold.

Ingredient

  • 4 oz. butter
  • 2 tbsp dried minced onion
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 oz. carrots, sliced
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1½ rotisserie chicken*, shredded
  • 5 oz. green cabbage, cut into strips 

Preparation

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add dried onion, chopped celery, sliced mushrooms, and garlic into the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add broth, sliced carrot, parsley, salt, and pepper. Simmer until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add cooked chicken and cabbage. Simmer for an additional 8-12 minutes until the cabbage “noodles” is tender.

Keto Indian butter chicken

Butter chicken is one of our favorite Indian dishes, and we know we’re not the only ones! We invite you to try the keto version of this fabulous butter chicken, served with oven-roasted cauliflower.

Ingredients 

Indian butter chicken
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala seasoning
  • ½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 oz. butter or ghee
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream, for serving (optional)
Oven-roasted cauliflower
  • 1 lb cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tbsp coriander seed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 oz. butter 

Preparation

Indian butter chicken
  1. Add tomato, onion, ginger, garlic, tomato paste, and spices in a food processor. Mix until smooth. Add the cream and mix for a couple of seconds.
  2. Marinate the chicken in the mixture for at least 20 minutes, but preferably more, in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat a third of the butter over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Remove the chicken from the marinade (reserve the marinade), and fry in the butter for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the marinade over the chicken and add the rest of the butter. Let simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Salt to taste.
  5. Garnish with fresh cilantro and drizzle with a splash of cream.
Oven-roasted cauliflower
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Spread the cauliflower out into an even layer in a large sheet pan.
  3. Season with spices and butter. Bake for 15 minutes.

Chicken and zucchini curry soup

The warm and delightful curry scent that fills the house when you make this bright, fresh low-carb soup is overwhelming. Tender chicken and crispy zucchini are the favorites of this coconut-infused flavor wonder!

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 white onions, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup of coconut milk
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp green curry paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley or fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¾ lb chicken breasts (without skin), cut into small pieces
  • 11 oz. zucchini, thinly sliced
  • salt and ground black pepper 

Preparation

  1. Heat half of the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook over low heat, stirring frequently. Do not let the onion turn brown.
  2. Add the coconut milk, water, the curry paste, and the parsley. Simmer for a few minutes.
  3. Mix well, then add the chicken and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. While the soup is cooking, heat the rest of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and cook until just tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Right before serving, add the zucchini to the soup. Enjoy!

Keto Caesar salad

A true keto salad classic: moist chicken and crispy bacon are served on a bed of crunchy Romaine lettuce. In our version, we don’t sacrifice the dressing or the parmesan cheese!

Ingredients 

Dressing
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ lemon, zest, and juice
  • ¼ cup grated, shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped filets of anchovies
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
Salad
  • 12 oz. chicken breasts, bone-in with skin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 oz. bacon
  • 7 oz. Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese 

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mix the ingredients for the dressing with a whisk or an immersion blender. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  3. Place the chicken breasts in a greased baking dish. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil or melted butter on top.
  4. Bake the chicken in the oven for about 20 minutes or until fully cooked through. You can also cook the chicken on the stovetop if you prefer.
  5. Fry the bacon until crisp. Place lettuce as a base on two plates. Top with sliced chicken and the crispy, crumbled bacon.
  6. Finish with a generous dollop of dressing and a good grating of parmesan cheese.

Final Thoughts

The keto diet may be all about the fat, but that doesn’t mean that protein doesn’t play an important role.

Too much of it, and you’re no longer in ketosis. Too little, and you risk shedding muscle mass.

And what’s one of the most common, accessible, and easy-to-cook proteins available? Chicken, of course.

So while you’re busy cooking everything in butter, don’t forget that 10 to 35 percent of your calorie consumption should be coming from a protein source.

Categories
Keto Facts Keto Nutrition

The Best Keto-Friendly Restaurants

Adhering to a Keto diet when eating out can pose some unprecedented challenges besides munching on a bunch of fries. 

First, the portions are skewed. The protein can be too massive, and there are few vegetables, making the meal you ordered unreliable. Plus, restaurant food can come with hidden ingredients.

Understanding Macronutrient Ratios in Meals

There are certain types of a keto diet, and they all depend on strict macronutrient (carbs, fat, protein) computations.

Generally, the medical keto diet used to treat epilepsy advises 3 to 4 grams (g) of fat for every 1 g of carbohydrate and protein. This means that you’re getting 90 percent of your calories from fat, 6 percent from protein, and 4 percent from carbs. 

Meanwhile, a modified Atkins diet has no protein limitation. Hence, you can have about 65 percent fat, 30 percent protein, and 5 percent carbohydrates. When it gets to keto for weight loss, you might eat 70 to 80 percent of calories from fat, 10 to 20 percent from protein, and 5 to 10 percent from fat.

Calculating Net Carbs and Ketones

Many people on keto use net carbs when measuring their carb consumption.

According to Atkins, you can determine your net carbs by taking total carbohydrates minus grams of fiber and sugar alcohols. Your net carbs are what influences your blood sugar level and can jeopardize weight loss.

But keep in mind that neither the federal government nor the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics identifies this term. Dietitians also agree that calculating net carbs is not an exact science.

This is why it would be best to consult a dietitian if you plan to do the Keto diet. This is to create a personalized plan that allows you to hit a specific macronutrient target.

Tips for Dining Out on a Keto Diet

Sure, doing the Keto diet may appear daunting. But because of its growing popularity, many restaurants are becoming open to this kind of diet. Some chains have even come up with menu selections specifically catered to keto dieters.

However, you may need to customize your meals to ensure that you are hitting your macro ratio.

That said, it would be best to begin with a base of a cooked protein like poultry, fish, or grilled meat without sauce. And then mix it with a non-starchy vegetable. Next is to add healthy fats into the mix.

In general, smart picks incorporate a bunless burger over a bed of greens with lemon and olive oil or avocado. Moreover, steak tips, grilled fish, and bunless sandwiches are served with salad. Other options are broccoli or cauliflower rice.

Keep in mind that a healthy restaurant eating while on keto is possible. That is if you know where to go.

Applebee’s

For a healthy, keto-friendly meal, opt for grilled lean meat and veggies.

You’d be surprised that other chicken recipes load up on carbohydrates (some carry upwards of 50 g). You can run for the steamed broccoli here, but if you want to turn it up, the fire-grilled veggies add a good 6 g of net carbs. To add fat (to make the meal fall precisely into keto range), request a side of guacamole to top your chicken.

Blaze Pizza

In most places, you’d have to skip the crust to eat a keto-friendly pizza. But this fast-casual pizza chain newly advertised its keto pizza crust, so no one has to miss out on a Pizza Friday.

Go for their Keto pizza. Its crust is created from a base of cauliflower, mozzarella cheese, flaxseed, and eggs. Then it’s coated with their spicy red sauce, more mozzarella, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, and more veggies, but you can turn up the toppings as you please. 

Ordered as is, you won’t get adequate calories from fat to enter keto status, so be sure to order extra cheese and bacon, as well as olive oil and a drizzle of pesto.

Those additions will make this plate up to 63 percent of your calories from fat. Bonus: Every slice offers 2 g of fiber — not bad! 

Chili’s

The simplest options are the best here. Steak added with green veggie is one perfect keto combo.

Go for the Classic Sirloin With Side of Steamed Broccoli. Opt for the smaller, 6-ounce (oz) portion (versus the 10-oz serving) to keep protein in check. This is a great chance to add a source of digestion-friendly fiber with the broccoli (4 g of fiber).

To make this up to keto-friendly status, add a drizzle (about one tablespoon) of olive oil.

Starbucks

Prepared sandwiches and salads are hard to customize, but there are many protein- and fat-heavy alternatives to turn to.

If you resemble a zero-carb bite, this mini salami-cheese tray is it. Unfortunately, there’s no produce on this plate, so make sure to take in veggies elsewhere during the day.

The traditional snack combo will help keep you pleasantly full, and the average amount of protein won’t ruin your macros for the day.

Outback Steakhouse

A steakhouse is instead a prominent place to find a keto-compliant meal. You’re better off taking the smaller steak or fish meal to keep protein in check and pairing with a nonstarchy veggie side.

Try their 5-oz Grilled Lobster Tail With Roasted Butter Garlic Topping and Sautéed’ Shrooms.

This dish is a complete special-occasion indulgence, but most of the net carbs grow from the addition of mushrooms. Don’t forget to combine the roasted garlic butter topping to up your fat, which adds 18 g.

Olive Garden

Don’t think you have to be boxed into buying pasta at Olive Garden (and eating a couple of breadsticks on the side).

The restaurant suggests their grilled salmon fillet, served with a drippy tab of garlic herb butter on top. Parmesan-garlic broccoli spins out the meal. You’ll be offered a variety of soup or side salad, and in this case, the salad is your best chance.

Watch portions, though, as a portion of salad with Italian dressing adds another 11 g of net carbs.

IHOP

Disregard the sea of pancakes and crepes, and get on board with a DIY piece.

Adding avocado and spinach offers heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. It also has vitamin K, which is crucial for healthy bones. However, you should skip the carb-laden sides like pancakes and toasts.

TGI Fridays

The restaurant may be perfectly suited for happy hour apps, but you’re best served to evade these.

A “green style” cheeseburger has 7g net carbs. You can add avocado on top for zero net carbs and a dose of healthy fat. Moreover, the green style cheeseburger might be an excellent time to get in more veggies when you can. 

Go for the lunch part — full-size salads here quickly top 1,000 calories. Ranch dressing is a good option, carb-wise, with only 2 g of net carbs. Other keto-friendly choices are blue cheese and Caesar. Just avoid the balsamic vinaigrette, which holds 11 g of net carbs.

The Cheesecake Factory

First, let’s get this out of the way: Cheesecakes may be high in fat, but they’re also packed with sugar (carbs). So completing the meal with a slice is out on the keto diet.

You also have to be very cautious with this menu, as some choices near 200 g of total carbs. Breakfast is a bit easier, as omelets and eggs are both choices.

Try their Pan-Seared Branzino With Lemon Butter. This tasty white fish gets jacked up in the fat department with a creamy butter sauce. If the calorie count and macros — including net carbs — are higher than you’re striving for, eat half and take home the rest.

Buffalo Wild Wings

You don’t have to shy away from the wings here. An order includes no carbs until you add the sauce. For the most desirable sauce, stick with the simple classics: hot, medium, or mild.

A bunless burger or grilled chicken breast, plus cheese and mustard, is another excellent choice.

Try their Traditional Wings and Celery Sticks. Each plate carries a wallop of protein, so opt for the snack-size serving size, and then match them with refreshing celery and blue cheese.

Smoothie King

If you’re looking for a light, fresh meal, a smoothie may be your go-to.

The problem is, most smoothies prepared with milk, yogurt, juice, and fruit contain far too many carbs for a keto diet. Smoothie King just started their two keto-friendly smoothies, the Keto Champ Coffee and Keto Champ Berry. The coffee variant has fewer carbs of the two.

Opt for the Keto Champ Coffee, made with almond milk, coffee, almond butter, cocoa, and a keto protein blend. Doing so means you’ll take in just 1g of extra sugar, 7g of fiber, and only 7g of net carbs.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Pass over Italian apps like bruschetta in favor of grilled asparagus with prosciutto for a total of 4 g net carbs.

As for your entrée, chicken, steaks, or fish is your best bet, but watch out for sauces and sides that jack up carbs. A green veggie side will round out the meal, and a drizzle of olive oil will get your fat portion up to where it needs to be. 

Try their Chicken Marsala. Grilled chicken is smothered in a mushroom-wine sauce. Steamed asparagus will bulk up the meal for a few carbs.

Red Lobster

With a little preparation, you can eat well at the classic seafood restaurant.

Take advantage of their interactive menu online. This will allow you to sort each category from least to most carbohydrate content. Fresh seafood (unbreaded shrimp, lobster, crab) and grilled fish are all low-carb choices — and dipping or slathering it in butter adds fat.

Their keto choice, Wild-Caught Snow Crab Legs With Asparagus. Focusing on crab legs — dipped in butter, no less — you’re keeping carbs at the bare minimum. With your choice of side, go for fresh asparagus, which has the fewest net carbs and added fat.

California Pizza Kitchen

Salads are your best bet at CPK because, unfortunately, even a slice of gluten-free pizza can eat up most of your carb allotment for the day.

Go for the Asparagus and Arugula Salad, With Extra Olive Oil. This is a great chance to get various greens (asparagus and arugula), plus healthy fats from the toasted almonds.

This comes dressed in a lemon vinaigrette, adding more fat and calories by ordering a side of their herb-infused olive oil.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Sausage and biscuits, gravy, pancake plates, and grits are all traditional offerings at Cracker Barrel that you’ll have to skip right over.

The good news here is that it’s easy to mix and match your plate with an entrée and sides to choose low-carb options and get the right mix of macros you need.

Try the Lemon Pepper Grilled Rainbow Trout With Steamed Broccoli and Turnip Greens

A trout is a higher-in-fat option than catfish (another keto choice). And the addition of a greenside means you’re getting a non-starchy veggie on your plate. Adding butter to this meal adds 4g fat per tab.

Maggiano’s Little Italy

Pasta places are rife with crave-worthy high-carb dishes. If you can get past those (and the breadbasket), you have good options.

Try the Grilled Salmon Lemon and Herbs. The grilled fillet is bathed in a white wine butter sauce and served alongside spinach. At 800 calories, though, you could easily save half for tomorrow’s lunch.

Bonefish Grill

A fish and seafood restaurant is a prime place to find an excellent keto meal. Generally, avoid anything fried or breaded in favor of grilled. Rather than sauces (which can be a surprising source of carbs), add butter or olive oil on your own.

Their keto option, Grilled Atlantic Salmon With Green Beans, has Salmon, which is naturally fatty. It is packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. If 50 g of protein is too high, eat half. Ordering lemon butter as a topping adds 6 g of fat. Make green beans your side to get in veggies for minimal carbs.

Boston Market

The classic chicken place serves you well when you choose basic chicken and veggies. Skip the bread and sauce; they can quickly put you over your carb allotment.

Try the Rotisserie Chicken and Caesar Salad and go for the three-piece dark meat meal (dark meat contains more fat than white breast meat). You could also choose steamed veggies, cucumber salad, or creamed spinach.

But if you want to up your fat consumption, go for the Caesar salad minus the croutons.

Portillo’s

Head to the “Nudies” menu of this popular hotdog chain. There, you’ll find chicken, sausage, burger patties, and fish that you can top with a source of fat and side at your discretion.

Their keto choice is the “Nudie” Grilled Tuna. Brats and sausage contain more fat, although saturated.

Grilled yellow-fin tuna, on the other hand, offers some healthy omega-3s. Consider eating half of the tuna steak to keep protein in check.

To bump up this meal’s fat content, head over to the salad section and order a side of olives or get a side salad and douse with olive oil and vinegar.

Au Bon Pain

You can belly up to the hot or cold lunch bar for options like adobo chicken or beef and broccoli. But if you need something to-go, opt for their all-day breakfast options made keto-friendly.

Try their 2 Eggs, Cheddar, and Sausage recipe. This option comes on a bagel, so ask them to skip the bread entirely, and grab a fork when you feast. Remember to choose whole eggs to keep the fat content higher, as egg whites are fat-free.

Final Thoughts

Turning to a low-carb diet can be challenging. Most people don’t understand just how many carbs they’re ingesting or the impact it’s having on their digestive health and weight.

That said, an increasing fraction of restaurants are tailoring menus to low-carb eating. And, to be sure, low-carb consumption isn’t for everyone, and everyone should check with a doctor before any significant dietary changes.

Categories
Keto Facts

Glucose vs. Ketones: Which is Best for the Brain?

Ketosis is a metabolic state where the liver takes proteins and fat and allows molecules to use them for energy.

Ketosis allows a starving person to survive for days (or even months). Some athletes see changes while others feel miserable whenever they are in a ketogenic state.

That said, is a ketogenic diet ideal for you?

Ketogenic Diet and the Brain

Your brain is about 2% of your body mass, even though it needs about 20% of your basal metabolic rate, more if you are a thinker.

Different parts of your brain use different amounts of glucose, and almost twice as much in the morning. You will need to fuel your mind more if you have your mind working hard throughout the day and solving problems.

If you’re working more on engine control (state a skill requiring precision or equilibrium), you will use less glucose. Many people can attest to how significant energy is used by the brain when tested.

Although sugar is run off by our brains rather than fat, they can also run off of ketones as an alternative fuel source. People who market diets tend to be wary that an increase in ketones develops repair and healing of neurons. It also increases the neurotransmitter GABA.

GABA makes it possible to sleep. It’s also the primary neurotransmitter that influences sleep and antipsychotic drug influence.

Due to the influence of ketones on the brain, a ketogenic diet can help those with seizures. Of course, ketosis indicates you’re burning far more fat for energy.

You won’t bet on some harmful diabetic ketosis amount as long as you produce even only a tiny amount of insulin. So as long as you are not Type 2 or Type 1, there is nothing to fret about immediately.

However, to stay in a ketosis state, you typically require to eat less than 50g of carbs per day, if not less than that. In this state, the body’s functions are fat-based instead of glycogen, and the brain is based on ketones instead of glucose.

People wanting to achieve ketosis can not consume an excessive amount of protein. This implies no more than 150g per day. Protein could be converted into glycogen and can also be used to make glucose, and you would throw the body out of ketosis.

What are Ketones?

David Nazarian, MD, defines Ketones as “water-soluble particles” produced by the liver. They are made from fatty acids when your body does not create sufficient insulin to turn glucose into energy.

Simply put, ketones (or ketone bodies) are an alternative fuel source. When your body doesn’t have adequate sugar or glucose for energy, your body will require a new energy source. Your body will then shift to breaking down fat for energy.

This method is done in the liver, where fats are turned into a chemical called ketones. The ketones are then discharged from the liver and go into your bloodstream. They are used as fuel to push the body’s metabolism and to support muscle function. 

The body typically requires ketones when insulin levels are low. This usually occurs during fasting, eating low-carb diets, or when sleeping. 

In uncontrolled type 1 diabetes, ketones may be produced due to a shortage of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.

Measuring ketone production can be performed with urine testing. The safe measure of ketones in urine varies from person to person and depends on their underlying health situations.

While some people can produce ketones in their urine, others should be bothered if there is a ketone build-up. That’s because this could be suggestive of a more severe problem.

Are Ketones Dangerous?

It’s not typically an issue for people who are not having diabetes when your body creates ketones. However, for people with diabetes, ketones can be very risky. This is because the body can’t control insulin, glucagon, and other hormones in those with diabetes. 

“High levels of ketones can be hazardous and can cause health problems. Dangerously, high levels of ketones in our bodies usually happen in insulin-dependent diabetic type 1 patients who do not intake their insulin,” said Dr. Nazarian, “It can lead to dehydration and can also turn the chemical balance of your blood. Your blood becomes more acidic which if not treated immediately can lead to a coma or death.”

If your levels are low-moderate, call your doctor to address these levels to receive further testing. Your doctor will likely run a urine or blood test to determine ketone levels and perform a blood sugar test at your visit.

For levels greater than 1.6, it is essential to seek medical attention as symptoms could be life-threatening. 

How to Test Your Ketone Levels

There are three different ways of testing your ketone levels — blood, breath, and urine. Of all three methods, blood ketones are the most accurate because they interpret what you’re body is currently working with. 

Urine testing is only helpful in the first stages of keto-adaptation when your body is still learning how to utilize the ketones you’re creating. A good piece of the ketones you produce will get drained out through your urine during this time. This can give you insight into whether or not your body is creating ketones. 

However, over time, your body will become more accustomed, and the number of ketones lost in your urine will reduce. 

Breath testing is an excellent way to examine and is much less invasive than blood testing, but it may be less accurate. 

Either way, understanding your ketone levels is an excellent way to determine if your diet and lifestyle changes are working.

There are several methods to test your body for ketones. You can get the tests done in a lab, but there are faster and more affordable alternatives.

Your ketone levels can be anywhere from zero to 3 or higher. They are measured in millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Below are the general scales, but keep in mind that test results can vary depending on your diet, activity level, and how long you’ve been in ketosis.

  • Negative ketone level: less than 0.6 mmol
  • Low to moderate ketone level: between 0.6 to 1.5 mmol
  • High ketone level: 1.6 to 3.0 mmol
  • Very high ketone level: greater than 3.0 mmol

Now, let’s go over the different ways for testing and the pros and cons of each:

Urine Testing

Method: You pee on a urine strip, which symbolizes the level of ketones by color.

Pros: You can purchase the strips at most pharmacies or online for a low cost. This is an affordable and accessible substitute for someone new to the ketogenic diet.

Cons: Urine test strips aren’t as reliable the longer you’ve been in ketosis. That’s because the longer a person is in ketosis, the more efficient the body is in using ketones for energy.

Therefore, the test can show a lower level of ketosis than you’re actually in.

The urine ketone readings can also be altered by other factors, including the level of electrolytes in the body or how hydrated you are.

Blood Testing

Method: With a blood glucose meter, you apply a lancet pen to press onto your fingertip and draw a small blood sample. The blood used on a test strip observes blood ketone levels through the meter.

Pros: This is a very accurate means of ketone monitoring since few factors alter the results.

Cons: It can be expensive, especially if you test regularly. Cost is often $5-10 per strip!

Note: The ketone BHB is transported through the blood, so this is the best way to observe your levels of that specific ketone.

Breath Testing

Method: You use a Ketonix breath meter to examine the amount of acetone present on your breath.

Pros: It’s affordable after buying the meter. Once you purchase it, you can use it continuously without extra charge.

Cons: It’s not the most reliable testing process, so it’s best used in conjunction with other methods.

What if My Ketones are Too High?

Handling high ketone levels can help you avoid Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA).

Work with your doctor to determine what you need to do to help manage moderate ketone levels. If you’re incapable of treating at home or if your levels continue to climb, you’ll need to receive medical treatment.

Treatments can incorporate:

Intravenous (IV) fluid replacement

One DKA symptom is prolonged urination, which can result in fluid loss. Rehydrating with IV fluids can help to reduce the extra glucose in your blood.

Electrolyte replacement

When a person has DKA, their electrolyte levels direct downwards. Examples of electrolytes involve potassium, sodium, and chloride. If a person spends too much of these electrolytes, their heart and muscles can’t function as well.

Insulin

In an emergency, people are usually given insulin through an IV. This is to increase their ability to use excess glucose in the blood for energy. It also includes testing glucose levels on an hourly basis.

When your ketones and blood acid level normalizes, IV insulin may no longer be necessary. And you would continue your regular insulin therapy regimen.

DKA can also be caused by an underlying ailment, such as an infection or a severe stomach bug that causes vomiting. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe treatments for the underlying condition as well.

What is Glucose?

Glucose is the primary sugar in your blood. Carbohydrates from the food you eat become transformed into glucose.

Glucose is necessary for that it gives the energy of your organs that they can immediately utilize. It enables you to perform an intense workout and lets your body create other molecules like collagen.

Glucose also serves as brain fuel.

Benefits

Glucose helps you complete challenging mental tasks

Your brain spends 10.8 calories in one hour to perform its tasks. That’s how energy-hungry the brain works.

The more challenging the mental duty is, the more glucose it needs. Usually, such tasks are those that you may not be very good at and require you to think. Scientists recommend that eating sugary foods should increase the performance of these tasks. 

Glucose increases the attention span of children

Considering general knowledge, we can say that glucose helps us refocus when we feel exhausted. For example, during a pause between exams, having a sugary drink puts us back into action.

One study observed 60 six and seven-year-old children. As the end of the school day neared, they were given a drink. That drink carried either 25 grams of glucose or a placebo. Results revealed that those who had the glucose-filled drink were able to support their attention for longer.

Drawbacks

Habitual sugar consumption may increase depression risk

Sugar is such a controversial subject. It’s on the list of factors that are likely to add to depression.

Too much sugar, especially sugar found in soft drinks, juices, and pastries, reduces your brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

If you don’t know what BDNF is, it’s a protein that supports and promotes your neurons’ growth. Brains of patients who are depressed show reduced activity of BDNF. This could tell the link between high sugar intake and depression.

Sugar triggers the reward centers of the brain connected to addiction

A 2018 research examined the influence of sugar on obesity, a medical condition that strikes millions of people worldwide. It’s no secret that sugar is found in the highly processed, inexpensive, and convenient foods we ingest. But how does sugar add to obesity?

Sugar is an addictive element as it boosts your brain’s reward circuit that’s connected to addiction. In effect, you always want to endure the pleasure of eating sugar. It becomes a habit.

The same study showed that sugar dependent rats increased their intake of alcohol. Neurochemical similarities were also observed among sugar dependent rats and those who misused drugs.

Ketones vs. Glucose

So, should you strive to achieve this ketogenic state? For many people, they need to do it at least to turn their body from insulin resistance.

Again, like most things, it is highly individualized. If you’re incredibly resistant, this might be your way out of it and about the road to health again.

Overall, most people could do much better (significance become fitter and more healthy), consuming fewer carbs. But when they don’t need to, some people incline to go to stress and extreme carbs.

Many people also fear insulin. That’s because everything we read about obesity, cancer, and other ailments talks about insulin and inflammation.

But remember, it is all about obtaining just the right amount. Insulin is not a dangerous guy; just too much of it is. If you don’t get insulin when you ought to be, you’re really in a more desperate situation than becoming insulin resistant.

It typically takes two to three weeks to turn your body over to fat from using glucose as the primary fuel source, with a very low carb, high-fat diet plan. Merely squeezing your diet a little bit won’t do the job. You have to be intense for a few weeks and then take in carbohydrates to determine how your body reacts to them.

The nice thing about turning your body from sugar burning is that you won’t revert to this routine. Whether you want to be in ketosis or not is your decision, but you should be ready to go days with no carbs (other than veggies) in your diet plan.

You should only consume carbohydrates when you only want to eat them. Remember, even if you’re only consuming about 2,000 calories per day, then 100g of carbohydrates is only 20% of your diet plan.

You’re getting an equal amount of protein, and that leaves the fat around 60%.

You are going to require some more carbs if you are training hard. Therefore, if you are going to attempt a diet, do it in the offseason. For example, when you’re in a recovery period in racing or training hard.

On a clinical note, many people perform well staying in ketosis for more than a month or two months, max. Health disorders and pain have been a consequence of being in a ketogenic condition for such a long time.

The diet helps people improve mentally and physically, but it can turn on them without proper knowledge. Therefore, have to pause every few months or so if you’re going to go keto. This is to see how you perform and feel in and out of ketosis.

Glucose Metabolism (Glycolysis)

Dietary glucose is achieved through the digestion of carbohydrates in the stomach and small intestine. It is further broken down through the method of glycolysis.

Through a sequence of steps, glucose is broken down into pyruvate and acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA enters the TCA cycle (tricarboxylic acid cycle), which is also recognized as the citric acid cycle (CAC) or Krebs cycle.

For each glucose molecule that sustains glycolysis, there is a net increase of 2 ATP molecules, 2 NADH molecules, and 2 pyruvate molecules (technically 4 ATP are generated, but 2 are used).

Glucose Transport into the Brain

Glucose is carried in the blood and passes through the blood-brain-barrier via glucose transporters (GLUT). This is to provide the brain with energy.

Both GLUT1 and GLUT3 transport glucose in the brain. However, GLUT 3 is the most overflowing, making it predominantly a response for glucose transport into the brain.

Energy for the brain is constructed from glucose breakdown and the formation of ATP. 

Ketone Metabolism (Ketogenesis and Ketolysis)

When carbohydrates are limited, and insulin is lowered, fatty acids are mobilized. These free fatty acids (FFAs) are broken down into acetyl-CoA inside the liver. High levels of acetyl-CoA lead to ketone bodies’ production (acetoacetate, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate). This method is known as ketogenesis. The liver releases ketones into the bloodstream, where they can travel to the brain.

Ketones can then be broken down into acetyl-CoA, which feeds into the TCA cycle to produce energy (ATP). This method is known as ketolysis.

Ketone Transport into the Brain

The brain takes up BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate) via Monocarboxylate Transporters or MCTs.

BHB is turned into acetoacetate and then into acetoacetyl. Acetyoacetyl can then be turned into acetyl-CoA before entering the mitochondria.

This is where it enters the TCA cycle and leads to ATP (energy) composition.

Final Thoughts

You might wonder which between Ketones and glucose can fuel your brain thoroughly.

Based on the studies above, ketones make a more reliable fuel source. Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), the richest ketone body, acts as a more effective fuel than glucose.

More research also shows that the brain can benefit from ketones. Hence, a low-carb diet is suggested to people with Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.

While the brain operates on glucose, it uses ketones as an alternative whenever there’s a glucose deficiency. If you’re thinking about making the shift from glucose to ketones as brain fuel is worth it, consider the points we discussed above.

Glucose is necessary, and that’s true. However, too much glucose in the blood causes more harm than good.

We live in an age that adopts convenience, and with that, most of our convenient food options carry loads of sugar. Sugar is connected with health problems like depression and obesity.

Nonetheless, if you plan to begin a keto diet for brain health, be sure to consult with your doctor first.