The Ketogenic diet emphasizes eating foods that are high in protein and good fats, while eliminating carb-rich foods. The foods prohibited by the Keto diet include: bread, crackers, bagels, cookies, pastries, etc. Processed foods found in boxes and plastic bags are out. Vegetables, meats, seafood, fats, and dairy are in. Basically, foods made with white flour and sugar are off limits.
This diet offers the amazing opportunity to heal diabetes with food. One study found that while following the Ketogenic diet, 95.2% of Type II diabetics reduced or terminated their need for blood sugar medication within 6 months!
Regardless of these benefits, eating low-carb or “Ketogenic” can at times be tricky, so we’re reviewing five of the most frequent low-carb diet mistakes.
Protein is great for the body, and is necessary for energy and muscle. However, like with all foods, appropriate portions are key. Just because you’re “low-carb” doesn’t mean you can fry up a pound of bacon for dinner! Protein should account for about 20% of your daily food intake, with healthy fats making up 70-80%.
Americans have been brain-washed for decades into believing that fat is bad for our health. This was a ploy by the sugar industry to increase sales… and it worked. Unfortunately, our nation is now addicted to sugar and our healthcare system is overwhelmed by the results.
Research has found that fat is not the health threat it was touted to be, and that refined sugars and processed foods are the real enemies of health.
When you’re eating a high-fat diet, especially one that contains animal fat, the quality of your protein is of utmost importance. Pay the extra if you can for wild-caught fish, and grass-fed beef and butter. If these items don’t fit into your food budget, supplement with organic, free-range eggs, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
It is important to note that many high-carb foods are also high in empty calories. Calories are literally defined as the units of energy the body can use. For example, the calories in sugary breakfast cereals do nothing for the body except raise blood sugar. Sure, foods like avocado and butter are high in calories, but the body actually utilizes those calories to benefit your overall health, not to mention your blood sugar. Don’t be afraid of calories, instead focus on choosing high quality, healing foods.
Don’t skip meals. While it may be tempting to cut calories by not eating, this strategy will backfire. When you skip a meal, your blood sugar goes haywire. It can drop to unsafe levels; you will notice that you have less energy, and you may develop a headache, or stomachache. When you finally do eat something, you are likely to over-eat (thereby consuming more calories than you would if you had eaten two regular meals), or make a less-than-ideal food choice because you are so hungry. Not to mention, your blood sugar will skyrocket because it is getting stimulated all at once instead of over the span of an entire day.
- Cheat Foods
While it is fine to indulge (in small portions on occasion), “a few bites” can be more impactful than you realize. A food journal is a great great way to ensure certain foods and drinks aren’t sabotaging your health. Food journaling is especially helpful for diabetics because not only can you write down what you eat and drink, you can write down your blood sugar levels. This will help you notice patterns. For example, you may notice that your blood sugar goes higher after eating French fries than it does after eating a sweet potato with butter and cinnamon. Now, when you want a starch, you can make a more positive choice!
Take your journal to your next check-up and review it with your physician. He or she will be pleasantly surprised at your dedication, and will likely be happier with the numbers you are now producing!
- Balancing Your Lifestyle
It’s crucial to find balance in your life regardless of carb count. While what you choose to eat is incredibly important for your health and blood sugar, there is so much more to life than what you should and should not eat. Happy, healthy relationships, good sleep, regular exercise, drinking plenty of water, stress management, etc. All are necessary to achieve your best health.
Don’t go it alone! Identify the supportive individuals in your life. Tell them about your goals and ask them to keep you accountable and motivated as you work toward those goals. This group could consist of family members, friends, coworkers, or online support circles.