A ketogenic diet comprises low-carbohydrate and high-fat (good fat) foods that put the body in a state of ketosis, which is a natural metabolic state where the body generates energy by burning fats instead of carbs. Many people follow a keto diet to lose weight.
Keto diets also help reduce blood sugar and insulin levels to maintain. One must diligently follow the diet to lose weight, boost metabolism, and enjoy numerous health benefits.
However, it is equally important to be aware of the foods that must be avoided while following such a diet. Here are some items that cannot form part of the keto diet food list.
Foods with vegetable and seed oils
One must get rid of anything made with vegetable, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed, corn, safflower, and canola oils. Processed oils are manufactured to have a longer shelf life. However, most of these go rancid before they can even be incorporated in recipes. The heat from cooking further oxidizes the unhealthy fats that cannot be readily processed by the digestive system. So, it’s a good idea to strike off these oils from the keto diet food list. Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and clarified butter can serve as viable substitutes for the special diet.
The artificial sweeteners have refined sugar, a component that is entirely composed of unhealthy carbs. Zero-calorie sweetener packets, especially, pose health risks that can have an adverse effect on the body. One must also avoid foods and beverages that are made from aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame, and saccharin. A few common examples include diet drinks, sugar-free candies and chewing gum. Nutritionists recommend the use of stevia, a natural extract found in leafy greens as an alternative sweetener to reduce the risk of health complications. Add stevia to the keto diet food list as regular use of the natural extract can help lower blood pressure and also maintain blood sugar levels.
The digestive system cannot process sugar alcohols and the compounds directly transition into the large intestine. Overuse of sugar alcohols also lowers one’s ketone levels that can result in health complications like diabetic ketoacidosis. It is necessary to avoid foods and beverages that contain high concentrations of glycerol, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, xylitol, and sorbitol. One can switch to the use of erythritol as a safer sugar substitute while following a keto diet. Erythritol is low in calories and does not disrupt the functioning of the digestive system. It is an excellent sugar substitute for baking purposes too.
Carbonated beverages are both high in processed sugars and unhealthy carbohydrates. A single can of soda contains up to 40 grams of carbs. Most people think diet soda is the low-carb alternative; however, it contains artificial sweeteners. Studies have also shown that regular consumption of diet soda can affect the metabolism and lead to weight gain. One can always reserve the option of consuming sparkling water as an alternative to any type of soda. Sparkling water retains the fizz that carbonated drinks provide minus the sugar and calories.
Processed foods that seem healthy are high in carbs and contain preservatives to increase their shelf life. For example, low-calorie energy bars are made using vegetable oils, contain refined sugars to enhance the taste, and are loaded with additives and preservatives. These processed bars can have a negative effect on the ketone levels. One must completely avoid eating manufactured energy bars. One can try the many easy-to-make keto bar recipes available online and add them to their keto diet food list. Similarly, one must avoid the temptation of having low-carb desserts. The body can only process a finite amount of refined sugar in a day and it is very common to overeat sweets.
There are several reasons why one must exclude soy and soy-based products from their keto diet food list. Soy is high in phytoestrogens that can affect hormone levels in the body, causing an imbalance. Processed soy foods are also high in phytates and contain very little nutrients. An increase in phytate content in the body can lead to reduced absorption of essential minerals and nutrients by the body. Tofu, soymilk, soymilk-based products, and soy meat must be avoided at all costs.
Butter, cheese, cream, and even milk must be consumed in moderation. If possible, one must eliminate them from their keto diet food list. The main aim of a keto diet is to lose weight and dairy consumption can disrupt a good weight loss routine. Also, dairy products have casein and lactose that can cause intolerance issues, posing a serious health risk. The alternative is to switch to keto-friendly dairy substitutes including coconut oil, coconut milk, and cashew cheese to curb those dairy cravings and still manage to lose weight in a controlled manner.