You’ve probably heard about the keto diet. It’s the newest hype. All the papers are writing about it and the interest online is just exploding. So what is the keto diet? What does keto even mean and how is it done? In this article you will learn all you need to know.
What does the word “keto” mean?
Basically the body can run on two different fuels. One is sugar from carbohydrates in the food we eat and that’s what most people today primarily use. Let’s say if they’re eating bread,pasta, rice, potatoes etc. The other fuel is fat.
The keto diet is a very low-carb diet. So low in carbs that the body has to switch to mainly using fat for fuel. For example from real foods like eggs,meat, avocados, butter, olive oil, nuts, etc. Even the brain can become fueled by fat. When the body is out of sugar, fat is converted in the liver into energy molecules called ketones that fuel the brain. And the diet that results in this is called ketogenic, meaning it produces ketones. And that’s why the diet is called the keto diet.
Being fueled mostly by fat,a state called “ketosis”, has many benefits
- You become a fat-burning machine.
- It’s perfect for weight loss without hunger,
- Burning fat 24/7 even when you’re sleeping.
- Because it gives you tons of energy,you’ll basically never run out.
Why the keto diet has become super popular in the last few years is actually not entirely new. The foundation of keto is something old that you’ve heard about a million times. It’s a strict low-carb diet,it’s a gluten-free diet, it’s similar to the paleo diet and it’s very close to the old and well-known Atkins diet. The basic idea is super simple and based on real foods. You simply avoid most carbohydrates like sugar, processed junk food, bread, pasta, rice etc. And instead you eat meat, fish, eggs,vegetables and natural fats like butter.
What is different with keto?
Difference is that it’s a supercharged low-carb diet where you can make sure you get the maximum benefits. So keto is a supercharged version of an old idea. Similar diets have been tried for decades,even centuries. These similar diets keep returning more popular than ever because they work. And this could have an evolutionary explanation as our ancestors did not eat refined carbohydrates or sugar like we do today, so our bodies may not be adapted to those foods. Modern science proves that it works. On a keto diet most people can lose excess weight without hunger and a number of health issues tend to improve. Most importantly a keto diet isn’t just used as a temporary fix. Many people enjoy it as a long term lifestyle. Not just for weight loss,but for long-term health and well-being and staying fit year-round. Many people feel energized,full of mental clarity and have stable blood sugar levels. Most of the hunger disappears,cravings for sweets foods are reduced, so there’s no need to snack all the time anymore. People save time by being happy with fewer meals. They eat delicious food whenever they’re hungry and there’s not even any need to count calories. Most people feel so satiated on keto that they can eat when they’re hungry and still eat less and lose excess weight. They don’t even have to exercise. Now of course some exercise is good for you for health and feeling your best, but it’s not required for weight loss and certainly not on keto.
14 Vegetables that are keto friendly.
All the vegetables in this article are so low in carbohydrate that you can pretty much eat as much as you want even on the most restrictive of low carb diets such as the ketogenic diet.Now, all the vegetables mentioned in this article contain less than 5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams of food and net carbs are the digestible bit that our bodies actually can use for energy. It’s a really low amount of carbs which means you’ll more than likely be full before you start to over eat these foods
1. Zucchini (Courgettes) : This member of the squash family is particularly low in carbohydrates and it’s really versatile.Compare it to other members of the squash family such as pumpkins which have 6.5 grams of net carbs and butternut squash which has 10grams, whereas courgettes have just 2.1 net carbs per 100 grams. You can roast them. Fry them. Grill them but they’re perhaps most famous in the low-carb world as an alternative to pasta. You can use a spiralizer to turn courgettes into spaghetti which we call “courgetti” but I guess if you call courgette zucchini I Guess zoodles work just as well. You can try this Courgetti Bolognese recipe or if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous then use them as a noodle substitute.
2.Aubergine or eggplant. Now these can be cooked in a variety of ways. I love them because they suck up the flavor from everything around them. My favorite way to cook them is to cut them into thin slices and use them as a substitute for lasagna sheets.
3.Asparagus: this vegetable has such incredible flavor especially if you can get it locally produced and in season. It makes a great low carb side dish steamed, sauteed, barbecued.
4. Broccoli:Now this might seem like a pretty boring vegetable especially if it’s just boiled or steamed but there’s loads of great ideas where you can cook broccoli that makes it more exciting stir-fry it, roast it in the oven, blend it up into a soup
5. Mushrooms: Love them or hate them,mushrooms are very low in carbs. I always try to keep some in the fridge. Garlic mushrooms are a great tasty side dish just saute them with some butter and some garlic.Mushrooms manchurian is very popular in India. I mix mushrooms with some cheese as a stuffing for a Chapati or make a lovely creamy mushroom sauce to go with Rice/Chapati/Dosa.
6.Avocado. Avocados are one of my low carb superfoods. They’re just loaded with healthy fats and are perfect in salads,blended in smoothies for an extra creamy texture or squashed up to make guacamole. Guacamole is an avocado recipe, a dip with tangy taste,a spread, or you may call it as salad first developed in Mexico. If you’ve never tried making guacamole at home it’s really easy and it’s so much better than the shop-bought stuff. There’s a recipe for it, main Ingredients being Avocados, sea salt, lime juice
Not all of these vegetables are technically vegetables. Yeah it’s true some of them are actually technically fruits but we talk about them as vegetables because they have similar nutritional profiles to vegetables.
7.Tomato. Again It’s not a vegetable but it is a fruit. Lots of people seem to get upset about tomatoes on low-carb diets and I’m not really sure why that is. Yeah there are certain varieties which are a bit sweeter than others and may have slightly higher carb count but most are pretty low in carbs and of course there’s hundreds of different ways that you can use tomatoes such as raw in salads or cooked but beware of sun-dried tomatoes for the same reason that we avoid dried fruits the sugars that are there are just so much more concentrated in anything that’s been dried.
8.Cabbages: Now cabbages don’t have to be boring. You know shredded cabbages can form the basis for coleslaw and work really well as a sort of noodle substitute for low carb stir fry. These can be seriously tasty.
9.Olives: Love them, hate them, they feature in quite a lot of our recipes. but olives are often a go-to snack on the road because you can usually pick up a small pot in pretty much most supermarkets very easily.
10. Green leafy vegetables: And by green leafy vegetablesI mean things like spinach, bringreens, kale, those kinds of things. I’m not going to go into detail in this one because they’re not exactly the most inspiring out of all of these vegetables but they are super low in carbs and full of important nutrients whether you decide to cook them or blend them into smoothies. They’re always something we get more of in our diets.
11. lettuce and Cucumber : I’m going to talk about these two together again because they’re not overly exciting on their own but they form the basis of amazing salads which you can eat to your heart’s content on a low-carb diet.
12. Radish: This is something that I think is frequently overlooked as a great low carb vegetable. It’s radishes and this includes the radishes oriental cousin the daikon radish or mooli. I always used to think of using radishes in salads and we’ve used them in this awesome Salmon Nicoise Salad but they can also be roasted and stir-fried. Get creative with them.
13.Green beans which we also used in the salmon nicoise salad. You can use them in salads stir fries or as a side dish but they also work really well for meal prep foods because once cooked they can be stored really well in the fridge for a few days and last but by very means not least,
14.Cauliflower: Oh cauliflower I can’t believe I’ve left you until number 16. Now it’s fine I may have saved the best to last. Cauliflower is quite possibly the king or queen of low carb vegetables. It can be mashed as a potato substitute blend it with parmesan and use it to top off this amazing shepherd’s pie, grate it,pulse it up in a blender chop it up finely and use it as a low carb rice substitute and I just love to chunk it up into florets or steaks and roast it in the oven with some salt pepper and oil it’s such a quick easy and tasty side dish. You can even make cauliflower into a pizza base and if cauliflower can be a pizza base then my friends anything is possible!! So that is the list of my top 16 low carb vegetables and hopefully a bit of inspiration about how to use those in various recipes and all the recipes that I’ve mentioned are linked down below inthe description below this video. Now knowing which foods are lower carb options and which are higher carb options is half the battle when you’re starting out on a low-carb diet.