Going on quarantine has put a lot of us on full hibernation mode - the cycle of sleeping and eating round the clock became the norm for a few months. But now that cities are starting to open up and you finally revisit your closet - you realize your clothes somehow don't fit the same way anymore. So what now? One of the biggest diet trends that have been around for a few years now is the ketogenic diet, more popularly known as keto.
A lot of people swear by it as an "easy and sustainable" way of losing weight and keeping it off. Others get lured in because of the promise of unlimited bacon to lose weight. But is that really all that possible? Below we'll briefly discuss the keto diet and help you get started on how to choose the best ingredients for your keto meals - with comments and tips from nutritionist-dietitian Samantha Morales. Also, don't skip out on our top 10 list and check our serving suggestions and tips!
Samantha began her career in clinical nutrition and weight management at a tertiary hospital in Manila, Philippines. Her practice allowed her to give nutrition counseling and plan modified diets for patients with medical conditions. Presently, she does private practice to focus on true holistic wellness - an approach that believes in aligning one's mind, body, and spiritual well-being.
In a nutshell, it is an LCHF or low-carb, high-fat diet. The principle behind this is if you replace your carbohydrate intake with fat, it puts your body in a state of ketosis. This makes your body burn fat quickly.
A lot of dieters have found that replacing carbohydrates with fat makes you full longer. This makes it easier for those who are on this diet to stop counting calories and instead focus on hitting fat targets.
The targets are usually calculated depending on your height and weight. The usual average is planning your meals around 70-80% of fat, 10-20% of protein, and 5-10% carbohydrate.
The ketogenic diet was applied clinically to help those with medical challenges such as epilepsy and seizures. A ketogenic diet gives emphasis to the amount of fat intake. This leads to ketosis, wherein fat (ketones) are used up as the energy source instead of carbohydrates. Based on studies, ketosis can have a positive effect on one's mood, weight loss, and even cognitive function.
Now that you know the basics of keto and you're ready to dive in. But how would you know if the food you're having delivered is actually keto? We compiled a short list for you to keep in mind.
Not all fats are created equal! While keto is about eating more fat, it is still important to avoid trans fats - especially those that come from artificial sources. These are usually found in processed foods such as baked goods (cookies and cakes), snacks (chips, microwave popcorn), and fast-food.
Good fats usually come from fatty meat like beef, lamb, pork and chicken; fatty fish like salmon; healthy oils like coconut oil, olive oil, and sesame oil; dairy products such as whole milk and cheese; and let's not forget good ol' avocado.
Eating a ketogenic diet includes high amounts of fat-rich foods such as chicken, eggs, butter, meat, fatty fish, coconut oil, MCT oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and a limited amount of carbohydrates from vegetables. When eating these high-fat foods, it's advisable to choose organic, antibiotic-free, or grass-fed meats whenever possible.
Sugars are 100% carbs, and is not allowed at all on a keto diet. However, sugar can be hidden in foods perceived to be healthy. It always helps to go through the label and check for different names for sugar which includes glucose, fructose, molasses, and sucralose among others.
Common sources of sugar include most fruits, protein bars, and asian sauces. Reading labels help a lot in successfully reaching ketosis.
When on a ketogenic diet, carbohydrate intake can only take up about 5% of the total calories. You can get sugars (carbohydrates) from grains such as oatmeal, rice, bread, pancakes, fruits, legumes, root vegetables like potatoes or beets, and beans aside from the sugar per se (ex. cane sugar). Likewise, when consuming processed foods, it's better to always read the ingredients list, and watch out for hidden sugar sources.
Food quality should always be your most important consideration. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if it comes in a box or is packaged in a factory, it is most likely not good for you.
In checking package labels, the lesser ingredients used is better than a long list that usually includes different chemicals and hidden sugars.
To be able to support your digestive health, immunity, and longevity, always choose real and whole foods. Eat foods closest to their original state. Try to make your food from scratch from real ingredients as much as you can to lessen or, better yet, avoid chemical-laden food products as well as hidden sugars and additives.
Here are our top picks of ingredients for your next homemade keto meal!
**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period**
Urban Greens Market
WS Healthy Products
Virgin Coconut Oil
Organic Cacao Powder
Keto Peanut Butter Crunch
Pork Buto Buto
Roasted Whole Almonds
No Need to Give Up Rice
The Most Versatile Keto Staple
Baking with Keto
For the Chocolate Lovers
Low Carb Vegetable that Packs a Punch
From Sweet to Savory
Add Oomph to your Keto Meals
For Fighting the Dreaded Keto Flu
Easy Keto Snack
Savor the Taste of High Quality Meat
|Price Starts at||₱70||₱225||₱500||₱200||₱50||₱330||₱90||₱230||₱365||₱699|
Below is Samantha's recommended product for those who are interested in trying out the ketogenic diet!
There are so many misconceptions on keto. We put together the most popular ones and explain why these are untrue!
Spoiler alert: the answer is no. While keto dieters are supposed to hit fat targets everyday, this does not translate to all the bacon you can eat.
In hitting these targets, unsaturated fat should be prioritized over saturated fat. Unsaturated fat usually come from plants (such as avocado, olive oil, most nuts and seeds) or other food rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids such as fatty fish, soybeans, and oysters.
Choose the right kind of fats. Bacon is a saturated fat that may increase your triglycerides or lipid profile when taken in excess amounts. Eat more omega-3 rich foods such as wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, cod liver oil, anchovies, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, just to name a few.
Another popular myth is that since fruits and vegetables are rich sources of carbohydrates, you can't eat them while on keto. This can't be further from the truth.
Fruits and vegetables play an important part in keeping the food moving in your digestive system - essential in fighting constipation, which is every keto dieter's worst nightmare. There are non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, and low-carb fruits such as berries - that are considered keto food.
Since the ketogenic diet is made up of 5% carbohydrates from total calories, only small amounts of leafy vegetables, onions, peppers, and fruits are permitted. These whole food ingredients support our gut health and immunity. Thus, limiting these food items may also affect our bodily functions over time. Currently, there is not enough research on the side effects of a long-term ketogenic diet.
As with any other diet or major lifestyle change, you should first consult with your doctor before taking the plunge. Just because you saw astounding weight-loss results from your friends does not mean that the same will apply to you.
As with other trendy diets, there is not enough research and information yet about this diet that can vouch for its long-term safety.
Again, the ketogenic diet was originally studied and prescribed for those with epilepsy. For most people, the ketogenic diet can be used short-term, primarily for weight loss, a boost of energy, or even mental clarity.
However, there is not enough evidence yet on the effects of the ketogenic diet on the body in the long run. The ketogenic diet is not safe for pregnant, lactating, those who had a history of eating disorders, pancreatic, kidney or liver diseases, type 1 diabetes, or high blood sugar issues.
Samantha Morales answers some of the internet's most asked questions in the section below!
As I have said above, it is originally intended as medical nutrition therapy for those with epilepsy/seizures. They will be the ones who will benefit most from the diet.
When your body is in ketosis, your body uses ketones as a source of its energy. Ketosis may vary per individual - it may happen quicker for some, results may differ, and even signs or symptoms may vary. Aside from weight loss, ketosis may improve your mood, cognitive ability, improve memory function, and may also enhance physical performance.
We compiled other ingredients you might want to consider adding in your keto pantry. Here are some of our suggestions.
Looking for a diet that works best for you primarily depends on your lifestyle and how willing you are to sustain that change. While some people have reported success in doing the keto diet, there are some who have put back the weight (or even gained more than their starting weight) after stopping keto.
Be kind to yourself and bear in mind that losing weight is a process that takes time.
Author: Laura Mercado
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