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The Science Behind MCT Oil, and When to Avoid It

MCT coconut oil concept - coconuts, butter and oil on wood background, copy space

There are numerous low-carbohydrate diets currently in vogue; the Mediterranean Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Paleo Diet, the Atkins Diet, and others. All restrict the intake of grains, starchy vegetables, refined sugar, and fruits. But while there are a number of similarities, when it comes to macronutrients, that’s where things start to diverge. Some low-carb The ratio of macronutrients then diverge some featuring high fat, others higher in protein.

The Ketogenic Diet (sometimes referred to simply as “Keto”) is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high-fat way of eating. Conversely, the standard western diet, characterized by its high intake of red meat, potatoes, processed foods, refined grains, and high-sugar drinks is comprised of 50% – 65% or more carbohydrates. This eating pattern is largely responsible for the high rates of obesity, both in adults and children in the U.S. today.

Keto has emerged as an effective method to counter this obesity epidemic, while also providing additional health benefits.

The macronutrient ratio in most Ketogenic Diets is approximately 65% fat, 25 – 30% protein, and 5 – 10% from carbohydrates. Obviously, this is a dramatic departure from most of today’s U.S. diets. The concept of the Ketosis Diet is to so severely restrict the amount of glucose available (through the elimination of carbohydrates) that the body will start to burn fat for energy and produce ketones. Once ketones in the body reach a certain level, you enter a state of ketosis.

The Keto Diet has become very popular, spawning an entire industry of Keto programs and products. We’ll delve into one of those products, MCT Oils, in detail in this article. Once the body enters a state of ketosis, weight loss can be achieved rapidly as the body is burning fat for fuel. Other benefits of ketosis include improved insulin resistance, and reduced risk of cardiac disease, type-2 diabetes, and cancer. Additionally, the Keto Diet has been used extensively since the 1920’s in the treatment of seizures and epilepsy in children.

One reason the Ketogenic Diet is so popular is that the higher ratio of fats and moderate protein provide a greater feeling of satiety, allowing one to go longer without eating. As a result, many Keto dieters also practice intermittent fasting, which can speed the onset of Ketosis and result in fast weight loss without the dangers of starvation.

Liquid coconut MCT oil in round glass bowl with wooden spoon and bottles. Health Benefits of MCT Oil. Triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid.

The Science of Ketosis

Nutritional Ketosis, induced by the Ketogenic Diet, is a state in which your body is efficiently burning fat for energy rather than glucoseFrom a scientific viewpoint, this is determined by the percentage of ketones in the bloodstream, stated as mM (millomolar) per DL (deciliter) of blood. At .05mM you enter ketosis, the optimal range is 1.5 mM – 3.0mM, and one really doesn’t want to exceed the upper range of 3.0mM.

This definition begs a couple of questions:

  1. How does the body achieve a nutritional state of ketosis?
  2. How do I know when I’ve achieved ketosis?

Through carb restriction on the Keto Diet, you have reduced glucose to a level that requires the body to adjust its metabolism. This process may take several days. No longer able to produce glucose, the body turns to its second choice of fuel for energy: fats. As a part of this conversion process, the body breaks down stored fat into fatty acids and glycerol. Although the cells of the body can use fatty acids and glycerol for energy, the brain cannot.

The alternate source of energy produced to supply the brain is ketones. Fatty acids are converted to ketones in the liver through the process of ketogenesis, while the glycerol is converted to sugar through gluconeogenesis. Through ketogenesis, a ketone body called acetoacetate is produced. These ketone bodies are further segregated into BHB, (Beta-hydroxybutyrate) and Acetone. Over time the body begins to utilize BHB as its preferred source of energy. That’s when you have achieved ketosis.

Although there are tests to determine if you are in ketosis, and the level to which you are in ketosis, let’s first discuss signs you should observe to let you know you’ve arrived. Unfortunately, the first indicators that you’ve achieved ketosis are not exactly pleasant: moodiness, lethargy, headaches, and bad breath, almost as if you are becoming ill. Congratulations, you have the “keto flu”. The good news is that the “flu” is normally brief and can be eased by increasing water, electrolytes and fat consumption.

The more scientific approaches to determine Ketosis include blood tests to determine ketone levels, urine ketone test strips, and breath acetone meters.

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MCT Oils, (Medium Chain Triglycerides) and the Keto Diet

Much like Atkins in the 60’s, the Keto Diet has inspired entrepreneurs and manufacturers to create products to supplement the program. Today there are meal replacements, powdered shakes, bars, collagen protein, exogenous ketones, BHP salts, diet aids (pills), low-carb bread, low-carb chocolate snacks, and even Fat Bombs, all designed to make the diet more convenient and easier to adhere to, some promising faster entry, or faster return into ketosis.

Right at the top of this list, and one of the most efficacious products is MCT Oils, (from Medium-Chain Triglycerides). But, just what is a triglyceride, and what makes one medium-chained? And, more importantly, what does MCT Oil do?

What is a Medium-Chain Triglyceride?

Let’s start with a definition of a triglyceride and perhaps we can then decipher the length of its chain? Triglycerides are a type of fat that comes from the foods we eat, such as butter, oils, and other fats. They are the most common type of fat found in our bodies, a result of excess caloric intake. They are stored in fat cells and later released when energy is required.

Triglycerides are composed primarily of fatty acids and are named after the length of their fatty acid chains. MCTs may also be referred to as MCFA’s (Medium-Chain Fatty Acids). Most fats in our diet are made of long-chain fatty acids, Omega-3’s contain from 13 – 21 carbon atoms. And so, a triglyceride with a fatty acid carbon chain of only 6 to 12 atoms is known as a “medium-chain triglyceride!” Riddle solved, right?

How MCTs are Digested

What makes MCTs unique is that they are metabolized differently than long-chain fatty acids found in most other foods. Typically, fats are absorbed by intestinal cells, placed inside chylomicrons which transport them to the lymphatic system to be circulated to the liver and adipose tissue throughout the body. These lipids with long-chain fatty acids are more easily stored. MCTs however, go straight to the liver meaning they are absorbed much faster. Once in the liver, MCTs can be used for instant energy, or they can be converted to ketones. And, remember, the brain uses ketones as it’s only alternative, and perhaps preferred, source of energy.

Let’s look at the four different MCTs; Caproic Acid – (C6), Caprylic Acid – (C8), Capric Acid – (C10), and Lauric Acid – (12). Each of the first three, the “Capr Acids,” go straight to the liver as mentioned above. In fact, the shorter the chain, the better the absorption and faster availability of energy. Lauric Acid, however, is routed through the stomach and the small intestine, does not go directly to the liver, and is a slower burning fuel source.

Interestingly enough, Lauric Acid is a prominent ingredient across several major brands of MCT Oils. Ostensibly, the Lauric Acid is included to provide an extended energy curve. Further, Lauric Acid is a source material of monolaurin, a potent nutrient not found in a normal diet, but naturally occurring in human breast milk.

How MCT Oils are Made

What is an MCT Oil and how is it made? In the context of this article, MCT Oils are dietary supplements manufactured to support your Ketogenic Diet. Unlike coconut oil and palm oil which contain MCTs as a part of their makeup, quality MCT Oils are made predominantly, if not exclusively, of MCTs.

MCT Oils are derived from coconut oil and/or palm kernel oil through a process generally known as fractionation. The process involves isolating or distilling the MCTs, and the fractionation of the different types of MCTs, Caproic, Caprylic Acid, Capric Acid, and Lauric Acid, from the base coconut or palm kernel oil. Manufacturers of MCTs produced from coconut oil are quick to point out that products made from palm oil are cheaper and less environmentally friendly, being harvested from native palm forests. We recommend you do your research to ensure any MCT Oil sourced from palm oil is RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified.

A close up of ketogenic food: coconut and coconut butter, avocado. walnuts and macadamia nuts

Where to Find MCT Oils

There are numerous manufacturers and brands in the MCT Oil space. Some of the better-known brands would include;

  • Bulletproof’s Brain Octane (Pure Caprylic Acid) and XCT (Caprylic Acid and Capric Acid)
  • Onnit, derived from 100% Pure Coconut Oil, (Caprylic Acid, Capric Acid, and a small amount of Lauric Acid)
  • Garden of Life, sourced from 100% Organic Coconut Oil, (also Caprylic Acid, Capric Acid, and a small amount of Lauric Acid)
  • Now Foods, sourced from Coconut and Palm Kernel Oil, (no further breakdown of MCTs)
  • Perfect KETO, sourced 100% from Coconuts, (Pure Caprylic Acid)
  • Perfect KETO, MCT Oil Powder, 10 grams of MCT Oil with Acacia (no further breakdown of MCTs)

You will find MCTs online at various websites and in brick and mortar specialty retailers such as GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Sprouts and Whole Foods. In fact, MCTs are becoming so popular they are now available in your traditional food stores and even your local Walmart. See examples below of popularly priced, mass market MCT Oils.

  • Nature’s Way, from Coconuts (no further breakdown of MCTs)
  • Jarrow, from Coconuts (MCTs, Caprylic and Capric Acid)

Other Foods High in MCTs

Some people prefer to get their MCTs through food as opposed to Oils. For those individuals, we suggest ordinary coconut oil, palm kernel oil, dairy products such as cheese, butter, (particularly butter from grass-fed cows), milk, and full-fat yogurt.

See below for the ratio of MCTs in these foods:

  • Coconut Oil – 15%
  • Palm Kernel Oil – 7.9%
  • Cheese – 7.3%
  • Butter – 6.8%
  • Milk – 6.9%
  • Yogurt – 6.6%

Benefits of MCT Oils

MCT Oil can offer certain benefits when used properly and in the appropriate dosages. Below we recap several reasons people are using MCT Oil supplements. However, it’s important to note that a great deal of the publicity regarding MCT Oils today is anecdotal. MCTs have been the subject of research and certain clinical trials; however, most of the data to date relates to medium-chain triglycerides, not processed MCT Oils.

  • Many people supplementing with MCT Oil are doing so for body composition purposes, to lose weight and maintain lean muscle.
  • A benefit of MCT Oils as positioned by manufacturers is that they can improve cognition and memory function. Your brain is made up primarily of fatty acids. Given ketones role in providing energy to the brain, this seems a logical conclusion. Initial research, primarily on Alzheimer’s patients, shows promise, however, more clinicals are required before established connections can be proven.
  • Many people rely on MCT Oil for an instant energy boost, to fuel their workouts, and for increased stamina.
  • Additional benefits may include:
    • Lowered cholesterol levels
    • Better blood sugar control
    • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
    • Enhanced immune system
    • Combats harmful bacteria and viruses

Potential Issues with MCT Oils Use

When taken in excessive amounts, MCT Oils may cause certain issues such as gastrointestinal distress, anxiety, mood swings, loss of appetite, and headaches.

Additionally, there is a good deal of confusion surrounding the use of MCT Oils in cooking. Due to its lower smoke point, many prefer not to cook with them. To be safe, solid coconut cooking oil, olive oil, or other cooking oils should be used in its place.

And, keep in mind, the use of MCT Oils means that you’re adding extra fats and calories to your nutrition. Excessive use could stall your weight loss progress.

But perhaps the biggest issue for Ketogenic dieters is that MCT Oils, although useful for supplying an intense boost of energy when needed (such as for workouts or in the morning), they can actually prevent your body from burning your own fat reserves and stall your weight loss goals. At the same time, some Keto practitioners have been known to overdo the MCTs, using it as a crutch to try to return to ketosis after consuming carbs.

Best Ways to Use MCT Oils

With the dangers of incorrect MCT use always present, knowing how to use this powerful keto diet aid is absolutely vital. The primary use of MCT Oil supplementation is in conjunction with the Keto Diet for weight management. The product can be used in several different ways:

  • With coffee, for cognition and energy
  • Taken alone, by the tablespoon, in the morning for mental performance
  • Between meals for fat burning
  • Mixed into protein shakes, smoothies, or meal replacement shakes, to make them more Keto friendly
  • Pre-workout for a boost of energy/endurance
  • As a substitute for conventional oils in salad dressings

But while often effective in the short term, MCT Oils should not be relied upon as quick fixes, or as viable alternatives to the Ketogenic Diet. The truth is that when it comes to achieving fat adaption, there is no miracle potion — it takes time and discipline, and if you take something looks like an easy shortcut, then there’s a good chance that you’re just going to end up lost.

There is more than sufficient evidence to support many of the claims associated with MCT Oils, but for those who are looking for more than just a short-term solution, the straight path is the more reliable one. The good news is that as your body becomes fat adapted, you’ll find that you won’t need supplements to give you the quick bursts of energy that MCT Oils are known for. After all, the main point of the Ketogenic Diet is to train your body to better use the fuel stores it already has (rather than developing dependence on yet another outside source).

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The Fat Bomb Myth: Everything You Need to Know About The Hype

It’s almost impossible to walk into a gym or grocery store and not hear about the keto diet. Unlike other fads, the keto diet has come around and stays around because it actually works!

Crazy For Keto

The keto diet consists of eating calorie appropriate meals that consist of high fat, moderate protein, a little to no carbs. Doing this for a period of time (depending on your metabolism) puts your body into a state of ketosis. Being in ketosis, your body uses ketones as its energy supply instead of sugar or carbs. Ketones are fueled by healthy sources of fat. Thus, the need for high-fat low carb consumption.

Keto boasts to be one of the few diets to actually reduce cravings. Due to a stabilized blood sugar, keto dieters rarely suffer the need to cheat.

Gateway Sweets

But, not all is well in the keto world. “Fat bombs” are a keto trend created to curb the carnivorous sweet tooth. These “treats” are usually natural, high fact, with a moderate amount of sweetness either natural or artificial. However, do fat bombs actually contribute to keto health goals or are they a step backward? Do they affect all ketoers equally? Here is everything they don’t tell you about keto fat bombs.

What is “Fat Bomb”?

the vegan of handmade candy on a wooden background. Fitness sweets. candies without sugar.

Keto fat bomb recipes usually consist of a variety of seeds, nuts, fruit, cocoa powder, natural or artificial sweetener, and a solidifying fat like nut butter or coconut oil. There are also savory fat bomb recipes that include bacon, eggs, and avocado. A fat bomb is referred to by keto dieters as a high-energy snack, treat, or dessert. Some even consume fat bombs as a pre-workout.

The appeal to fat bombs is varying. Some keto dieters use fat bombs as a way to curb sweet cravings, or for a fat-dense snack. However, the keto diet is just about cutting carbs and sugar. Eating clean is a crucial part of being successful at keto. Clean keto eating means understanding the source of your calories and ensuring they are as mineral and vitamin dense as possible while also maintaining your high-fat, low-carb macronutrients to stay in ketosis.

While fat bombs aren’t allowed nutrient dense, they do provide a huge dose of fat that can fuel ketones.

What Fat Bombs Claim to Do

Keto fat bombs are usually 90% fat (or more). The fat commonly comes from dairy or coconut milk. These keto-friendly ingredients appear to make keto bombs suitable for a dessert, snack, or meal replacement. With so much fat in a single fat bomb (hence the name) the calories in a single snack can range from 250-500. Even though a keto dieter strives for high-fat, should a quarter of your calories come from a golf ball sized goodie?

Fat Bomb Ingredient Woes

Beyond the beneficial claims of fat bombs, there are a few reasons why they are hard to support, entirely.

A common misconception about the keto diet is the need to consume a large amount of high-fat foods in order to reach ketosis. In reality, it’s the deprivation of exogenous glucose that encourages your body to burn its own stored fat for energy. Thus, fat bombs tend to focus on increasing your consumption of oil, dairy, and sweeteners that can affect your success on the keto diet. Fat bombs look good on paper but can cripple your ketosis.

Fat Bombs & Fat Loss

Despite some keto dieters claiming they’d fail the diet if it weren’t for their fatty treat, fat bombs have nothing to do with your success on the keto diet. Much of such claims are strictly mental and not at all nutritional.

Success on the keto diet is the result of hormones, specifically leptin, reacting to a lack of blood sugar resulting in the body using stored fat for energy. Fat that is consumed for energy would be used before stored fat. Therefore, the benefits of fat bombs are significantly diminished in terms of fat loss. Because, while you may be sustaining a state of ketosis, you are fueling your ketones with fat bombs as opposed to extra stomach, thigh, or arm fat. Let’s break it down a little further.

 

Leptin and insulin are opposing hormones. One tells the body to store fat, the other tells the body to stop storing fat. While everyone seems so concerned with insulin and insulin resistance, high priority should also be placed on leptin. As with all hormones, the overproduction of it decreases the body’s sensitivity to it. In a body with excess fat, leptin is overused. The impact of leptin resistance is your body not knowing when or how to stop storing fat. This fat can come from coconut oil or frying oil, it wouldn’t matter.

Fat bomb enthusiasts fail to recognize that leptin resistance, though improved when in ketosis, is still a very serious hormonal adaptation that will not be reversed by consuming high amounts of fat.

Focus on Real Food

Replacing a fat bomb with nutritionally dense foods is more effective and sustainable. With the average fat bomb recipe containing 300 calories of fat per serving, your body would benefit more from any of the following:

  • 2 Organic eggs cooked in butter
  • ½ lb of Ground beef with broccoli
  • Fresh Salad with walnuts, berries, and goats cheese

It’s no secret that having variety and color in your diet means you are supplying your body with necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Your fat sources should be just as varying. The ideal source of fat on a keto diet is high-quality, hormone-free animal fats. Recommended types of keto-friendly saturated fats include:

  • Red meat
  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Cream
  • Eggs

The fats are packed with vitamins that are necessary when in a state of ketosis. Think beyond fat in order to achieve your keto health goals.

Fat Bombs: The Ugly Truth

Ketogenic diet dessert coconut almonds sugar free chocolate stevia

The reality is that fat bombs are an unnecessary trend in the world of keto dieting. Once you’ve become keto-adapted the idea of snacking is foreign. Most importantly, hunger pains become a rarity. Thus, fasting becomes a regular and more effective part of the keto lifestyle.

Fasting and Keto

Remember our friend, leptin? This fat-blocking hormone is a keto dieter best friend. When in a state of ketosis, this hormone and others (like insulin) are secreted less often. Resulting in fewer to no blood sugar spikes or drops. Thus, the keto diet reduces hunger. If you find yourself not reaching for lunch at noon or needing that evening snack, it’s probably a sign that ketosis is improving your hormonal balance.

Fat bombs promote unnecessary snacking. And, if you are craving a sweet treat, it may mean you aren’t in ketosis any longer. To effectively curb cravings turn to whole foods that are nutritionally diverse as opposed to super fatty. Again, switching the mentality of keto meaning more fat to keto meaning less exogenous glucose. Boiled eggs or a steak salad are a great way to respond to hunger. Wait until it’s an appropriate time for a meal and skip snacking altogether.

If you are keto-adapted, fasting is a great way to boost your ketone production. Fasting also empties your blood and liver of remaining glucose to promote a state of ketosis. If you’re not hungry, don’t be afraid to fast.

Don’t Fall for the Fat Bomb Hype

Handmade chocolates and pieces of dark chocolate on a dark surface.  One of the sweets is broken into two parts to demonstrate the filling.  Close-up.  Macro shot.

There are no quick ways to keto-adapt and suddenly consuming large amounts of fats won’t do it. Stop trying to skip to the front of the line with this one. Your body is going to take its own time anyway.

Success on the keto diet looks different for everyone. But most can expect:

  • Less hunger
  • Fat loss
  • Balanced hormone
  • Accessible muscle gain/maintain
  • Sugar detox
  • Mental clarity
  • Improved concentration

and so much more.

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Accessing these benefits takes time and whole foods, not keto bombs. While a keto bomb won’t entirely wreck your diet, it certainly doesn’t add anything to it. Keep your sources clean and whole and let keto work its magic on your body and overall health. If you want to have fresh keto meals made of regenerative agriculture and organic ingredients, check this menu. We deliver nutritious and delicious keto meals to your door.

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Are Your So-Called “Low Carb Foods” Actually Low in Carbs?

The definition of a healthy diet has certainly changed over the last few decades. Low carb foods were not always seen as an integral part of a healthy diet. Not too long ago, eating a healthy diet meant consuming foods from each of the USDA’s six basic food groups, with an emphasis on high-carb foods like bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. In order to stay fit, a so-called healthy diet needed only to be paired with regular exercise; if you wanted to lose weight, you simply needed to expend more calories than you consumed.

Adhering to the pyramid sounded simple enough, right? Maybe, but the method proved ineffective for many, as has been evidenced by the obesity epidemic that has continued to grow in the United States in the decades following the USDA food pyramid.


See the following articles for more “Keto & Carbs”


A Noted Shift Toward Low Carb Diets

The world of nutritional science, however, began to change in 1992 when Dr. Robert Atkins released an updated version of his book, Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, and it became a New York Times Bestseller. The book introduced its readers to the now mainstream concept of a low-carb diet.

Many people find success in low-carb diets because they produce fast results without the feeling of hunger. This happens for a number of reasons.

For starters, when you restrict carbohydrates and seek low carb foods, your diet becomes rich in the remaining two macronutrients (macros)—fat and protein—by default. Both fat and protein take longer to digest, which keeps you feeling fuller longer. Additional protein also helps build muscles, which raises your metabolism.

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Additionally, low-carb diets stabilize blood sugar, which in turn stabilizes insulin, the body’s hormone that makes you feel hungry.

A diet that doesn’t leave your stomach growling sounds like a dream to anyone who has tried the traditional method of caloric deficit, but low-carb dieters tend to be further encouraged when they see weight loss results within the first few weeks of their new diet and realize how easy it is to follow. Following a simple formula of consuming low-carb foods and avoiding high-carb foods often naturally results in consuming fewer calories.

The Ketogenic Diet

As discussed in the bestselling book Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman, M.D., the ketogenic diet is an extension of Atkins’ work. It goes beyond the traditional low-carb diet and prescribes a specific ratio of macros in order to shift mechanisms in the body from using carbohydrates for fuel to using fat for fuel. While macros should be calculated on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration your current weight, activity level and goals, a general guideline is to craft a diet that consists of 75 percent fat, 25 percent protein, and five percent carbohydrates, not to exceed 50 grams of carbohydrates. Moore even recommends as few as 20 grams of carbohydrates for some keto dieters, but stops short of recommending no-carb diets. It is believed that the lower your carb intake, the more quick and dramatic your results will be. A simple Google search will score thousands upon thousands of weight loss success stories achieved through the keto diet.

Hidden Carbs: The Enemy to the Keto Diet

Those who do not get results often come to discover that they have fallen prey to one of the many sources of hidden carbohydrates. We all know that sugary drinks like soda and juice, and carb-loaded mountains of bread and pasta are problematic to a low-carb diet, but did you know that one medium-sized carrot has 6 grams of carbs? If you have a 20 gram carbohydrate limit, that means you expend nearly a third of your carbohydrates for the day eating just one carrot.

The unfortunate truth is that carbohydrates are lurking in all sorts of sneaky places. Reading labels is always the best policy, but knowing where to look for hidden carbs will give you a leg up on your weight loss journey.

If you are including these foods in your diet, you may be inadvertently sabotaging your efforts to reach ketosis—the state in which the body starts burning fat for energy.

Here is a list of foods with hidden carbs:

  • Sauces and condiments
  • Yogurt
  • Milk substitutes
  • Smoothies
  • Bacon
  • Processed meats
  • Some protein shakes and bars
  • Fruits
  • “No sugar added” foods
  • Nuts
  • Vitamins and some other supplements
  • Wraps
  • Corn
  • Root Vegetables

Sauces and condiments

Salad dressings, barbecue sauce, and many Asian-inspired sauces like teriyaki sauce are some of the worst offenders when it comes to added and hidden carbs. Add that to the carbs found in the vegetables they cover, and it is very easy to max out your carb limit for the day in just one meal. A seemingly low carb food like a salad or stir fry can quickly add plenty of carbs, especially when paired with the wrong dressing or sauce. Honey mustard, french dressing, and balsamic vinaigrettes aren’t exactly the most keto-friendly low carb foods. Ranch and other cream-based dressings, interestingly, are often lower in carbs. The best way to insure you are eating low carb dressings is to make them yourself. If you don’t have time for anything elaborate, try dressing your salads with a simple mixture of olive oil and lemon juice.

Yogurt

Most of us have peeled back the film on the top of one of those little plastic cups and stirred up the syrupy, brightly-colored, fruit concoction on the bottom thinking that we were really doing our body a favor. That just isn’t the case, however, if your goal is to eat low carb foods. In fact, many flavored yogurts contain more grams of sugar than everyone’s favorite little frosting-filled, chocolate-covered, chocolate snack cake, the Ding Dong.

Even plain yogurt will cost you a large portion of your allotted carbohydrate macro for the day. Just a half cup of plain, full-fat greek yogurt will cost you 15 grams of carbohydrates. This is because the milk used to make yogurt contains a natural sugar called lactose.

Milk substitutes

Manufacturers of most milk substitutes nearly always add sugar to their products to make them more palatable for their consumers. This includes almond and other nut milks, soy milk, coconut milk and lactose-free products. The good news is that these manufacturers are also responding to the growing portion of the population that enjoys some form of a low carb diet by offering “no sugar added” versions of these products. Always check labels when buying milk substitutes; if you are vigilant, it is often possible to find milk substitutes that are not just low carb, but a no-carb food.

Smoothies

Healthy pineapple, mango smoothie bowl with coconut, bananas, blueberries and granola. Top view table scene on a dark background.

Smoothies are often marketed as healthy meal replacements. This is so ingrained in our perception of nutrition that many health clubs even offer smoothie bars complete with all kinds of additives, from extra protein to workout recovery formulas and electrolytes.

The truth is, smoothies are packed full of opportunities to add sugar including yogurt and milk substitutes along with fruit and other additives.

Even smoothies based on green, leafy vegetables like spinach or kale are often mixed with sugar-laden ingredients like apple juice.

Your best bet for a keto-friendly smoothie is to make it at home with ingredients like green vegetables, berries, no or low carb protein powders and added fats like avocado or heavy whipping cream.

Bacon

You’re probably confused by this one. Afterall, bacon should be a no carb food, right? Well, in theory, yes, it should. But, in practice in today’s world of highly-processed “everything,” that often isn’t the case. Many bacon producers add sugar or maple syrup. A lot of keto-friendly bacon will be labeled as “paleo” or “sugar free,” but always check the label for things like dextrose or any kind of syrup.

Other processed meats

Bacon is not the only meat that you may assume is a no carb food only to be surprised at the additives. Deli meats, hot dogs, and sausages should all be suspect and subject to label reading. Not only do some of these meats have added sugar, many also contain starches that act as binders.

Some protein shakes and bars

Manufacturers of protein shakes have been searching for ways to make them taste better since the invention of dissolvable protein powders in the 1950s. One of the easiest and most common ways to do this is to add sugar. Even many “natural” protein bars contain dates for flavoring, which are extremely high in naturally-occuring sugar. Luckily, there are now many delicious low-carb options on the market if you just look for them. And, of course, there is always the option of making your own keto-friendly shake at home.

Fruits

Some people overlook the sugar found in fruit because it is naturally-occurring, but the reality is that when it comes to the keto diet, all carbs are carbs, and fruit is an easy way to tally up your daily carb limit in a hurry. Having said that, not all fruit is created equally. Some fruits are much higher in carbs than others. Generally speaking, berries are the lowest in sugar and therefore the easiest to incorporate into a keto lifestyle in moderation. Tropical fruits like bananas and oranges along with melons top the other end of the spectrum, and should be mostly avoided. Since fruit doesn’t come with a nutrition label to spell out its composition, you can use one of a variety of online resources like My Fitness Pal to check carb and sugar content.

“No sugar added” foods

“No sugar added” does not mean “no sugar,” and it certainly doesn’t mean low carb. Many “no sugar added” already have plenty of sugar from naturally occurring sources like honey, maple syrup, or dates. In addition to these pre-existing sugars, many “no sugar added” foods also contain high amounts of flour or grain.

Nuts

Brunette model hand holding glass hermetic pot with mix of nuts.

It’s common knowledge that nuts are high in protein, so that makes us think of them as low carb foods, but that isn’t actually the case, and many are even quite high in carbohydrates. Cashews, for example, pack a whopping 27 grams of carbs per 3.5 ounce serving, while pecans, which are lower in carbs than many other nuts, still contain approximately 14.5 grams of carbs for the same amount. Nuts are not considered completely off limits in the keto diet, but it is wise to eat them sparingly in the context of any low carb lifestyle.

Vitamins and some other supplements

It’s always a good idea to take vitamins, but this is especially important if you find yourself skimping on vegetables while on a ketogenic diet. It’s important to be aware, though, that the binders and other ingredients that form the tablets may contain a few carbs. Unless you are taking vitamins in gummy form, those carb-laden ingredients are fairly minimal. That said, it’s still a good idea to check so that you can account for these carbs in your daily macro totals.

Wraps

Wraps are often marketed as healthier options or even as a low carb food, and it can be easy to trick your brain into thinking this may be true. After all, the tortillas used in wraps are much thinner than a slice of bread. The truth, however, is that tortillas are thinner not because there is less flour or grains but because they are unleavened, meaning there is no yeast in them. Cunning marketers may even present their product as a “veggie wrap” made from something like spinach, which is one of the most low carb of all vegetables. If you look at the ingredients list, however, you will commonly find that the primary ingredient is still some sort of flour, and the carb count is still quite high. While you could spend hours searching for truly low carb wraps at your local grocer, it’s unlikely that you will find one without flour. The easiest solution here is to use lettuce rather than store-bought wraps.

Corn

Because corn is a vegetable, many people may assume it is safe, but one ear of yellow corn contains about 25 grams of carbs.That’s more than some keto dieters’ daily allowance, and would require them to consume only no carb foods the rest of the day to stay near their macros. This is because corn is comprised mostly of starch.

Root vegetables

Potatoes are famous for being the undoing of many low carb dieters and their cravings, but did you know that most other root vegetables are also packed with carbs? Like corn, root vegetables tend to be made up of mostly starches. Sweet potatoes tend to be thought of as a good alternative to regular potatoes because of the extra fiber, but they do still contain large amounts of carbohydrates, making them poor choices for a ketogenic diet. Some keto dieters will make sparing use of root vegetables like parsnips or turnips, but even those must be used in moderation because they can add up quickly.

Finding Keto Friendly Foods

Avocado, salmon, fried eggs and arugula

Finding and eliminating hidden carbohydrates is an important key to weight loss success on a ketogenic diet. That said, it’s only a small piece of the puzzle. Not all no carb foods are created equal, as there are certain factors that make some no carb foods more keto friendly than others. One of these key factors is the type of fat found in each food.

Keto dieters are famous for their butter consumption. They load everything from steaks to their morning coffee—yes, you read that right, coffee—with grass fed butter. Why the emphasis on grass fed butter? The answer is Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs).

PUFAs are found in two common forms: Omega 6 and Omega 3. In Body By Science by John R. Little and Doug McGuff, the authors explain that Omega 6 PUFAs are found in higher concentrations in grain-fed meat and dairy products, while Omega 3 PUFAs are more prevalent in grass-fed meat and dairy products.

This is an important distinction because Omega 6 PUFAs can interfere with insulin sensitivity and cause inflammation, both of which will thwart your progress on a ketogenic diet.

Other keto dieters eat things like free-range organic eggs and cheese, and consume snacks that contain low carb seeds and generally avoid foods like beans that are found in a high carb diet.

Stay Disciplined and Achieve Ketosis

It may seem overwhelming at first, but the key to mastering the ketogenic diet and reaching ketosis is as simple as researching your food before putting it into your body. In most cases, this means being religious about reading labels or pulling out your phone for a quick Google search while at the grocery store. You can even simply use the keto meal delivery service that will deliver the fresh Keto food to your home.

In the end, your body will thank you. Once you begin making ketones your primary source of energy—a state known as “ketosis”—you will start to really reap the rewards of a ketogenic diet. In addition to weight loss, the ketogenic diet may also bring additional energy and mental clarity. The time to start is now, so get to work! Start your keto meal plan with Ketoned Bodies. Organic and sustainably-sourced precooked keto meal will be delivered fresh to your door.

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The Low Down on Ketones: Plus 9 Tips for Fat Adaption

Shot of sporty young woman eating salad and drinking fruit juice in the kitchen at home.

The keto diet is one that is high in fat and low in carbs, with moderate amounts of protein. The ketogenic diet shifts the body’s fuel source away from using glucose, and instead toward using ketones for energy, into a state of ketosis. Put simply, being in ketosis means that the body relies on ketones to function.

But what are ketones, and why are they so beneficial? A significant body of research points to the anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and anti-cancer benefits of a ketogenic diet, along with the results of lower blood sugar, and a decreasing risk for developing type 2 diabetes and other conditions. Throughout this article, we’ll delve into the nitty-gritty science of ketosis, discuss tips for a successful ketogenic diet, and explain myths about the diet that often surface in the media.


See the following articles for more “Keto Guide”

[Keto Guide for a Beginner]

[Keto Information]

[Life Tips for Keto]


The Battle of Glucose and Ketones: What are ketones and why do they win?

Young fitness woman doing abdominal exercise at gym. Concentrated people in a row doing sit ups on yoga mat. Training class doing situps at cross training center.

The human body requires fuel for energy. Many believe that glucose is the preferred source of energy for the body. This, however, is a myth. But what even is glucose? Glucose is a simple sugar derived from the breakdown of all carbohydrates and proteins. The body also stores glucose in the form of glycogen in the muscles and liver.

Whenever there is glucose or glycogen available within the body, it is used first as a fuel source. Particularly, when humans consume excess carbohydrates, glucose is used rather than fat. This is due to the fact that the body can hold at maximum of 5 grams of glucose in the blood. Thus, after consuming a high carb meal, the body will burn the glucose first in an attempt to avoid blood toxicity from excess glucose in the blood. While glucose is often consumed by the body for energy, it is not necessarily meant to be the body’s primary source of energy. In fact, without excess carbohydrates (and therefore excess glucose), some have found that the body prefers fat over glucose.

When the body runs out of glucose, it turns to fat being either consumed or stored within the body. Fat is broken down by the liver into two compounds called glycerol and fatty acids. These fatty acids are then entered into the fuel-making process called ketogenesis, with the end product being ketone bodies. This process can happen when a person is fasting, after prolonged exercise, during starvation, or it can be induced within the body by a person consuming a low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet.

What’s the difference between ketones and ketone bodies? A ketone body is a water-soluble compound that results from the breakdown of fatty acids; these include acetoacetate, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate. A ketone, rather, is the distinctive chemical structure of a carbon molecule double bonded to an oxygen. All of the ketone bodies have this same chemical structure, called a ketone group.

Although the body’s process of converting glucose to energy is quicker, it is far less efficient than using ketones. Also, the research has shown that higher blood sugar, and therefore higher levels of circulating glucose, correlate with increased cell damage, inflammation, and increased disease risk. Ketones are more efficient for the body to use and studies have shown ketogenic diets to decrease inflammation, especially in the brain, improve cognitive function, and help with weight loss.

When the body is in ketosis, physiological insulin resistance occurs, which can have positive results. In the absence of carbohydrates on the ketogenic diet, cells receive less glucose and adapt to these changes accordingly, resulting in insulin resistance. But just what is insulin resistance? Insulin resistance occurs when the body becomes less sensitive to the hormone insulin. Insulin is the messenger that signals to the cells to uptake glucose, so insulin resistance means that the body is no longer turning immediately to glucose for fuel. This means the body instead looks to other sources of fuel, like fats.

Let’s take a look at this part of the metabolic cycle in ketosis: The mitochondria (where energy is made) begin to run off of fat and ketones. Pyruvate dehydrogenase is deactivated, which is the enzyme that is usually needed to shuttle pyruvate (a glucose metabolite) into the mitochondria. Without this shuttle, the cells lose sensitivity to insulin so that glucose is not allowed in as readily as before. In other words, this is the cell saying it prefers fat and ketones to glucose. Myth busted. The body does not prefer glucose as a fuel source. Ketones for the win.

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How the body produces ketones 

When glucose is not available, the liver instead breaks down fat into glycerol and fatty acid molecules. The fatty acid is then broken down further, in a process called beta-oxidation, and then ketones are formed. These ketones then travel from the liver to circulate back into the bloodstream and are used by the muscles and other tissues to fuel metabolism and create energy. There are three different ketones that are produced: acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone.

  1. Acetoacetate: This is the first ketone that is created from the breakdown of fatty acids, and can then be converted into either of the other two (beta-hydroxybutyrate or acetone). Along with beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate is responsible for transporting energy from the liver to other parts of the body.
  2. Beta-hydroxybutyrate: BHB is technically not a ketone due to its chemical structure, but for all intents and purposes, and in the context of the ketogenic diet, it’s considered to be one of the three ketones.
  3. Acetone: This is the most simple ketone and is created as a byproduct of the production of acetoacetate. When acetone isn’t needed for energy it will be excreted from the body as waste via sweat, breath, or urine. Although it is the least abundant ketone body, it may be produced in higher quantities when first starting the ketogenic diet.

How the body uses ketones

Once ketones are circulating in the body, they become the preferred source of fuel. As a result, the body begins burning fat as its basic form of energy.

But how exactly is this happening? To better understand the how, let’s take a step back and first look at what happens with high blood sugar (hyperglycemia):

With high blood sugar, the release of insulin is triggered, which promotes glucose to be transported into fat cells which therefore promotes lipogenesis, the storage of fat. Insulin is promoting an anti-lipolytic effect, meaning it’s not doing the body any good when it comes to fat burning.

With low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) which occurs with a ketogenic diet, this is what happens:

With lower blood sugar and therefore less glucose available in the cell, lipogenesis is suppressed, meaning less fat is being stored. Additionally, lower levels of insulin help to favor the breakdown of fat, allowing for a flow of free fatty acids into the bloodstream. Low levels of glucose are therefore stimulating fatty acid oxidation, which again, is the process that forms ketones.

As the body’s cells adapt to carbohydrate restriction, the brain and muscle cells start using beta-hydroxybutyrate as their primary fuel source, as it is the predominant ketone body found in the blood.

Eventually, the body will become keto-adapted, a process the body goes through as it changes from using primarily glucose to using primarily fat. This process can take different amounts of time for different people. The amount of time it takes also depends on specific ratios of macronutrients consumed, physical activity level, and physical make-up. However, the body can only store enough glucose to last a couple days. If implementing a calorie-restricted ketogenic diet, the body may create more ketone bodies quicker than if calories were not restricted on the diet. Complete keto-adaptation may take anywhere from one to three weeks, however, ketosis will begin kicking in after about 3-4 days. Once the body becomes keto-adapted, ketones can supply a significant portion of the body and brain’s energy needs. When in ketosis, the use of ketones can replace most of the glucose required by the brain.

The body uses oxygen more efficiently when using fat and ketones. Due to metabolic changes, it has been found that the VO2 max increases on a ketogenic diet. This suggests that ketosis induces a more efficient use of oxygen. According to the free radical theory of ageing, the ageing process is the result of the presence of free radicals. These free radicals come as a by-product of energy production in mitochondria. When glucose is burned as a fuel, more free radicals are produced compared to when ketones are used. Implementing a ketogenic diet means that fewer free radicals are produced, meaning decreased stress on the body, and a slowed ageing process.

Ketogenic diets

A ketogenic diet emphasizes fat while minimizing carbohydrates. Remember, the goal here is to have the body run off of fat. This means glycogen stores should be depleted. For obvious reasons, it’s important to minimize carbohydrates. When it comes to protein, while the human body requires it to function, it is important to not go overboard. This is because several amino acids (the backbone of all proteins) are glucogenic, meaning that they can be converted to glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.

Here are some key foods to focus on for a ketogenic diet:

  • Fats and Oils: avocado, coconut oil, coconut butter, olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, grass-fed butter, ghee
  • Proteins: grass-fed meats and poultry, bacon, beef, duck, lamb, chicken, sausage, ham, seafood, and especially fatty fish like tuna and salmon, eggs
  • Dairy: cream, full-fat greek yogurt, cheese from 100% grass-fed animals
  • Veggies: non-starchy, low-carbohydrate vegetables such as asparagus, kale, spinach (and other leafy greens), broccoli, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and tomatoes
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts

In order to do the ketogenic diet right, make sure to minimize unhealthy fats. Ensure you get most fats from monounsaturated fats, and don’t consume too many polyunsaturated fats. It is also important to ensure adequate ratios of macronutrients. Typically, the ratios that work best are 4:1 fat to carb and protein. This means for every 4 grams of fat consumed, 1 gram of carbohydrate and/or protein is consumed.

There are some myths regarding the ketogenic diet, which is why it’s important to stick to the research.

Myths about the ketogenic diet

  1. People on the ketogenic diet can eat any type of fat
  2. The ketogenic diet is a high fat and high protein diet
  3. The ketogenic diet is a quick-fix for weight loss
  4. You don’t need to exercise when on the ketogenic diet

Myth 1: People on the ketogenic diet can eat any type of fat

One myth is that people on the ketogenic diet can eat any type of fat. However, the keto diet is definitely not a fat free-for-all. It’s important to focus on getting a significant amount of fat from sources of omega-3 anti-inflammatory fats including from fish, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados, for example.

Myth 2: The ketogenic diet is a high fat and high protein diet

Another myth is that the ketogenic diet is a high fat and high protein diet. This is completely false, as it is not a diet high in protein by any means. Protein intake on the ketogenic diet must be moderate, to avoid kicking the body out of ketosis. Some recommendations say to stick to the following macronutrient breakdown: 75% fat, 5% carb, and 20% protein.

Myth 3: The ketogenic diet is a quick-fix for weight loss

Many people may be jumping on the keto bandwagon thinking that it’s a quick fix for weight loss. While there’s no doubt that the ketogenic helps with weight loss, the effects are not always immediate. Additionally, the ketogenic diet does much more than just that in terms of improving health. Other benefits include regulating hormone function, decreasing inflammation and overall disease risk, and improving cognition and energy.

Myth 4: You don’t need to exercise when on the ketogenic diet

Is exercise important on the ketogenic diet? Absolutely! It has been shown that the ketogenic diet can be used alongside resistance and weight training to cause favorable changes in body composition including increased muscle mass, decreased fat mass, and improved hormonal profiles.

The difference between nutritional ketosis and diabetic ketoacidosis

It’s important to understand the difference between nutritional ketosis and diabetic ketoacidosis. When insulin is not available or not working correctly, as in those individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis can occur. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to ketosis, which is a sign that the body is not properly using or receiving insulin. Diabetes poses a risk for developing diabetic ketoacidosis, a situation where ketone levels continue to rise and reach unhealthy and dangerous levels, creating a pH that is much too low for the blood. In this scenario, ketosis can become dangerous, and the extremely high levels in diabetics can lead to dehydration and alter the chemical balance of the blood.  However, very low carbohydrate ketogenic diets have been shown to be extremely beneficial for those with diabetes, for both type 1 or type 2. Improvements in glycemic control, insulin sensitivity, weight loss, and decreased cardiovascular disease risk have been shown as results of drastically decreasing carbohydrate content.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is very different from nutritional ketosis. For individuals without diabetes, it is highly unlikely to experience ketoacidosis, as the balance of insulin, glucagon, and other hormones occur naturally to handle normal ketone production. In certain cases, however, ketoacidosis can occur. Generally, however, ketoacidosis is a result of alcoholism, starvation, or an overactive thyroid. In most cases, with a healthy low carb ketogenic diet, ketoacidosis should not pose a problem.

Help to become “keto adapted” or “fat adapted”

Want to start your keto journey, but not sure where to begin? Here are some tips to start you on the right track!

9 Tips for Becoming Fat Adapted

  1. Choose the correct goals
  2. Learn to cut carbs right away
  3. Don’t create a calorie deficit too soon
  4. Consume a lot of electrolytes
  5. Eat the right amount of protein
  6. Eat the right kind of protein
  7. Be wise with the use of MCT oils
  8. Sift through the supplement jargon
  9. To monitor ketones check blood, not urine

 

  1. Choose the correct goals

Set an overall goal to be healthier and feel better, not necessarily simply to lose weight. This will help you place an emphasis on the types of foods you eat, rather than trying to strictly hit macronutrient targets. Focus on more omega 3 fats, lots of non-starchy vegetables, and high-quality meats like 100% grass-fed and pastured. Maintaining the proper vision is key. With the overall goal of better health, choosing more targeted goals will become easier, and you’ll feel more inspired to hit those goals.

  1. Learn to cut carbs right away

Enter into ketosis thoughtfully and correctly. Carb moderation is not the goal for keto dieters, which is why carbohydrates should be cut right away. That said, be sure to do so in a way that does not create an energy deficit. If you fail to give the body enough fuel, the body may respond with stress and create complications for your keto journey.

  1. Don’t create a calorie deficit too soon

Creating a calorie deficit before your body is keto-adapted may lead to muscle loss and slowed metabolism. This may be the result of the body not getting enough protein due to the lack of calories consumed in efforts to achieve ketosis. A review of the literature uncovers the importance of differentiating between fat loss and weight loss. Ideally, fat loss is the ultimate goal. If an energy deficit is created too early, however, lean body mass can be affected.

  1. Consume a lot of electrolytes

While the body transitions its primary fuel source from glucose to ketones, low energy is a common complaint. By consuming adequate electrolytes, especially during the transition, very often the issues resolve. With the loss of glycogen, water is released. Much of the initial weight loss may, in fact, be water weight. However, with the loss of water comes the loss of electrolytes, such as potassium losses, which can cause the fatigue that some early keto dieters experience.

  1. Eat the right amount of protein

Too much protein can be the kicker that keeps you from entering ketosis, or it can be what helps you get into it. Many amino acids, as discussed earlier, are glucogenic, meaning that they can be converted to glucose in the body, inducing a release of insulin. Recommendations for the amount of protein to consume vary from person to person, depending on lifestyle, physical activity, and body size. A recent study found that consuming 25% of calories from protein on a very low carbohydrate diet resulted in a preservation of muscle mass.

  1. Eat the right kind of protein

Where possible, it’s important to strive to eat only 100% grass-fed beef, 100% pastured poultry, 100% pastured eggs, and 100% pastured pork. Why? Animals that are fed predominantly grass have meat that is higher in omega-3s, and may also have increased precursors for both vitamin A and vitamin E, as explained here. Ensuring that you are consuming more omega-3s compared to omega-6s ensures a favorable balance that enables anti-inflammatory pathways. Foods that contain a lot of omega-3s includes (but are not limited to): salmon, sardines, trout, flaxseed oil, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, avocados, and leafy green vegetables. Foods that are a high source of omega-6s include (but again, are not limited to): dairy and eggs, poultry, and vegetable oil.

  1. Be wise with the use of MCT oils

MCTs, or medium chain triglycerides, are a type of fatty acid that is absorbed directly into the portal circulation and transported to the liver for rapid oxidation in the mitochondria. They can be used for energy right away. Unlike long-chain fatty acids, which make up the majority of fats consumed, MCTs are an extremely efficient source of fat. MCT oil is a great tool for beginning keto dieters to help kick the body into ketosis. Consuming MCTs may also help with weight loss, especially for those with type 2 diabetes. However, once the body becomes keto-adapted, MCT oil may prevent the body from burning fat, stalling potential weight loss. MCTs are found in high concentrations in coconut oil, but also can be found in the supplemental form. When supplementing with MCT oil, it is important to not go overboard with the dosage. Increase gradually to lower risk of complications, which may include inhibition of weight loss or gastrointestinal disturbances.

  1. Sift through the supplement jargon

There are tons of supplements targeted to keto dieters. Just because it says “keto” on the label does not mean it’s good to consume. Use supplements sparingly and wisely to maintain health. Exogenous ketones are a practical and efficient way to help achieve ketosis. A recent study showed that exogenous ketones increase beta-hydroxybutyrate.

  1. To monitor ketones check blood, not urine

When testing your ketone levels, take the time to use the correct method. Urine strips can be very inaccurate, particularly once the body is keto-adapted. Monitoring the blood level is the best and most accurate method, but breath tests have also proven effective. Studies have found that testing urine is less effective than blood testing for ketones. Additionally, urine testing is less effective.

Ketones and ketosis for a healthy life

Understanding how ketones affect the body is the first step towards a healthier you. Once you understand the benefits of ketone production and a ketogenic diet, it’s difficult to not want to jump on board. Research is continually being conducted supporting the efficacy and vast health benefits of implementing a ketogenic diet. Some of the health benefits include decreased inflammation, slowed ageing, decreased disease risk, improved blood glucose control and decreased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, increased mental clarity, improved energy levels, and weight loss. With the proper knowledge of ketones and how to properly implement the diet, a healthier life is at your fingertips.

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Ketoned Bodies listed as a “Top 75 Keto Diet” blog in 2018!

We are so proud to be featured on Feedspot’s Top 75 Keto Diet Blogs & Websites For Ketogenic Diet Plans & Recipes in 2018!

We at Ketoned Bodies are dedicated to producing and publishing truly valuable content for everyone on the keto diet. We landed in spot 39 this year and we’re looking forward to climbing up the ranks in the years to come.

Thanks again Feedspot; we’ll be seeing you again next August!

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15 Keto Dinner Ideas Anyone Can Make

There are a lot of good reasons to get into the ketogenic diet, and weight loss is only the beginning. A fat adapted body is one that also enjoys lower blood pressure, decreased risk of diabetes and heart disease, improved mental focus, and nearly limitless energy. So why aren’t more people embracing the ketogenic lifestyle?

Well, for many, it all has to do with convenience. They see such an abrupt switch in dietary habits as too difficult or too expensive. After all, when you’re keeping a close eye on your macros and maintaining your caloric intake to 65% – 75% from fat, 15% – 25% from protein, and only 5% – 10% from carbohydrates, you can’t just eat whatever you might find in the fridge.


See the following articles for more “Keto Meal Ideas”


But don’t get discouraged; keto takes focus, but it doesn’t have to be hard. To help get you on the right track, here are 15 easy-to-make keto dinner ideas:

  1. Lemon and Sage Chicken in Cream

    lemon sage chicken keto meal

    Given its lower fat content and high levels of protein, chicken isn’t always the best choice for a keto dieter. But with a little tweaking, you can make up the difference and create a succulent keto-chicken dish that will keep those ketones churning. Lemon and Sage Chicken in Cream (from Mark’s Daily Apple) is one such meal. Bone-in chicken thighs roasted in a sauce of cream, cinnamon, garlic, lemon, and sage makes a delicious dish that really delivers in the healthy-fat department. And, at only ~30 minutes prep time (plus 45 minutes cooking time), you won’t have to rearrange your schedule to accommodate this keto-chicken recipe.

  2. Fried Salmon with Asparagus

    Some easy keto dinner recipes are easier than others, and this particular one may be the easiest of all. This quick keto Fried Salmon with Asparagus recipe from Diet Doctor has only three ingredients: salmon, asparagus, and butter, all fried up together in a single pan. Of course, that’s not to say that you can’t build upon the basic recipe; feel free to toss in other low-carb veggies, and serve it all up with garlic butter. The meal only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish (including cooking time), so keep the ingredients on hand and cook it up when you need keto dinner ideas in a pinch.

  3. Easy Stuffed Peppers

    There are two sides to keeping your net carbs down: one is to avoid carbs in the first place, and the other is to increase your fiber intake. In the most simple terms, fiber is something like an anti-carb, subtracting from your total carbohydrates. So, low-carb, high-fiber meals are certainly some of the best keto recipes you can get. With that in mind, check out this recipe for Easy Stuffed Peppers from Keto Connect. Cut a few poblano peppers lengthwise, fill them with some keto-friendly ingredients, and cook them in the oven for ~20 minutes, and you’ll have an easy keto dinner recipe perfect for bringing down your net-carb count.

  4. Keto Pizza Meatballs and Mushrooms

    This is one of our own favorites here at Ketoned Bodies — so much so that we now offer it as one of our products. This recipe was originally adapted from Maria Emmerich’s 30-Day Keto Cleanse cookbook, which is available from Amazon in a spiral bound, paperback, or Kindle download. This Keto Pizza Meatballs and Mushrooms dish is flavorful and filling. The ingredients include 100% pastured ground pork, mushrooms, onions, peppers, avocado oil, pasteurized eggs, red pepper flakes, and organic garlic. And at 57 grams of fat, 21 grams of protein, and only 7 grams of carbohydrates, this meal is a keto dieter’s dream come true.

  5. Salmon with Pistachio Pesto

    Inline_Salmon-with-Pistachio-Pesto
    Wild-caught salmon is perfect for the ketogenic diet — it’s high in a number of vitamins and minerals, rich in healthy fats, and moderately high in protein. And (like the best keto recipes tend to be) it’s almost completely free of carbohydrates. This particular dish, Salmon with Pistachio Pesto from Mark’s Daily Apple, features a rich pesto sauce that’s dairy free, loaded with pistachio nuts, offers a zing of lemon and garlic, and is thick enough to spread. Pan sear some salmon and then add the sauce, and you’ll have a new take on traditional seafood. Alternatively, if salmon isn’t your thing, you can use this keto-friendly pesto sauce on a variety of other keto-friendly meats and vegetables.

  6. Deconstructed Pork Egg-Roll


    Another one of Maria Emmerich’s recipes that we’ve adapted here at Ketoned Bodies, the Deconstructed Pork Egg-Roll is a worthy addition to our meal-delivery menu. It’s tasty. It’s fun. And it’s everything good about egg rolls recast in a way that’s keto friendly. The completely organic egg roll filling contains pork, coconut oil, garlic, ginger, coconut oil, sea salt, chili flakes, and a variety of delectable spices. It comes complete with a fresh cabbage mixture and is keto’s answer to those Chinese-food cravings.

  7. Best Keto Brownies


    If figuring out keto dinner ideas has you stumped, wait until you try to come up with some keto desserts! The good news is that chocolate, when done right, is a keto-friendly solution to the carb-shaped hole in your diet. That’s why these Best Keto Brownies (from Keto Connect) are so perfect. No sugar. Lots of butter. Three eggs. Unsweetened cocoa. What more could you want? At only 3 net carbs, you’ll be wondering how in the world this keto dessert tastes so good. And while brownies may not be a dinner idea (per se), there’s nothing stopping you from incorporating these easy, delicious, fudgy brownies into your next evening meal.

  8. Keto Chicken BLT Salad

    A good salad is a great way to go for easy keto dinner recipes, and this Keto Chicken BLT Salad (from Diet Doctor) is as good as it gets. A classic BLT sandwich may not be totally keto friendly, but replace the bread with some leafy greens and add some chicken thigh and garlic mayonnaise, and you’re in keto town. Preparation time on this one tops out at around 15 minutes, so as long as you’ve got the ingredients ready and access to a skillet (for the bacon and chicken), you won’t have to plan this meal too far in advance. Just make sure to take precautions when handling the raw chicken, or substitute in some pre-cooked rotisserie chicken.

  9. Boneless Pork Chop and Zucchini Spears

    A juicy pork chop paired with some low-carb veggies is enough to make almost any keto dieter’s mouth water. That’s why Ketoned Bodies has included this Boneless Pork Chop and Zucchini Spears dish as part of our keto delivery menu. The pork chop is 100% pastured organic boneless and comes with a spice rub made up of sea salt, paprika, coriander, onion powder, turmeric, garlic, and black powder. Perfectly grilled, with a flavorful char and a succulent center, this pork chop meal includes zucchini spears and mashed cauliflower as sides, so you can enjoy some good fiber along with your fats and proteins.

  10. Meatloaf and Sides Red Pepper Glaze


    Bread may be a keto no-no, but you can still enjoy some loaf — meatloaf, that is. And when it comes to mom’s Meatloaf and Sides Red Pepper Glaze meal from Ketoned Bodies, enjoy is exactly what you’ll be dong. Combining 100% grassfed beef with green peppers, eggs, onions, heavy cream and more, and covered in a delicious red-pepper glaze, this meatloaf dish is a great way to celebrate dinner while hitting your macros. Broccoli and mashed cauliflower sides bring in some extra vitamins and fiber, and help round out the entire experience.

  11. Wonton Soup

    When you think about it, the only thing that keeps traditional wonton soups from fitting the keto diet is the wonton wrappers; get rid of them, and you’re in business. So that’s exactly what this recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple does. This delicious Wonton Soup recipe ditches the carb-rich wrappers and instead has you just roll the ground pork filling directly into small meatballs. Cook them in the recipe’s chicken-stock broth and serve it all together with raw baby spinach or baby bok choy. Feel free to add chopped green onions and chili oil if you’d like a little more kick.

  12. Chicken Saltimbocca

    For a lot of people, Italian food and the ketogenic diet simply don’t mix. But what those people need to remember is that there’s more to Italian food than just carb-heavy pastas. Take this easy Chicken Saltimbocca recipe (from Keto Connect) for example. A combination of chicken, prosciutto, and spinach, this recipe offers Italian tastes without Italian carbs. The end result is a mouth-wateringly delicious meal that only sticks you with 1.3 grams of net carbs per serving. And, if the listed ingredients are too pricey, or if you’d like to add your own personal touch, this recipe is easy to adapt to fit any taste.

  13. Chicken and Andouille Sausage Jambalaya


    Rice is pretty high in carbs, so before you can enjoy traditionally rice-centered meals on the keto diet, you need to find something to replace it. Cauliflower rice makes it all possible, and is the perfect ingredient to complete the Ketoned Bodies Chicken and Andouille Sausage Jambalaya. This “dirty rice” dish will have you cleaning your plate. Mixing pork sausage, chicken thighs, and chicken liver with a variety of spices and low-carb vegetables, this cajun treat will knock your taste buds on their backs, but won’t knock your body out of ketosis.

  14. Keto Asian Noodle Bowl

    Much like pasta and rice, Asian noodles are some of the first things a keto dieter will have to learn how to pass up before they can become fully fat adapted. Miracle noodles change all of that, by offering an Asian-noodle substitute with zero net carbs. And now, with this recipe from Keto Connect, you can use those noodles to create a Keto Asian Noodle Bowl with all of the flavor and satisfaction of traditional ramen. Incorporating chicken, eggs, mushrooms, scallions, pink salt, and a delicious marinade, this noodle bowl will have you rethinking Asian noodles. However, it does require a bit more prep time than some of the other easy recipes on this list, so make sure that you take that into account when you’re planning your meals.

  15. Keto Scramble with Sausage

    Eggs are the keto dieters best friend — they’re high in fat, contain moderate protein, and are essentially carb-free. But what makes them such a boon is that they’re also easy to adapt into many different dishes. The Keto Scramble with Sausage from Ketoned Bodies is one such meal. Scrambled eggs mixed with sausage, cheese, red peppers, and more make for a flavorful and filling meal perfect for breakfast or dinner. And, if you decide to create your own variation, you can easily add other low-carb vegetables and high-fat meats. All you need are some organic eggs, a skillet, and a few of your other favorite keto-friendly ingredients.

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Are you busy, but still want to eat healthy meals? Check out Ketoned Bodies’ organic & sustainably sourced premade keto meals menu for keto meals shipped fresh to your door. Just heat them up and eat! Also be sure to check out why our ECO-friendly keto meals are different.

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What is the Keto Flu and How to Cure it

The keto diet focuses on eating calorie appropriate meals that consist of high fat, moderate protein and little to no carbs. The initial phase of the ketogenic diet includes adapting to ketosis. How long it takes to adapt depends on your body’s metabolism. Being in ketosis, your body uses fat as its energy supply instead of sugar or carbs. Ketones are fueled by healthy sources of fat including the body’s stored fat and are only accessible when fatty acids break down as a result of a low carb diet. The goal is to replace carb calories with fat calories resulting in ketones being the primary source of energy as opposed to sugar.


See the following articles for more “Keto Guide”

[Keto Guide for a Beginner]

[Keto Information]

[Life Tips for Keto]


Advantages of the Keto Diet

From weight loss to heart health, sustainable energy, mental clarity, balanced hormones and reversing diabetes–the keto diet can feel like a cure-all way of eating. Success on the keto diet is the result of hormones, specifically leptin, reacting to a lack of blood sugar resulting in the body using stored fat for energy.

The ketogenic diet also boasts to be one of the few diets to actually reduce cravings. Due to a stabilized blood sugar, keto dieters rarely suffer the need to cheat. However, the nation’s most popular diet isn’t all smooth sailing, at least initially.

Keto Flu

As the body transitions from carbs to fat as its primary energy source, withdrawal from sugar and carbs can result in a few uncomfortable symptoms. Referred to as the keto flu, a few discomforts may arise as you being to experience sugar detox. The keto flu is known to last 3-10 days where you may experience the following keto flu symptoms.

Keto Flu Symptoms

  • Sugar cravings
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Constipation
  • Muscle soreness
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Reduced concentration
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle cramps

Some say the keto flu or carb flu is a necessary evil that signifies your body is keto-adapting. But what if it’s not?

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Keto-Adaptation

Keto-adaptation is the body’s transition from a high-carb diet to a very low-carb diet and it starts with beta-oxidation. Beta oxidation is the scientific term that refers to the breakdown of fatty acids. This catabolic reaction to sugar and carbohydrate deprivation results in the production of ketones, the bodies new and more efficient energy source. Thus, the name for the Keto diet.

Though ketosis happens at the cellular level, for many it can feel like a full body experience in the form of keto flu symptoms. Metabolic flexibility refers to how quickly the metabolism adapts to using ketones as its primary energy source. Each body is different, and the adaptation rate is greatly impacted by how severe ones metabolic damage is or isn’t. If the body has experience years of yo-yo dieting or lack of proper nutrition, it may be more challenging to adapt and enhance keto flu symptoms. Though ketosis happens at the cellular level, for many it can feel like a full body experience in the form of keto flu symptoms.

What Causes Keto Flu Symptoms?

As the body transitions from sugar to fat as its energy source, the brain and organs need time to adapt their functioning. One of the first things to happen is the reduction of blood sugar. Lowered blood sugar means your body has to produce less insulin to control it. Whatever insulin has already been created will be excreted and it carries with it sodium and water into the urine. Much like sweating, this drop in salt and water often results in an imbalance of electrolytes and dehydration.

Carbs also play a large role in storing sodium in the body. As you stop consuming carbs sodium is lost. Carb flu symptoms may begin on the first day of the ketogenic diet. This water loss shows up on the scale almost immediately. The most weight is lost on the keto diet in the first couple weeks due to the adaptation period. Here is how you may continue to see those results without suffering from keto flu symptoms.

Managing Keto Flu Symptoms

Some people may never experience keto flu symptoms. This doesn’t mean keto-adaptation isn’t taking place. For those that begin to suffer the symptoms, there is the option of waiting it out. As long as you are sticking to the ketogenic diet, it will work and the keto flu will pass. But, if symptoms become too hard to bear, here are ways to manage them.

Ways to Manage Keto Flu Symptoms

  • Stay hydrated
  • Increase electrolyte intake
  • Eat fatty fish/take fish oil
  • Eat more healthy fats
  • Increase food variety
  • Reduce vigorous exercise
  • Get more sleep
  • Take supplements
  • Be consistent
  • Be positive

Stay hydrated

Young african american man drinking a water.

The break down of fatty acids, the excretion of insulin and the drastic reduction in carb intake all result in a loss of water through urine. Some believe it requires an immense amount of sweating to become dehydrated but, in fact, going pee frequently causes dehydration much quicker. Remember, separate the idea of thirst and hydration. If you are following the ketogenic diet and want to avoid the keto flu drink 8-14 cups of a water a day. This habit will not only reduce keto flu symptoms but also encourage continued weight loss and maintenance.

Increase electrolyte intake

As the kidneys continue to dump excess sodium the loss of electrolytes causes a temporary hormonal imbalance. To avoid irritability, brain fog, and overall body aches, enjoy foods rich in sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Reach for Himalayan sea salt, leafy greens, and avocados.

Eat fatty fish/take fish oil

Nutritional Supplement, Vitamin, Women, Healthy Lifestyle, Capsule - MedicineAs fat breaks down to be used as energy a few things are released including ketones (new energy source) and arachidonic acid from adipose tissue or AA. AA causes a temporary inflammatory reaction that can lead to long-lasting headaches or migraines. Eating fatty fish, among other immense health benefits, may counteract the inflammation and reduce one of the most complained about keto flu symptoms. Fish and fish oils are also an important part of the ketogenic diet.

Eat more healthy fats

Now’s the time to begin introducing your body’s new fuel source. Eat foods plentiful in high-quality fats like organic coconut oil, butter, eggs and grass-fed beef. The sooner fat becomes a regular part of your meals the quicker the body will recognize it and adapt.

A great way to ensure you’re starting off on the best foot is having healthy & ECO keto meals delivered right to your doorstep. Save your energy and fight the keto flu with Ketoned Bodies keto meals delivery service. These meals are packed with high-quality fats, nutritional veggies ideal for the low-carb dieter, and no skimping on flavor. Order your first 10 meals now for free shipping.

Increase food variety

Make your diet colorful to combat nutrient loss and to receive as many vitamin and minerals as possible. Many keto dieters confine their options at the beginning of a ketogenic diet. This is a sure way to get bored, feel sick and potentially give up. Get creative with keto recipes, keep the carbs low and the fats high!

Reduce vigorous exercise

Young fitness woman doing abdominal exercise at gym. Concentrated people in a row doing sit ups on yoga mat. Training class doing situps at cross training center.The first couple weeks on the ketogenic diet isn’t the time to amp up your cardio. Intense biking or lifting is also not recommended. As the body is changing the way it accesses its new energy source, keto flu symptoms could be irritated if these sources are depleted quickly from exercise. Move slow, the time to hit the gym will come soon.

Get more sleep

Rest is a very important tool for overcoming the keto flu. To give your body every opportunity to recover, avoid coffee and other stimulants in the first few weeks of the ketogenic diet. At night, keep all electronics out of the bed to avoid light exposure that will keep the mind alert. 7-9 hours of sleep is a regular part of a low carb lifestyle, especially when first entering ketosis.

Take supplements

The ketogenic diet requires the removal of a few whole food groups including fruits, grains and some high-carb vegetable. Replace these with nutraceuticals including multivitamins, probiotics, and lipase-based digestive enzymes. Make the most of your shift toward a healthier lifestyle with supplementation.

Be consistent

The keto diet isn’t effective if done on and off. Going a day eating low carb then eating a regular carb diet the following day isn’t a pattern that will forgo the many benefits of the ketogenic diet. Each time the ketogenic diet is restarted it will be time to battle keto flu symptoms all over again. Get it done once, adapt to ketosis and it will be smooth sailing.

Be positive

Healthy Lifestyle and Yoga Concept. Close-up hands. Woman do yoga outdoors at sunrise in lotus position. Woman exercising and meditating in morning. Nature background.Like body, like mind! Going into the ketogenic diet with a bad attitude and strong belief that the keto flu is an impending doom will likely result in such. Change is never easy but when it comes to facing the keto flu, a positive mindset can make all the difference.

Is it Worth it?

Abiding by the keto flu cures is very likely to reduce every symptom. In the event that headaches, exhaustion and other flu-like reactions occur, it may be tempting to give up. Don’t. The ketogenic diet is designed to flip the script on a body that’s been dependent on sugar and carbs. There will be a certain level of discomfort in the beginning as the body reverses everything it’s done for years. Renewed energy, weight loss, improved cholesterol, beautiful skin, and the reversal of illnesses make it worth it.

 

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Low-Carb Fast Food: Does it Fit into the Keto Diet?

Beautiful young lady eating a tasty burger at an outdoor cafe. Horizontal Shot.

As anyone on a keto diet will tell you, one of the hardest factors to navigate is eating out.

Eating fast food is not only convenient for those on-the-go, but is an affordable (and sometimes, the only) option for a meal. Plus, for many people eating out plays a huge role in their social life — no one wants to be that “one friend” who shuts down every restaurant suggestion.

But for those who are either fat adapted, or on their way to becoming fat adapted, this poses a difficult question: Are low carb fast foods okay to consume while on the ketogenic diet?

The answer isn’t so simple.

Whether you’ve been on the keto diet for a couple of weeks or for a couple of months, it’s important to educate yourself when it comes to low carb fast foods, which ones are acceptable in a pinch, and what low carb fast foods you should be avoiding like the plague.


See the following articles for more “Keto Guide”

[Keto Guide for a Beginner]

[Keto Information]

[Life Tips for Keto]


Below is our low carb fast food guide for those on the keto diet.

Keto Diet Basics

Those on a keto diet eat foods that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates, along with moderate amounts of protein. Changing the way you eat — replacing carbs with high fats in your diet — helps your body transition to ketosis (a metabolic state).

When your body is in ketosis, it transitions from using glycogen as an energy source. As glycogen (in the form of carbohydrates) is so easily available in the modern diet, most bodies have become very accustomed to relying on the fast-burning fuel for energy. However, the body is actually designed to burn fat for fuel, which is why it stores excess fat for times when carbohydrates aren’t on hand. By effectively eliminating carbs from your diet, you can force your body to overcome glycogen dependence, and instead adapt itself to burn fat — from the food you take in, and from the fat you have stored on your body.

This leads to fast, effective, healthy weight loss. And because your body is learning how to make use of the fuel it’s been storing away, and the fact that fat is a much slower burning fuel than glycogen, Keto is one diet that actually curbs food cravings. The ketogenic diet has also been connected to lower blood sugar levels and increased energy. In addition, researchers suggest that a keto diet can lower your risk of heart disease.

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The Truth About Low Carb Fast Foods and Keto

Although convenient for those in a pinch, generally speaking, fast food is not typically a healthy option. More often than not, the fast food you’re consuming comes in large portions, and is chock-full of sodium, high in calories, and offers negligible nutritional value. After all, the main focus of much fast food is that it tastes good; nutrition is usually a secondary consideration.

Because fast food offers little in the way of nutrients and usually comes from low-quality sources, it doesn’t integrate very well with the keto diet. Even if it fits the high fat, low carb bill, there’s more to effective keto than just hitting your macros. Preparing keto friendly meals at home should always be your first choice when it comes to eating, because you can control what exactly is going into your body and can integrate a more rounded nutritional experience

In addition, once your body is more adapted to the keto diet, you should be able to use intermittent fasting and skip a meal, instead of having to rely on poor-quality, low carb fast foods just to keep from starving.

What if Fast Food is My Only Option?

We get it. Sometimes eating out may be the only option to maintain ketosis. Or you may not be able to fast for a whole meal because you’re not 100 percent fat adapted. Social factors also play a big role, and may make it necessary for you to eat out — such as taking a client to lunch or attending a friend’s birthday dinner.

That said, keto-friendly meals are available at various restaurants, just be sure to do your homework beforehand.

Keto Fast Food Options

Below are 10 national chains and low carb food options for those on the keto diet.

  1. Arby’s — Roast Beef Sandwich (no bun)

At Arby’s, you have a lot of sandwich options that are keto friendly, so long as they’re bunless. Instead of the bun, choose a lettuce wrap, or a side of lettuce.

  1. Chick-fil-A — Grilled Chicken Nuggets (8 count)

Though you should be careful when it comes to sauces, you can enjoy your grilled chicken nuggets with buffalo sauce. The Chick-fil-A cobb salad with grilled chicken and garlic & herb ranch dressing is another option.

  1. Chipotle — Salad Bowl

This salad bowl is easy to order, and you can add meat and certain other low-calorie mix-ins.

  1. Five Guys Burgers — Bacon Cheeseburger (no bun)

Many burgers at Five Guys are fair game, as long as you make sure to go bunless and order the lettuce wrap instead. Watch out for condiments and avoid ketchup, relish and BBQ sauce on your burger.

  1. Jimmy John’s — B.L.T. Unwich

Cleverly named “unwiches,” any of Jimmy John’s sandwiches can be converted to a breadless sandwich, helping you eliminate carbs while still getting the necessary fat and protein. If you’re looking to really cut down on calories, you can order a slim tuna salad unwich or slim 5 salami unwich.

  1. KFC — Grilled Chicken Drumstick & Grilled Chicken Thigh (2 piece)

Grilled chicken is a decent option when looking for low carb foods. As for sides, your best bet is coleslaw or green beans.

  1. McDonald’s — Double Cheeseburger (no bun)

Like Chick-fil-A, you’ll need to be careful with sauces, and order your cheeseburger without ketchup.

  1. Sonic Drive-In — NY Dog (no bun)

Staying on theme, avoid sauces such as ketchup and relish on your hot dog.

  1. Taco Bell — Naked Egg Taco

The naked taco uses a fried egg as the taco shell, but you’ll need to order one with no potatoes. Another keto friendly option is to order their sides, such as a side of grilled chicken, side of beef or a side of lettuce.

  1. Wendy’s — Southwest Avocado Chicken Salad

This salad has the low carb ingredients you want, while leaving you satisfied. Try the salad with an avocado ranch dressing, which is low cal. You can also order their double stack or baconator burger with no bun.

Other Tips

In addition to swapping buns for lettuce and avoiding certain sauces, keep these tips in mind whenever you find yourself having to eat out:

Grab a water cup

Though it may be tempting to grab a sugar-free soda, the keto diet works best when you drink water. You should really be drinking water throughout the day, and not just at your meals, so a little extra hydration is always a good thing.

Double check salad ingredients and dressing before ordering

To the naked eye, salads seem like a no-brainer on a diet, but you’ll need to double check the ingredients to make sure you’re not eating something sugary or high carb. Sometimes the lettuce and spinach are just green coverings for less healthy ingredients

With salad dressing, be sure to order the dressing on the side and choose options such as ranch, oil, caesar or blue cheese. All of these contain the fat you need for the keto diet.

Meat, veggies and cheese should be your staples

When you’re deciding on what to order, pick dishes that have these simple items. Or, look to see if you can order these items as a side and then create a meal out of them.

Do your research before eating out

If you have the luxury of knowing where you’re eating out before heading out, look up the nutritional information online. Most fast food restaurants have this information available on their websites.

On the other hand, if you’re not sure whether an item or meal is keto friendly, it’s best to skip it and find something else.

Lastly, be mindful of portions

Fast food places tend to have larger portions than what you make for yourself at home, so take that into account before you order, and don’t be afraid to leave some of your meal uneaten.

Final Verdict

On the surface, the ketogenic diet is about eating high fat, moderate protein, and extremely low carbs. But there’s more to it than all of that. At its heart, keto is about adopting a nutritionally dense, ecologically conscious lifestyle, and fast food just doesn’t usually qualify. Furthermore, if you find yourself constantly pining for the drive-thru or making excuses to eat fast food, your body probably isn’t fully fat adapted. You’re better off doubling down to get yourself into ketosis, after which you’ll have an easier time leaving the fast food behind you.

On the other hand, if you find yourself in a social situation where fast food is the only option, or if you’re not fully fat adapted and can’t fast, there are certain fast food options that are high fat, low carb and have moderate amounts of protein. They often won’t kick you out of ketosis or ruin your progress, but they probably won’t be doing you any favors, either.

If you’re constantly on-the-go or struggling to find filling keto meals, check out our meal menu where our dishes are ready to heat and eat.

At Ketoned Bodies, we ship delicious, healthy keto meals right to your doorstep. See how we’re the best keto meal delivery service in the country!

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17 Easy Keto Lunch Ideas

Finding delicious and easy keto friendly lunches that keep you full and committed to the keto diet can be a challenge. And tracking fat and protein percentages and net carbs can be time consuming enough to make keto meal prep daunting. Thankfully, we’ve taken some time to pull together some easy keto lunch ideas that’ll help you stay full, motivated, and dedicated to the ketogenic diet. With a little bit of planning ahead, keto meal prep can be simple and exciting. Here are 17 keto friendly recipes to help you on your journey to ketosis.


See the following articles for more “Keto Meal Ideas”


1. Keto Chicken Enchilada Bowls

If you’re looking for an unbelievably simple, yet decadent Mexican dish, a Keto Chicken Enchilada Bowl will be right up your alley when it comes to easy keto meals. 5 minutes of prep and a quick 20 minutes of cooking in the Instant Pot make it easy to prep this meal the night before at the drop of a hat. The great thing about this number is that you can cook it very rapidly with your Instant Pot, or just set it in the Crockpot and forget it and it’ll be ready in a few hours. Simply combine chicken, enchilada sauce, chiles, and onions. All that’s left after cooking is to shred the chicken and then add cauliflower rice and the toppings of your choice. These may include cheese, avocado, jalapeño, and sour cream.

2. Keto Salad

The best keto salad is much more than just leafy greens. In fact, an effective keto salad simply uses the greens as a vehicle to deliver other high-fat ingredients to your mouth. This particular keto salad includes dark leafy greens, cherry tomatoes, and broccolini, but also a whole avocado, generous shavings of Emmental cheese, and a high-fat caesar dressing brimming with avocado oil. You’ll find the salad fills you up and gives you plenty of fat. It’s simple to pack the ingredients and then assemble your salad at work. Simply pack up the different ingredients the night before, and you’ll be ready to go.

3. Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

If you’re missing your old friend, Mac and Cheese, then this keto friendly rendition of the classic comfort food is for you. Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese embodies everything you love about Macaroni and Cheese, without the carbs. Swap out the macaroni in favor of cauliflower, and you’re on your way. Start by crisping up the riced cauliflower and minced chives in a skillet and then add to that a cup of table cream, an ounce of whipped cream cheese, and 2 cups of cheddar. Throw it in the oven to broil and you’ll have a keto friendly comfort dish you can easily heat up and have all week.

4. Keto Crab Cakes with Lemon Sour Cream Dip

Keto crab cakes are a delicious, high-fat and low-carb treat that make our list of easy keto lunch ideas. Eggs, garlic powder, dill, spring onions, dijon mustard, and worcestershire sauce pair with cooked crab meat to make the savory patties. Simply cook each cake in coconut oil on a stovetop skillet for about 3 minutes on each side, and your crab cakes are ready to eat. For an irresistible creamy dipping sauce, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and some more dill.

5. Turmeric and Kale Soup with Ground Lamb

Turmeric and Kale SoupIf you’re in the mood for a nice warm soup on a rainy day, this Turmeric and Kale Soup with Ground Lamb is sure to hit the spot. Chock-full of beef bone broth and ground lamb, this hearty soup also contains coconut oil and fresh garlic, and small quantities of turmeric, cilantro, kale, cinnamon, coriander, and ginger. Garnish the soup with a few lemon slices, and you have a flavorful keto friendly soup that not only fills you up, but also boosts your immune system.

6. Keto Crescent Dogs

Keto Crescent Dogs

Perfect for game day, Keto Crescent Dogs are family-friendly, incredibly delicious, and loaded with fat. Think of them like pigs in a blanket, keto style. Create a delicious dough with mozzarella, cream cheese, egg, and almond flour. Cut the dough into strips and wrap each strip around one of your all-beef hot dogs. Throw them in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes and pull them out right before opening kickoff for an amazing lunch.

7. Real Texas Chili

If you’re just dying for some piping hot chili, this mouth-watering keto-adapted version of Real Texas Chili will have you begging for more. The dish pairs 100% grass-fed beef with onions, red and green bell peppers and beef stock, and includes rich spices like coriander, paprika, and chili powder. With mixed-in riced cauliflower and Oaxaca cheese, this Chili takes big taste to a whole new level. The best part about this dish, is that Ketoned Bodies will deliver it right to your door.

8. Fried Cabbage With Crispy Bacon

Keto fried cabbage with crispy baconLightning fast prep and cook time make Fried Cabbage With Crispy Bacon a fan favorite from among all the keto lunch ideas we’ve compiled. Simply chop cabbage and bacon into small pieces, fry the bacon in a skillet, and then add in cabbage, butter and seasoning, and voila! Healthy, quick, and bursting with fat and flavor, this dish is sure to satisfy.

9. Beef Fa-Keto Platter

This meal is another Mexican dish that’s simply loaded with flavor. Made with 100% grass-fed tri-tip beef, this meal also includes specially-seasoned cauliflower rice, sautéed onions and peppers, and plenty of Mexican spices. With pico composed of tomatoes, serrano peppers, cilantro, cumin, lime juice, and black pepper, the flavors of this dish jump right out at you.

10. Easy Keto Swedish Meatballs

If you like those scrumptious little meatballs at IKEA, then you’ll love these. This Easy Keto Swedish Meatballs recipe is low-carb, gluten-free, and brimming with fat. These meatballs are perfect for the whole family and their fairly easy to make right at home. Mix ground pork and ground chuck, with an egg and salt and pepper. Instead of bread crumbs, use finely grated zucchini to add texture to the meatballs. Roll them and cook them on the stove top in butter. Next, pour a mixture of chicken broth, mustard, and cream over the top and simmer for 5 or 10 minutes. These meatballs go well with cauliflower rice.

11. Keto BLT With Oopsie Bread

Keto BLT with cloud breadCraving a sandwich, but don’t want all the carbs that come with bread? Try a Keto BLT With Oopsie Bread. To make Oopsie Bread, start by separating egg yolks from egg whites. Beat the egg whites with salt until they become very stiff. To the egg yolks, add cream cheese. You can also add psyllium seed husk and baking powder if you’d like. Once the two mixtures are respectively mixed and ready, fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture. Bake 8 small Oopsies at a time. To make your BLT, fry up some bacon, cut some heirloom tomatoes, fresh lettuce, and basil. Spread some mayo on your Oopsie bread, put together your sandwich, and enjoy!

12. Jerk Pulled Pork Topped With Mango Salsa

The pork is slow-cooked for more than 12 hours, and the mango salsa features mangoes, red peppers, cilantro, lime, garlic, and avocado oil. The meat and salsa sit on a bed of red and green cabbage mixed with bacon, and topped with Oaxaca cheese. If you are craving a scrumptious, vibrant tropical variation of pulled pork, this dish is one you’ll definitely want to try.

13. Keto Twice Baked Cauliflower Casserole

Cheese is the name of the game when it comes to this dish. This Keto Twice Baked Cauliflower Casserole is loaded with a number of decadent, fatty ingredients including full fat cream cheese, sour cream, parmesan cheese, and cheddar cheese. Pair these wonderful ingredients with bacon, and you’ll be going keto crazy. Incorporate garlic, green onions, and heavy whipping cream to make the dish even more heavenly.

14. Keto Tuna Salad With Boiled Eggs

tuna salad

Fresh and delicious, this Keto Tuna Salad With Boiled Eggs is a great little number to add to your arsenal of keto lunch ideas. Celery, scallions, tuna, lemon, mayo, and mustard are mixed with tuna to make a zingy salad. Hard boiled eggs seasoned with pepper are also included on top of romaine lettuce. The whole thing is then drizzled with olive oil. This all makes for a quick, light, and tasty keto meal.

15. Steamed Mussels With Piri Piri

mussels-with-piri-piri

If you’re looking for a dish with some Latin American flavor, this Steamed Mussels With Piri Piri recipe features a chimichurri-style sauce made with red onions, parsley, red wine vinegar, garlic, jalapeño, crushed red pepper, and olive oil. Steam the mussels in white wine and water and top them with the Piri Piri sauce for a unique high-fat and low carb meal.

16. Cashew Beef and Broccoli

Take your typical Chinese takeout to new keto friendly heights with 100% grass-fed beef seasoned with sea salt, coriander, paprika, turmeric, and garlic. Along with broccoli florets, and beef, this Cashew Beef and Broccoli also includes bacon, cashew sauce, sherry vinegar, almonds, and coconut. Someone from Ketoned Bodies is happy to deliver this dish right to you as part of one of our easy keto meal plans.

17. Low-Carb Keto Steak with Blue Cheese Onion Cream Sauce

Grilled Ribeye Steak with Onion-Blue Cheese SauceA nice juicy steak is the perfect lunch option to keep you full all day. This Low-Carb Keto Steak With Blue Cheese Onion Cream Sauce will have your mouth watering throughout the whole cooking process. Cook up some Ribeyes in butter until they are medium rare. Next, saute some onions in a generous amount of butter. Reduce them to a simmer and pour in some heavy cream. Melt in some blue cheese. Pour a generous portion of the sauce over the steak when serving.

Wanna Try Organic & Grass-fed Keto Meals?

The ketogenic diet can be incredibly rewarding, but the beginning of your journey can certainly be an adjustment. Planning healthy keto meals can take some extra diligence, but hopefully, the next time lunch meal prep comes around, you’ll have a good place to turn for some easy keto lunch ideas.

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Some of these dishes are available through the Ketoned Bodies’ delivery service. If you are busy to do your keto meal plan by yourself, check out Ketoned Bodies’ organic & sustainably sourced pre-made keto meals that will be shipped to your door. Just heat them up and eat! Also, be sure to check out why our ECO-friendly keto meals are different.

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The Keto Egg Fast: A Beginner’s Guide

Fresh green spinach baby leaves and boiled eggs cut in a half on wooden background with copyspace

Has your weight loss hit a plateau while on keto? Or worse, is your body struggling to fully transition into a fat burning mode?

The solution may be hiding in your fridge. Welcome the keto egg fast.

The Keto Egg Fast

Chock-full of nutrients, fat, and protein, eggs are a great keto-friendly food to incorporate into your ketogenic diet. They are perfect for helping kickstart healthy weight loss and can play a big role in helping your body transition into a high fat burning mode.

But, what exactly is the egg fast and how does it fit in with the ketogenic lifestyle? More importantly, how can you benefit from an effective egg fast?

Well, keep reading as we shell out tips, tricks, benefits, and what you can expect from committing to an egg fast.

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Ketogenic Diet Refresher

The ketogenic diet is all about helping your body transition into ketosis, which is a metabolic state wherein you begin to use fat stores for fuel instead of glycogen. You do this by replacing the carbohydrates in your diet with foods that contain high fat and moderate amounts of protein.

Why would you want to transition to ketosis? Believe it or not, the human body is designed to burn fat for fuel, not glucose. When you have no glucose from carbohydrates in your system, your body then moves on to your stored fat, breaking it down and using it for fuel. Ultimately, when you reach a ketosis state, your body is effectively burning fat from the food you intake as well as what’s stored in your body.

From there, it can help lead you on a path towards healthy and effective weight loss. Other health benefits from the ketogenic diet include its connection to lowering blood sugar levels, and increased energy during the day. And, studies suggest that a ketogenic diet can even lower your risk of heart disease.

Baked smoked salmon, egg in avodaco, ketogenic keto low carb diet food
Baked smoked salmon and egg in an avocado

The Egg Advantage

With the ketogenic diet focusing on foods that are high in fat, moderately high in protein, and extremely low in carbohydrates, it’s no wonder that eggs are a great food option while on the keto diet. In addition to hitting the aforementioned macros, eggs are also packed with nutrients. Nutrients can be found in all parts of the inner egg. Egg whites contain protein, zinc, iron, copper, and selenium, as well as vitamin D, B6, and B12. The yolk, on the other hand, is where most of the fat, cholesterol and vitamin A, D, E, and K are found.

In fact, as long as you don’t have any egg allergies, eggs are a fundamental part of the keto diet.

However, not all eggs are created equal. The best eggs to buy while on the keto diet include omega-3, organic, or pastured. When you buy those, you know you’re getting the healthiest eggs.

Egg Fast Basics

So, why would you need to go on a keto egg fast? For those struggling to fully transition into ketosis, an egg fast can help their body adjust from burning glycogen from carbs to burning fat from food and the fat stored in their body.

For those that have been on the keto diet for a while and find their weight plateauing, an egg fast might be the best way to help restart weight loss. In short, an egg fast can be the jolt your body and metabolism needs as it enables you to drastically limit your carb intake.

But maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves; let’s get back to the basics, such as what exactly is an egg fast? Well, as you might guess, it’s where a dieter will almost exclusively eat eggs for a set period of time — typically 3 to 5 days — abstaining from most other kinds of food. To reiterate, those on an egg fast only consume eggs for all meals and snacks, along with some other healthy fats, including full-fat cheese.

Additionally, you have the freedom to eat your eggs in a variety of ways — scramble them in the morning, fry them for lunch, and make an omelet for dinner.

The goal is to eat at least 6 eggs a day, along with an ounce of cheese and a teaspoon of butter or other healthy fat options, like coconut oil, with each egg consumed.

Below are some basic rules of the keto egg fast:

  • Eat an egg within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning.
  • When preparing your eggs, eat both the whites and yolk.
  • Have at minimum 3-5 meals of 2 or more eggs per day.
    • Additionally, you should be eating every 3-5 hours, even if you don’t feel hungry.
  • Eat an egg at least 3 hours before going to bed.
  • Sauces and condiments are allowed, as long as they are low-carb and used sparingly.
  • Butter, herbs, spices, and coconut oil are permitted to use with/on your eggs.
  • Stay hydrated and drink at least 100 ounces each day.
  • Try to avoid diet sodas while on the egg fast — tea and coffee are permitted.

An egg fast is different than a typical egg diet. Although an egg diet is similar in that it’s essentially low carb and high protein, with an egg diet, you only eat three meals a day, that’s it.

Additionally, on an egg diet, you are allowed to eat lean meats with your eggs, along with fruits and vegetables that are low carb, such as spinach and grapefruit. You can’t eat low carb fruits and vegetables while on an egg fast.

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Egg muffins with spinach and bacon

Sample Meals on a Keto Egg Fast

So, what does a typical day look like when it comes to the keto egg fast? Below is an example.

Breakfast:

Keto Scramble with Andouille
-Coffee/tea

Lunch:

-Egg salad with cheese crisps
-Water

Snack:

-Boiled eggs
-Water

Dinner:

-Cheddar cheese omelet
-Water

Things to be Aware of With the Egg Fast

The goal of an egg fast is to jumpstart your body into ketosis. However, be aware that an egg fast is supposed to be a short duration augmentation to your standard Keto Diet. If you continue your egg fast beyond the recommended length of time, you may find yourself missing out on certain other nutrients that aren’t found in eggs. For example, eggs do not contain any fiber, which your body needs to promote healthy digestion.

Additionally, if you’re just starting out on the keto diet, this fast may be too difficult as your body is making a huge transition in not only what you’re eating, but in the way you burn energy. Because of cravings and initially not gaining a “satisfied/full” feeling from high fat foods, you may find yourself unable to complete the full egg fast.

You might also experience some unexpected energy drops. If this is the case, make sure you get the recommended hours of sleep and only participate in light exercises. If you feel like your energy drops are too severe, you should end your egg fast.

The egg fast isn’t ideal for those that are currently dealing with liver issues or other types of deficiencies, since again, when on an egg fast, you’re not getting the full range of nutrients.

Lastly, if you are experiencing discomfort or digestive problems while on an egg fast, consider dropping the fast and talking with your doctor or nutritionist.

Egg, Breakfast, Cooking, Eating, Food
Boiled eggs

Should You Do an Egg Fast?

The egg fast is great for those looking to push past their weight loss plateau and continue on in their weight loss journey. Plus, if you’re looking for new keto-friendly recipes, an egg fast will force you to research and create new dishes. If you are busy but still want to eat keto meals made with eggs, check out Ketoned Bodies’ keto meal delivery menu sourced from organic and sustainable ingredients and delivered delicious and nutritious keto meals to your door.

However, if you are one of the keto faithful, you’re already on your way towards effectively losing weight and reaping other health benefits.

Bottom line: If you’re curious about trying an egg fast, go for it! It will not negatively impact any of your hard work with the keto diet. Just be careful not to take the egg fast too far, and always listen to your body’s needs. Before diving in, consult with your doctor and/or nutritionist to make sure your body can handle an egg fast.

By taking a few days to refine your diet to focus only on the most fundamental keto macros, you can lay out a weight loss blueprint that’s easy for your body to follow. So come on; break out of your shell and see if an egg fast is the solution you’ve been looking for.