The keto diet is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it has been around since the 1920s. Though, as you might have noticed, over the past few years it has become a tremendously popular weight-loss method. To follow the keto diet, the rule is to eat a high-fat, moderate-protein diet, with a firm restriction on carbohydrates. The popularity of keto has led to a market surge of keto-friendly snacks, supplements, beverages, and other products to help dieters stay true to the diet's guidelines.
Replacing sugar with a low-carb sweetener is essential for the keto diet. Like regular sugar, Erythritol has a granulated texture. However, it is only about 60 to 80% as sweet as sugar and has zero calories. Although it may have a chemical-sounding name, erythritol is a natural product created with plant sugars mixed with water and then fermented. There are a lot of sugar alternatives out there, so make sure you're buying Erythritol and not an artificial sweetener! Thankfully, Amazon makes it easy to order the right one.
Cooking fats are essential for the keto diet, but not all fats are weighted equally. Coconut oil is a keto-safe, fragrant, and versatile fat that is great for frying foods at high temperatures. It contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), fats the body can easily convert into ketones to use for fuel. MCTs also boost the body's fat-burning capabilities and increase good HDL cholesterol levels. Look for coconut oil that is USDA-certified organic, non-GMO, and harvested without the use of pesticides.
Drinking unsweetened coffee and tea on keto is fine, but those fast and easy caffeinated beverages loaded with sugar are not. It's best to make your own coffee or tea at home; that way, you know exactly what is in them. To optimize your morning coffee for keto, add a serving of MCT oil. MCTs boosts energy and increases brainpower, which makes it extra handy for first thing in the morning. You can enrich your favorite coffee at home or on the go with MCT oil, available on Amazon.
Just because you're on keto doesn't mean that you have to abstain from chocolate. There's a wide array of delicious, keto-safe, low-or-no-carb, dark chocolate options available. If you're searching in stores, look for chocolate bars with at least 70% cocoa, a high-fat content, and with no additives. One of our favorite chocolates is ChocZero's Keto Bark; it's low carb, contains no added sugar, and is sweetened naturally with monk fruit.
Two tablespoons of nut butter make a delicious, keto-friendly snack. Nuts provide healthy fats and fiber, and that includes a healthy serving of magnesium and selenium. Avoid nut butters with added sugar, hydrogenated oils, or that have low- or reduced-fat. The best brand that we've found is RX Nut Butter, available in tons of flavors on Amazon. It's sweetened with dates, so it has no added sugar and contains egg whites for added protein.
Roasted pumpkin seeds are low in carbs but high in minerals and vitamins, like zinc, magnesium, and manganese. They also contain healthy fats and antioxidants. Pumpkin seeds are also an excellent source of fiber, which helps dieters hold back cravings and feel fuller for longer periods. Remember, not all pumpkin seeds are made equally! Look for USDA-certified organic, non-GMO, raw pumpkin seeds to get the most out of your snack!
For those on keto, a grain-free, nutritious flour option is a MUST to avoid carbs. Both coconut and almond flour are excellent replacements for traditional, wheat-based flour. Those who wish to keep their grocery bill down will find that coconut flour is generally less expensive. Most recipes require about a fourth as much coconut flour as almond flour. Of the two, almond flour has higher fat and protein content. Remember to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer after opening.
Keto recipes require a lot of butter, but that can be a little too much dairy for some people. Ghee is a great alternative for those seeking to lower the amount of dairy in their diet while still getting those healthy fats. Ghee is a type of clarified butter that's great for frying and sauteing because it has a higher burning point than regular butter. We love 4th & Heart's grass-fed ghee because it's seasoned with yummy Himalayan pink salt. It's a bit of a specialty ingredient, so you might not be able to find it in stores near you. Thankfully it's in stock on Amazon!
Collagen is the most abundant structural protein in the body. It forms connective tissue, which holds the body together. The limited amount of protein included in keto diets can affect muscle mass, as well as joint and gut health. Add a keto-friendly collagen supplement to smoothies or sprinkle over keto pancakes to maintain good muscle health. We are fans of Sports Research's grass-fed, non-GMO, and gluten-free collagen peptide powder because it's so easy to add to food.
Keeping track of ketone levels in the blood is crucial when following a keto diet. Ketone blood meters let dieters check their blood via a finger prick to ensure they are maintaining nutritional ketosis. Although keto dieters can choose urine indicator strips, blood meters are much more convenient and provide more reliable results.
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