Best Ketogenic Meals to Optimize Your Diet.
Decades of research indicates that the high-fat, low-carb keto-friendly foods that we once thought were destroying our health may be doing just the opposite. Studies upon studies on the ketogenic diet have been finding benefits for people with all types of conditions, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease.
How could a diet filled with so much cholesterol and fat be so good for us? Because many of the foods that we once thought were the problem — like eggs and meat — are actually the solution.
Below, we explore the best three healthiest keto foods to optimize your dieting efforts.
Eggs, Eggs, & More Eggs
Let’s start off our top 10 list with a cholesterol-packed food that would make your mother gasp — eggs. Eggs are one of the healthiest and most versatile foods on the planet. Many experts even identify the egg as one of the only true “superfoods.” The reason behind this profound claim lies in the egg yolk, not the white.In fact, most of the beneficial nutrients in the egg are found in its yolk, including thirteen essential vitamins and minerals and the eye-protecting antioxidants known as lutein and zeaxanthin. They are also one of the best sources of choline, a vitamin-like essential nutrient and methyl donor involved in many vital physiological processes.
Although egg yolks are high in cholesterol, consuming them doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels in most people. Eggs have even been shown to modify the shape of LDL in a way that reduces the risk of heart disease. Egg consumption has also been found to increase the feeling of fullness and keep blood sugar levels stable, leading to lower calorie intakes for up to 24 hours. This could mean that eggs are the weight loss boosting superfood you’ve been waiting for. On top of that, one large egg contains less than 1 gram of carbs and fewer than 6 grams of protein, making it the perfect keto-friendly health food.
If you’d like to find the healthiest eggs possible, seek out egg farmers that give their chickens access to pasture — a place where they can eat plenty of insects and soak up the sun. Studies have found that chickens raised in this way tend to lay eggs that are filled with more omega 3s, vitamins, and minerals.
Recommended Keto Egg Recipes:
Earlier we explored how the fats in fatty meats may help promote cholesterol levels and heart health — the same goes for the fats found in cheese, butter, and cream as well. In fact, some studies suggest that a moderate consumption of high-fat dairy may even reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
High-fat dairy also contains high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and conjugated linoleic acid (the fatty acid that has been found to promote fat loss). The combination of these nutrients is essential for maintaining strength and function as we age. By adding just 7 ounces of ricotta cheese to their daily diet, for example, the older participants of a recent study were able to increase their muscle mass and muscle strength. In other words, ask for extra cheese, please.
There is no need to be cheap with the cheese, cream, and butter on the ketogenic diet either. Due to the low-carb content of high-fat dairy, you can get away with using a reasonable amount in each meal without having to worry about getting too many carbs.
Recommended Keto-friendly Recipes Using High-fat Dairy:
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a healthy addition to any diet.
Many studies have found frequent nut consumption to be associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, depression, and obesity. Nuts and seeds also contain plenty of fiber, which increases the feeling of fullness and reduces calorie consumption.
Seeds come with many unique benefits as well. Flaxseeds, for example, are the richest dietary source of lignan precursors, while sesame seeds offer the highest amount of phytosterols of all nuts and seeds. Both lignans and phytosterols are helpful in reducing inflammation and heart disease and cancer risk.
Consuming nut and seed oils on their own, however, is strongly advised against because the contain unhealthily high levels of inflammatory omega 6s. For this reason, it is best to consume whole or freshly ground nuts and seeds.
On the ketogenic diet, you will find a lot of recipes that call for almond flour and flax meal, which are healthy low-carb flour alternatives. Make sure, however, that you are aware of how much of these low-carb flours you are using. An over-reliance on these nut and seed flours can unknowingly cause you to consume too many calories, carbs, and inflammatory fats.
Although all nuts and seeds are low in net carbs, the amount varies quite a bit among the different types.
Here are the carb counts for 1 ounce (28 grams) of the most widely consumed nuts and seeds:
Recommended Keto Recipes With Nuts and Seeds:
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