The Ketogenic Diet: UNTANGLED (Part 2)
Updated: Jan 11
Should I be watching my macros?
Before we can go into the details of the keto diet, it’s important for us to give a basic breakdown of macronutrients.
There are three MAIN macronutrients that all humans need to function:
Carbohydrates - (aka “carbs” as they are fondly referred to) include grains, fruit, starchy veggies, legumes, dairy products and added sugars
Protein - not just meat, but eggs, cheese, tofu, fatty fish, and seafood
Fat - oils, avocado's and nuts/seeds.
These “macros” are the nutrients that we all need, in the largest quantities, in order for our bodies to function optimally (yes everyone, even Beyonce needs ALL of them). Health Canada considers a healthy and balanced diet to include 45-65% carbohydrate, 10-35% protein and 20-35% fat. If you read our blog “So you are thinking of ‘going keto’ - The Ketogenic Diet: UNTANGLED (Part 1)” this breakdown is very different from the keto distribution.
Now you might be asking, “if a ‘balanced’ diet is so different than keto, what changes do I need to make in order to stay on the low carb, high fat, and moderate protein guidelines of the diet?” Well… here are the exact changes you will need to make:
Cut out all carbohydrate rich foods
This includes (to name a few):
Grains - pasta, breads, cereals, rice, oats
Added sugars - cookies, cakes, candy, white/brown sugar, syrup
Starchy vegetables - potatoes, corn, sweet potato
Beans/legumes - chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, peas
Dairy products - yogurt, milk, buttermilk; and
Fruit - bananas, apples, grapes, mangoes, pineapples, citrus fruits, melons, blueberries
**note: some fruits are low in carbohydrates like raspberries, blackberries and strawberries**
Increase your intake of high fat foods and low carb veggies
Low carb vegetables - leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, cruciferous vegetables, cucumber, olives
Eat only moderate amounts of protein
Fish (tilapia, cod)
Nuts (a fat AND a protein food)
Cut all alcohol from your diet
This means no wine, beer or spirits of any kind. These will automatically put you “out of ketosis” and therefore are not a part of the ketogenic diet.
So what are you left with? The fat and protein foods listed above. Berries! High fat milk and dairy products, non-starchy vegetables and calorie free fluids like water, fizzy water, coffee/tea and....ya, that's kind of it! It’s a short list, but in order to consider yourself “keto”, you must maintain ketosis to realize any of the effects of the diet.
What is “ketosis” you ask? Check out our blog post “What the bleep is ketosis - The Ketogenic Diet: UNTANGLED (Part 3)”