So, the year is fast coming to an end. For me, it’s been an eventful one. I remember back in January when my friends and I had a conversation about shedding some weight this year. We planned to be accountable to one another and if possible get together sometimes to exercise. Well, erm, we managed to execute our plans for the first few months, and then gradually, majority of us began to stall. Today, our plans seem to have vanished into thin air. Anyways, life continues. Some months back, I stumbled on the ketogenic diet and I must say this lifestyle has a lot to offer in terms of healthy living.
A ketogenic diet also known as LCHF (Low Carbohydrate High Fat) diet involves eating little carbohydrate and more fatty and protein meals. It is a very low-carb diet whose ultimate goal is to put the body in a state called “ketosis”. Where a diet consists of fewer carbs, the body is forced to burn more fat. The ketogenic diet makes the body produce Ketones which are formed in the liver. They serve as fuel for the body and brain too. Simply put, the body no longer runs on glucose (energy gotten from sugar) but ketones.
The ketogenic life style has several health benefits. Since the body’s ability to burn fat increases, it aids with weight loss. A lifestyle devoid of processed, empty calorie and high carb foods like Ice cream, doughnuts, pasta, white bread, rice etc does the body a lot of good. The alternative would be organic and low carb foods like eggs, fish, sea food, animal fats, dairy, meat, aubergines, berries, cucumbers, coconut, almond flour etc.
Other benefits that have been attributed to this diet include reduced sugar cravings, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, hormonal balance, mood stabilization, less hunger etc. The ketogenic lifestyle has been recommended for people with diabetes, epilepsy, hormonal imbalance and so on.
When starting a keto diet, many people experience what is called “keto flu” which could last for a few days. Symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, nausea and rashes. This is the body adjusting to the change from running on glucose to fat. Gradually, the body becomes adapted to the changes and goes into ketosis.
There are several recipes you could try out with this diet. The good news is you still get to eat soups, meat, chicken and the likes. However, swallow foods like Garri, Pounded yam, Amala, Semo Vita is not approved or keto compliant. You could make swallow foods from eggplant, cabbage and Cauliflower. The Eggplant swallow tastes like Amala while the Cabbage swallow tastes like Eba, so you are not missing much in that regard.
Also, you can substitute rice with Cauliflower. You can make bread, snacks and other pastries you like with almond, flaxseed or coconut flour.
Yam and potatoes could be substituted with pumpkin, cucumber or other non-starchy vegetables. You could make your own Ice cream using low-fat yoghurt, heavy cream, avocado, strawberries and other fruits having very little sugar. It all depends on your creativity.
One thing we should note however is that before embarking on any diet, we should seek medical advice. This is very important for pregnant women, nursing mothers and people who are allergic to certain foods.
Let’s keto on!