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What’s The Deal With Keto?

The ketogenic diet—"keto” for short—is a diet that includes lots of fat, a moderate amount of protein and a small amount of carbs. We know that starting a new diet can be intimidating, but don’t stress! If you’re on the keto diet—or just considering it—we’ve got fun and easy ways to incorporate keto into your busy schedule with recipes, meal plans and more.

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Your Keto Questions, Answered:

A ketogenic diet—or “keto” for short—is an eating plan that includes lots of fat, a moderate amount of protein and a small number of carbohydrates. The general idea behind eating this way is that—over an extended period of time—eating a very high-fat, low-carb diet may trigger a metabolic adaptation in the body. Specifically, it will promote a state of “ketosis.”
Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when your body begins drawing its energy primarily from “ketones” rather than glucose. Ketones can readily be converted into energy when transported to your body through the bloodstream. They are formed in your liver and are derived from fat, a process which accelerates when the body has few other sources of energy—like carbohydrates. The time it takes to reach ketosis varies from one person to another, but most can enter a ketogenic state after several days depending on the level of carbohydrate restriction. Healthy individuals that restrict carbohydrate intake but maintain an adequate total calorie intake will enter this state when glycogen stores are depleted. Ketones (an indicator of ketosis) can be measured in the urine or blood using over-the-counter Ketone Test Strips and Kits that are readily available.
Foods that are permitted on the Keto Diet include:
  • FATS/OILS: Fat is your new best friend! Choose from the following: olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, butter, coconut butter, clarified butter, lard, tallow and palm shortening.
  • MEAT: Everything is on the menu! You can have beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, salami and pork belly. Don’t bother trimming or draining the fat.
  • SEAFOOD: Expand your palate with options from the ocean like salmon, trout, cod, halibut, mahi-mahi, sea bass, lobster, shrimp, mussels, scallops, oysters, crab and squid.
  • EGGS: A delicious source of protein and fat—just make sure you eat the yolks!
  • VEGETABLES: Stick to veggies within your carbohydrate guidelines that grow above the ground. These include avocado, spinach, kale, lettuce, cabbage, zucchini, eggplant, spaghetti squash, asparagus, broccoli, cucumbers and peppers. You can also have garlic and onions.
  • FRUITS: Enjoy raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, lemons and limes in moderation and within your carbohydrate guideline.
  • DAIRY: Get ready to enjoy full-fat cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese and heavy cream.
  • NUTS AND SEEDS: Loaded with fiber, protein, and healthy fat, nuts and seeds deliver an energy boost throughout the day. Snack on almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
  • BEVERAGES: Hydrate and replenish with more than just water! Tasty options include almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, club soda, tea, coffee (with heavy cream) and chicken or beef stock.
  • COOKING/BAKING EXTRAS: Keep these on hand to cook your keto favorites: almond flour, cacao nibs, dark chocolate, hot sauce, vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, stevia and vanilla extract.
Foods that are NOT permitted on the keto diet include:
  • SUGAR: Say goodbye to all foods and beverages made with sugar! Sugar goes by many different names, so stay away from honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, rice malt syrup, sucrose, barley malt, agave nectar, molasses and cane juice. There are dozens more, so always check nutrition labels for carbohydrate content!
  • STARCH: This includes all forms like beans, legumes and starchy vegetables. In addition, it’s a good idea to avoid all hot and cold cereals, plus oats, rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, flour and corn tortillas, flour and corn-based cookies and crackers, quinoa and lentils.
  • FRUIT: Avoid fruits with higher sugar content, such as apples, bananas, peaches and oranges—and it doesn’t matter if they’re fresh, dried or frozen! Also steer clear of raisins and dates.
  • PROCESSED OILS: Stay away from cottonseed oil, soybean oil and margarine.
  • DAIRY: Don’t drink low-fat milk, flavored yogurt or yogurt with fruit.
There are supplements available designed specifically to support the keto lifestyle. Oils, such as fish oil, MCT oil, coconut oil and others are considered keto friendly because they have a very high fat content without the carbs, while others are specifically recommended for keto followers. Beta-Hydroxybutyrate or (BHB) is one such ingredient. BHB is a naturally occurring metabolite formed during fat digestion and metabolism, known as a ketone body. It’s a molecule that can act as a fuel source for the brain, heart and muscles when carbohydrates are not available. KetoLogic® BHB is one example of a dietary supplement designed specifically with the keto dieter in mind. Search GNC’s full line of keto-friendly products.