The Keto Diet. If you’re like us, at least one person you know is on it or talking about starting it. It seems like this diet has become more and more popular in recent years (we’re looking at you Vinny Guadagnino) so we decided to do some research to learn more about the diet itself and how it affects the body.
As it turns out, the Ketogenic Diet is not a recent fad, it was actually used by physicians in the 1920s to treat epilepsy. A diet rich in fat and low in carbs was proven to produce ketone bodies in the liver. The increase in ketone bodies causes a change in metabolism, which scientists believe allows the body to remove the toxins from the intestines that cause the convulsions that plague epileptics. However, although ketone bodies have proven to help in reducing symptoms for those suffering from epilepsy, scientists still don’t completely understand why. The ketone bodies seem to have an anti-electrical effect on the brain but why that is is still under investigation. As for the diet being used to aid in weight loss, that’s also under investigation, as doctors have mixed feelings about if the benefits outweigh the costs. However, it has proven effective when men and women commit to this lifestyle change, rather than using it as a quick weight loss fix.
What is the Keto Diet?
The Ketogenic Diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. The purpose of the diet is to reduce carb intake and replace it with fat. The reduction of carbs from your system puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis, which tricks your body into believing that it’s starving so it begins to efficiently burn fat for energy.
What are the do’s and don’ts?
The main focus of the keto diet is eliminating foods that are high in carbs, such as sugars and starches, and adding more proteins, vegetables and natural fats to your diet. However, it does allow for limited carb intake, depending on how strict you choose to be. A true ketogenic diet suggests under 20 grams of carbs a day but if that’s difficult for you to start out with, aim for staying under 100 grams of carbs a day. This will give your body more time to adjust to the diet and then limit the carbs from there, if you would like to. We’ve listed the common do’s and don’ts of the diet below.
Fish and Seafood
Natural Fats (butter, olive oil, cheese and yogurt)
Vegetables (leafy and green vegetables are best: cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, avocado)
Nuts in moderation (pecans, almonds, peanuts, walnuts)
Berries in moderation (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
Coffee (without sugar and limited milk or cream)
Sugar (candy, cakes, cookies, candy bars, doughnuts)
Starch (bread, pasta, potatoes, sweet potatoes, potato chips, french fries)
Grains (rice, quinoa, bulgur, barley, oats)
Beans (kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans, lentils)
Pros of the Keto Diet:
Quick weight loss
Lowers risk of heart disease
Lowers blood sugar
Reduces insulin levels and inflammation
Cons of the Keto Diet:
May reduce muscle mass
Causes headaches and nausea
Digestive issues such as constipation
May increase risk of coronary disease
Difficult to commit to following the diet
If you’ve done your research into the diet and are interested in trying it out, we’ve got the perfect meal to get you started: our keto quesadilla! The recipe is below along with step by step cooking instructions. Test it out at home and let us know if you’ve become a #ketoconvert.
Recipe serves 1
2 Siete almond flour tortillas
shredded Mexican cheese (use as much or as little as you’d like)
1 tablespoon ghee
1/4 lb ground turkey
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon olive oil
Heat skillet on medium heat. Add the teaspoon of olive oil as well as the minced garlic. Next add the ground turkey and all spices. Mix until cooked through. Once cooked through, remove from heat and set aside.
Wipe down your skillet with a paper towel (you can wash the skillet if desired but wiping with a paper towel should be enough to remove all of the turkey mixture). Return skillet to medium heat and add the ghee. Once the ghee has melted, add one Siete tortilla and cover in shredded Mexican cheese. Next add the cooked ground turkey and cover the ground turkey with more shredded cheese. Then place the second Siete tortilla on top. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until both sides are crispy. Pro tip: add avocado slices to make your quesadilla even more delicious or add a side of your favorite salsa and sour cream for dipping!
We served ours with sauteed purple cabbage and kale (which we sauteed with olive oil, fresh chopped garlic, salt, pepper and a dash of chili powder) but a mixed green salad or roasted vegetables are also good alternatives!