FOLLOWING A CLEAN KETOGENIC LIFESTYLE
Restricting carbs puts your body into ketosis, a metabolic state in which you start burning fat for energy in place of carbs. This will lead to several potential health benefits, including weight loss, reduction in blood sugar levels, cholesterol and cardiovascular disease and in some cases a reduced risk to the development of certain cancers. However following a clean ketogenic diet is of as much importance as reducing the number of carbohydrates you are eating in order to reap those benefits described above.
Clean (as opposed to dirty or lazy) keto focuses on the incorporation of whole, nutrient-dense foods into your diet with more emphasis on food quality as well as the organic sources from which they are obtained, such as grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and eggs, wild-caught salmon and seafood, organically farmed olive oil and organic non-starchy vegetables.
Clean keto also encourages one not to eat or to limit the ingestion of all processed food.
Processed foods have far more additives including monosodium glutamate (MSG) and trans fats fewer of the micronutrients your body needs and are associated with several negative health effects, including weight gain, diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. Moreover, the added sugars in many processed foods prevent you from reaching and maintaining a state of nutritional ketosis. By choosing processed foods over nutritious, whole foods, you may become deficient in micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, folic acid, and vitamins C, D, and K. While these nutrients can be obtained from supplements, studies suggest that your body digests and utilises them better from when ingested from whole foods.
Foods to eat while following a clean ketogenic lifestyle
Here are a few examples of scrumptious foods you are encouraged to eat on Keto:
- High fat protein sources: grass-fed beef, chicken thighs, salmon, tuna, shellfish, eggs, bacon, full fat greek yogurt, cottage cheese
- Low carb vegetables: cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, green beans, peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, and celery
- Limited portions of berries: strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries
- Fat sources: grass-fed butter, ghee, avocados, coconut oil, MCT oil, olive oil, sesame oil, and walnut oil
- Nuts, nut butters, and seeds: walnuts, pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts, as well as hemp, flax, sunflower, chia, and pumpkin seeds
- Cheeses: Cheddar, cream cheese, Gouda, Swiss, blue cheese
- Beverages: water, sparkling water, diet soda, green tea, black tea, coffee, protein shakes, milk alternatives, vegetable juice, and kombucha
So what does “Organic” mean with respect to produce?
The term “organic” is used to describe fruits, vegetables, and other plants that have been grown using natural substances, rather than chemically synthetic ones such as herbicides and pesticides. Organic farming typically involves the use of biological fertilisers like animal manure to facilitate the growth of crops and to maintain nutrient-rich soil for the produce to grow in. Other farming techniques such as composting, crop rotation, water management practices, and other environmentally-friendly methods of growing food. By choosing organic produce you and your body will benefit in the following ways: exposure to less and fewer pesticide residues found on these foods, a reduced risk of developing inherent pesticide-related health issues, a potential improvement in nutritional quality of the food and importantly a reduction in the worlds overall environmental burden.
The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is “to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.” Based on their ongoing research, they provide an annual list of the 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues, known as the “dirty dozen”.
If choosing to purchase from this list we suggest making an organic selection of these foods whenever possible in order to reduce your exposure to pesticides, as these low-carb fruits and vegetables contain the highest levels of pesticide residues.
Low-Carb Options from the “Dirty Dozen” list which should be preferably organic include:
- Strawberries, nectarines, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears
- Lettuce and collard greens
- Tomatoes and cherry tomatoes
- Bell peppers
As opposed to the “Dirty Dozen,” the EWG creates a list of fruits and vegetables that have been found to have extremely low levels of pesticide residues. These low-carb fruits and vegetables contain the lowest level of pesticide residues:
Low-Carb Options from the “Clean 15” list that you may or may not have to buy organic include:
- Cantaloupes and honeydew melon
So what does “Grass Fed” mean with respect to produce?
It is important to recognise that ethically treated, grass-fed meat is better for you. It is much leaner than its conventional counterpart and even though fat is not the problem on a Keto diet, but your concerns stems to the toxins and suchlike poisons that tend to accumulate in the fat of the animal. Conventional factory raised and fed animals are raised on hormones and antibiotics. Hormones are used to speed up growth of the animals and liberal use of antibiotics to overcome the growth of bacteria within the animals due to significant overcrowded and often inhumane conditions.
The carbon footprint of grass farms is significantly lower than that of farms where cereal crops are grown to feed animals. Grassland helps capture and store carbon so less escapes into the air to harm the atmosphere. Grazing animals return nutrients and organic matter back to the ground as they deposit their dung, ensuring the soil remains healthy and fertile.
We know that grass-fed meat is higher in vitamin E, allowing it will stand up to the assault of high-temperature cooking which is often associated with the form of carcinogens. Altogether, grass-fed beef provides better nutrition than grain-fed beef: better saturated fat profiles, more omega-3s, less omega-6s, more CLA, more beta-carotene, more vitamin E, and more antioxidant potential.