Chapter 1

Escape the Diet Dogma:
The Science Behind the Ketogenic Lifestyle

Image

We Westerners have been harming our health for decades. How? By following dietary recommendations based on bad science. We’ve been avoiding saturated fat and cholesterol for fear of increasing our risk of heart disease. We’ve been told that eating five small meals a day is better for you than eating three regular meals. We replaced saturated fats with carbohydrates, and we’ve started eating breakfast cereals instead of eggs in the mornings. And you know the rest of the story: we ended up with an obesity epidemic, plus an increase in diagnoses of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lipid problems, inflammation, and hypertension—all of which are symptoms of what is known as the metabolic syndrome.

But the good news is that times are changing. Up-to-date research, including a review of studies from 2015 published by the British Medical Journal, shows that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol are not our enemies. In fact, they actually help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and balanced hormones. Instead, sugar and processed foods that are high in carbohydrates and inflammatory oils are our true adversaries. And I’m not just talking about obviously unhealthy foods, such as white sugar, pizza, and fries. The culprits include all those “good-for-you” cereals, whole-grain granola bars, low-fat yogurts, and even tropical fruits, which are often marketed as “health foods” that will keep your heart fit and your body trim.

The truth is that eating high-sugar foods such as these creates a vicious cycle: if you eat high-sugar foods like these regularly, it’s likely that you’ll need to eat five times each day because you’re always hungry. The more sugar you eat, the higher your blood sugar and insulin become, and the result is inevitably a sugar crash—which makes you crave sugary snacks even more. This can cause chronically high blood sugar levels, which eventually leads to insulin resistance and other health issues.

But what if there were a simple solution to the sugar spiral? Well, there is. By limiting the amount of carbohydrates we consume and replacing them with healthy sources of fat, we can stabilize our blood sugar and manage our cravings. It’s time to take control of our diets and start eating real food again!

Image My Story Image

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Even though I was taking prescription medication to help control my condition and I was hitting the gym almost every day, I was gaining weight, not losing it. The irony was that, like so many other people, I used to follow what I believed to be a healthy, balanced diet. I avoided most fatty foods in fear of clogging my arteries and putting on weight. I based my diet around whole grains and vegetables, and I limited my intake of animal products. I did exactly what the general dietary recommendations advised: I exercised more and ate less. Still, nothing worked. Finally, I got tired of dieting all the time, and I was determined to regain my health by following a different approach.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and I started following a whole foods–based ketogenic approach to food. After we witnessed the incredible benefits of low-carb eating firsthand, my partner and I created KetoDiet, a tracking and planning application with hundreds of low-carb recipes. It is now one of the best-selling apps on the App Store and Google Play. Then, in 2012, I launched my KetoDiet blog, which helps more than two million monthly visitors follow a whole foods–based, low-carb, ketogenic lifestyle.

Switching to a keto lifestyle wasn’t easy at first. It took some time for me to get used to eating fat and to give up carbs: after all those years of dieting, it was only natural that I was having trouble eating more fat without worrying about consuming all those calories. And to make things even more complicated, there was too much conflicting information available, and I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing. But I figured it out for myself.

When I started to eat keto, my cravings went away after just a few weeks. I didn’t feel hungry, and I had loads of energy to devote to my busy lifestyle. Best of all, for the first time in years, I didn’t even think about food. It was so liberating! So these days, when people ask me which “diet” I follow, I simply reply, “It’s just the way I eat every day.” That’s because—for me, at least—keto isn’t a diet: it’s a lifestyle. The word “diet” suggests a pattern of eating that’s both temporary and difficult to stick with, and that’s definitely not the case for my approach to eating keto.

I hope this book will give you some clarity about what a truly healthy diet is, and that you’ll be motivated to keep learning, do your own research, and listen to your body. I truly believe that a whole foods–based keto diet that reflects your individual needs has the potential to help you achieve your goals—whether that’s long-term weight loss, dealing with certain health conditions, or simply improving your overall well-being.

Image What Is the Ketogenic Diet? Image

To understand what the ketogenic diet is and how it works, we need to understand how our bodies use carbohydrates. All carbohydrates from the foods we eat are broken down into glucose, which, in non-keto-adapted individuals, is the body’s primary source of energy. If you eat more carbohydrates than your body can use immediately, it will store the excess glucose in the liver and muscles as muscle glycogen, which can be used for energy. But when your glycogen tank is full, your body stores extra glycogen as body fat.

Wait a minute, though. Don’t our bodies need carbs? Not really. It’s a common myth that we need carbs in order to produce glycogen. While it’s true that a small amount of glucose is still needed for some basic metabolic functions, our bodies prefer using ketones as an energy source, according to Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., and Stephen Phinney, M.D., Ph.D., best-selling authors of The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. Compared to our “glycogen tank,” which is limited to about 2,000 calories, the capacity of our “fat tank” is more than 40,000 calories. Once you become keto-adapted, your body will shift from glucose metabolism to fat metabolism, and you will experience improved energy levels, enhanced satiety, and reduced cravings. Besides, our bodies can produce glucose on demand for the basic metabolic functions that require it through a process called gluconeogenesis, and this process is fueled by non-carbohydrate sources, especially protein.

And let’s not forget about insulin and its role in fat loss. Here’s how it works: when you eat a high-carb meal, your body has to produce more insulin in order to keep up with the increased levels of glucose in your bloodstream. Raised insulin levels “lock” fat in the cells and block fat burning—until your insulin drops again and you use fat for fuel. When you are insulin-sensitive, this process works perfectly well, and allows you to maintain balanced blood sugar levels. But with a consistently high carbohydrate intake, it can eventually lead to insulin resistance, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, higher triglyceride levels, increased inflammation—and, in some cases, type 2 diabetes. One 1989 study named insulin resistance as one of four cardiovascular risk factors: a “deadly quartet” including hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, and low HDL cholesterol.

All of this means that any carbs you consume raise your insulin level, which normally leads to increased energy levels or to storing fat. But when you eat fewer carbs, your body requires less insulin to regulate your blood sugar levels: as a result, it uses more fat for energy and stores less of it.

Image Three Phases of a Whole Foods–Based Ketogenic Diet Image

* PHASE 1: INDUCTION PHASE (3 TO 4 WEEKS) *

Keto induction refers to the initial phase of the ketogenic diet, which occurs after you significantly reduce your carbohydrate intake to 20 to 25 grams of daily net carbs (that is, your total carbohydrate intake minus fiber), or even less, in order to enter a metabolic state known as ketosis. The exact amount of carbohydrates required to enter ketosis is different for each person, but the presence of ketones in your body, which shows that your body is burning fat for fuel, typically takes 1 to 3 days. A successful induction phase will significantly increase your chances of achieving your goals, so this phase is an especially important one.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Switching to keto can be quite challenging, but it’ll take just a few weeks for you to become keto- adapted and to enjoy the (many!) benefits of low-carb eating. Here are some tips for a successful keto induction:

1. Keep it simple. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when you start following a keto diet. To minimize failures, you’ll want to keep your diet simple. Stick with foods that are naturally low in carbs. Prepare recipes with just a few common ingredients, and avoid getting bogged down in making complicated meals. Once you get used to low-carb eating, you can start experimenting—and having fun!—with more challenging recipes.

2. Be sure to get enough protein and fat. If you don’t eat enough protein and fat, you’ll end up hungry, and that’ll stall your progress. For more on protein intake, see Protein on a Keto Diet; for more on fat intake, see The Filler Concept.

3. Avoid foods that may trigger cravings and/or overeating. Before you introduce low-carb sweeteners, your aim is to get your palate used to low-carb eating. You should avoid potential triggers such as low-carb treats (see Eating Too Much Of…). Other foods that may trigger cravings are keto substitutes for breads (Garlic and Herb Focaccia), crackers (Multiseed Keto Crackers), and nuts and cheese, especially if you’re using them as snacks. High-fat treats such as fat bombs are usually well tolerated, provided you can stop at one piece. Some people may need to avoid nuts and dairy altogether, while others can use them as an ingredient in a main dish. You’ll need to experiment to see what works best for you. I’ve marked the recipes throughout this book that are most suitable for the induction phase of the ketogenic diet.

4. Minimize or avoid snacking. Instead, keep hunger at bay by sticking to three main meals with adequate protein and fat. Needing to snack may be a sign that your last meal wasn’t nutritious enough. Also, people with hypoglycemia issues may need to introduce small, high-fat, moderate-protein snacks between meals.

KETOSIS AND MEASURING KETONES

Nutritional ketosis is achieved when your blood ketones clock in between 0.5 and 3.0 mM. There are several ways to measure ketones. If you choose to do so, the most reliable way is to use a blood ketone meter, which measures the level of beta-hydroxybutyrate—the first ketone body produced in the liver during the fasting state—in the bloodstream. You don’t necessarily need to measure your ketones if your goal is to lose body fat or maintain a healthy weight, but if you’re following a restricted ketogenic diet in order to deal with health conditions such as epilepsy or cancer, measuring ketones is recommended in order to experience the full benefits of the diet.

Or, if you’re new to the ketogenic diet, tracking your ketone levels may help you understand how the foods you eat affect you. Because I’ve been following a low-carb diet since 2011 and I know what to eat and avoid, I rarely measure my ketone levels. Besides, there are other ways to determine whether you’re becoming a fat burner. As you get keto-adapted, the symptoms of keto flu—that is, the result of carbohydrate withdrawal, symptoms of which include headaches, muscle cramps, and fatigue—will dissipate. You won’t need to snack; you’ll stop craving carbs; and eventually you’ll find it easy to skip meals (see Intermittent Fasting). If you exercise, you’ll notice an improvement in your performance—even without carb-loading.

If you do decide to measure your ketone levels, keep in mind that they fluctuate throughout the day. (They are typically higher in the evening and lower in the morning.) To ensure comparable results, be sure to measure your ketones consistently at the same time and under the same circumstances (e.g. 2 hours after a meal) each day. Apart from what you last ate, ketone levels can also be affected by the type of physical activity that you do prior to measuring. For women, fluctuations in hormone levels throughout the month will affect ketone readings, too.

DON’T CONFUSE KETOSIS WITH KETOACIDOSIS

While nutritional ketosis is perfectly safe, ketoacidosis is an indicator of serious health issues such as type 2 diabetes and alcoholism. In ketoacidosis, your body’s ketone levels are three to five times higher than when you’re in ketosis as a result of following a ketogenic diet. Plus, ketoacidosis is accompanied by high glucose levels.

* PHASE 2: KETO ADAPTATION (DURATION DEPENDS ON YOUR INDIVIDUAL GOALS) *

KETOSIS VS. KETO ADAPTATION

While it takes about 1 to 3 days to enter ketosis, it can take up to 4 weeks for your body to become keto-adapted, because it’s a complex process and involves most of the body’s systems. The major adaptations occur in the body’s tissues, especially the brain, liver, kidneys, and muscles. That’s why you may feel tired or have symptoms of “keto flu” (see Keto Flu and Electrolytes) during the first few weeks of following a ketogenic diet. This is because your body is becoming accustomed to using fatty acids and ketones as its main sources of energy. This switch from glucose to fatty acids and ketones will take at least 3 to 4 weeks—or it may even be months before your body learns how to use ketones effectively. It’s worth it, though: once you become keto-adapted, your primary source of energy will shift from glucose toward fat and ketones, and your energy levels will be restored.

INITIAL WEIGHT LOSS

Your hormone levels change during this phase, and as a result of depleted glycogen levels, your body retains less water. So quick weight loss isn’t uncommon in the first few days of keto adaptation. Some of this is water weight, because your body loses glycogen during the first few days of the diet. This is because one molecule of glycogen attracts three to four molecules of water, so your body excretes water as it loses glycogen. After you have depleted your glycogen stores, the process of ketosis begins and you’ll start to lose body fat.

HOW TO BEAT COMMON KETO-ADAPTATION ISSUES

Keto adaptation is a lengthy process, and you might encounter a few bumps along the road. Here are some tips for beating a few of the most common ones.

1. Keto flu. During the induction phase, your body will need more electrolytes (that is, foods high in sodium, potassium, and magnesium), or you may experience flu-like symptoms. To ease these symptoms, eat foods high in electrolytes (see Keto Flu and Electrolytes), make some Electrolyte Agua Fresca, and take magnesium supplements (see here).

2. Digestive issues. When switching to low-carb eating, some people experience digestive issues. Although they are temporary, they can be quite unpleasant. In case of diarrhea or constipation, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or herbal tea and increase your electrolyte intake. Supplementing your diet with probiotics (see Recommended Supplements), and eating probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi may also help.

3. Cravings. First of all, make sure you’re getting enough protein (see here) and electrolytes (see above): a lack of protein in your diet will make you hungrier. If you’re still hungry, a good way to beat cravings is to have a high-fat snack, such as half an avocado, or one fat bomb (try the Halva Stacks).

4. Hypoglycemia. Follow the same tips for beating cravings, above. Also, try splitting your three daily meals into five smaller meals to keep your blood sugar stable.

5. “Keto breath.” Fruity “ketogenic breath” doesn’t affect everyone who follows a ketogenic diet, but if it does, drink lots of water and mint tea and make sure you eat plenty of foods rich in electrolytes. Avoid chewing gum and mints, though: they may kick you out of ketosis due to hidden carbs. And remember that keto breath isn’t forever: once you get keto-adapted, it’ll go away.

6. Insomnia. This side effect is pretty rare, but you may have difficulty falling asleep once you switch to keto. If so, follow the tips for stress and lack of sleep shown here.

* PHASE 3: MAINTENANCE (A LIFELONG WAY OF EATING) *

Whether your goal is weight loss, addressing health issues, or improving your overall well-being, once you reach your target, you should transition to a maintenance mode. For most people, this is a natural process of eating to satiety. For others, weight maintenance may require more attention, and it’s good to know how much you should be eating in order to maintain a healthy weight: when you’re in weight maintenance, more of your daily calories will come from fat than during the keto adaptation phase.

Remember that keto isn’t about losing weight at any cost; it’s about adopting a healthier lifestyle. And that includes not being stressed out about your diet. So, don’t let your diet rule your life! The aim is to follow an approach that works for you in the long term. This is the time to have an occasional treat or an alcoholic drink. Just don’t make it an everyday habit. I do this myself: there are a few occasions during which I let myself eat almost anything—even more carbs than usual! This makes the keto approach much easier to stick with in the long term.

Image Carbohydrates on a Keto Diet Image

You should aim for no more than 50 grams of total carbohydrates (20 to 30 grams of net carbohydrates) per day, mostly from non-starchy vegetables, avocados, and nuts. Everyone tolerates a slightly different carbohydrate level, and you’ll need to experiment to find out what works best for you.

* TOTAL CARBS OR NET CARBS? *

Net carbohydrates are total carbohydrates minus the fiber, and there are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber has no calories, as it simply passes through your colon and helps bulk up your stool. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel that slows down the movement of food through your digestive tract, which can help you feel full. Even though soluble fiber provides a few calories, it doesn’t raise blood glucose levels and won’t kick you out of ketosis. In fact, up-to-date research, including a 2012 study published in the Gut Microbes Journal, suggests that soluble fiber may actually improve blood sugar regulation.

But you’ll need to watch out for low-carb products with hidden carbs from blood sugar–spiking ingredients such as sorbitol or maltitol, and other ingredients such as dextrose and/or maltodextrin. Although their listed net carbs are low, they may kick you out of ketosis. Steer clear of these ingredients, and try to get most of your carbs from whole foods such as non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocados, and berries. This way, you won’t need to worry about hidden carbs.

While counting net carbs works well for most people who want to lose weight and improve their overall health, counting total carbs may be a better option for managing a disease, such as cancer, epilepsy, or Alzheimer’s, in which carbohydrate restriction is more severe in order to maximize results.

SOURCE—VEGETABLES & FRUIT

SERVING SIZE

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

Endive

1/2 small (75 g/2.7 oz)

2.6

0.2

Arugula

2 cups (20 g/0.7 oz)

0.7

0.4

Watercress, chopped

2 cups (68 g/2.4 oz)

0.9

0.5

Onion, spring, scallion

1 medium (15 g/0.5 oz)

1.1

0.7

Spinach, fresh

4 cups (120 g/4.2 oz)

4.3

1.7

Lettuce, romaine, shredded

3 cups (141 g/5 oz)

4.7

1.7

Lettuce, soft green, shredded

3 cups (108 g/3.8 oz)

3.1

1.7

Coconut, fresh

28 g/1 oz

4.3

1.7

Peppers, green bell

1/2 medium (60 g/2.1 oz)

2.8

1.7

Kale, dark leaf

21/2 cups (125 g/4.4 oz)

5.6

1.8

Celery stalk

2 large (128 g/4.5 oz)

3.8

1.8

Onion, red

1/2 small (30 g/1.1 oz)

2.4

2.0

Bean sprouts

1 cup (50 g/1.8 oz)

3.0

2.0

Shallots

1/2 small (15 g/0.5 oz)

2.5

2.0

Radishes, sliced

1 cup (116 g/4.1 oz)

3.9

2.1

Lettuce, Little Gem, shredded

2 cups (144 g/5.1 oz)

3.6

2.2

Onion, yellow (brown)

1/2 small (35 g/1.2 oz)

2.9

2.2

Cucumber

1 small (150 g/5.3 oz)

3.3

2.3

Peppers, red bell

1/2 medium (60 g/2.1 oz)

3.6

2.3

Artichoke, globe or French, canned

1 cup (84 g/3 oz)

9.6

2.4

Lettuce, iceberg, shredded

2 cups (144 g/5.1 oz)

4.3

2.6

Onion, white

1/2 small (35 g/1.2 oz)

3.3

2.7

Avocado, California

1 medium (150 g/5.3 oz)

12.9

2.7

Asparagus

1 small bunch (150 g/5.3 oz)

5.9

2.7

Swiss chard, chopped

4 cups (144 g/5.1 oz)

5.3

3.0

Blackberries, fresh

1/2 cup (72 g/2.5oz)

6.9

3.1

Mushrooms, cremini, sliced

11/2 cups (105 g/3.7 oz)

4.2

3.2

Tomatoes

1 medium (123 g/4.3 oz)

4.8

3.3

Raspberries, fresh

1/2 cup (62 g/2.2 oz)

7.4

3.3

Cabbage, green, shredded

11/2 cups (105 g/3.7 oz)

6.0

3.4

Pumpkin, winter squash, diced

1/2 cup (58 g/2 oz)

3.8

3.5

Cabbage, white, shredded

11/2 cups (105 g/3.7 oz)

5.9

3.5

Kohlrabi, diced

1 cup (135 g/4.8 oz)

8.4

3.5

Fennel, sliced

1 cup (87 g/3.1 oz)

6.4

3.7

Zucchini

1 medium (200 g/7.1 oz)

6.2

4.2

Mushrooms, shiitake

2 cups (100 g/3.5 oz)

6.8

4.3

Lettuce, radicchio, shredded

3 cups (120 g/4.2 oz)

5.4

4.3

Strawberries, fresh, halved

1/2 cup (76 g/2.7 oz)

5.9

4.3

Okra, chopped

1 cup (100 g/3.5 oz)

7.5

4.5

Eggplant

1/2 medium (150 g/5.3 oz)

8.9

4.5

Kale, curly, chopped

21/2 cups (125 g/4.4 oz)

7.0

4.5

Blueberries, fresh

1/4 cup (38 g/1.3 oz)

5.5

4.6

Cauliflower, chopped

11/2 cups (161 g/5.7 oz)

8.1

4.8

Broccoli, raw, chopped

11/2 cups (137 g/4.8 oz)

9.0

5.5

Leeks, raw

1/2 medium (45 g/1.6 oz)

6.4

5.6

Cabbage, red, shredded

11/2 cups (105 g/3.7 oz)

7.8

5.6

Brussels sprouts, halved

11/4 cups (110 g/3.9 oz)

9.9

5.6

Collard greens, chopped

4 cups (144 g/5.1 oz)

7.8

5.8

Celeriac, chopped

1/2 cup (78 g/2.8 oz)

7.2

5.8

Spaghetti squash, cooked

3/4 cup (116 g/4.1 oz)

7.5

5.8

Turnips, diced

1 cup (130 g/4.6 oz)

8.3

6.0

Rutabaga, diced

3/4 cup (105/3.7 oz)

9.0

6.6

Image Protein on a Keto Diet Image

Like fats, proteins play an important role in a healthy keto diet. You should always buy the best-quality protein sources you can afford. If your budget allows it, opt for organic eggs and grass-fed, humanely-raised meat. Grass-fed beef contains more micronutrients and more omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, pasture-raised and grass-fed animals have a much better quality of life compared to those kept in large industrial facilities.

Avoid farmed fish, too, and opt for wild-caught, locally sourced, sustainable fish that’s low in mercury. According to the Seafood Watch Best Choices list, some of the best options are Pacific sardines, Atlantic mackerel, freshwater Coho salmon, Alaskan salmon, canned salmon, Albacore tuna, and sablefish/black cod. To learn more about healthy, sustainable fish, visit seafoodwatch.org and download the free Seafood Watch app.

You can use canned fish, but when you’re using canned products of any kind, such as tuna or coconut milk, avoid BPA-lined cans. BPA has been linked to many negative health effects, such as impaired thyroid function and cancer.

* WHY IS PROTEIN INTAKE SO IMPORTANT? *

Eating sufficient protein is vital, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Remember that protein is the most sating macronutrient; it will help you feel less hungry and you’ll consume fewer calories. How much is enough? According to Volek and Phinney, you’ll need between 0.6 and 1 gram of protein per pound (1.3 to 2.2 grams per kilogram) of lean body mass. In most cases, this translates to 65 to 80 grams of protein per day, and sometimes even more. The exact amount of protein you need is highly individual: it depends on your gender, lean body mass, and activity level.

That said, don’t obsess over your protein intake. Eating slightly more protein won’t kick you out of ketosis or impair your progress. Studies in the Journal of the American Physiological Society and The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism have shown that you’d have to eat huge amounts of protein to cause your body to go into gluconeogenesis (that is, to cause it to convert protein to glucose), so it’s not a major concern. That’s why it’s imperative to eat an adequate amount of protein if your aim is to lose body fat.

Still, this doesn’t mean that you should actively overeat protein. It’s not a particularly efficient fuel source and too much of it may raise your insulin levels. If you are insulin-resistant or diabetic, be aware that not all protein sources are equal, and some, such as whey protein, will cause greater insulin responses than others. Also, people who suffer from diabetic nephropathy, a type of kidney disease caused by diabetes, will need to eat less protein.

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Sea bream

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

34.4

FAT (per serving)

6.7

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Wild game, elk, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

31.0

FAT (per serving)

12.5

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Wild game, venison, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

30.5

FAT (per serving)

3.8

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Wild game, buffalo, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

30.4

FAT (per serving)

1.8

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Chicken breasts, boneless, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

30.1

FAT (per serving)

3.7

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Pork loin, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

29.1

FAT (per serving)

12.8

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Liver, calf, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

29.0

FAT (per serving)

5.1

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

5.5

NET CARBS (per serving)

5.5

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Salmon, king, wild, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

28.8

FAT (per serving)

16.6

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Sardines, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

28.4

FAT (per serving)

9.9

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Tuna, canned

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

27.5

FAT (per serving)

1.4

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Chicken thighs, boneless, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

27.4

FAT (per serving)

5.8

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Sea bass

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

26.8

FAT (per serving)

5.3

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Beef, rib eye, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

26.7

FAT (per serving)

28.1

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Mackerel, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

26.4

FAT (per serving)

19.7

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Chicken, whole, skin on, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

26.4

FAT (per serving)

22.2

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Mahimahi, white-flesh fish, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

26.3

FAT (per serving)

1.0

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Lamb chops, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

26.0

FAT (per serving)

20.4

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Herring, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

25.6

FAT (per serving)

12.8

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Cod, white-flesh fish, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

25.3

FAT (per serving)

1.0

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Turkey, minced

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

24.0

FAT (per serving)

17.8

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Liver, chicken, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

24.0

FAT (per serving)

6.8

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

1.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

1.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Crabmeat, cooked

SERVING SIZE

113 g/4 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

21.5

FAT (per serving)

2.3

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Mozzarella cheese, fresh

SERVING SIZE

85 g/3 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

20.7

FAT (per serving)

13.5

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

2.4

NET CARBS (per serving)

2.4

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Monkfish, white-flesh fish, raw

SERVING SIZE

142 g/5 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

20.6

FAT (per serving)

2.1

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.0

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Prawns, raw

SERVING SIZE

125 g/4.4 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

18.0

FAT (per serving)

1.0

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.5

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.5

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Mozzarella cheese, low moisture, shredded

SERVING SIZE

1/2 cup (57 g/2 oz)

PROTEIN (per serving)

14.8

FAT (per serving)

11.4

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

2.2

NET CARBS (per serving)

2.2

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Yogurt, plain, 5% fat

SERVING SIZE

1/2 cup (125 g/4.4 oz)

PROTEIN (per serving)

11.3

FAT (per serving)

6.3

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

4.8

NET CARBS (per serving)

4.8

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Hemp seeds

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

9.8

FAT (per serving)

14.0

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

2.8

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.9

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Pumpkin seeds

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

8.5

FAT (per serving)

13.7

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

3.0

NET CARBS (per serving)

1.3

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Cheese, feta, crumbled

SERVING SIZE

1/3 cup (50 g/1.8 oz)

PROTEIN (per serving)

7.1

FAT (per serving)

10.7

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

2.1

NET CARBS (per serving)

2.1

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Cheese, Cheddar

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

PROTEIN (per serving)

7.0

FAT (per serving)

9.3

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.4

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.4

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Ricotta

SERVING SIZE

1/4 cup (60 g/2.1 oz)

PROTEIN (per serving)

6.8

FAT (per serving)

7.8

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

1.8

NET CARBS (per serving)

1.8

SOURCES OF PROTEIN

Eggs

SERVING SIZE

1 large (50 g/1.8 oz)

PROTEIN (per serving)

6.3

FAT (per serving)

4.8

TOTAL CARBS (per serving)

0.4

NET CARBS (per serving)

0.4

Image Fats on a Keto Diet Image

Following a keto diet isn’t just about getting the numbers right. It’s also about eating high-quality foods and adopting a healthier lifestyle. Fat is the primary nutrient in a ketogenic diet, and you should pay extra attention to it. Unhealthy fats can do as much damage as excessive carbohydrates.

* HEALTHY COOKING FATS *

Use oils and fats high in saturated fats (SFA) such as pastured lard, grass-fed beef tallow, chicken fat, duck fat, goose fat, clarified butter or ghee, butter, virgin coconut oil, and sustainably sourced palm kernel oil.

* FATS SUITABLE FOR LIGHT COOKING AND COLD USE *

Oils high in monounsaturated fats (MUFA), such as extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and macadamia nut oil, are best for cold use, stir-fries, or for adding after cooking.

* FATS ONLY SUITABLE FOR COLD USE *

Oils high in polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) are only suitable for cold use or for adding after cooking. These oils are best used in salad dressings and mayonnaise (shown here), and they include nut and seed oils such as walnut, flaxseed, sesame seed, and pumpkin seed oils. Almond and hazelnut oils are good sources of both MUFA and PUFA. When you use oils high in omega-6 fatty acids, increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, especially from animal sources.

* ALWAYS AVOID *

Not all fats are suitable for a healthy, low-carb diet and, unfortunately, the most commonly used oils are unhealthy. Avoid vegetable oils and shortening; hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils; margarine; and sunflower, canola, safflower, soy, cottonseed, and grapeseed oils. They are highly processed, inflammatory, and prone to oxidation, which promotes free radicals that have the potential to damage cells, muscles, tissue, and organs.

* THE “FILLER” CONCEPT *

When following a ketogenic diet, you should be eating to satiety. To do this, aim for an adequate protein intake (see Protein on a Keto Diet) and use fat as a “filler” to sate your appetite while keeping net carbs low, at 20 to 30 grams. Most people who eat to satiety don’t need to count calories on the keto diet because they don’t feel hungry and are unlikely to overeat. Listen to your body and only eat when you are hungry, even if it’s only one meal a day. Don’t let others dictate what you eat or how often you should eat it. (If you find that this isn’t working for you, see Not Using Fat as Filler.)

Image The KetoDiet Food List Image

* EAT *

All of the following foods can be part of your ketogenic lifestyle.

PROTEIN

• Choose grass-fed and wild animal sources (outdoor-reared pork, wild-caught fish, and grass-fed beef), and include organ meats (liver, kidneys, and heart).

• If you are not sensitive to dairy, include organic eggs and raw, full-fat dairy (yogurt, cheese, cream, butter, and ghee).

FATS

• Pasture-raised lard, grass-fed beef tallow, chicken fat, duck fat, goose fat, clarified butter/ghee, butter, MCT oil, and virgin coconut oil are high in saturated fats and heat-stable.

• Monounsaturated fats (MUFA), including heart-healthy avocado, macadamia, and extra-virgin olive oils, are ideal for light cooking and cold use. Other sources of MUFA are almond oil and hazelnut oil.

• Choose animal sources of omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA (fatty fish and seafood, grass-fed beef).

• Nut and seed oils are for cold use only, and they should be used sparingly (most are high in omega-6 fatty acids).

• Other sources of healthy fats include nuts and seeds (macadamia nuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds), nut and seed butters, coconut, avocado, and cacao butter. Beware of cashew nuts and pistachios: they’re relatively high in carbs.

NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES

When it comes to leafy greens, the darker the leaves, the better! Include a variety of greens in your diet, such as spinach, arugula, watercress, Swiss chard, kale, collards, bok choy, lettuce, and beet greens.

It’s also important to include other low-carb vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, radishes, daikon, okra, turnips, rutabaga, cucumber, celery, eggplant, asparagus, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, kohlrabi, sea vegetables, and mushrooms.

LOW-CARB FRUITS

Fruit can add sweetness or acidity to your meals. Choose blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, lemon, lime, rhubarb, coconut, and avocado.

EXTRAS: CONDIMENTS AND PANTRY STAPLES

• Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha, are a good addition to your diet. It’s best to make your own if you can.

• Other staples include: unsweetened nut or seed milk (such as almond or cashew); coconut milk and coconut cream; quality protein powder (without additives), gelatin, and collagen.

• A complete pantry may also include: vinegars (apple cider, coconut vinegar, and wine); coconut aminos; fish sauce; sugar-free tomato products (paste, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce); gluten-free baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, etc.

• If you prefer additional sweetness, choose healthy, low-carb sweeteners, such as stevia, erythritol, Swerve, monk fruit extract, and yacon syrup (see Sweeteners).

• To help you stay hydrated, reach for tea and coffee, still and sparkling water, and Electrolyte Agua Fresca.

• To add flavor and spice, use dark chocolate (minimum 85% cocoa, ideally sugar-free) and raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process), unsweetened coconut chips, nori seaweed (including nori chips), lemon zest, lime zest, and orange zest, all herbs and spices, and aromatics such as ginger, turmeric, onion, and garlic.

• In addition to store-bought kelp noodles and shirataki noodles, you can also make some of your own keto staples, such as bone broth and chicken stock, pesto, marinara sauce, and mayonnaise (see here, The Basics: Keto Staples Plus Two Recipes).

• Other common condiments and snacks are Dijon mustard, sugar-free ketchup, barbecue sauce, harissa paste, curry paste, vanilla extract, Sriracha sauce, pickles, kale chips, beef jerky, and pork rinds, ideally homemade (You can find these and lots more recipes on my blog: https://ketodietapp.com/Blog/category/Recipes.)

• Drink alcohol in moderation (only dry wine and spirits can be consumed in small amounts, but should be avoided for weight loss). Alcohol used for cooking and vanilla extract are acceptable.

* AVOID *

• Avoid all grains, even whole-grain versions (wheat, rye, oats, corn, barley, millet, bulgur, sorghum, rice, amaranth, buckwheat, and sprouted grains), quinoa, and potatoes. This includes all products made from grains (pasta, bread, pizza, cookies, crackers, etc.).

• Avoid all foods high in carbs and sugar (cakes, cookies, ice cream, agave syrup, honey, tropical fruit and most high-sugar fruit, dried fruit, etc.).

• Avoid all processed, inflammatory fats (margarine, vegetable oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, soy oil, etc.) and processed products containing soy.

• Avoid products labeled “low-fat” and processed products labeled “low-carb” (which often contain hidden carbs in the form of insulin-spiking sugar, sorbitol, maltitol, dextrose, or maltodextrin, and may also contain other undesirable ingredients, like gluten).

• Avoid condiments and foods that include carrageenan, MSG, sulphites, or artificial sweeteners.

• Avoid factory-farmed pork, farmed fish, fish high in mercury, and unsustainable fish (see here to learn which are sustainable).

• Avoid high-carb alcoholic drinks, including beer, sweet wine, and cocktails.

• Avoid dairy milk (high in carbohydrate), soy (hormone-disrupting effects), and gluten.

Image Sweeteners Image

When you follow a ketogenic diet, you need to swap your high-carb sweeteners for low-carb options. I always use only natural low-carb sweeteners that have very little to no effect on blood sugar levels. Two hundred years ago, the average person consumed 6 pounds (2.7 kg) of added sugar per year. Fast-forward to the twenty-first century, and we’re now eating 110 pounds (50 kg) of added sugar every year! How has this happened? Soft drinks and processed foods became part of our diet, including those seemingly healthy breakfast cereals. These days, we eat more fructose than ever. And the problem with fructose is that it doesn’t trigger the signal in your brain that tells you you’ve had enough. Unlike glucose, which can be metabolized by almost every cell in the body, fructose can only be metabolized in the liver, and it turns into the worst kind of body fat: visceral fat, which forms around your vital organs. Fructose also forms triglycerides, uric acid, and free radicals. And it lowers “good” HDL cholesterol and reduces LDL particle size—all of which are known factors for developing heart disease. Excessive consumption of sugar—especially fructose—is strongly linked to non alcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

So, it goes without saying that you will need to avoid insulin-spiking sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, agave syrup, and rice malt syrup. Certain sugar alcohols, including maltitol, sorbitol, dextrose, and maltodextrin, should be avoided, too, because they are known to raise blood sugar. (Don’t trust brands that exclude these sweeteners from the “net” carb count.)

Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and sucralose, may sound like the obvious solution here, but they’re not what they seem to be. Studies show that artificial sweeteners are linked to a number of negative health effects, including migraines and increased appetite, resulting in weight gain. Use the following natural low-carb sweeteners.

* STEVIA *

The extract from the stevia herb has zero effect on blood sugar and contains no calories. Liquid stevia and stevia powder are 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar; use very small amounts to avoid a bitter aftertaste (3 to 5 drops per serving). There are other types of stevia products on the market, including stevia glycerite (which is about twice as sweet as sugar with a gooey texture), and granulated stevia-and-erythritol blends.

* ERYTHRITOL AND OTHER ERYTHRITOL-BASED SWEETENERS *

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol found in fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods. It does not affect blood glucose and, like stevia, has zero calories. Ninety percent of erythritol is absorbed by your digestive system before it enters the large intestine and is subsequently excreted in your urine. Unlike xylitol—a sugar alcohol that may cause stomach discomfort—it’s usually well tolerated. A good option is a product called Swerve, which is made with a blend of erythritol and prebiotic fibers called fructooligosaccharides.

* MONK FRUIT (LUO HAN GUO) *

Monk fruit is 300 times sweeter than sugar and should be used in small amounts. It’s available in both liquid and powdered form. Just like stevia, it appears in some brand-name sweeteners where it’s combined with erythritol.

* YACON SYRUP *

Yacon syrup is extracted from the South American yacon plant. It has a slightly caramel-like taste that’s similar to blackstrap molasses. Although it’s low in carbs, it’s not a zero-carb sweetener, so you should use small amounts—about 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) per recipe, or 1 teaspoon per serving.

* HOW TO SUBSTITUTE “REGULAR” SWEETENERS WITH LOW-CARB SWEETENERS *

The amount of sweetener you’ll use depends on your palate. You may prefer foods more sweet or less sweet, so you may need to add or reduce the amount of sweetener used in recipes. Personally, I don’t use the equivalent of sugar in most recipes: I use a lot less. As you get used to low-carb eating, you too will use smaller amounts of sweeteners or you may even avoid them altogether. On the other hand, if you’re new to a low-carb diet, then you may find that some recipes aren’t sweet enough. If so, you can add a few extra drops of stevia or a little more erythritol to suit your palate.

* KEEP IN MIND THE FOLLOWING CONVERSIONS *

1 CUP (200 G/7.1 OZ) OF GRANULATED STEVIA OR MONK FRUIT BLEND = 1 teaspoon of powdered or liquid stevia or liquid monk fruit

1 TABLESPOON (10 G/0.4 OZ) SUGAR = 6 to 9 drops of liquid or 1/4 teaspoon powdered stevia or monk fruit

1 TEASPOON SUGAR = 2 to 4 drops of liquid or a pinch of powdered stevia or monk fruit

1 CUP (200 G/7.1 OZ) GRANULATED SWERVE = 1 cup (200 g/7.1 oz) table sugar

1 CUP (120 G/4.2 OZ) CONFECTIONERS’ SWERVE = 1 cup (120 g/4.2 oz) confectioners’ sugar

11/3 CUPS (267 G/9.4 OZ) GRANULATED ERYTHRITOL = 1 cup (267 g/9.4 oz) table sugar

2 TABLESPOONS (40 G/1.4 OZ) YACON SYRUP = 1 tablespoon (20 g/0.7 oz) blackstrap molasses or honey

Image Nuts and Seeds on a Keto Diet Image

Nuts and seeds have come under fire for their apparently high carb content. Although some people may have valid reasons for minimizing their consumption (such as allergies or intolerances), nuts and seeds should be part of a well-balanced keto or low-carb diet for most people.

Nuts and seeds are high in vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc, copper, and selenium. They are also high in healthy fats, especially macadamia nuts (which are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats) and flaxseeds (which area high in omega-3 fatty acids). Beware of nuts and seeds high in omega-6 fatty acids: consume these in moderation.

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Flaxseeds

SERVING SIZE

14 g/0.5 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

4.0

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

0.2

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

14%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

6%

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Chia seeds

SERVING SIZE

14 g/0.5 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

5.6

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

0.7

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

12%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

3%

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Hemp seeds

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

2.8

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

0.9

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

42%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

12%

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Pecans

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

3.9

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

1.2

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

8%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

6%

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Pine nuts

SERVING SIZE

14 g/0.5 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

1.8

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

1.3

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

9%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

4%

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Pumpkin seeds

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

3.0

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

1.3

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

41%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

11%

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Brazil nuts

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

3.4

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

1.3

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

26%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

9%

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Macadamia nuts

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

3.9

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

1.5

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

9%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

5%

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Hazelnuts

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

4.7

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

2.0

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

11%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

10%

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Walnuts

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

3.8

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

2.0

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

11%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

6%

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Almonds

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

6.1

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

2.7

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

19%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

10%

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Sunflower seeds

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

5.6

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

3.2

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

23%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

9%

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Sesame seeds and sesame paste (tahini)

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

6.6

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

3.2

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

25%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

7%

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Pistachios

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

7.8

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

4.8

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

8%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

14%

SOURCE - NUTS & SEEDS

Cashews

SERVING SIZE

28 g/1 oz

TOTAL CARBS (grams per serving)

8.5

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

7.5

MAGNESIUM (% RDA)

20%

POTASSIUM (% EMR)

9%

Nuts and seeds are high in fiber, about 70 to 75 percent of which is insoluble. (To find out why fiber doesn’t conflict with ketosis, see Total Carbs or Net Carbs.) There is a catch, though: if weight loss is your goal, you should minimize your consumption of nuts and seeds. (See Eating Too Much Of… for details.)

Image Dairy: Friend or Foe? Image

Dairy is probably one of the most demonized foods in the keto community. But when I say “dairy,” I’m not referring to milk, low-fat products, and processed foods, which must be avoided on a ketogenic diet. I’m talking about raw, full-fat dairy, such as butter, ghee, cream, cheese, and yogurt.

* THE ANTI-DAIRY ARGUMENT *

Here are the claims being made against dairy—and the truth about each of them.

1. Dairy causes inflammation. Multiple studies, including a 2015 review of fifty-two clinical trials published in the Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition Journal, demonstrate that the opposite is true: Dairy was found to have anti-inflammatory effects in these studies.

2. Dairy is linked to cancer. There is conflicting evidence on this from observational studies. A 2016 review of studies published in the Food & Nutrition Research Journal found that evidence linking dairy to prostate cancer is inconsistent. Some studies have linked dairy to cancer, while other studies have shown that dairy contains properties that prevent cancer.

3. Dairy leads to weight gain: its sole purpose is to provide nutrients to allow baby mammals to grow. Although dairy is nutrient-dense and it’s high in protein and fat, there’s no evidence that consuming full-fat dairy leads to weight gain, unless you’re eating more calories than you need. In fact, in 2007 the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a meta-analysis of human studies that suggests dairy can help you lose fat and maintain a healthy weight due to its high concentration of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA aids weight loss, especially of visceral fat in the abdominal area.

4. Dairy raises insulin levels. Raised insulin levels will make your body store more fat. But the truth is that while dairy can raise insulin levels, it isn’t much different from other sources of protein, at least when it comes to studies conducted on adults. A study from 1997 published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that, for instance, cheese may be more insulinogenic (insulin-producing) than eggs, but it is less insulinogenic than beef or fish. If dairy spikes your insulin, just cut back on high-protein dairy products such as cheese and yogurt.

Image

Image Legumes: Are They Keto-Friendly? Image

Except for peanuts, legumes are high in carbs and should be avoided. Actually, even peanuts aren’t ideal for a keto diet. Although they’re relatively low in carbs, peanuts contain lectins and phytic acid, both of which make them hard to digest. Peanuts have also been linked to leaky gut syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and Hashimoto’s. Personally, I avoid peanuts. If you can tolerate them, you can eat peanuts in moderation. Just be sure to soak them first to remove most of the phytic acid. Soak them for 8 hours or overnight, then dehydrate them in the oven at about 120°F (50°C), just like nuts and seeds. See here for more informtion.

Image Alcohol Image

In moderation, dry red and white wine are allowed, as are spirits. My favorite drinks are dry wine spritzers and spirits mixed with sparkling water, lemon or lime juice, and ice, plus a few drops of stevia. But if you’re trying to lose weight, you should avoid alcohol altogether (see here).

Image Low-Carb Swaps Image

Pasta > zucchini noodles, shirataki noodles, or kelp noodles (shown here)

Try in Induction Carbonara or Salmon Ramen.

Rice > cauliflower rice or shirataki rice (shown here)

Try in them with Butter Chicken.

Potatoes > chopped rutabaga, turnips, radishes, or cauliflower

Try them in Nordic Salad.

Potato mash > cauliflower mash

Try it in Salisbury Steak with Quick Mash.

Crackers > Multiseed Keto Crackers; celery sticks, cucumber slices, radishes, or sliced bell peppers; dehydrated vegetables; and beef jerky.

Bread > Garlic & Herb Focaccia; lettuce leaves

Try the Induction Unwich Two Ways.

Tortillas > lettuce leaves or keto tortilla dough

Try the Carne Asada Salad or Mexican Pockets.

Pizza > Pizza Dutch Baby

You’ll also find several other keto-friendly pizza recipes on my blog at ketodietapp.com/blog.

Bulgur and quinoa > cauliflower rice or hulled hemp seeds

Try in Chicken Satay with Superfood Tabbouleh.

Oats and cereals > chia seeds, unsweetened almond and coconut flakes, hulled hemp seeds

Try chia seeds in PB & Jelly Chia Parfaits.

Treats made with wheat flour > keto treats made with almond flour and coconut flour

Try the Czech Butter Cake or the Chocolate Cupcakes with German Buttercream.

Image Keto Flu and Electrolytes: Sodium, Magnesium, and Potassium Image

Some people experience “keto flu” when they enter the induction phase of a ketogenic diet. This is because you’re “starving” your body of carbohydrates in order to enter ketosis. Common symptoms of keto flu vary, and they can include headaches, nausea, fatigue, brain fog, muscle weakness, cramps, and heart palpitations.

Don’t let keto flu break your stride! You can easily minimize its symptoms by using the following remedies:

Replenish electrolytes, especially sodium, magnesium, and potassium. Include foods rich in electrolytes in your everyday diet and take food supplements, if needed. Be aware of nutritional guidelines for these minerals. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of magnesium for healthy adults is 400 mg per day. Although there is no RDA for potassium, the Estimated Minimum Requirement (EMR) is around 2,000 mg per day, and Adequate Intake (AI) is 4,700 mg per day.

Don’t be afraid to use salt every day. When your insulin drops, it will cause your sodium levels to drop significantly, too. To compensate for the extra sodium loss, you should eat 3,000 to 5,000 mg of additional sodium. I recommend pink Himalayan salt and sea salt.

Stay hydrated. To help with this, drink plenty of Electrolyte Agua Fresca and bone broth.

Take supplements, especially magnesium (see here for suggestions).

Take it easy when it comes to exercise. If you don’t feel well, don’t push yourself. Instead, limit your daily exercise to brisk walks and light cardio.

Image Recommended Supplements Image

As with any dietary approach—including the ketogenic diet—you may be lacking in vital micro- nutrients, so you need to pay attention to potential deficiencies. For instance, if you don’t eat avocados, or if you follow a vegetarian keto diet, you may be deficient in potassium. Or if you don’t like fatty fish, you may be deficient in omega-3s. Whatever your limitations are, identify them, and then consider supplementing your diet to make up for them.

* MAGNESIUM *

The best options are supplements made with magnesium glycinate, magnesium taurate, and magnesium malate. Natural Calm is a magnesium supplement that is made with magnesium citrate. Although it is usually well tolerated when used as recommended, it can cause stomach issues and loose stools when the recommended dose is exceeded. Avoid commonly available magnesium oxide: it’s poorly absorbed.

Consult your doctor before taking magnesium supplements if you have kidney disease or take medications for high blood pressure

SOURCE

SERVING SIZE

MAGNESIUM (% RDA per serving)

NET CARBS (grams per serving)

Hemp seeds

28 g/1 oz

42%

2.8

Pumpkin seeds

28 g/1 oz

41%

3.0

Swiss chard, chopped

4 cups (144 g/5.1 oz)

29%

5.3

Kale, dark leaf

21/2 cups (125 g/4.5 oz)

28%

5.6

Mackerel, raw

142 g/5 oz

27%

0.0

Brazil nuts

28 g/1 oz

26%

3.4

Sesame seeds and sesame paste (tahini)

28 g/1 oz

25%

6.6

Spinach, fresh

4 cups (120 g/4.2 oz)

24%

4.3

Sunflower seeds

28 g/1 oz

23%

5.6

Cashews

28 g/1 oz

20%

8.5

Almonds

28 g/1 oz

19%

6.1

Crabmeat, cooked

113 g/4 oz

18%

0.0

Dark chocolate, 85% cacao

28 g/1 oz

16%

7.7

Okra, chopped

1 cup (100 g/3.5 oz)

14%

7.5

Flaxseed

14 g/0.5 oz

14%

4.0

Sea bream

142 g/5 oz

13%

0.0

Coconut milk

1/2 cup (120 ml)

13%

3.2

Cacao powder

2 tablespoons (10 g/0.4 oz)

12%

5.8

Sardines, raw

142 g/5 oz

12%

0.0

Chia seeds

14 g/0.5 oz

12%

5.6

* POTASSIUM *

If you eat keto foods that are high in potassium, you won’t need to take potassium supplements. However, they can help you get through the initial phase of the ketogenic diet, and are especially useful for beating keto flu. Apart from regular potassium supplements and multivitamin blends, you can use potassium chloride (available in most online health stores) to make Electrolyte Agua Fresca.

Too much potassium can be toxic: always consult your doctor before taking supplements.

SOURCE

SERVING SIZE

POTASSIUM (% EMR per serving)

NET CARBS (grams per servings)

Avocado, California

1 medium (150 g/5.3 oz)

38%

2.7

Spinach, fresh

4 cups (120 g/4.2 oz)

33%

1.7

Sea bream

142 g/5 oz

32%

0.0

Kale, dark leaf

21/2 cups (125 g/4.5 oz)

31%

1.8

Mahimahi, white-flesh fish, raw

142 g/5 oz

30%

0.0

Cod, white-flesh fish, raw

142 g/5 oz

29%

0.0

Monkfish, white-flesh fish, raw

142 g/5 oz

28%

0.0

Swiss chard, chopped

4 cups (144 g/5.1 oz)

27%

3.0

Chicken breasts, boneless, raw

142 g/5 oz

26%

0.0

Salmon, king, wild, raw

142 g/5 oz

26%

0.0

Zucchini

1 medium (200 g/7.1 oz)

26%

4.2

Pork loin, raw

142 g/5 oz

26%

0.0

Beef, rib eye, raw

142 g/5 oz

25%

0.0

Sea bass

142 g/5 oz

25%

0.0

Wild game, buffalo, raw

142 g/5 oz

25%

0.0

Sardines, raw

142 g/5 oz

24%

0.0

Cauliflower, chopped

11/2 cups (161 g/5.7 oz)

24%

4.8

Kohlrabi, diced

1 cup (135 g/4.8 oz)

24%

3.5

Mushrooms, cremini, sliced

11/2 cups (105 g/3.7 oz)

24%

3.2

Herring, raw

142 g/5 oz

23%

0.0

* FERMENTED COD LIVER OIL *

Fermented cod liver oil provides healthy omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, both of which are deficient in modern diets. Adequate intake of quality omega-3s from animal sources can help reduce inflammation and improve other symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Meanwhile, vitamin D improves calcium absorption, which is essential for bone health, and maintains adequate calcium levels in your blood, which is essential for many of the body’s vital functions. Consider taking vitamin K supplements, too: vitamin K works in synergy with vitamin D.

* MCT OIL *

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are saturated fats that our bodies can easily digest. MCTs are passed directly to the liver to be used as an immediate form of energy. I use pure MCT oil in smoothies, salad dressings, and pre-workout snacks. Look for products high in caprylic acid (C8), which provides a quick source of energy, encourages ketone production, and provides maximum cognitive benefits. If you are new to MCT oil, make sure you start with a small amount (such as a teaspoon) and gradually add more as you learn to tolerate it in order to avoid digestive discomfort.

* GRASS-FED COLLAGEN AND GELATIN *

Just like gelatin, collagen is beneficial for our health: it improves immunity, hormone balance, and leaky gut, and helps maintain healthy skin, hair, and joints. Unlike gelatin, though, collagen doesn’t gel, so it’s great for making smoothies and recipes in which you want to avoid a thick texture.

* MELATONIN *

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body, and it’s primarily associated with regulation of the sleep/wake cycles (also known as circadian rhythms). It’s a potent antioxidant that defends against free radicals and helps reduce stress levels. Because stress is one of the many factors that can inhibit successful weight loss, melatonin supplements may help you shed unwanted pounds.

* PROBIOTICS *

Along with fermented foods, probiotic supplements will help your digestion, restore the proper balance of bacteria in your gut, and improve overall immunity.

* MULTIVITAMINS AND OTHER SUPPLEMENTS *

Depending on your individual needs, you may want to consider taking other dietary supplements. For example, if you have a thyroid disease like I do, think about taking magnesium, zinc, selenium, vitamin D, and B vitamins—or eat foods high in these nutrients. For instance, I eat a Brazil nut every day (just one Brazil nut provides more than 100 percent of your RDA of selenium!). But, on the other hand, because my thyroid issue is autoimmune, I avoid iodine supplements.

* PROTEIN POWDER *

An increased amount of protein is generally recommended for physically active individuals, elderly people, and people recovering from injuries. Also, if you avoid all or most animal foods, you’re probably not getting enough protein, so supplementing is a good option. You can use whey protein powder or egg white protein powder, hydrolyzed gelatin (collagen), or even plant-based versions, such as pea protein powder. Look for quality ingredients that are free of artificial sweeteners and colors, hormones, preservatives, soy, and gluten.

I use protein powders in smoothies (Superfood Smoothies) and hot drinks (“Butter” Coffee). If you exercise, add them to post-workout snacks, fat bombs, and travel-friendly bars (such as the Keto Power Bars, or the Halva Stacks). They work wonderfully in baked goods as a replacement for gluten; the Czech Butter Cake is a good example. Finally, I use it to make a quick frozen treat when I’m craving something cold and creamy: blend 1/4 cup (25 g/0.9 oz) quality protein powder with 1/2 cup (75 g/2.7 oz) frozen berries and 1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut milk or almond milk to make a quick keto “ice cream” in less than five minutes!

Image Intermittent Fasting Image

Fasting goes hand in hand with the ketogenic lifestyle. Here’s why: Healthy low-carb eating is great for appetite control and keeps you fuller for longer. And as your body gets used to using fat and ketones as its main energy sources, you will naturally eat less, and eat less frequently. That’s the best time to try intermittent fasting (IF).

Fasting has a number of benefits:

• It may help slow the aging process.

• It may increase longevity by altering the body’s levels of insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1), glucose, insulin, and human growth factor.

• It may promote fat loss.

• It may reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

• It may offer a promising therapeutic potential for multiple sclerosis.

• It may switch on specific repair genes within the body (known as autophagy).

• It may offer protection from certain cancers and help mitigate the side effects of standard cancer treatment.

* FOUR WAYS TO TRY INTERMITTENT FASTING *

There are several ways to practice intermittent fasting:

1. Skip meals (fast for 16 hours, eat for 8 hours). This is my favorite way to do IF, and I practice this four or five times a week, usually by skipping breakfast.

2. Break a 24-hour period into two segments (e.g., 18/6 or 20/4), then fast (drinking only water or tea) for 18 hours, followed by a 6-hour period of calorie intake.

3. Alternate days of calorie restriction with days of unrestricted eating. Reduce your calorie intake by 20 to 30 percent on day one, followed by unrestricted eating on day two.

4. Alternate days of fasting with days of unrestricted eating. This approach may be too extreme for most people. I wouldn’t recommend following it unless you’ve tried one of the above methods first. You can do this by including one or two fasting days a week.

(I’ve tagged higher-calorie, nutrient-dense recipes that are suitable for intermittent fasting throughout this book.)

* TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL FASTING *

Keep these tips in mind if you’re thinking about trying IF:

Start slow. Avoid IF during the induction phase of the ketogenic diet (see here). This is very important, as your body should be fully utilizing ketones instead of glucose for energy: if you are glucose-dependent, you will find it hard to fast.

Don’t force yourself. There’s no need to deprive yourself unnecessarily. Once you become fat-adapted, you will naturally feel less hungry, and fasting will be easier. Start by avoiding snacking between meals. Then, try skipping “regular” meals—but only do so if you don’t feel hungry. IF is not about starving!

Who should avoid fasting? People suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and type 1 diabetes should avoid fasting completely. If you have type 2 diabetes, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consult your doctor before implementing IF. And if you have thyroid or adrenal issues, you should avoid fasting or limit it to skipping meals only.

Image Have You Hit a Weight-Loss Plateau? Image

It’s happened to most of us: After weeks of successful dieting, you reach a weight-loss plateau and your progress stalls. And by “weight-loss plateau,” I don’t mean a short-term fluctuation, but a long-lasting stall. If this happens, sometimes focusing on other aspects of your life—such as emotional or psychological issues that may be affecting your progress—may help you figure out what went wrong. We are all different, and we have different dietary requirements, which is why you should always listen to your body’s signals. To reduce the likelihood of hitting a plateau, avoid these common mistakes:

* NOT KNOWING YOUR MACRONUTRIENTS *

In an ideal world, when you eat nutritious foods low in carbs, moderate in protein, and high in fat, you will naturally eat less. For this reason, most people won’t need to count calories as they get used to this style of eating.

Why should you worry about “macros”? Well, when you’re new to the ketogenic diet, what you eat and how much you eat will change dramatically, so relying purely on your body’s signals may not be enough. I’ve met so many people who either aren’t eating enough because they are afraid of fat, or are overeating because they can’t control their cravings. And weight loss always gets more difficult as you approach your goal weight.

So, when you reach a weight-loss plateau, it’s easier to eliminate the obvious potential factor: your macros. Maybe you’re not getting enough protein, which would make you hungrier. Or maybe you’re not estimating your daily carbs correctly, and are exceeding the limit that allows you to use fat for fuel. For these reasons, tracking your diet—especially if you are new to the keto diet—is an absolute necessity.

* NOT USING FAT AS A FILLER *

On a typical ketogenic diet, 75 percent of calories come from fat, 20 percent come from protein, and 5 percent come from carbs. Although this gives you a good general idea of the diet’s composition, your personal needs may be very different, depending on your goals.

On a ketogenic diet, fat is the filler. This means that it supplies the extra calories your body needs (in place of carbohydrates). So, if you want to lose body fat, you need to stay in a calorie deficit. That may happen naturally, through the appetite-suppressing effects of the ketogenic diet, or from intentionally limiting your calorie intake. Some people will need to get 40 to 60 percent of their calories from fat (typically during weight loss), while others will need to get as much as 80 percent of their calories from fat (typically during weight maintenance). To calculate your ideal calorie intake, visit my blog at ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy.

* OBSESSING OVER YOUR KETONE LEVELS *

People often ask me the same question: “I have high blood ketone readings, so why am I not losing weight?” It’s a myth that high ketone levels will guarantee fat loss. Ketone levels vary among individuals, especially when we take keto adaptation into account. Ketone levels will show you how much “fuel” you have in your “tank,” but not how much fuel your body is using for energy. Compared to someone who’s just started following a ketogenic diet, keto-adapted individuals are more likely to have lower ketone levels, simply because their bodies can use them more effectively than non-keto-adapted individuals.

Nutritional ketosis is achieved when your blood ketones are between 0.5 and 3.0 mM, and there is no scientific evidence that higher values will lead to enhanced fat loss. Besides, weight loss isn’t even a goal for many people who follow a keto approach. People who follow the ketogenic diet for therapeutic purposes, such as managing epilepsy or cancer, may want to maintain—or even gain—weight. Same goes for athletes who stick to a keto diet to promote top-level performance. Severe carbohydrate restriction (below 20 grams of total carbs daily) is not sustainable in the long term, and will not enhance weight loss. On the contrary, vegetables and other high-fiber foods can help you stabilize your blood sugar and help you lose weight.

* SUFFERING FROM STRESS AND LACK OF SLEEP *

Stress is a major factor when it comes to weight loss. When you are stressed, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol. This raises blood sugar and lowers your ketone levels. In order to cope with chronically elevated blood sugar, your body will produce more insulin and you won’t be able to follow a keto approach to its full potential.

Lack of sleep or a circadian rhythm disorder may be one of the factors that is causing you to plateau. With less energy, it will be more difficult to lose weight: sleep-deprived individuals produce less growth hormone, have impaired glucose metabolism, and show a decreased level of leptin—the hormone that signals satiety. Lack of sleep also leads to an increased level of ghrelin, which is the hormone that tells your brain when you are hungry.

Here’s how to minimize stress and promote healthy sleep patterns:

1. Meditate, take a walk, or make time for an activity that helps you relax. Avoid activities that stress you out.

2. Take it easy at the gym. Too much exercise, especially heavy cardio workouts, increases cortisol, which is linked to increased fat storage (especially the unhealthy visceral fat around your belly). Replace some of your cardio sessions with strength training and yoga. And don’t exercise 3 to 4 hours before bed.

3. Try supplements such as melatonin, magnesium (ideally magnesium glycinate), and B-complex. These will help reduce your stress levels and improve your circadian rhythms (see Recommended Supplements).

4. Don’t eat heavy meals before bed. Your body needs to rest, so it shouldn’t have to spend the whole night digesting your dinner.

5. Don’t use your computer before bed, and try blue light blockers. Don’t keep your laptop, tablet, or phone in the bedroom. Sleep in complete darkness, and try to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

Image Eating Too Much Of… Image

Dairy and nuts One of the common mistakes people make is overeating nuts and dairy. Both are high in calories and are very easy to overeat. Having too many coffees with cream can add up to half of your daily fat intake! To avoid overdoing it on nuts, only use them for sprinkling over salads, adding to yogurt, or in occasional keto treats and fat bombs (like the ones in chapter 7, Drinks and Desserts).

Low-carb treats Traditional sweeteners are off-limits on the ketogenic diet, and even low-carb sweeteners should be used with caution, especially if you just started eating keto and need to conquer your sugar addiction. That’s because keto treats and low-carb sweeteners can increase cravings, stimulate appetite, and stall your progress. You should minimize or even avoid them completely when you’re trying to lose weight. If you have a sweet tooth and high-fat foods don’t curb your cravings, have a piece of dark chocolate or a fat bomb (Halva Stacks and Paradise Squares).

Eating products labeled “low-carb” Simply put: eat real food. Avoid prepared meals, which are full of additives and may feature deceptive labeling. A common practice is to exclude all sugar alcohols and other insulin-spiking sweeteners from the carb count on the package. That said, there are a few decent products you can use even on a keto diet—just be sure to read the labels!

Drinking your calories As a rule, you should get your calories from real, nutritious foods that also supply protein, vitamins, and minerals.

“Butter” coffee In case you’re not familiar with it, butter coffee is a blend of coffee, MCT oil, and butter or coconut oil. It seems to suppress hunger in some people, and it may be a good addition to your diet. However, others who have experienced weight stalling have started losing weight again once they ditch their morning dose of butter coffee. I make my own “keto coffee,” into which I put 2 to 3 raw egg yolks and a tablespoon each of (15 ml) coconut milk and (7 g) collagen. You can add a pinch of cinnamon, vanilla powder, and/or stevia, if you like. Unlike traditional butter coffee, it provides enough energy and nutrients to be used as a meal replacement.

Alcohol Avoid alcohol if you want to lose weight. Even if your alcoholic drink is sugar-free, your body can’t store alcohol as fat: it has to metabolize it. This means that your body will utilize alcohol instead of body fat, which will slow down weight loss. (Also, keep in mind that your alcohol tolerance will decrease when you switch to keto.) Plus, alcohol increases appetite and dehydration and suppresses self-control—none of which are good for weight loss. However, dry wine used for cooking and alcohol in food extracts are acceptable: most of the alcohol will evaporate during cooking, leaving the amazing flavor intact.

Snacking If you follow a nutritious low-carb or ketogenic diet, you shouldn’t need to snack. Unless you have hypoglycemia issues, three main meals a day (or even fewer) should be enough to keep you sated. Here are a few simple rules on snacking:

• Don’t eat unless you are hungry, even if it means skipping a meal. In fact, once you get keto-adapted, you will find intermittent fasting easy.

• If you feel hungry and need to snack, it’s likely that your meals weren’t nutritious enough, and you should increase your portion size. A lack of protein will keep you hungry, so make sure you eat enough of it.

• Eat real food in order to stay fuller for longer: eggs, meat, fatty fish, non-starchy vegetables, fermented foods, and some raw dairy.

Not exercising effectively Not exercising at all or exercising too much are both counterproductive for weight loss on a keto diet. Here’s how to find the right balance:

• Don’t exercise just to burn calories. This approach simply doesn’t work in the long run. Studies show that excessive exercise leads to increased appetite, and you will end up eating more.

• Choose the type of exercise that’s right for you, depending on your goal. Light cardio has great health benefits, especially for the heart and brain. Weight training and high-intensity intermittent training (HIIT) promote muscle growth and long-term weight loss. (Post-workout carb-ups in the form of paleo-friendly carbs—such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and banana—can be added to your diet if you engage in HIIT.)

• Know that your protein requirements will increase when you exercise. (Use our macronutrient calculator at ketodietapp.com/blog.)

Cheat meals There is a difference between carb-ups and cheat meals. You can have a meal higher in carbs after HIIT (see above)—but a cheat meal is completely different, as it usually refers to eating anything from the “banned” foods list. Having regular cheat meals is counterproductive for your diet (and your goals).

* HEALTH CONDITIONS *

If you’re certain that you’re doing everything right and still the scales aren’t moving, you may have a health issue you’re not aware of. Here are a few potential issues:

• Hypothyroidism or adrenal dysfunction. It only takes a blood test or a saliva test to find out whether you have a thyroid or an adrenal issue. Increasing your carbs may help: I have Hashimoto’s syndrome, and I generally don’t go below 25–30 grams of net carbs daily. Also, cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, arugula, Brussels sprouts, watercress, collards, horseradish, radishes, rutabaga, turnips, bok choy, and kohlrabi, are known as goitrogens. If eaten on a regular basis, goitrogens may disrupt the production of thyroid hormones by interfering with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland. Luckily, these veggies are only goitrogenic in their raw state. Cooking, light steaming, or even fermenting deactivates and diminishes their goitrogenic activity.

• Sex hormones can affect your weight. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can be the culprit for women; men experience a decreased level of testosterone as they age.

• Certain medications, such as insulin injections, other diabetes medications, and cortisone, are known to cause weight gain. Consult your doctor for possible alternatives.

• If you suffer from chronic pain, your cortisol levels are likely to be high. This will impair your weight loss. Consult your doctor on ways to mitigate this effect and try to find ways to reduce stress (see Suffering from Stress and Lack of Sleep).

* LACK OF MOTIVATION *

Online community support and accountability are the most powerful tools and will help you boost your motivation, because they connect you with like-minded people. And with social media, you can do that no matter where you live. For instance, my KetoDiet Blog Support Group on Facebook has more than fifty thousand members and is completely free to join.

Need even more motivation? Join my KetoDiet Challenge (www.ketodietapp.com/Challenges) to share your experiences, ask questions, and get inspired by reading success stories and learning from others. Follow me on Instagram and use the #KetoDietChallenge or #KetoDietApp when sharing your progress!

Image How to Use This Book Image

* USE NATURAL INGREDIENTS *

When you’re sourcing ingredients, go for organic and additive-free. Buy organic eggs; organic unwaxed lemons; pastured beef and butter; outdoor-reared pork; wild-caught fish; and extra-virgin olive oil.

* REMEMBER *

Nutrition values for each recipe in this book are per serving unless stated otherwise. The nutrition data are derived from the USDA National Nutrient Database (ndb.nal.usda.gov).

Nutrition facts are calculated from edible parts. For example, if one large avocado is listed as 200 g/7.1 oz, this value represents its edible parts (pit and peel removed) unless otherwise specified. Optional ingredients and suggested sides and toppings are not included in the nutrition information. You can use raw cacao powder and unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process) interchangeably. Ingredients such as cream cheese, ricotta, or Halloumi cheese are all full-fat unless otherwise specified.

All ingredients should be sugar-free, unless you use dark 85% to 90% chocolate, which contains a small and acceptable amount of sugar.

All recipes are tagged with the following icons, as needed.

Image dairy-free

Image nut-free

Image egg free

Image nightshade-free

Image vegetarian

Image ideal for intermittent fasting

Image high in electrolytes

Image induction-friendly

The induction-friendly icon indicates which recipes are most suitable for the initial phase of the ketogenic diet.

* OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS *

Optional ingredients, suggested sides, and suggested alternatives and toppings are not included in the nutrition information.

If options are included, such recipes are tagged Image, Image, etc. For example, Green Skillet Eggs call for ghee or duck fat, and are therefore optionally dairy-free and carry the gray dairy-free icon,Image.

* ALLERGY-FRIENDLY SWAPS *

1 CUP (240 ML) HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM = 1 cup (240 ml) coconut milk for recipes that require liquid cream, or 1 cup (240 ml) coconut cream (see here) where whipped cream is required

1 CUP (240 G/8.5 OZ) MASCARPONE CHEESE = 1 cup (240 g/8.5 oz) coconut cream (see here)

1 CUP (100 G/3.5 OZ) ALMOND FLOUR = 1/3 cup (40 g/1.4 oz) coconut flour, plus increased liquids (1 to 2 extra eggs, or 1/4 to 1/2 cup [60 to 120 ml] more nut milk, cream, etc.)

1 LARGE EGG = 1 tablespoon (7 g/0.2 oz) ground flaxseed or 1 tablespoon (8 g/0.3 oz) ground chia seeds or 1 tablespoon (7 g/0.2 oz) gelatin powder, mixed with 3 tablespoons (45 ml) water (although this swap has limited use, as it won’t work for mayonnaise, hollandaise, or Garlic & Herb Focaccia

1 CUP (250 G/8.8 OZ) ALMOND BUTTER = 1 cup (250 g/8.8 oz) coconut butter or any seed butter

1 TABLESPOON (15 G/0.5 OZ) GHEE OR BUTTER = 1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) lard, tallow, duck fat, goose fat, or virgin coconut oil

* AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT MEASUREMENTS *

If you are following a ketogenic diet for specific health reasons, you should be aware that accuracy is vital in order for this diet to work. Always use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients: using measurements like cups or tablespoons can lead to inaccuracies that may affect the macronutrient composition of your meal. And all it takes to shift your body out of ketosis is a few extra grams of carbohydrates. Plus, cups and tablespoons for dried products (flax meal, etc.) may vary depending on the brand.

Image

The Basics: Keto Staples Plus Two Recipes

At least a quarter of my fridge space is reserved for homemade basics. (And I have a big fridge!) There are good reasons for making most condiments and basic ingredients instead of buying them. They are easy to prepare, budget-friendly, and taste so much better than store-bought versions. Most importantly, this way you’ll have complete control over what you eat, and you won’t have to worry about added gluten, sugar, and other unwanted ingredients.

This chapter lists plenty of recipes for keto-friendly condiments and basic ingredients that’ll help you keep your diet squeaky clean. Can’t find mayo made with healthy oils? Make your own in just a few minutes! Not sure what to serve with your curry? Swap starchy sides for low-carb vegetables by serving your mains with quick-prep zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, or shirataki noodles.

For even more homemade basics, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, salsa verde, harissa paste, Thai curry paste, sauerkraut, pickles, and keto cheese sauce, visit my website at ketodietapp.com/blog and use the filtering tool to see all “homemade basics.”

* KETO STAPLES TO HELP YOU GET STARTED *

New to keto eating? You’ll be returning to these staples again and again as you get used to the keto approach.

ZUCCHINI NOODLES

Use a julienne peeler or a spiralizer to turn the zucchini into thin or wide “noodles.” Chop the soft cores and add them to the noodles. Sprinkle the noodles with salt and let them sit for 10 minutes. Use a paper towel to pat them dry. Set aside, then pan-fry them with a little ghee or other cooking fat for 2 to 5 minutes.

RECOMMENDED SERVING SIZE: 1 small (150 g/5.3 oz) to medium (200 g/7.1 oz) zucchini

CARBS PER 1 SMALL ZUCCHINI: 3.2 g net carbs, 4.7 g total carbs

CARBS PER 1 MEDIUM ZUCCHINI: 4.2 g net carbs, 6.2 g total carbs

CAULIFLOWER RICE

Wash the cauliflower thoroughly and dry well. Grate with a hand grater, or place the florets in a food processor with a grating blade and pulse until it looks like rice. A grating blade will make it look more like real rice. Don’t overdo it. It only takes a few extra seconds to make purée out of your cauli-rice! Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Use any of these methods for cooking your cauli-rice:

STEAMING: Place in a steamer and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.

MICROWAVING: Place the cauli-rice in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on medium-high for 5 to 7 minutes (no water necessary).

PAN ROASTING: You can briefly cook the cauli-rice in a pan greased with butter or ghee, or add it directly to the pot with the meat or sauce you plan to serve it with. This method adds lots of extra flavor to your cauli-rice!

BAKING: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). Spread the grated cauli-rice over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, flipping with a spatula two to three times during cooking. This method is great when you want the rice to be as dry as possible.

RECOMMENDED SERVING SIZE: 1 to 11/2 cups (120 to 180 g/4.2 to 6.4 oz)

CARBS PER 1 CUP (120 G): 3.6 g net carbs, 6 g total carbs

CARBS PER 11/2 CUPS (180 G): 5.4 g net carbs, 9 g total carbs

SHIRATAKI NOODLES/RICE

Wash the shirataki noodles thoroughly and boil them for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well. Place the noodles in a hot dry pan. Fry over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Using tongs, toss the noodles as they cook. Add the fried noodles directly to a meal, or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

RECOMMENDED SERVING SIZE: 3.5 to 5.3 oz (100 to 150 g)

CARBS PER 3.5 OZ (100 G): 1.5 g net carbs, 2.9 g total carbs

CARBS PER 5.3 OZ (150 G): 2.3 g net carbs, 4.4 g total carbs

KELP NOODLES (SEAWEED NOODLES)

Wash the kelp noodles thoroughly and drain. Add to your meal in the last 1 to 2 minutes of the cooking process (as a side or in soups), or eat raw (in a salad).

RECOMMENDED SERVING SIZE: 3.5 to 5.3 oz (100 to 150 g)

CARBS PER 3.5 OZ (100 G): 0 g net carbs, 0.9 g total carbs

CARBS PER 5.3 OZ (150 G): 0 g net carbs, 1.3 g total carbs

TWO WAYS TO MAKE CRISPY BACON

Oven baking (best for larger quantities): Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C, or gas mark 3). Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lay the bacon strips out flat in a single layer, or lay on a wire rack set on top of the parchment. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Strain the bacon grease into a small jar. Let the bacon slices cool completely and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Use within 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Pan roasting (best for smaller quantities): Place the bacon strips in a large pan and add 1/2 cup (120 ml) water. Cook over medium-high heat until the water starts to boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the water evaporates and the bacon fat is rendered. Reduce the heat to low, and cook until the bacon is lightly browned and crispy. Let it cool slightly and cut it into pieces.

EGGS

Boiled eggs: Fresh eggs don’t peel well. It’s better to use eggs that you bought 7 to 10 days before cooking. Place the eggs in a pot, and cover them with water by an inch (2.5 cm). Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn off the heat and cover. Remove from the burner and keep the eggs covered in the pot (10 to 12 minutes for medium-size eggs; 13 to 14 minutes for large; 15 to 16 minutes for extra large; 17 to 18 minutes for jumbo and duck eggs). Transfer to a bowl filled with ice water and let the eggs sit for 5 minutes. To peel, remove the eggs from the water and knock each egg several times against the countertop or work surface to crack the shells. Gently peel off the shells. Store cooled, unpeeled eggs in the fridge for up to a week. To soft-boil the eggs, leave them covered in hot water for 5 to 7 minutes.

Poached eggs: Fill a medium saucepan with water and a dash of vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Crack each egg individually into a ramekin or a cup. Using a spoon, create a gentle whirlpool in the water; this will help the egg white wrap around the egg yolk. Slowly lower the egg into the water in the center of the whirlpool. Turn off the heat and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the egg from the water and place it on a plate. Repeat for all remaining eggs. Once cool, place all the eggs in an airtight container filled with cold water and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days. To reheat the eggs, place them in a mug filled with hot tap water for a couple of minutes. This will be enough to warm them up without overcooking.

ACTIVATED NUTS AND SEEDS

Activated nuts and seeds are more easily digested, and their nutrients are better absorbed. Place the nuts or seeds in a bowl filled with water or salted water. Leave at room temperature overnight. Drain and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and dry at the lowest possible temperature, or use a dehydrator and dry the nuts for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally, until completely dry. Store in an airtight container.

BONE BROTH (MAKES 9 TO 10 CUPS/ABOUT 2 L)

Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker: 3 to 4 pounds (1.4 kg) assorted bones and cartilages (such as oxtail, chicken feet, marrowbones, or leftover bones from any roasts); 1 large (150 g/3.5 oz) halved yellow onion with skin on; 2 medium (120 g/4.2 oz) carrots, peeled and cut into thirds; 2 large (128 g/4.5 oz) celery stalks; 4 halved cloves garlic; 3 bay leaves; 1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt; 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns; and 2.6 quarts (2.5 L) water. If you’re using meaty parts, remove them from the slow cooker and shred the meat off after 4 to 5 hours of cooking on high, or 6 to 8 hours of cooking on low. Return the bones to the slow cooker and continue cooking for at least 12 or up to 48 hours. Discard the bones and vegetables and let cool. Refrigerate overnight. Once chilled, a fatty layer will appear on top of the broth: simply scrape it off and discard, or use it for cooking just like lard.

GOOD-FOR-YOUR GUT MAYONNAISE (MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS/480 G)

Use a wide-mouth Mason jar that barely fits the head of your immersion blender. This is vital for the recipe to work. Place 2 large egg yolks, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (or nightshade-free yellow mustard), 2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper into the jar. Pour 11/2 cups (360 ml) walnut oil (or macadamia oil, avocado oil, or light olive oil) on top, and let it settle for 20 seconds. Place the head of the immersion blender at the bottom of the jar and turn it on high speed. (Do not pulse.) As the mayonnaise starts to thicken, gently tilt and move the head of the immersion blender until the mayonnaise is thick. Add 2 tablespoons (30 ml/1 oz) whey (the liquid part on top of raw full-fat yogurt), or powder from 1 to 2 probiotic capsules. Cover the jar loosely with a lid or a cloth, and let it sit on the kitchen counter for 8 hours. This is essential in order to activate the enzymes that will keep your mayo fresh. Refrigerate after 8 hours, and use within the next 3 months.

Note: When using raw eggs, prevent any health risks by using eggs with pasteurized shells. To pasteurize eggs at home, simply pour enough water into a saucepan to cover the eggs. Heat to about 140°F (60°C). Using a spoon, slowly place the eggs in the saucepan. Keep the eggs in the water for about 3 minutes. This should be enough to pasteurize the eggs and kill any potential bacteria. Let cool, then store in the fridge for 6 to 8 weeks.

Convert your mayo into basic aioli or pesto aioli dip! Here’s how:

To make aioli, mix 1/2 cup (110 g/3.9 oz) mayonnaise with 1 clove crushed garlic. Optionally, add freshly chopped herbs of your choice.

To make pesto aioli, mix 1/2 cup (110 g/3.9 oz) mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice and 3 tablespoons (45 g/1.4 oz) pesto (below). Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

PESTO TWO WAYS

Basil Pesto (makes about 240 ml/1 cup)

Place all the ingredients in a blender: 2 cups (30 g/1.1 oz) fresh basil; 1/3 cup (45 g/1.6 oz) macadamia nuts or sunflower seeds; 2 tablespoons (15 g/0.5 oz) pine nuts or more sunflower seeds; 4 cloves minced garlic; 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest; 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice; and 1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil. Optionally, add 1/3 cup (30 g/1.1 oz) grated Parmesan cheese. Process until smooth, then season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Mint-Walnut Pesto (makes about 160 ml/2/3 cup)

Place all the ingredients in a blender: 1 cup (15 g/0.5 oz) loosely packed mint leaves; 1 cup (15 g/ 0.5 oz) loosely packed parsley or cilantro; 2 cloves minced garlic; 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice; 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest; 1/3 cup (80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil; and 1/3 cup (33 g/1.2 oz) walnuts or sunflower seeds. Process until smooth, then season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.

You can keep your pesto in the fridge for up to 1 to 2 weeks. Whenever you use the pesto, always remember to add a thin layer of olive oil on top before you place it back in the fridge. To preserve pesto for longer, spoon it into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer. Once frozen, empty the ice cube tray into a resealable plastic bag. Keep your frozen pesto cubes for up to 6 months.

MARINARA SAUCE (MAKES 300 ML/11/4 CUPS)

Place 1 cup (150 g/5.3 oz) chopped tomatoes, 1/2 cup (20 g/0.7 oz) fresh basil, 2 cloves garlic, 1 small (30 g/1.1 oz) shallot or white onion, 4 tablespoons (60 g/2.1 oz) tomato paste, 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste into a blender. Pulse until smooth.

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Flavored Butter Twelve Ways

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I reach for flavored butter when I don’t have time to get creative in the kitchen, but I don’t want to compromise on taste, either. And it’s a great way to add healthy fats to just about any meal. If you can’t eat butter, swap it for ghee, lard, duck fat, or even virgin coconut oil.

Savory Butters:

1/2 cup (113 g/4 oz) softened unsalted butter, ghee, lard, duck fat, or virgin coconut oil

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or less, if other salty ingredients are added)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Garlic & Herb Butter:

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons (8 g/0.3 oz) chopped parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley

Bacon & Cheese Butter:

2 large slices (32 g/1.1 oz) crisp bacon, crumbled

1/2 cup (28 g/1 oz) grated Cheddar cheese

1 to 2 tablespoons (4 to 8 g/0.2 to 0.3 oz) chopped chives or spring onion

Jalapeño & Lime Butter:

1 (14 g/0.5 oz) jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lime juice

1 to 2 tablespoons (4 to 8 g/0.2 to 0.3 oz) chopped cilantro

Spicy Harissa Butter:

3 tablespoons (45 g/1.6 oz) harissa paste

Thai Curry Butter:

2 tablespoons (30 g/1.1 oz) Thai curry paste

Lemon & Herb Butter:

1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons (4 g/0.1 oz) fresh lemon zest

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 to 2 tablespoons (4 to 8 g/ 0.2 to 0.3 oz) chopped herbs, such as basil, dill, or thyme, or 1 to 2 teaspoons (2 g/0.1 oz) dried herbs

Walnut & Blue Cheese Butter:

1/3 cup (45 g/1.6 oz) crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup (25 g/0.9 oz) chopped walnuts or pecans

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 to 2 tablespoons (4 to 8 g/0.2 to 0.3 oz) chopped parsley

Salty Anchovy Butter:

8 pieces (32 g/1.1 oz) canned anchovies, drained

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Sweet Butters:

1/2 cup (113 g/4 oz) softened unsalted butter

Pumpkin Pie Butter:

1/4 cup (50 g/1.8 oz) pumpkin purée

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 tablespoon (10 g/0.4 oz) powdered erythritol or Swerve

Maple & Pecan Pie Butter:

1/3 cup pecans, chopped (33 g/ 1.2 oz)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons (20 g/0.7 oz) powdered erythritol or Swerve

1/4 teaspoon sugar-free maple extract

Chocolate & Orange Ganache Butter:

2 tablespoons (10 g/0.4 oz) cacao powder

1 teaspoon fresh orange zest

2 tablespoons (20 g/0.7 oz) powdered erythritol or Swerve

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Vanilla & Cinnamon Cream Butter:

1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar-free vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon (10 g/0.4 oz) powdered Erythritol or Swerve

In a medium bowl, mix the softened butter and your preferred spices, herbs, and other ingredients. Spoon the butter onto a piece of parchment paper. Wrap the butter tightly and roll it to create a log shape. Twist the ends of the paper in opposite directions to seal. Store the butter in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to 6 months. To freeze it, it helps if you slice it into as many servings as needed. Instead of butter, you can also use ghee or virgin coconut oil (both for sweet and savory butter), and lard or duck fat (for savory butter). If you use butter alternatives, pour the mixture into a silicone ice cube tray and refrigerate: it’s perfect for portion control!

How to Serve Flavored Butter

Spread on Garlic & Herb Focaccia, Multiseed Keto Crackers, Butter-Stuffed Spatchcock Chicken, Harissa Skillet Chicken, Mediterranean Chicken Tray Bake, The Perfect Skirt Steak, or with pork chops, fish and seafood, roasted or steamed vegetables, cauliflower mash (shown here), or cauliflower rice. Try sweet butters on top of Crispy Cinnamon Waffles or use in “Butter” Coffee.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (AVERAGE PER 14 G/1/2 OZ):

Total carbs: 0.5 g / Fiber: 0.1 g / Net carbs: 0.4 g / Protein: 0.2 g / Fat: 9.9 g / Calories: 90 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (2%), protein (1%), fat (97%)

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Garlic & Herb Focaccia

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This flavorful grain-free, nut-free focaccia is based on one of the most popular recipes on my blog. It’s ultra-low in net carbs, and makes an ideal addition to your lunchbox!

1/2 cup (75 g/2.6 oz) flax meal

1/3 cup (40 g/1.4 oz) coconut flour

2/3 cup (80 g/2.8 oz) psyllium husk powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon (4 g/0.2 oz) chopped thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon (4 g/0.2 oz) chopped rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

8 large egg whites

2 teaspoons (10 ml) cream of tartar or apple cider vinegar

1 cup (240 ml) lukewarm water

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C, or gas mark 4). Line a baking tray with heavy-duty parchment paper. In a bowl, combine the flax meal, coconut flour, psyllium powder, salt, pepper, and baking soda. In another bowl, combine the thyme, rosemary, garlic, and olive oil.

In a third bowl, beat the egg whites until they create soft—but not stiff—peaks. Add the cream of tartar while beating (this will help them stay fluffy).

Using an electric mixer, add the lukewarm water and half of the herb-oil mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients and process well (reserve the remaining herb-oil mixture for topping). Immediately after you pour in the water and herb-oil mixture, add a quarter of the whipped egg whites to make the dough fluffy, mixing well. Then gently mix in the remaining egg whites.

Transfer the dough to the tray lined with parchment paper. Use your hands to flatten it until you create a rectangle, slightly over 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Using your fingers, create small dimples in the dough, then pour over the remaining herb-oil mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. When done, place on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then cut into 16 pieces (4 rows by 4 columns). Store at room temperature covered with a kitchen towel for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (1 SLICE):

Total carbs: 7 g / Fiber: 5.8 g / Net carbs: 1.2 g / Protein: 3.5 g / Fat: 9.8 g / Calories: 113 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (4%), protein (13%), fat (83%)

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