Today I want to share about the shopping process for those who may wish to start the keto diet on their own. Here are some tips on what to buy in the market and what not to buy. It’s not an exhaustive write-up, and it’s purely based on my personal experience.
Butter, Oil, Cream and Cheese
Like I shared last time, this diet is 70-80% fat. This means that you need to be creative, as you can load your meals with fat as much as you possibly can while you stick within your daily caloric range. This means you will need lots of butter or cream and cheese. The butter will be very helpful in making your keto bulletproof coffee and custard, and you can try making your own cream using butter and milk if you don’t want to spend money buying store cream, which can be quite expensive.
The butter will also come in handy while frying most of your food. Starting with the eggs, meats and vegetables, even the steamed veggies will occasionally need a dollop of butter to boost their fat content. But in case you’re not fond of butter, you still have options like extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. Just be sure to check the nutritional fact sheet of the items you buy and go with the options that have the highest percentage of fat.
The other reason you have to look at the nutritional fact sheet is to be sure that you’re not stockpiling items with loads of carbohydrates. Remember, this is a low carb diet, and you need to keep your carbs intake below 20g or 50g at most a day. This is the reason drinking milk is not recommended on this diet, because for every 100g of milk, you get about 4.5g of carbs, meaning if you drank 500g of milk a day, you’ve almost run through your carbs rations for the day, leaving no room for the carbs you get in the vegetables you’ll eat throughout the day.
The same rule applies to cheese; most cheese is rich in fat, but a lot of it is rich in carbs as well. You need to look out for the types and brands that are low in carbs; preferably nothing more than 5g of carbs for every 100g of weight.
This is another valuable ingredient, especially important for its richness in fat. Mayonnaise will help you dress your salads, and you’ll eat lots of salads on this diet. It’s also good for making sauces and dips. But like everything else you’ll buy, take a look at the nutritional fact sheet before adding it to your shopping cart. There are many types of mayonnaise on the market, and you need to find one that has zero carbs and zero sugar.
You are going to need meat for protein. Remember that the diet is 15-20% protein, and you can find this in beef, mutton, poultry and fish. The fattier the meat, the better. If you’re buying pork, the belly is highly recommended, and don’t shy away from the fat. Just remember one important fact though: eating too much protein on this diet can prevent you from getting into ketosis because some of the amino acids will be turned into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.
These include sausages, frankfurters, bacon, ham, salami and canned meat in general. These are usually discouraged, but you can get away with having some if you do it in moderation. The reason they are discouraged is because many of them have hidden carbs, especially in countries like this one where manufacturers don’t even bother to include a nutritional fact sheet on their labels. Some even go as far as lying about it; for example there is a milk brand that has the same nutritional facts for their plain and flavored/sweetened yogurt, which clearly shows that they just copy and paste the facts. Bacon, especially streaky bacon, is usually a safe option though, and it's highly recommended on this diet because it’s rich in fat.
You have a wide variety here, including bell peppers, cucumber, broccoli, spinach, egg plants, pumpkin, French beans, onions, tomatoes, cauliflower, and more. Avoid fruits, with the exception of a few berries like blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, because most are rich in carbs.