(Family Features) A growing number of health-conscious consumers are pursuing a keto lifestyle and products in their pursuit of health benefits, weight loss and improved performance.
If you’re considering a keto diet but not sure where to begin, these tips can help get you on the right track:
- Understand what the keto approach entails. Essentially, the keto diet significantly reduces carbohydrates and replaces them with higher-fat foods. Your meals will consist primarily of protein, non-starchy veggies and healthy fats. The significant limits on carbs puts your body into a state called ketosis, which makes it especially efficient at burning fat for energy.
Consider using a proven weight loss program. With the growing popularity of keto diets, some weight loss programs have adapted their plans to encompass keto-friendly options. For example, South Beach Diet, which has been an effective program for millions of people since launching 16 years ago, introduced a Keto-Friendly Program. The keto plan offers consumers the ability to adapt the proven program to better align with keto through a low-carb, high-fat dietary pattern.
“Consumers want to try the latest healthy-eating approaches that are proven to work, and right now that’s keto,” said Dr. Arthur Agatson, cardiologist and South Beach Diet founder. “We wanted to make a keto-friendly lifestyle approachable for anyone looking for a place to start.”
- Get smart about keto-friendly foods and stock up on your favorites. Agatson recommends adding these five keto-approved foods to your menu:
Shrimp: This mild, tasty and accessible lean protein comes with exactly 1 carb per 3-ounce serving, and 90 percent of the calories come from protein. Shrimp also contain more than 20 vitamins and minerals. Seek out wild-caught shrimp to avoid antibiotics; it’s always a safe bet to purchase frozen shrimp because they’re frozen just after they’re caught.
String cheese: Nutrition doesn’t get much easier or more portable than with string cheese. An average piece of string cheese has 1 net carb, 80 calories, 8 grams of protein and 20 percent of the daily calcium recommendation. String cheese is an easy snack, but you can also make it part of a meal by stuffing small pieces into meatballs or turkey burgers, or rolling a piece inside some deli meat.
Eggs: With three egg whites containing zero grams net carbs and one whole egg containing just 1 net carb, eggs must be part of a keto meal plan. A whole egg provides 6 grams of protein; nine essential amino acids; iron; phosphorus; selenium; vitamins A, B12 and B5; and choline for brain health, along with lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health. Make hard-boiled eggs for easy snacks or whip up omelets for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Mayonnaise: Just 1 tablespoon of olive oil-based mayonnaise contains zero grams of net carbs. That makes plenty of options possible, like egg and chicken salads, dipping sauces for veggies and meats, creamy dips, deviled eggs, lettuce wraps and more.Arugula: Arugula is a fiber-rich vegetable in the same family as broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts. It offers 250 milligrams of nitrate, which has been shown to lower blood pressure, 20 percent of your daily vitamin A (for eye health) and more than 50 percent of vitamin K (for bone health). It’s traditionally used in salads, but the peppery flavor can add substance to virtually any savory dish.