Want to keto away those extra pounds? Many leading healthcare professionals now believe that cutting carbs (especially sugars and processed foods) and eating more high-quality fats, can be a healthy way to lose weight. Plus, partly because fat is filling, you’re not walking around hungry all the time! But there are right and wrong ways to follow one of America’s favorite diets. 

Keto diet basics 

Your body can only use two types of fuels: fats and carbs (which break down into sugar/glucose). Being a sugar burner doesn’t help with weight loss. Many people have plenty of fat on their bodies waiting to be burned for fuel, but their bodies won’t use it because it prefers to use sugar.

The keto diet forces your body to use fat as its predominant fuel. This is known as nutritional ketosis. There’s a caveat however: Your body can enter ketosis regardless of the quality of fat you eat. It doesn’t care if you’re eating corn oil that’s been refried 25 times or the highest quality Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil. Either one will raise your ketones. But one’s junk food and one’s a health food.

Focus on eating really good foods such as grass-fed beef, fresh fruits and vegetables you prepare in your kitchen, and using better-for-you cooking oils like ghee and Malaysian palm.

Don’t fear eating more fat 

Abundant research now shows that cutting down on carbs, not fat, is smart for your heart. One of the most ambitious — and revealing — studies took place over 12 months and involved 577 healthy participants. That study found that a high-carb diet was much more likely to increase an otherwise healthy person’s heart disease risk factors than a high-fat diet. Fat didn’t move the needle one way or the other. Considering heart attack rates go up in the winter, this is a good time to stay the course and limit the sugar-laden and bready seasonal treats. 

When it comes to boosting fat intake, however, some fats are healthier than others. Most of the participants in this study consumed Malaysian palm oil, which is 50% saturated fat (and 40% monounsaturated fat, the same kind found in olive oil!). 

More smart ways to “do” keto in 2021  

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Birthdays, anniversaries and other special events happen all year long. There’s no need to let them derail your keto lifestyle. Prepare dishes from scratch instead of from a package to cut down on added sugars. Replace inflammatory oils, such as corn and canola, with healthier fats, such as olive, coconut and palm oil. Bonus: All Malaysian palm oil is non-GMO, while more than 90% of corn, soybean and canola grown is genetically modified. And still follow a ketogenic diet as much as possible during the day. Then enjoy your special meals with family and friends at night. 

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