The ketogenic diet is one of the most talked-about, and perhaps trusted diet plans to lose weight.
From celebrities who vouch about its success, and the many health benefits it offers apart from weight loss, Keto remains to be one of the top buzzwords when it comes to dieting and nutrition.
The diet plan, which aims at delivering faster results works by making you consume fewer carbs, turn fat into fuel. The broken-down fats generate ketones, which further push the body into ketosis, which helps burn fat more effectively.
On average, the diet comprises of a person deriving 20-30% calories from protein, 60-70% of them from fats and a mere 5% from net carbs.
The Ketogenic diet is also known to improve metabolic rate, cut down blood glucose levels and most of all, restrict the carb intake.
Indian food on the Ketogenic diet: Yay or nay?
A diet can only be considered sustainable as long as it makes use of simple foods, and can be adopted easily.
In the context of the Indian diet, a lot of people feel that following a fat loss promoting diet such as Keto is not possible since most of the foods we have are rich in carbs.
However, that’s not completely true. Following the Keto diet, making use of local Indian food can still show up results, without you having to burn a hole in your pocket, or depend on fancy fad foods.
What we must also remember is that even though a bit tricky, Indian foods are also rich in a lot of nutrition packed flours, fats, vegetables- which can all be included in your Keto diet. With increasing popularity, it has also become easier to procure options and meal plan accordingly, without compromising on your taste.
What all Indian foods can you eat while you are on Keto?
You can easily add and incorporate fat sources in your diet while you are on Keto.
The same goes with a lot of other herbs, spices and ingredients.
The only thing one needs to keep in mind is a check on the base of each dish-how much carbs, or what ingredients are used in the preparation of the dish and make your pick accordingly.
For beginners wanting to try the Keto diet, some of the best Keto-approved options to try can be including a variety of vegetables such as spinach, cauliflower, kale, avocado, french beans, button mushrooms, bottle gourd, brinjals, beetroots, zucchini, bell peppers- which are not just nutrition-dense, but also available year-round.
Make sure you avoid eating a lot of high-starch veggies, which can throw you out of ketosis.
If you are a non-vegetarian, you can benefit by including poultry and meats like chicken, lamb, fish (salmon, tuna, sardine), mutton and of course, eggs.
As for the dairy options, having paneer, white butter, high-fat cream are good options to consider and used in a lot of local preparations.
Coming to the fats and oils, which act as a primary energy-giving source on your diet, a lot of cooking oils/butter can be used. Clarified butter(ghee), coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil and other MCT oils which undergo minimal procession can be made use of.
Peanut butter and other nut butter are also good options to consider which can be added to salads, smoothies etc.
Try and stick to Saturated and monounsaturated fat sources, while avoiding processed polyunsaturated fats and trans fats.
Natural sweeteners, stevia, sugar-free Keto sweeteners can also be used.
Since Keto is a low-carb diet, experts recommend people to have ample salt intake and stay hydrated through the day. A good rule of thumb is to have 3-4 litres of water every day and 2-3 tablespoons of salt. Having bone broth or salted nuts could make for excellent choices as well. Make sure to add in potassium-rich foods as well.
How to follow a vegan Keto diet
For vegans, designing a Keto diet plan may be a little complex, but there are still are ample options available.
Soy, almond milk, nuts and seeds (such as almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds), are good options to include in your diet, and easily available too, apart from vegetables.
What foods should you strictly AVOID while on Keto?
The list of foods to avoid while on Keto can be discouraging for Indian food eaters while on Keto. But they are not difficult to adapt to.
Broadly speaking, the list of foods to avoid includes anything which can increase your carb intake.
Alcohol, sugar, smoking are strictly prohibited with the Keto diet. The following foods and drinks should also be refrained from:
-Root vegetables like potato, yam, sweet potatoes
-Grains and cereals in any form
-Sweets and chocolates
Sample menu options for Indian Keto diet plan
Again, while the diet requires you to make a lot of mindful research, at the end of the day, it’s not entirely difficult (or boring) to go Keto while depending heavily on an Indian diet.
A sample dietplan could involve the following:
Breakfast: Paneer/Egg bhurji/Cheese omelette/ sausages/eggs/Green tea/ MCT Coffee/Smoothie with some nuts and seeds
Lunch: Mix veg salad/ subji/Soups/ Mushroom curry/Grilled Fish/Chicken with some kind of fat. Chaach (buttermilk) can also be had.
Dinner: Vegetable salad/ Stir-fried paneer/tofu/ Chicken breast with vegetables/kababs/Saag.
Other dishes which can be experimented with include palak paneer/ bharta/tandoori chicken salad/tikka/ cauliflower rice/almond flour keto dosa/ keto poha etc.
Common mistakes and side-effects to avoid
While many don’t consider Keto to be lifelong sustainable diet, to ensure that Keto works for you, remember to take precautions and as always, follow the rule of moderation.
Drink sufficient water, score ample fat and protein as per required.
Too much snacking should also be avoided. While Keto works to cut down excessive snacking, make sure you have your foods mindfully.
Lastly, keep a check on the calorie intake. Even if you are opting for store-bought Keto foods or meals, always check the label first to know if the ingredients are indeed Keto-friendly and not too processed. Check for the flour used, sugar substitutes and calorie intake.