The ketogenic diet focuses on eating low-carb, high-fat meals that put your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. It involves significantly reducing your intake of carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread, etc) and replacing them with fats (avocado, yoghurt, eggs, etc).
When in ketosis, your body becomes extremely efficient at burning your fat stores in order to produce energy. At the same time, in your liver fat is turned into ketones which supply energy to your brain and therefore some individuals report higher brain functionality.
Ketogenic diets can significantly help to reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, which bring with it a wide range of benefits. One of the most significant benefits is weight loss. According to modern day research, the ketogenic diet has now become recommended over low-fat diets for weight loss. It is known to be extremely filling, which allows individuals to lose weight without having to track calories and every food intake you have each day.
One study has shown that individuals on a ketogenic diet actually lost 2.2 times more weight on those who were simply restricting their calorie intake while simultaneously improving levels of triglyceride and HDL cholesterol. An additional study found that individuals on a ketogenic diet lost up to 3 times more weight than individuals who were on a diet recommended by Diabetes UK.
So, why does a ketogenic diet produce better results than a low-fat diet? Firstly, increased protein intake brings with it several benefits. Individuals who consume more protein significantly reduce their levels of hunger which means they snack less throughout the day.
This reduces late night snacking and the food cravings throughout the day. In addition to this, protein intake also helps to speed up the body’s metabolism and therefore helps with the process of weight loss.
Our experience of the keto diet was mixed, being both positive and negative. We set out with the aim of losing weight through our diet. For the first few weeks, we found that our energy levels were extremely low. At times, they were so low that we struggled to complete daily tasks around the home.
Whilst our energy levels were low, we also found that our craving for carbs were higher than ever. By the end of our experience, we eventually found that these cravings went away and we were actually enjoying our food more than ever before. Between us, we lost 7kg in a month, meeting our weight expectations at the start of our keto diet!
15 Keto Friendly Snacks
The ketogenic diet has become extremely popular in recent years. The diet of low carbs and high fats has proven to be ideal for weight loss, reducing the impact of diabetes and even reducing epilepsy. Recent studies have also found links between the keto diet and reduction in certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases too.
However research in this field is not in-depth enough to make conclusive statements. The average ketogenic diet limits carbs to around 20-50 grams a day, which requires individuals to substitute many of the foods they love. Here are some of the snacks we enjoyed on our keto diet.
1. Beef Jerky
This is a great snack that can be eaten between meals as part of a keto diet. It’s extremely high in protein and therefore is ideal for recovering after exercise.
2. Boiled eggs
Boiled eggs are very high in protein and can be eaten as part of a meal. You can combine them with salads or on their own as a breakfast.
3. Natural Greek Yoghurt
You can have yoghurt in your breakfast every day to start the day on a high! Natural greek yoghurt is extremely healthy and part of a balanced diet.
Being on keto doesn’t mean you have to miss out on everything. Cheese is part of the keto diet and contains a good amount of calcium which is essential for health.
5. Keto cookies
Just because you’re on a keto diet, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the world's best treat- cookies! With this keto friendly coconut cookies recipe, you and your family can still enjoy the delicious flavour of cookies without the high amounts of sugar they normally contain. Here are the ingredients you will need:
- Coconut flour
- butter (24g)
- 90% cocoa dark chocolate (2 squares)
- Egg (1)
- Almond milk (100ml)
- Vanilla extract (1tsp)
- Stevia sweetener (optional)
Begin by preheating your oven to gas mark 4. While your oven is heating, it's time to measure out your ingredients. Measure out each ingredient and finely cut your two squares of chocolate.
Mix your flour and butter in a bowl, followed by your egg, milk and vanilla extract to combine your cookie dough together. You can also add your dark chocolate into the mix. Begin moulding your mix into cookie shapes and place them into the oven.
Compared to normal cookies, keto friendly coconut cookies have a crumbly texture which may be different to some. They may also be slightly drier than other cookies, which is why they should always be accompanied by a nice cup of tea! As a whole, we had a mixed experience creating these cookies.
The process itself was extremely fun and different to normal baking. I personally wasn’t the biggest fan of the end result, although I put this down to them being very different to what I’m used to. Sadie on the other hand really liked the cookies, which shows they’re all down to personal preferences.
6. Sugar-free ice cream
Dessert is still on the menu? That’s right! You can still enjoy sugar-free ice cream as part of your diet. We recommend Halo top as it's delicious.
7. Pork crackling
High in protein and an extremely delicious snack!
8. Edamese beans
These can be eaten as part of a meal and make a good stir fry with option 9!
9. Konjac noodles
You can still make your very own keto stir fry!
10. Nuts (Almonds, Brazil nuts, Pecans, Walnuts)
Naturally very high in protein, nuts are a great snack to keep you going throughout the day.
For those with a more “mature” pallet, olives can be enjoyed by themselves or as part of a meal.
A great alternative to crisps, they are low in calorie, thin and crispy with virtually no carbs whatsoever.
13. Sunflower seeds
Much like nuts, sunflower seeds are full of natural fats and proteins.
A fantastic healthy snack or meal accompaniment. It’s also a great way to flush out your system, whilst providing you with natural nutrients.
In general meat is high in protein and can be enjoyed as part of your keto diet, and as protein and fat will be your main source of energy you should try to include it in every meal. Whilst bacon isn’t the healthiest option, it is still allowed on the keto diet and is a tasty snack. We recommend storing cooked bacon in the fridge for when hunger strikes.
Find out more about the Keto diet by watching our journey in the video below.