Keto Food Categories: Purging and Replacing
The message and instruction to ditch refined sugars, grains and vegetable oils are simple and clear. Many enthusiasts may have difficulty recognizing these offending foods.
Here is a breakdown of each food category and replacement options.
There are 12 food categories to discuss when considering doing a complete makeover of your pantry and kitchen.
For each food category, there is a replacement so that you can get back in the swing of things quickly.
Eliminating alcohol because it has zero nutritional value is a great choice. Alcohol can compromise your fat loss goals. Here is the science behind it; calories from alcohol are known as the first to burn calories (in the form of ethanol), these are immediately burned through because they are toxic in the bloodstream.
Unfortunately, this causes your body to stop burning other calories during your alcohol consumption time; causing the glucose to be stored while your body burns through the alcohol.
REPLACE IT WITH THIS:
If you are insistent on continuing on your alcoholic indulgences, there is a way to make better choices that fit in a keto diet. Alcohol on keto, it’s best to consume it straight up! Say goodbye to mixed sugary drinks.
Look for red wines designated as “clean,” “dry,” or “additive-free.” There are paleo-approved wines out there or you can google dry farm wines and educate yourself on your new keto drink list. Hard liquors like tequila are the least offensive forms of alcohol on keto. Beer is the worst thing to drink because it contains the most carbs. They don’t call it “beer belly” for nothing.
Ditching your designer coffee may feel like the heartbreak of the century. These drinks are laden with high-carb flavorings, syrups, creamers, and everything sugar you are trying to avoid. Coffee with real heavy cream is fine. There are many MCT oils for your coffee that are great add-ins. It takes seven days for your taste buds to completely change and start appreciating the tastes of real foods that aren’t loaded with sugar.
Soft drinks and soda belong in the trash. Energy drinks and sports drinks like Red Bull, Gatorade, Vitamin Water, contain a very high carb count. Stay away from these, please.
Bottled, fresh squeezed, and refrigerated juices including exotic stuff like acai and pomegranate, Naked juices and Odwalla concoctions, Ocean Spray fruit preparations, only to name a few. Juice bars that offer fresh-squeezed antioxidant concoctions should not be your first choice.
Blended smoothies like Jambe juice are a No-No, sweetened alternative kinds of milk are not going to work within your range on keto. Choose an unsweetened alternative instead. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk offers a lot of flavor and texture.
Avoid sweetened teas from all the big brands like Snapple or Arizona. Consume the unsweetened tea instead.
Powdered drink mixes (chai flavored, coffee-flavored, hot chocolate preparations, non-dairy creamer) also contain lots of sugar and toxic oils.
There is a myth that artificial sweeteners trigger sugar cravings. This is not scientifically proven. It is best to avoid diet sodas, zero-calorie drinks, or other concoctions that claim they have zero effects on your dietary needs.
Sweetened cocktails, Pina Coladas, margaritas, eggnog are not going to suit you well on a keto journey.
REPLACE IT WITH THIS:
Overall, sweetened beverages are not the best thing for you, for your dental health, for your digestive health, for your mind or body. These drinks are not “filling you up” but they are giving your blood sugar a wild ride. These sweetened beverages that you love so much are driving your total carbs and calories up. If you are tracking your food and drinks, you will start to see exactly what you are taking in and what macronutrient it falls under.
If you are addicted to your daily ritual Starbucks run there might be a way for you to keep this habit. Swap out your crappy frappy sugar concoction for a venti size iced green tea, your pancreas thanks you!
Condiments, Dairy Products, Fats and Oils
CONDIMENTS AND COOKING ITEMS
There is good news and bad news when discussing condiments and salad dressings:
The bad news is that almost all condiments and salad dressings contain objectionable sweetening agents and highly refined vegetable oils. Another bummer is that jams, ketchup, jellies, and the like are significant sources of sugar.
The good news is you can keep flavoring and barbecue sauces even if they have sugar or bad oils because the amounts are trivial.
Major grocery chains have started to carry keto-friendly and sugar-free options over the last decade. Mayonnaise formed with a base of avocado oil, or other products made with extra virgin olive oil is acceptable.
Always examine the labels, because even though the packaging will say it’s made with olive oil, sometimes these products contain more refined high polyunsaturated vegetable oils rather than olive oil.
THE DAIRY PRODUCTS
Most people consider keto a cheese and meat fiesta on your plate every day. That should not be the case, in fact, too much cheese and processed meat are going to cause you some serious gastrointestinal issues.
Stop drinking non-fat or low-fat milk, processed cheese and cheesy spreads, ice cream, frozen treats, fruity yogurts.
Here’s a secret: any dairy product characterized as nonfat or low-fat is just a sugar bomb.
Many well-educated and health-conscious consumers are concerned with potential allergenic, autoimmune, growth factor stimulating effects of lactose (carbohydrate) and casein (protein) present in dairy. High fat or fermented dairy products have little or none of these agents.
If you love your cheese and your heavy fruity yogurts and your milk, you will have to change. Raw, fermented, unpasteurized, and unsweetened are the best choices for dairy. Also the highest possible fat content: butter, aged cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, half and half, heavy cream, kefir, plain yogurt (full fat), and whole milk (preferably raw).
Plain yogurt made with whole milk can also be a great substitute for sour cream. They have the same consistency and similar tastes.
Here’s the thing about the global chains that mainly serve up sugar, grains, toxic vegetable oils, and inferior quality heavily processed meats from feedlot animals: they are offensive to your keto lifestyle.
You may be able to find less offensive options on some menus these days, but I typically view travel as a great opportunity to skip a meal or two and enjoy the benefits of intermittent fasting.
There are some fast food companies that are doing it “right” or making it “better” for consumers. For instance the fresh-mex chain Chipotle totes their “food with integrity” mission and sources from local natural environment-friendly meats and produce. Some popular chains have adopted an alternative menu with a lettuce burger as opposed to a bun.
GRAINS AND DERIVATIVE PRODUCTS
Grains come in many forms and clever disguises. Cereals, corn, pasta, rice and wheat, bread and flour products, breakfast foods, chips, cooking grains, puffed snacks just to name a few. Trying to find alternatives to these can sound daunting because most of us consider these types of food to be easy grab-and-go snacks. We load up our children’s meals with these types of nutrient-deficient foods, we eat them to pass time, and most of us find them harmless. If you are going keto please get rid of all of these foods.
Replacing the crackers, bread, tortillas, cereals, and chips isn’t as hard as it once was. There are many low-carb alternatives available at the grocery store. Be sure to read the ingredient list. Double-check if what the retailer advertises matches what’s inside.
- Choose bib lettuce to replace tortilla chips
- Substitute coconut flour, and almond flour to replace the wheat floured products.
- You can crisp up parmesan or cheddar cheese in the oven to make chips that really deliver a crunch.
We have finally arrived at the meat section.
Eliminate packaged meat products processed in bad oils, sweeteners, and chemical additives such as:
- Breakfast sausage patties
- Dinner roasts
- Frozen meals
- Sliced lunch meat
- Smoked, cured, nitrate or nitrate treated meats
These mass-produced meats, fish, fowl, and eggs often contain hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics. They deliver an inferior nutrient and fatty acid profile because these animals’ diets are vastly inferior to the diets of naturally raised animals.
It’s time to start shopping differently. Choose meats that are locally raised. Pasteurized/grass-fed animals are the best, followed by certified organic fare. If your local options are limited, use the internet to have wild-caught Alaskan salmon or grass-fed beef shipped right to your door.
- Eliminate brownies, candy, candy bars, cake, caramel, chocolate syrup, cookies, donuts, ice cream, milk chocolate, chocolate chips, and pie.
- Eliminate sugar and sweeteners (agave, artificial sweeteners, brown sugar, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, HFCS, honey, molasses, powdered sugar, raw sugar, table sugar.)
- Chocolate-coated nuts and trail mixes, ice pops and other frozen desserts, syrups, and other packaged processed sweets and treats can go in the garbage.
We know that consuming sweets generates a glucose spike, and insulin floods your bloodstream. This has zero benefits. This insulin roller coaster promotes inflammation, oxidative damage, and immune function suppression. Glucose competes with vitamin C at cell receptor sites.
If you are desperately craving sweets after altogether abandoning them, you can try 85 to 90 percent dark chocolate and mix it with some almond butter to dull the bitterness.
Once you clear your system of excess glucose, you will see your craving minimized, and your health improves noticeably.