Keto ingredients, simplified for beginners.

When it comes to checking what ingredients are keto-friendly and which are not, we get lost easily. Well, lost no more after reading this article.

Dietlife.com, believes that everyone deserves a chance to reach his/her ideal healthy weight. Some take few weeks to reach their goals, others need year. That doesn’t mean that one is better than the other! Absolutely! To each their own!  One of the best ways to lose extra weight is ketogenic diet. It is high fat, no/low carb diet. That guarantees rapid weight loss with less cravings than usual and a true downward weight loss slope. Try it out and we guarantee you will be satisfied.

A ketogenic diet limits carbs to 20–50 grams per day (standard Keto diet). While this may seem challenging at first, but all those who followed this diet said finding the right ingredients will help you start on the right foot!  We will help you find many ingredients that can easily fit into ketogenic diet.

Want to know more about macronutrients?

Typically, any healthy normal person’s diet should constitute of 50% carbohydrates, 30% proteins and less than 20% fats. This allows him/her to obtain all its energy necessary for survival and growth.

For example, if your daily caloric intake is 2000 calories then you should obtain 1000 calorie from carbs (like pasta, bread, rice and potatoes), 600 calories from proteins (meat, poultry, seafood and vegetarian sources) and no more than 400 calories from fatty sources (like avocados, walnuts and full fat cheese).

What is considered keto ingredients?

They are Ingredients that fit ketogenic diet. “DAH!” well to make it easier, everything we eat is made of variable ingredients like cakes for example, they are made of flour, oil, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, cocoa (if chocolate flavored) and milk. Each of these ingredients is made of macro-nutrients (Macro-nutrients are either: carbohydrates, proteins or fats)! Flour is 2% fat, 86% carbs, 12% protein. Eggs is 63% fat, 2% carbs, 35% protein, milk is 49% fat, 30% carbs, 21% protein.)

Remember the old saying ” fats make you fat”, well ketogenic diet is the total opposite!

In ketogenic diet, you follow a high fat, low carb diet so your body can enter into a ketonic state! This state allows your body to lose weight (mainly fats) easily and quickly!

In ketogenic diet, up to 75% of your caloric intake will be from fats! And almost no carbs! Yes, less than 5% of your caloric intake will be from carbs (This means no bread, no pasta, no rice, no potatoes)!

This means you have to look deeper into the ingredients of your food. You have to add more fats and eat less carbs, but how would you know what food has more fat and what doesn’t?

All you have to do is know the exact ingredients of each meal, how is it cooked, serving size, its caloric value and macro-nutrients! Some mobile applications can help you calculate it easily, not so accurate but helpful enough! Like myfitnesspal.com

Piece of cake 😊 😊, right?

If you are a beginner! This may seem very complicated, exhausting and totally not worth it!

Not at all!

Dietlife will help you know everything there is to know about macro-nutrients, keto friendly ingredients and how to read the nutritional values of anything!

As in the cake, we will break down each ingredient into its nutritional value and check if it is keto-friendly or not.

But first, how can you know the nutritional value of any ingredient?

A nutritional value label is written on the back of any packaged food. This label is now mandatory for all food products under the provisions of the 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA), per the recommendations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

But how can I read it???

We will tell you the exact steps to read the nutritional value label like a pro!

It is sometimes called nutrition facts, nutritional value, or ingredients!

Directly under its title you will find a few sentences, that contain all the facts about the food product you are holding between your hands.

Step 1: Serving size:

The first sentence is the “serving size”. it is usually the typical amount a person would eat of this food in a meal or day. With the exact number of servings inside this package.

But this serving size doesn’t mean you ONLY have to eat that much! You can eat double the amount or half of it according to your preference or lifestyle!

So, when you start calculating your calories or macro-nutrients intake from this food, don’t forget to multiply it by your current serving size for this meal.

Step 2: Total calories:

In keto diet you usually don’t need to calculate your calories, because you only need to cut your carbs! But in some cases, and to maintain a healthier lifestyle later (after reaching your target weight) it is better to track your daily caloric intake!

In the nutritional fact label, you will find the word total calories! This means the total calories of a single serving size! Some companies prefer to write the total calories in a 100 gm or 200 milliliters!

This is an easier method to calculate your calories, as it helps you memorize the caloric intake better (yes at some point, you will be able to remember exactly how many calories your favorite food provides)!

Step 3: Daily values percentage:

Your next guide usually is the daily values. It is recommended for people on a 2000 calories diet. But in ketogenic diet, the recommended daily value is inaccurate, as the recommended daily value of fat is less then 20% while in ketogenic diet it is almost 75%!

Step 4: nutritional terms:

Some packaged food state that it is:

  • Low calories: which means is has less then 41 calories in one serving.
  • Low cholesterol: which also means less than 2 grams of saturated fats in a single serving (stay away of those in ketogenic diet)!
  • Fat free: less than 0.5 grams of fats per serving (run away from fat or skimmed products in ketogenic diet)

Step 5: Read the additional nutrients (the macro-nutrients) carefully:

Because knowing the calories is not like knowing the macro-nutrients of each meal.

  • Each food has its own unique macro-nutrients. you should choose foods high on fats (an easier way to know that is to choose food where fat value is much higher than the carbohydrates value) but only chose the foods rich in unsaturated fats, poor on saturated fats and has no trans fats at all!
  • Find food with good protein values but try no to exceed the maximum of 30% of caloric intake from proteins!
  • Remember, ketogenic diet depends on high fat not high protein!
  • Avoid sugar and sugary food at all costs (It is almost pure carbs).

Step 6: Don’t forget fibers, vitamins and minerals:

Some nutritional labels mention the number of vitamins, minerals and fibers in their food.

Choose ones that are rich in fibers, vitamin A and D, Iron, low sodium high potassium salt to maintain good health and avoid keto-flu symptoms.

Extra fibers mean more leafy vegetables, but no fruits in keto diet (except berries and lemon).

Step 7: Special comments:

Some companies have also included all ingredients to be found in their food. Some are included in the additional nutrients section others are written even if they don’t have any extra nutritional value. This extra information is important and helpful for individuals who prefer kosher and halal meals. Others who are allergic to seafood and/or nuts and must exclude any traces of them. Or people who prefer vegetarian or vegan options in their food.

Usually you find these special comments on the front of the packaged food not on its back. Animated and highlighted in their package design.

Now you can read any nutritional label and all you have to know next is how to integrate this knowledge into your daily meal planning!

But this is a whole new story, let’s find more about it here!

Dietlife advice:

When it comes to ketogenic diet, it is very different from other regimens! As it is a high fat content diet! In order to get 75% of your caloric intake from fats, you have to know which food is keto-friendly and which are not.

But before that, you have to know how to read and understand the nutritional value of each ingredient of each meal! This will help you create a long-lasting healthy lifestyle and better understanding of any kind of food you lay eyes on!

The steps of reading the nutritional facts label is to:

  1. Check the serving size (compare it to your own serving size).
  2. Know the total caloric content.
  3. Break them down into their main macro-nutrients.
  4. Always check for special labels like low carbs, low sugar, low fat, vegan so you can choose wisely!

Now you can flip the pack over and read the label like a pro!

References:

  • “Milestones in U.S. Food and Drug Law History”. FDA. Archived from the original on 6 March 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  • Nutrition, Center for Food Safety and Applied (2019-06-18). “Labeling & Nutrition – Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label”. FDA.
  • Freeman JM, Kossoff EH, Hartman AL. The ketogenic diet: one decade later. Pediatrics. 2007 Mar;119(3):535–43. doi:10.1542/peds.2006-2447. PMID 17332207.
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