We know that high carb foods raise our insulin levels. Insulin is the hormone responsible for removing the sugar from the blood and storing it away as fat. So, when 70-80% of our consumption is based on a mix of high and low carb foods, it's no wonder how we've got to where we are.
Our mindset has been altered not just from the introduction of these guidelines but from food manufacturers who have created a whole new industry...low fat products!
Low Carb / Keto
Keto nutrition is a step not only in the right direction but back to before politicians and food manufacturers created the nutritional guidelines. Up until the 1960s there were no such things as guidelines for what we should and shouldn't eat and the introduction of such guidelines was not based on any scientific evidence.
Before the time of the guidelines being introduced we ate butter, bacon and cheese; before the climbing rates of metabolic syndrome we would enjoy natural yogurt made the way it is supposed to be made.
Nutrition on the keto way of eating is using real foods, giving the body essential mineral and vitamins and all the time feeling like you are not missing out of going hungry. 'Keto nutrition' is not bars, shakes, pills, or any other products that have been labelled 'low carb' or 'keto' but contain a multitude of inflammatory & artificial ingredients.
Cheese- Mature Cheddar, Monteray Jack, Cream Cheese, Brie/Camembert, Goats Cheese, Mozzarella and Mascarpone.
Sliced Meats- Salami, Chorizo, Corned Beef, Pastrami, Ham.
Meats- Chicken Thighs/legs, Bockwurts Sausage, 97% Pork Sausages, Back or Streaky Back Bacon, Pork Chops, Steaks, Lamb Steak, Lamb Mince (20% fat), Beef Rib Eye, Beef Rump Steak, Mince Beef (20% fat).
Coconut Flour is one of the two main flour replacements used in low carb foods. This is available in most big supermarkets but it is rarely placed with the flour so it might take a little looking for.
Stevia is considered to be one of the best sweeteners available, along with Erythritol and Xylitol. You will often find these mixed together but be aware that the cheaper sweeteners can be as much as 99% maltrodextrin and 1% Stevia but sold as a Stevia sweetener. Maltrodextrin is at the very top of the G.I list and is best to be avoided. Be sure to look at the ingredients of the sweeteners before you buy them - one brand to stay away from is Aldi's own 'Stevia', which is 99% maltodextrin. Below you will find images of the only sweeteners we have found in UK supermarkets that do not contain added nasties.
Many 'sugar free', 'low carb', 'Atkins', and 'keto' items in supermarkets and coffee shops will also contain nasty sweeteners such as maltrodextrin, polydextrose, and maltitol.
In the first days and weeks of starting to reduce carbs, it's important to stick to some basic principles.
The first and most obvious is to remove if possible all of what you would have previously used in the way of bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. Other sources of refined carbs are all breakfast cereals including oats, jams, tins of beans, bags of sugar & flour, jars of honey or other liquid sugars such as agave syrup. You will also want to look at moving any hot chocolate mixes, cappuccino sachets and of course any biscuits, crisps and chocolates out of eyesight. Click here for a list of what to eat and what to avoid.
The focus of every meal should always start with a good choice of protein. Accompany this with good quality fats such as olive oil, butter, coconut oil, ghee or avocado and finally choose some nutrient dense low carb vegetables to complete your meal.
Shopping for the right ingredients is essential. All the key ingredients are in most regular supermarkets, they just might require a little finding. Take a look at the 'Keto Essentials' to help you find the right ingredients and hopefully save you some time and money.
The best way to start your new lifestyle is to make a plan. Before heading out to the shops take some time to look through the free recipe library and choose a few new dishes to try. Select maybe 2 or 3 different breakfasts, things like the pancakes are a great way to start and can be made in advance to keep things quick and simple on those busy mornings. Save the cooked breakfasts for the mornings you can sit and enjoy with the family.
Choose lunch dishes to suit your work / family commitments. Salads, soups & scotch eggs are all great dishes that can be made in advance and enjoyed anywhere.
Dinner is where we need the most planning as we generally prefer to eat different dishes most evenings. Getting organised will save you a lot of time and stress. Even just knowing what you are going to have and shopping accordingly will remove the uncertainty of 'what's for dinner?' Whether it's just a meal for one or feeding the family having a plan will really help with not becoming overwhelmed. Our MMM! Journal can help with this :)