If you haven’t heard about Ketogenic Diet, aka Keto, you have probably been living out in the wild, with no internet access or any means of communication with the outside world.
To clarify some things for everyone, first: keto is a low-carb, high-fat restrictive diet that offers many health benefits. It also causes continuous debates in the scientific community and many online arguments between the keto crowd and representatives from other restrictive eating lifestyles.
All I’m saying is that some people swear by it and claim it has miraculously reversed their type 2 diabetes and solved their weight problem, while others call it anecdotal and misguided (not using the same exact words, but we have standards here, so I’ll leave it up to your imagination).
While the debate around the Keto diet’s phenomenal health benefits is far from being over, enough of us have embraced the low-carb lifestyle to a degree. Even if not enough to commit fully and reach that goal state of ketosis, still enough to explore low carb food options, try healthier keto-friendly substitutes for carb-heavy foods we universally know are bad for us (but they taste so good), and explore the world of low-carb keto-friendly recipes. I mean, there’s a ‘Keto Foods’ section in Walmart! That has to mean something.
The market has fully embraced Keto low-carb lifestyle, so I had to give it a try. My habit of conducting extensive research on something before getting to the ‘execution’ stage would take too long, so I sort of dove in headfirst and thought I’d figure it out along the way… It’s been a few months…
While I have not yet achieved ketosis (totally my fault), the whole low-carb cooking has been working for me really well. I’ve shed some pounds, got more active, and had fun reinventing not only myself but also the ways I cooked, baked, and prepped my food. And let me tell you, while it’s been a pleasant kitchen adventure in general, I wish I didn’t have to google every other ingredient looking through low-carb recipes (especially those for gluten-free baking). Sometimes it looked less of a recipe and more of an active ingredients list for some medicine.
I’d get excited about a Keto Cinnamon Rolls recipe only to find out that 5 out of the 15 ingredients are just words, words that carry no meaning to me, like “What aisle would it be at?”... Quite a discouraging experience I must say.
So to save you all some trouble, here’s that glossary I wish I had. Maybe you know some of them (kudos to you), but there’s no way you know them all. Alphabetized and presented to you in a structured form, here are the 41 words, abbreviations, and phrases that I wish I had learned from the very beginning.
Apple Cider Vinegar. Ok, this one is not crazy confusing, but just in case you didn’t know the abbreviated version.
Don’t get too excited; you can’t have macarons when you are low-carbing.
But almond flour is a genuinely magical keto staple! It creates so many low-carb, keto-friendly dessert options and makes it possible to still enjoy modified versions of bread, bagels, tortillas, and so much more!
Unsweetened almond milk is your way to make mind-blowingly good smoothies and breakfasts still while keeping your oath to the Keto society. Almonds have made our low-carb diets totally sustainable and less restrictive.
Avocados, in general, are healthy substitutes for many unhealthy foods (like mayo, for instance). But avocado ice cream, in particular, should be a thing even if you don’t care about carbs or macros! Because it’s creamy, fudgy, and doesn’t come with much guilt after you finish eating.
Bulletproof coffee. It's a blend of coffee and healthy fats, including grass-fed butter and MCT (you’ll find it a bit further down the list).
It is actually super trendy not only to Keto followers but on its own. It prevents hunger, provides more energy and mental focus, especially if you tend to skip breakfast.
It’s not really for everyone, but definitely worth looking into.
Bulletproof tea. Pretty much offers the same benefits as coffee.
You have probably heard of ‘cronut’ (croissant + doughnut) and the ever-growing food mashup trend that somehow led us to the infamous ‘turducken”. Now there’s a sushirritto, a cruffin, and chaffles!
Cheese + Waffles = Chaffles. Chaffles are amazing! And you can make them savory or sweet; you can add so much into a simple two-ingredient recipe; it’s mind-blowing! Keto’s resourcefulness created chaffles, and for that, we all should all be grateful!
Chia seeds are classified as a superfood, packed with omega-3, fiber, iron, and calcium. I used to make smoothies with chia seeds or sprinkle them on salads long before my low-carb escapades. And discovering all the different chia pudding recipes as a popular Keto-friendly breakfast was more than pleasant. This one with vanilla and berries is my favorite so far.
It’s not made of clouds, and it does not taste anything like bread. I know, I was disappointed too.
It does have a fluffy cloud-like texture and is a high-protein bread alternative when you are tired of using lettuce for hamburger buns.
But I prefer another kind of Keto Bread, the one that actually somewhat reminds you of, you know, bread.
Here’s another type of gluten-free flour I heard of before but only started to appreciate recently. Just like almond flour, coconut flour makes baking possible for us low-carb enthusiasts (and those with gluten allergies as well).
This is one of the Keto-friendly sugar substitutes. It has no calories, doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes, yet still has 70% of regular sugar’s sweetness. Sounds pretty good, right? You can also bake with it, as it doesn’t get affected by high temperatures (unlike more known stevia that is not heat-stable).
Fat bombs are a type of high-fat delicious snack that claims to provide you with healthy calories and a boost of energy. They can be sweet or savory, cheesy or chocolatey, snacks, or even replace a meal.
They are beneficial for someone with a busy lifestyle, keto or not. You can make them in advance and always have a healthy bite-size snack to refuel and reenergize after a workout, when you have no time for proper lunch, or when you’re doing your long-distance biking thing.
I mean, if you are super active and need to replenish your energy quickly, then keto fat bombs are the way to go. But don’t you think they are just a snack to help you through an uneventful day. They are very high in calories and have to be consumed mindfully and in moderation.
They are absolutely delicious, though, and saved me from giving in to my cravings many times.
Try these Blueberry Cheesecake ones for a start.