A very common question I get is: Can I eat that?
You will get two options usually:
- Yeah, as it fits you macros is fine.
Well is it, really?
That would mean that as long as a food would fit into your daily allowances for carbohydrates, proteins and fats, it would be fine. So, you could eat sugar, bread, pasta, rice, vegetable oil like sunflower, maize or peanut oil, artificial sweeteners, soda drinks, you name it.
Would you lose weight? Yes, Maybe Maybe not
Would you benefit from the health advantages of a LCHC diet? No, definitely not.
I am always negatively surprised when I hear people say: well I am not interested in the health aspect, I only want to lose weight. Oh, ok, so you rather be thin and sick? How the heck will you enjoy that new body of yours? Wouldn’t it be making more sense if you were at the same time thin and healthy? I guess so. So, that would lead us to the second answer you usually get:
2. Well, if you aim for health and weight loss, then no, that food is not fine.
Why? Its an answer that will highly depend on what food we are talking about as well as of course, your biological individuality.
Since the beginning of my LCHF journey, I always had both pinned to my fridge, and with me at all times, a list of the keto approved foods (by keto approved foods, please note that I follow an holistic approach, aiming for health and weight loss. It helped me tremendously anytime I had a question about a certain food being ok or not. It helped me tremendously in making the correct choices when shopping. So here goes my list of foods:
- Fruit & Veggies: Avocados, Coconut, Asparagus, Leeks (in moderation), cabbage, Spinach, Chard, Cauliflower, Broccoli, lettuce, celery, daikon,zucchini, gem squash, fennel, radishes, bok choi, endives, radicchio, summer squash, pumpkin (moderation), butternut (moderation), eggplant, kale, lemon, berries (moderation), mushrooms, tomatoes (moderation), onion (moderation), rocket, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts (moderation), kohlrabi, cucumber, palm hearts, bamboo shoots, kombu, okra, sugar snap peas, green beans, artichokes, pumpkin leaves, cassava leaves, melon (occasionally), passion fruit (occasionally), pomegranate (occasionally), green mango and green papaya (very occasionally), açai (pure, occasionally)
- Spices and herbs: All (make sure spices have no added ingredients)
- Condiments and thickeners: home made mayo, pesto (red and green), bone broth, pickles, home made ketchup, home made BBQ sauce, lime zest, lemon zest, fermented foods, whey protein (no added artificial sweeteners, soy, corn syrup, maltodextrin, MSG, etc), egg white protein, gelatin, psyllium husk, guar gum, arrowroot, xantham gum (all gums in moderation), natural sweeteners (moderation), cocoa powder, dark chocolate, home made chicken, fish, vegetable or beef stock, vinegar
- Dairy (check for any sensitivity of if it stalls you): full fat cheese, ghee, butter, double cream, whipping cream, sour cream, amansi,
- Eggs, Meats, Seafood & Fish: You can find grass fed? Great. You cannot? eat it, just try to choose the best possible source. Beef (all cuts, sausage – check for any added ingredients), pork (all cuts, bacon, rinds, crackling, salami, pepperoni, Parma ham, coppa, pancetta, sausage – check for any added ingredients), lamb (all cuts, sausage – check for any added ingredients), venison, duck, chicken, pheasant, turkey, all fishes (as fatter the better – mackerel, trout, sardines, salmon, butter fish, codfish, etc), prawns, octopus, calamari, squid, mussels, crab, langoustine, lobster, clams, razor clams, offal
- Nuts & Seeds (always in moderation): macadamia, pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnut, pistachio, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, flax, pine nuts, hemp seeds, cashew nuts (even more moderation due to the carbohydrate content), Brazil nuts (restrict due to the selenium content), Barú nuts (a type of nut from Brasil)
- Oils & fats: tallow, duck fat, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil, hemp seed oil, lard, chicken fat, ghee, butter, palm oil (from trusted sources, sustainable and fair trade)
- Baking items: nut flours (all but peanuts, which are in fact a legume), seed flowers, baking soda, cream of tartar, gluten free baking powder (check label), organic extracts (vanilla, maple, banana, etc)
- Beverages & Alcohol (the latter only after maintenance, and always remember that you body will switch from burning fat to burning alcohol as preferred energy source): water, nut milk, seed milk, matcha tea, green and black tea (organic), herbal tea, kombucha, kefir, coffee, infused water, dry wines and spirits