Diet is hard because it limits almost every single of your favourite food, from barbeque to ice cream. If you’re used to those fatty, sugary, high calorie food all the time, adjusting your daily diet sounds like a torture method coming straight from hell. But, what if I tell you there is one diet that defy that no meat, no fat rule?
Ketogenic diet, often shortened keto diet, is the answer you’re looking for. This diet is originally developed to help children with epilepsy, with striking success. It is this success that prompt other people to pick up the diet for various reason, from maintaining health to losing weight.
Keto diet is low-carbs, medium-protein, and high-fat diet. When your body is depraved of carbs and protein, it goes into a state called ketosis, where it release a chemical called ketones that can change fat into energy. This is why keto diet is appealing for many people who wants to achieve ideal body weight: it does burn those extra fat people don’t need.
Another reason why keto diet is appealing is because it’s unique characteristic of high-fat diet. Normally, people on diet avoid fat like plague. In keto diet, consuming fat is actually encouraged, on the expense of severely limiting carbs intake. But, if you have to choose between ‘no bread, no meat’ and ‘no bread, but with meat’, I’m going to assume you’ll choose the latter, unless you’re vegetarian.
Finding high-fat, low-carbs food sound easy. Just stuff yourself with meat. Lots of it. Accompany your meal with nuts, top the meat with heavy cream, drizzle with oil, and wash everything down with a pint of milk. Will that do the trick for keto? Unfortunately, not always.
Because keto diet takes advantages of certain body state or ketosis, the amount of carbs you take daily is very important, and very sensitive. If you exceed the limit of the amount of carbs, your body will quit its ketosis state, and the high amount of fat you’ve consumed won’t get broken down into energy and would get stored inside your body instead.
So, be careful of eating high-fat, high-carbs food. Many of them seems so familiar, healthy, and unthreatening, until you realize their actual count of carbs. Banana, grape or raisin, date, mango, and pear has high carbohydrate. Starchy vegetables such as potato, sweet potato, yam, corn as well.
Meanwhile, some of the best high-fat, low-carbs food are as follows: 1) fatty cut of meat, fresh, unprocessed, preferably from grass-fed animals 2) Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, basically oil that isn’t pressed from seeds. 3) Milk and especially, cheese.
Cheese is allowed in keto diet because it not only has high amount of good fat and low carbs, but also for the protein it contains. But, are all types of cheese okay or is there any restriction?
If you are cheese person, like me, this is good news. You can go on diet while still eating cheese. However, remember that even is most of cheeses are keto-friendly, not everything is safe to consume for people in keto diet. What’s safe and what is not?
Natural is Better
Some food are processed to keep them good for a long time. Some food are processed to add the value, add the taste, add the nutrients, etc. However, for keto dieter, it’s wiser not to get too close with processed food.
Processed food is laden with additives and chemicals, which may or may not increase one’s calorie intake, therefore destroying the very first foundation of keto diet: low-carbs. If you manage to meet local cheesemaker you trust, buy it fresh from him or her, or you can try to make cheese on your own.
If both of the option is out of the window, then it is okay to buy whatever cheese you want, as long as you always check the number of calory before purchasing. Try to avoid obviously processed cheese or other dairy product, such as cheese spread or cheese stick. In this case, natural is better because it’s free of possible hiding carbs.
Harder is Better
Usually, the harder the cheese, the less sugary it became. Hard cheese like cheddar is fine for most of adults, because it’s more salty and savory rather than sweet. Other cheese that has low level of carbs are parmesan, brie, camembert, goat cheese, and feta.
Soft cheese, or processed cheese like cheese spread and cream cheese, will have varying amount of sugar. It’s best to always read the food label carefully so you know which cheese contains the less amount of carbs.
Pay attention for this cheese fact
Not all cheese are the same, read label carefully. Read also its expiration date and nutritional benefits. You should always aim to get fresh cheese, but if not, then eat the processed only after you realize the product really has low carbs and high fat.
Cheese is keto-friendly and you can even use cheese to make keto-friendly snack, such as cheese chips microwave. However, it can also be too friendly, meaning that it’s easy for you to overeat on cheese, since it has slightly salty taste that can be very addicting. So, always remember to eat just the right amount, even if cheese is good for keto diet. Remember, even too much of something good is bad.
Bottom line is, keto diet is one of the tastier and easier diet for someone like me, who I can assure is more cheese person rather than cat person or dog person. Knowing that I’ll still able to eat my favourite food, even if I still have to watch out for the amount, make me feel so relieved it helps me to stick on my keto diet.
So far, are you interested in keto diet? Or are you already in the middle of keto diet? What do you think of the role of cheese in keto diet? Share what you think about it below.