The ketonic diet, also known as the ketogenic diet, has been around since the 1930s. The diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates and helps the body burn fat instead of glucose (carbs). The diet has been used in people who suffer from epilepsy, because it may help prevent seizures. The ketonic diet has also developed a following among bodybuilders and fitness professionals because of its ability to help the user burn body fat.
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Meat is the basis for many ketonic diets, because meat does not contain any carbohydrates. When you're on a ketonic diet, you should eat a combination of fatty and lean meats. Eating too many fatty meats can raise your cholesterol levels, so be sure to balance your consumption of meat with plenty of lean meats. For fatty meats, choose cuts of meat like beef and pork ribs, shoulder and belly. Chicken and turkey thighs work well too. For lean cuts of meat, choose chicken and turkey breast and sirloin, flank, round and tenderloin of beef and pork. Fish is one of the best ketonic diet foods because some types of fish, like salmon and sardines, are loaded with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Oils are also ketonic diet foods because they are made up of mostly fats. Olive oil and canola, in particular, are high in heart healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. In addition to being part of a ketonic diet, consuming these types of fats can have additional benefits, such as helping to lower your cholesterol levels. Other oils that you can eat as part of a ketonic diet include safflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil.
Some vegetables work in a ketonic diet and some don't, because certain vegetables are high in carbohydrates. Stick to vegetables like lettuces, broccoli, asparagus, cucumbers, olives, peppers and artichokes. Avoid potatoes, carrots, corn and peas.
Most dairy products are low in carbohydrates and high in fat, but you should be selective when choosing dairy foods on a ketonic diet. Milk, for example, contains lactose, a natural milk sugar, and should be consumed in moderation. Eat dairy foods like sour cream, cheeses and unsweetened yoghurt.
Look at the nutrition labels when choosing condiments when you're on a ketonic diet, and check to make sure you're not eating a condiment with more than 5% of the recommended daily allowance of carbohydrates. Safe condiments you can eat include mustard, soy sauce, and cream- and butter-based sauces.
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