A simple explanation of the Keto Diet is basically having a diet that is low in carbs but high in fat so that the blood sugar level is reduced. This results in the body’s metabolism shift to using fats as an energy source, instead of glucose.
How does a Keto Diet work?
Our body gets energy by mainly burning carbohydrates in a normal diet. By cutting down on carbohydrates, our fat reserve is dug up to act as a source of energy. When the stored fat is burnt, it breaks down into ketones to provide fuel.
Ketone is a type of acid produced and sent into the bloodstream by the liver when there is not enough glucose to convert into energy- this process is called Ketosis. Principally, having a ketogenic diet includes consuming only 5% of carbohydrates, but 20% of proteins and 75% of healthy fats. With time, the body adapts to sourcing energy mainly from fats, while metabolism naturally gets used to ketosis.
3 easy steps to get started with a Keto Diet
1. Clear out your pantry!
The typical Mauritian diet is known to consist of high-carbohydrate foods such as dhall puri, bread, roti or rice, to accompany vegetables and protein. However, to switch to a Keto Diet, you simply have to reduce or wholly remove the starchy foods, and those high in carbohydrates.
2. Sugar - your greatest enemy!
Sugar is part of processed food, despite not being able to taste it. Not adding refined sugar while preparing meals does not mean you are not consuming it in any other way. So, a safer option would be to opt for fresh food or foods made using solely natural ingredients. Nowadays, there are even online shops such as EatOnline and uBuy, which sell keto- friendly meals in Mauritius.
3. Plan ahead!
The Keto diet can be easy-peasy provided you take a little time to write down your grocery list. In Mauritius, a great deal of low carb fruits and veggies can be found, as well as green leafy vegetables which are full of nutrients.
Most supermarkets also sell milk, flours, sweeteners that are suitable for the Keto diet, to name a few. You can even find pure butter, healthy oils, fresh meats and seafood. If you like fishing, it doubles up as an amazing pastime!
What NOT to eat when on a Keto diet
Start off by limiting high- carb foods. Below you will find a list of some foods to stay away from as much as possible when on a Keto diet:
Fruits (unless in small portions), fruit juice, ice cream, cake and soft drinks are to be avoided.
This includes mayonnaise, processed cheese, oils, etc.
Starchy food or grains
Though a staple in Mauritian cuisine, avoid pasta, rice, cereal or other wheat products.
Whether it is kidney beans, lentils or peas, reduce or remove them from your diet.
From wine to liquor, beer or mixed drinks, these beverages are a no-no.
Don't go by the name; these diet foods like sugar-free syrups, drinks or desserts usually still contain sugar.
Being on a Keto diet does not imply completely cutting down on foods you enjoy, it simply asks for finding alternatives which will not mess with the ketones levels by interfering with the ketosis process.