Living the keto lifestyle has become a major goal for many. And rightly so. With all the benefits it has to offer, going keto is an excellent choice for practically anyone. The huge challenge is to maintain this lifestyle through smart and delicious food choices. Here are some keto side dishes that you can add to your sumptuous keto meal.
The Ketogenic Diet
Before going into detail about excellent keto side dishes, it is essential to understand what a ketogenic diet is. Going keto means increasing your fat intake and drastically reducing carbohydrates from your regular diet. That means no more rice, bread, and other starchy food. If you do this consistently, the body eventually burns through the glucose and uses fat as an alternative source of energy. This process is called ketosis which produces molecules called ketones. Ketones do a lot of good for the human body for as long as it kept within the limit of 1.5 to 3 mmol/l. You can do this by keeping track of your ketones via a ketone level test that you can do in the comfort of your own home.
How to Get Into Ketosis
There are different ways that you can get your body into a ketogenic state. This would actually depend on your preference as well as your lifestyle which would include the amount of physical activity you do as well as your dietary needs. This would be really handy as you plan out the best keto side dishes to complement your keto meal.
- Regular. This is the standard way of doing a keto diet. Here, you will have to follow th ofe ratio 75% fats, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates in all your meals.
- High Pro. As the name suggests, this means a higher protein intake as compared to the previous type. The ratio here is 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
- Cyclical. This is an advanced way of doing a keto diet usually employed by professionals and fitness enthusiasts. Here, you follow any of the two previously mentioned types of keto diet for five consecutive days. Then, for the remaining two days, you will have to increase your carbohydrates intake. These are the days when strenuous training is scheduled so you need more energy than the usual to finish a heavy workout.
- As needed. Again, this is an advanced way of doing a keto diet because you do not follow any pattern. While most of the time, you stick to any of the two suggested keto ratio, you can increase carbohydrates intake when you need to especially during heavy workout days.
Benefits of the Keto Diet
As mentioned earlier, the ketogenic diet offers myriad benefits to the human body. These are things you can potentially enjoy every time you eat a full keto meal with delectable keto side dishes:
- Effective at weight loss
- Reduces cholesterol in the body
- Lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Regulates glucose levels in the body
- Enhances insulin sensitivity
- Helps treat symptoms of brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease
With all these amazing benefits, you definitely will be motivated to learn more ways to spice up your keto meals with awesome keto side dishes.
Keto Side Dishes to Your Meals
There are so many keto side dishes that can make each keto meal a lot more interesting. Here are just some of them:
- Creamy Spinach Soup. This is one soup that is as keto as it is delicious. This good stuff offers you awesome minerals such as iron and magnesium. To make this soup, you would need spinach, butter, cream cheese, heavy cream, onion, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and water. Preparing it is easy. Mix all the ingredients together but hold the butter, cream cheese, and heavy cream first. Bring it to a boil then switch to low heat. You can then make a puree out of it. Return to the pan and add the three remaining ingredients. After about five minutes, your soup is ready.
- Grilled veggies. This is one of the best keto side dishes because it is easy to prepare and is very healthy. For this, you would need bell peppers, mushrooms, eggplants, butter, and salt. After cutting ingredients into bite-sized pieces, lay them on a baking dish and evenly spread butter on top. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt for taste then bake for about 15 to 20 minutes at 200°C. Serve while it is hot.
- Zoodles. This is noodles made of zucchini which makes it yet another amazing keto side dish. You will need zucchini, butter, salt, and pepper. After turning zucchini into noodles through a spiralizer, prepare it as you would regular pasta. If you do not want to use butter, a good alternative would be olive oil.
- Mashed Cauliflower. This is one of the best keto side dishes because you get to enjoy the consistency of mashed potatoes minus the carbohydrates. Mash cauliflower as you would potatoes. For taste, you can add garlic, salt, nutmeg, ghee, and black pepper. This is very easy to make and you can even same some for later.
- Keto Guacamole. For this simple keto side dish, all you need are avocados, salt, lemon juice, lime juice, and black pepper. Preparing it is super easy. After mashing the flesh of ripe avocados in a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients and the dish is ready. Preparation cannot get any simpler than that.
Risks Involved in the Keto Diet
Always be aware of your ketone level. For optimum weight loss, maintain the level 1.5 to 3 mmol/l. Going beyond that might have life-threatening consequences. Consult your doctor if you plan to commit to switching to a keto lifestyle especially if you are pregnant or lactating, maintaining certain medication, or have a history of eating disorders.
Going keto does not mean having to restrict yourself from eating well. With these awesome keto side dishes, you get to enjoy your keto meals a lot more. Try them out and enjoy all the benefits a keto diet can offer you.