(Original post date: May 29th, 2019)
How weird that on the keto diet, nuts and seeds are good! They help you hit the fat requirements and keep you filled. However, be warned that all nuts are not created equal (see below to get the idea). Also, the preparation and presentation of the food can change the carb count. It doesn’t seem like a big deal when you first start carb counting. However, as you quest to hit the elusive 20 gram goal, every single carb counts!!
Sunflower seeds - Roasted salted in shell, 1 oz: 2.2g Net Carbs, 7.5g Total Fat, 1.4g Fiber, 2.9g Protein, 3.6g Total Carbs
Oil roasted sunflower kernels without salt, 1 oz: 3.5g Net Carbs, 14.5g Total Fat, 3.0g Fiber, 5.7g Protein, 6.5g Total Carbs
Salted peanuts, 1 oz: 3g Net Carbs, 14g Total Fat, 2g Fiber, 7g Protein, 5g Total Carbs
Walnuts, 1 oz, (14 halves): 2g Net Carbs, 18.5g Total Fat, 1.9g Fiber, 4.3g Protein, 3.9g Total Carbs
Roasted salted cashew, 1 oz: 7.7g Net Carbs, 13.5g Total Fat, 0.9g Fiber, 4.8g Protein, 8.6g Total Carbs
Jif, Peanut butter creamy, 2 tbsp: 6g Net Carbs, 16g Total Fat, 2g Fiber, 7g Protein, 8g Total Carbs
Pepperoni (Tee hee – my new diet food!!): 0g Net Carb, 14g Total Fat, 0g Fiber, 5g Protein, 0g Total Carbs
Cucumber without peel, 1 cup: 2.9g Net Carbs, 0.2g Total Fat, 0.9g Fiber, 0.8g Protein, 3.8g Total Carbs
Cucumber with peel 1 cup: 1.3g Net Carbs, 0.1g Total Fat, 0.6g Fiber, 0.7g Protein, 1.9g Total Carbs
NUTS – I am already fallen!!
So, I had a cheat day - be fair, a weekend! I wanted a beer because sometimes they are sooo good! I made a spinach crust pizza and was so proud of myself. But then my husband pulled a cold beer out of the fridge and sadly I caved. I learned that cheat days on a keto diet are way more devastating than on a regular diet. You leave ketosis (or however close you have gotten) and have to fight your way back. Since I’m a newbie, that means it takes a couple days to bounce back.
My “fall” has helped me figure out something significant… not everybody is going to react the same to the keto diet. A number of blogs state some people might only achieve ketosis by eating 20 grams of carbs per day, while others may be successful with a much higher carb intake. While I cut my carbs to under 25 per day, I am struggling to hit ketosis. The standard claim of “3 days eating a low carb diet will put you into ketosis” did not work for me. It is extremely helpful to have hard evidence of your progress to ketosis. I have been counting net carbs, fat and protein and my resulting keto score as measured by Akers Nano’s KetoFit. This is what happened to me…
Let’s call my beginning diet days a prep for carb restriction as I was using the less restrictive Atkins carb counting method. I took a few days’ break to get my MCT oil, a new carb counting app and some more information. The variety of keto based diet approaches is huge! There is the standard ketogenic diet (SKD), a cyclical keto diet, a targeted keto diet, a high protein keto diet, paleo diets, intermittent fasting and the list goes on!! I chose the SKD and then realized I needed to understand “macros”.
"Macros" are the ratio of fat, protein and carbs in your daily total calorie intake. The goal of a keto diet is to have approximately 75% of your calories come from fats, 20% of calories come from protein and 5% of calories from net carbs (net carbs are the total grams of carbohydrates found on the nutrition fact label minus the grams of fiber). Fortunately, the app I chose tracks these macronutrients for you. While plenty of guidance is available on the web for beginners, it is not a quick diet to understand! Also, the amount of fat required is crazy! I can’t normally hit it which is why you need the MCT oil as a supplement. And in case it scares you – MCT oil is basically just coconut oil!! YEA! I avoided it initially because it sounded too close to STP and chemicals. Really, it’s something natural packaged to sound edgy!
Back to a real life example – me! I started hard core counting carbs and trying to hit macros using my carb counting app. It took me six days of eating between 16-28 carbs (my target was 23) to hit ketosis at a value of 8ppm (in breath). I took one day off to carb indulge and the NEXT DAY, I was 1ppm! It took me the next EIGHT days to get back to 6ppm! Then… things started happening and by day 10 of dieting, I was at 13ppm. YAHOO - not too shabby!! I don’t know what I would do without feedback of where my ketone level was – it helped to motivate and inform me! It really showed how important it is to try to hit those macro goals!
The following explains the meaning of the result numbers I have been babbling about. Most published data on ketosis relating to diet agree that blood ketone levels between 0.5-1.5 mmol/L (5-15ppm in breath) indicate nutritional ketosis. Levels greater than 1.5 mmol/L or 15ppm may increase weight loss, but also carry some health risks. Diabetics need to be careful of blood ketone values as it may lead to a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis. The Akers Nano KetoFit breath test correlates to the blood values and uses the same numerical scale when talking about ketosis.
More Fun Stuff
The more time you commit to looking into this, the more you find! There are tons of great blogs with recipes. Even long term keto folks need goodies and Bakers Gonna Bake! I can’t wait to try a keto pound cake!
One of my favorite new websites is this recipe nutrition calculator which helps you swap and compare ingredients.
Next time: supplements! More on MCT oil, endogenous ketones and magnesium. And since I have the experience (twice actually) the terrible truth about bounce back water weight gain!!!