Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Ketogenic Diet Food List

What to eat on a Ketogenic Diet?

Contrary to popular belief, there is an abundance of deliciously healthy, low carbohydrate food choices available for those that choose the Ketogenic Diet. The Keto Diet requires you to choose foods that in total do not exceed 30 grams of carbohydrates per day. This will keep your insulin low and keep you in at least a partial state of ketosis in order to burn fat. 

This Keto Diet Food List is not all-inclusive obviously, there is an almost infinite variety of foods that are reasonably low carbohydrate and keto friendly. Most items are on this list are relatively easy to find and all are acceptable keto food items.

Keto Diet Foods

I am going to break the food into three groups. The Gold Standard Group is the cream of the crop foods, immensely healthy and very conducive to good health. The best of the best, but also the most expensive and sometimes harder to find. This is where you will find your organic, free range, wild caught, grass-fed keto food products.

The Everyday Group is foods that will likely make up the majority of your Ketogenic Diet. This group is keto friendly and relatively inexpensive, but not quite as supremely healthy as the Gold Standard group. This category is not necessarily grass-fed, pasture raised or organic.

How to Start Keto

The Dirty Keto Food Group is still low carb, but it includes foods that might not be quite as healthy. This is your least expensive Keto Food list and we all eat from this group from time to time. When eating out it's very hard not to eat dirty keto because most restaurants cook with cheap, unhealthy vegetable oils. This is also sometimes called lazy keto. The dirty keto group could raise inflammation in the body if you consume unhealthy oils.

Keto lettuce wrap cheeseburger

Above: Grass-fed beef patty, cheese, onions, tomato slice, avocado, bacon, fried egg, seared jalapeno on a bed of lettuce.

The Keto Diet Gold Standard Foods:

  • Wild caught sockeye salmon, trout, mackerel, herring and sardines
  • Beef Liver
  • Broccoli and alfalfa sprouts
  • Avocados
  • Organic, extra virgin, cold pressed,  olive and avocado oil
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Free range, cage-free chicken eggs
  • Grass-fed, organic, whole milk kefir
  • Organic, greens: dandelion, mustard, collard, turnip
  • Kimchi, natto, sauerkraut
  • Cheese: Gouda, Brie, Jarlsberg, Edam
  • Fermented Beet Kvass
  • Organic Kale
  • Organic asparagus
  • Organic Mushrooms
  • Organic Spinach
  • Organic broccoli
  • Organic cucumber
  • Organic red peppers
  • Olives and organic cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Free range organic chicken legs, wings, and thighs
  • Organic golden flax seed meal
  • Organic gum acacia
  • Organic Chia seeds and hemp hearts
  • Grass-fed ghee
  • Organic, virgin, cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil
  • Macadamia nuts and walnuts
  • Organic, pure, unsweetened, Cocoa powder
  • Raw garlic
  • Himalayan Pink salt, pepper, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, basil, cumin, ginger, parsley
  • Organic apple cider vinegar

The Everyday Keto Food List:

  • Fish and seafood
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Chicken (legs, thighs, wings)
  • Eggs
  • Bacon and bacon grease
  • Beef tallow
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Green peppers
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Eggplant
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Red onions
  • Cauliflower
  • Green beans
  • Beef tallow
  • Olives and avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Pecans, brazil nuts
  • Cheese (hard)
  • Berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries) 
  • Lemon water
  • Zevia
  • Bubly

Keto Ribeye Steak, avocado and cauliflower rice

The Dirty Keto Food Group

  • Lunchmeat
  • Sausage
  • Hot dogs
  • Bacon
  • Pork rinds
  • Soft cheese
  • Sliced cheese
  • Keto snacks (packaged)
  • Cream Cheese
  • Bulletproof coffee
  • Fat bombs
  • Restaurant or fast food
  • Vegetable oil (soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, canola, corn, peanut, sesame, rice bran oil)
  • Artificial sweeteners: Aspartame, Sucralose, Splenda, Saccharin, Sorbitol, Xylitol

Keto-Diet Foods
Salmon and Cream Keto Diet Recipe

Salmon and Cream Keto Diet Recipe

This is one of my favorite everyday Keto Diet recipes. The beauty of this recipe is the versatility.  Without a doubt, this is my go-to keto diet food recipe. You can switch out the salmon for almost any other meat. Pork chops and chicken thighs are an outstanding alternative for the salmon. Also, you can switch out almost any other vegetable for the spinach. Brussel sprouts or broccoli are a good vegetable alternative.

The Recipe:

1. Add 1/4 stick of salted butter in a large frying pan. Heat and melt the butter, but not hot enough for the butter to start smoking. Sear the salmon in the hot pan, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the salmon and set aside. Note: You can substitute olive oil for butter if you would like, but I think it tastes better with butter.

2. Add to the frying pan: minced garlic, black pepper, chopped onions (to taste) and a teaspoon of red pepper flakes. (skip the red pepper flakes if you don't like it spicy).

3. Cut in half, 1 full cup of cherry tomatoes and add the tomatoes to the pan.

4. Add to the pan: 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, 1/2 stick of cream cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese or whatever cheese you have available. (See in the photo above I used Babybel cheese)

5. Simmer for about ten minutes until the cream cheese is melted and then put the Salmon back in the pan. Put as much spinach in the pan as you can and cook the spinach down. Add more spinach if desired and add additional salt and pepper for taste.

6. Simmer for about 10 more minutes (approximately) and enjoy.

Caution: This meal is very rich and it won't take much for you to feel satisfied, so don't put too much on your plate. Remember, only eat until you are full.

How to Get Started on the Ketogenic Diet (Video)

Robert N. Bryant

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Beware of Dirty Keto

So what is Dirty Keto?

Dirty Keto is choosing poor quality fatty foods on the Ketogenic Diet that increase inflammatory and free radical damage. 

Understanding the difference between good fats and bad fats are paramount to long-term good health.

Those of us on the Ketogenic Diet are increasing our intake of dietary fat to use as energy. Using fat as energy lowers our blood sugar and subsequently lowers our insulin. 

Keeping our bodies in a low insulin state is one of the secrets to fat loss, lower inflammation, and improvements in insulin sensitivity. Eating plenty of fat, especially in the beginning can help you get Fat or Keto-Adapted.


There is a difference between good fats and bad fats. 

Introducing Dirty Keto:

Eating just any fats for the sake of getting enough fat into your diet is called Dirty Keto.

Eating excessive bad fats causes free radicals and they have been linked to a whole host of negative health issues including inflammation, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and autoimmune diseases like asthma.

Too much bad fats cause free radicals and oxidative stress:

This study clearly shows an imbalance in the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio Increases the Risk of Obesity.

A balance between free radicals and antioxidants is essential for optimal physiological function. The free radicals have to be regulated by antioxidants, if not, then you have oxidative stress that creates dangerous free radicals. The standard American diet consists of about an 15:1 Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio. The recommended ratio is about 1:1. Omega 3 fatty acids and omega 9 fatty acids help fight free radicals by acting as antioxidants.

Omega 9 fatty acids:

Commonly referred to as monounsaturated fatty acids, omega 9 fatty acids can be found in red meat, whole milk products, nuts, and high-fat fruits such as olives and avocados, olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, macadamium nuts, and beef tallow. This information from Wikipedia shows that foods containing monounsaturated fats reduce low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol (LDL), and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) good cholesterol. The HDL is needed to carry the LDL back to the liver and prevents cardiovascular disease. Eating good fats can raise your HDL. Avocados are one of the healthiest foods on the planet for good reason.

nuts on the Ketogenic diet

This study on PubMD titled Good Fats versus bad fats, concludes that Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in vegetable oils may contribute to obesity.  Olive and avocado oil are mono-unsaturated fatty acids.  Research shows that they may benefit insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation. In addition, omega-3 fats from fish and fish oil have been proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Watch this video to see some excellent examples of healthy fats to eat:

Ketogenic diet fat ratio

This study on PubMD shows that heating oils past their smoke point can cause oxidative stress and contribute to cardiovascular disease.

These are the 4 best oils for cooking:
 (in degrees F):
  • Avocado 520
  • Ghee 482
  • Mustard 480
  • Palm 455 

A further study on Omega 3 fatty acids shows that omega 3 fatty acids slow the formation of proinflammatory markers and scavenge free radicals. The bottom line is that omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and oxidation of the low-density lipoprotein particles. 

"To sum it up:  When looking at total cholesterol, if you have high HDL and are eating the right ratio of healthy fats, you are far less likely to have a negative cardiovascular event."

add Krill oil to a Keto Diet

Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglycerides, blood pressure, blood clotting, decrease stroke and heart failure risk and improve insulin sensitivity. 

The highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are in:
  • Krill
  • Salmon 
  • Herring
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Trout

*Try to get your fish in the "wild caught state." For example, my favorite fish is salmon and a 4-ounce serving of salmon provides 2,400 mg omega-3s. The "farms raised" fish are grown in crowded pens where they are treated with antibiotics and eat a less healthy grain-based diet.

Don't forget about plant sources:

Plant sources of omega 3 fatty acids are excellent because they can also give you prebiotic fiber that strengthens your intestinal flora and can prevent constipation on the Ketogenic Diet.  However, the problem with plant sources is they don't actually contain omega 3 fatty acids. They contain ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). 

ALA has to be converted to omega 3s (EPA and DHA) by enzymes. So only about 9-14% of the ALA is actually converted to omega 3 fatty acids. Plus plant sources can increase blood levels of ALA and EPA but not necessarily DHA. So make sure you are supplementing your plant sources with animal sources.

Here are the best plant sources of ALA:
  • Flaxseed Meal
  • Chia seeds
  • Algae oil
  • Hemp hearts
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Walnuts
  • Perilla Oil

The bottom line is to keep your fat intake balanced, don't eat Dirty Keto. Increase your intake of omega 3 and omega 9 fats and lower your intake of omega 6 fats and you will have long term, healthy success on the Ketogenic Diet.

Robert N. Bryant

Sunday, March 3, 2019

How to Improve Keto Digestion

What if I told you that healing your gut microbiome could save your life?

Yes, your immune system lives in your stomach. An emerging area of medical science is the understanding of our gut biome. It seems almost weekly, a new scientific study shows there is a link between our gut microbiome and optimum health.

                “Boosting bifidobacteria has a number of benefits including helping to reduce the population of potentially damaging bacteria, enhancing bowel movements, and actually helping boost immune function.”  Dr. David Perlmutter, MD

Chronic constipation affects approximately 25% of all adults. People are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating, diarrhea and general abdominal pain.

Walk down the aisle of any health or grocery food store and you will see the products that are being sold to help people with digestion. Probiotics, fibers, enzymes, acid reducers, stool softeners, Dulcolax, Senokot, Miralax, Milk of Magnesia and Glycerine suppositories.

You don't need drugs, pills or supplements to heal your gut and improve digestion.

The human body has a symbiotic relationship with billions of microorganisms.

The definition of symbiotic is: "Denoting a mutually beneficial relationship between different people or groups.

It's mutually beneficial. We give the microbes somewhere to live and give them food to eat and they help us digest the food we eat. These little fellas are called our gut microbiome. They live mostly in the large intestines and mouth, but they can also be found in the genital tract and even on the skin. Scientists are finding out that these microbes do far more than just help us digest our food.

Does our intestinal microbiota determine if we're fat or lean?

I dissected a study from the Scientific American that showed how gut biome might play a role in obesity. The study involved twins, both lean and obese, and it was found that the gut microbiome in the lean people was much more diverse than those in obese people. The lean individuals had a massive colony of Bacteroidetes, which is a microbe that targets plant starches and fibers. Their digestive system utilized the starches as energy more efficiently than the obese, who passed more of the starches without absorbing the nutrients.

Video on How to Prevent Keto Constipation

Our Microbes help fight against Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Research shows a healthy gut microbiome can prevent and heal IBSThe mostly anaerobic microbiota of the colon contains a diverse colony of metabolically active bacteria and fungi that closely interact with our immune system. IBS, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and pouchitis appears to be a negative pathogenic immune response or immunoregulation. Poor microbial composition and function contribute to IBS occurrence. Improving the diversity of our gut microbiome (microbial biotherapy) has been shown to limit the preponderance and severity of IBS.

The link between our gut microbiota and Alzheimer's.

Emerging science is showing the link between healthy gut microbes and neurodegenerative diseases. There appears to be cross-talk between the gut and the brain (gut-brain axis). Microbial biotherapy is showing promise as a possible future treatment to improve brain gene expression and restoring neuronal pathways in people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.

This study published on PubMed, was kind of hard to read because it involved rats, but the rats were given probiotic biotherapy (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium).  The data indicated that this probiotic formulation improved the gut-brain axis and suggest that improving gut microbiome could play a therapeutic role in improving some neurodegenerative conditions. More studies with humans are obviously needed, but the preliminary research looks promising.

There's some big money being thrown at these little microbes.

The billionaire Bill Gates, (founder of Microsoft) has been investing in microbial biotherapy for about 10 years. Gates feels that he's on to something. He predicted that "we will get a breakthrough" in nutrition in the coming decade. He recently said he thinks we can revamp the inner workings of our guts by seeding the microbial colonies that live inside us.

Video on How to Improve Keto Digestion

Improving your gut microbiome will also greatly reduce Keto Constipation.

So how can we improve our gut-health without drugs or pills?

Give the microbes a good place to live and thrive.

  1. Cut out the things that kill them like:
  2. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like Advil, Aleve, Motrin, etc.
  3. Antibiotics (only take them when absolutely necessary).
  4. Artificial sweeteners like Splenda.
  5. Antacids for heartburn, like Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, etc. 
  6. Prescription medicine for acid reflux like Nexium, Prilosec, etc.
  7. Processed foods and excess refined sugar.
  8. Lower your intake of inflammatory omega 6 fats.

Make sure we have enough prebiotics and probiotics.

  1. Seed your stomach periodically with probiotics to nurture the gut microbiome.
  2. Eat fermented foods like Kimchi, Pickles, Sauerkraut, Beet Kvass, Greek yogurt and most importantly, whole milk, grass-fed Kefir.
  3. Eat prebiotics foods with Inulin and oligofructoses like asparagus, chicory root, garlic, onions, leeks, Jerusalem artichoke, and dandelion greens. 
  4. Get some N-butyrate. It is a short-chain fatty acid that heals the cells that line the gut. Butyrate can be found in vegetables like green beans, and leafy greens. It's also present in milk fat like cheese, heavy whipping cream, butter, and whole milk Kefir. Look for grass-fed dairy, it's much more healthy than grain fed dairy.
  5. Take glutamine and collagen peptides to heal your gut lining. This study showed that individuals with IBS had lower levels of serum collagen. Also, this additional study showed that Glutamine also improved symptoms of IBS.

Video on How to Make Milk Kefir

Another amazing probiotic is Beet Kvass. It is a supplement over 1000 years old and is credited for helping some people in Russia and Ukraine in living past 100 years old. It contains probiotics, betaine, trimethylglycine, antioxidants, phytochemicals, nitric oxide and a whole host of vitamins and minerals.

Video on How to Make Beet Kvass

There you have it, some tips for improving your Keto-Digestion. For more information, read this article on How to prevent constipation on the Keto Diet.

Robert N. Bryant
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