Do you feel like a sacrificial lamb when on a diet to lose weight? Overly restrictive diets can take all the pleasure out of eating, and it is how eating disorders begin with people who are a little overweight trying to get healthy by “crash” dieting. Some of us have tried losing weight using “fad diets” that are not only harmful to our overall health, but most of them lack essential nutrients and worse, they teach you nothing about healthy food habits, about losing weight or keeping it off completely.
The ketogenic diet lives up to its promises. Not only has it been used for decades to treat various ailments and today, but health practitioners are also recommending the diet:
- For weight loss
- For improving blood sugar levels
- To alleviate perimenopause or menopausal symptoms
- To reverse neurological disorders and cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s and epilepsy
- To reduce the risks of heart diseases and strokes
- As an effective treatment for cancer
- To promote better sleep and much more
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that can literally shave off the ponds and save your life while at it. The most important factor in achieving ketosis in this diet is to minimize your card consumption, include coconut oil in your diet to increase your ketone levels, increase your healthy fat intake, and consume sufficient amounts of protein because excessive protein intake may suppress ketone production whereas consuming too little of it may lead to muscle loss – you definitely do not want that.
Unless you are a strict vegan, whether you are on a strict keto diet, modified keto diet or trying the intermittent fasting keto diet, pairing a ketogenic diet, which is primarily meat-based with keto side dishes of low-carb foods, fruits and vegetables is a breeze. The idea is to adhere to the keto diet food recommendations, and by so doing, you will not only burn fat, but you will also reduce the occurrence of diseases in your body.
Ketogenic rules are:
- Get plenty of organic grass-fed meat, fresh fish, poultry and raw dairy products
- Get enough healthy fats in your diets, such as coconut oil and avocado
- Make non-starchy vegetables your new best friend
- Snack on sprouted nuts, Chia seeds or flax seeds as they offer both nutritional and digestive benefits
If you are new to or are ready to start the keto diet, the following are examples of delicious keto side dishes that you can try. The idea is to find the ones that appeal the most you and make them your own.
Baked cauliflower with Parmesan cheese – Not only does this silky ketogenic side dish make the perfect alternative to your go-to mashed potatoes, it offers a gamut of health benefits. Cauliflower is one of the healthiest foods on earth that has the ability to ward off cancer, inflammation, heart disease, brain disease, and even weight gain. Parmesan cheese is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, and B vitamins.
Cauliflower rice is another thing to get. Sorry for going a bit heavy on cauliflower, but it almost has to be a staple of a ketogenic diet. You can make it yourself or you can just buy a steamable package of it from the frozen section, which is VERY convenient.
Cheesy scrambled eggs with chives – eggs are a versatile keto side dish for cooking and also one of the best sources of high-quality protein, including vitamin B2, B6, B12, vitamin D as well as selenium, zinc, iron, and copper. Chives are low in calories and high in beneficial nutrients like antioxidants, and minerals that offer numerous health benefits including bone health, the prevention of cancer, as well as sleep and mood enhancement.
Roast chicken with crispy kale and pomegranate salad – dark green veggies should make regular appearances in your ketogenic diet because they serve as excellent sources of vitamin K essential for blood coagulation, copper for your metabolism, vitamin A to maintain healthy skin cell function, and a generous amount of lotion and zeaxanthin for eye health and to reduce your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Chicken is one of the main components of weight loss. It is not only a good source of protein but is also very rich in vitamins and minerals that are important for regulating, improving the nervous system, preventing migraine, high cholesterol, and diabetes. The B vitamins found in chicken are beneficial in preventing cataracts, skin disorders, as well as boosting immunity.
Keto Side Dishes
Tuna steak with Brussel sprouts – the health benefits of tuna range from reducing cardiovascular conditions, stimulating growth and development, to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as in aiding weight loss. Thanks to the impressive levels of protein it contains, consuming tuna can improve overall metabolic efficiency and also boost energy levels.
Brussel sprouts – they contain special cholesterol-lowering properties and are linked to several health benefits. They are rich in vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and bone health. They are also high in vitamin C, which promotes iron absorption and supports tissue repair and immune function. Their impressive antioxidant content reduces oxidative stress in the cells and helps lower your risk of chronic disease. Brussels sprouts could help protect against certain types of cancer, promote digestive health, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Zucchini fries – this inexpensive vegetable makes a versatile keto side dish due to the fact that it can be eaten both raw and cooked. Zucchini contains good amounts of potassium that helps reduce blood pressure, it is incredibly low calories, and its fiber content helps in burning body fat making it an ideal vegetable choice for any weight loss goal. It also contains essential nutrients such as manganese, antioxidants like vitamin C and A. Zucchini also offers anti-inflammatory protection against leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcers. Therefore, swap potato fries for zucchini fries and enjoy them with either a low-carb keto chimichurri or on a bed of green salad with cubed ham and grated cheddar or Parmesan cheese.
How about creamed spinach? Check out keto.me for a delicious easy keto creamed spinach recipe.
Having restrictions on what you eat can be frustrating, but “dieting” longer means that you must eat cardboard-tasting food. Focus on what the ketogenic diet can do for your overall well-being. Your body will thank you for it.
More keto-friendly recipes: