There are foods that have been recommended as healthy, beneficial and generally good for us. And while many are on the generally approved list of foods to eat on the ketogenic, low carb/high fat (LCHF) diet, many are not. To people who have read a bit about what to avoid when keeping carbohydrates very low, many of the foods not on the approved list will be of no surprise: grains, even so-called 'healthy whole grains, milk (although heavy cream is allowed), potatoes, etc., But a couple of food groups that aren't on the allowed list raise the eyebrows of some. No fruit? And what about nuts? Aren't those foods super good for you?
I'm going to write what works for me. We are all different. Oh, so very, very different.
Nuts are not on 'page 4' *. As the mantra in the video that started me on this adventure states, "If it's not on Page 4, don't eat it". So I didn't eat nuts when I began. That was 85 pounds ago. In the time - and pounds since - I've very occasionally munched on a few. Lovely Mate eats a few every day and the cookies I bake for him are made from home ground almond meal. He eats three or four cookies each night with coffee.
So, what's up with that? Nuts aren't on the approved list and yet maybe it's okay? I can hear it now, "I just want to know what to eat. Now you're muddying things up."
And I am. But with an explanation as to how we found this 'loophole'.
It's not really a loophole. We came to the realization what our tolerance for nuts are because we pay close attention to our progress - or lack thereof - and we measure. We measure our ketones. And learned to measure the nuts. (Have you any idea how few nuts are in a serving? Holy guacamole. Not many! Enter one of my favorite Keto Tools page, and as describe on this post)
Here's what my experience was: I started with very strict adherence to eating only those foods on the allowed list and logged my weight daily onto my Massive Spreadsheet. As the weight came off and I learned more about the physiology of ketosis, I started measuring my ketones, first using urine test strips and then by blood test strips. I have been in ketosis as measured by blood without exception (other than one day which I will write about in the future) since I first tested. So, realizing that I was on the correct path in regards to the program by both weight loss and the benefits of ketosis, I could start tweaking. Same for Lovely Mate. The results are that LM can tolerate a few loose almonds a day and enjoy his almond cookies without weight or ketosis impact. Me? Not so much. Mostly because I find nuts easy to overeat and to do so mindlessly. (Tip: The lid of the large container of nuts from Costco is NOT the proper measuring device!)
This is why I really believe in measuring ketones and why I weigh every day. If things go sideways and I didn't have a baseline from which to compare, it would be a lingering question as to what happened. And since we are all different, we need to figure out what works for us.
Now, about the fruit issue...... (to be continued) :)
* caveat: the attachment I include is my take on 'page 4'. You can get a more authoritative version here. Scroll to the bottom of the page and request the materials.
The information I present here is based on my own experiences and personal research. While I’ve been fortunate to have exposure to leading researchers, physicians and journalists regarding the ketogenic specifically and LCHF (low carb/high fat) more generally, we are all responsible for our own choices, including what we put in our mouths. I welcome questions, comments and even civil criticism. I’m still learning. So, if you have something to add, go for it. Thanks! - Casey