The ketogenic diet is a topic that’s been covered extensively here at Sporteluxe. It advocates a high fat, moderate protein and low carb approach to eating and shifts the body away from relying on carbohydrates for energy, instead burning fat for fuel, a metabolic process called ketosis. In fact, Google searches for ‘keto’ increased by 218% in the past year!* so there’s no doubt that it’s rapidly building momentum.
Just a quick recap: For ketosis to take place, carbohydrate intake needs to be dramatically reduced to 50g per day or less. To put that into perspective, that’s approximately 1 cup of cooked brown rice OR 2 slices of wholegrain bread (for the whole day)!
In terms of protein, you only need enough to cover your daily requirements, around 0.8-1.2g of protein per kg of bodyweight, depending on daily activity. If you eat too much protein, there’s a risk that your body will convert the extra protein into glucose, which the body takes on as carbohydrate and could kick you out of ketosis!
This might sound a little complicated but it’s actually pretty straightforward—if you stick to eating lots of fresh, seasonal produce (mostly veggies), good quality protein sources (but not too much) and heaps of healthy fats (avocado, nuts, butter) then you’re on the right track.
Things can become tricky when you’re ‘on-the-go’ and options are limited, so we’ve called in the help of nutritionist, exercise physiologist and co-founder of Chief Nutrition Veronika Larisova to run us through her top 5 snacks for anyone following a ketogenic diet:
Who doesn’t love a good dollop of guacamole on… well, anything?! Scoop the flesh of an avocado (approx. ½ avo per person) and mash it in a small bowl, leaving some chunks. Add some finely chopped tomato, red onion, coriander and the juice of a lime and give it a good mix before serving with veggie sticks—we love celery and cucumber!
Look at labels! Unlike most other snack bars on the market, Chief’s Collagen Protein bar doesn’t contain dates or other dried fruit so the sugar content is around 2g per bar, which is extremely low. The high fat content in this bar comes from the nuts and MCT oil and carbs are kept well below 6g.
Quark is a dairy product, somewhere between cottage cheese and yoghurt. It’s naturally high in protein and low in carbohydrate, securing its spot as a popular snack for the health conscious! Combine 50-100g quark with a drop of stevia and a touch of raw cacao and/or cinnamon (to taste) et voila!
This one takes a little prep but we promise it’s worth it! Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and transfer the mixture, pressing it flat to the tray:
Bake at 180 degrees for 45min, then let it cool for 15min before enjoying. Serve with nut butter, quark or that tasty homemade guac!
Shop-bought trail mix is usually full of hidden sugars, salts and preservatives which can jeopardise your ketogenic state. Take control and make up a big batch of your own at home so you can portion it up and enjoy it on-the-go. Take your pick of nuts and seeds as the base, you can roast in different herbs or spices to mix things up! Try adding toasted seaweed strips, some biltong or a few dried coconut flakes (no added sugar). If you’re short on time, grab a meaty Chief Bar—the idea for the original meat bar actually came when Veronika was preparing to trek the Kokoda trail and couldn’t find any healthy snacks to take!
*Google Trends data comparing searches for the work ‘keto’ between Aug 2016-Jul 2017 (843) and Aug 2017-Jul 2018 (2,678).