Snacking and keto: is it allowed?


The simple answer is, yes.

Snacking on the ketogenic diet is most definitely allowed. However, since the ketogenic diet is so high in fats, most find that they dont need snacks to remain satiated until next meal. For those who are accustomed to snacking or hold busy schedules and may need snacks to get them through to their next meals, though, there are options one can indulge in and still remain in ketosis.

Here are a few important things to take into consideration in order to snack the right way on keto:

  1. Stick to macros: Make sure snacks are high in fat, low in carbs, and moderate in protein.
  2. Never go without keto-options: The last things you need is to be unprepared when hunger strikes in between meals. satisfying their hunger with the only easy and available options like bagels or bananas, kicking one out of ketosis.
  3. Dont overdue the prepackaged snacks: Yes, there are some healthier and keto-friendly packaged food options, but most packaged food contains preservatives and other added ingredients not as healthy for our bodies. Keep consumption of these products to a minimum.
  4. Take time to prep: Buying and prepping the right keto-friendly options can help one remain in ketosis by eating healthy snacks and avoid overconsumption of prepackaged snacks mentioned above.
  5. When in doubt, test: If you are not sure whether or not a snack option is keto-friendly, test your ketone levels (they wont lie).
  6. Not all low-carb snacks are created equal: Many low-carb snack options, like Atkins products, contain large amounts of protein and added ingredients to make up for lack of carbohydrates. Avoid
  7. Stick with a few basic rules-of-thumb: Stick to items with 5 or less ingredients. Stick to the outside circle of the grocery stores. Eat whole-food based snacks as much as possible. Avoid foods with large health food claims, most are false or have unnecessary added ingredients.

With these general guidelines in mind, we have included some great keto snacks below with some tips on how to keep each keto-friendly. It is important to have a few of these snacks on hand at all times to kick cravings and keep your body properly fueled but in ketosis throughout each day.

Store-bought Keto-Friendly Snacks:

  • Pork rinds
  • Seeds
  • Nuts or nut butters
  • Dark chocolate
  • Sardines
  • Pepperoni or salami
  • Cheese
  • Cacao nibs
  • Olives
  • Jerky
  • Seaweed
  • Hummus
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Veggie sticks
  • Avocados
  • Coconut chips

Homemade Keto-Friendly Snacks:

  • Fat bombs
  • Bulletproof coffee
  • Bacon
  • Kale chips
  • Celery and cream cheese
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Guacamole
  • Lettuce wraps
  • Berries and cream

Common snack foods to avoid on keto:

These options should be avoided as most contain large amounts of refined carbs and sugars)

  • Bananas or grapes
  • Cashews and peanuts
  • Juices and vitamin water
  • Caf Lattes
  • Potato chips
  • Donuts
  • Chocolate bars

In summary, if you feel the need to eat a snack on keto, just be prepared to have the right types of foods available. As always, preparation is key to you success. The more you think ahead, the more success you will have with you snacking on a keto diet.

Dr Jerry Hizon

How to make keto coffee

A morning coffee has become a staple for many around the world. When starting the keto diet, one of the biggest questions people have is: ‘Can I keep drinking my coffee when adopting keto?’

The good news is yes!

In fact, coffee can be a great addition to the keto diet as it can give one energy and keep one satiated until lunch when intermittent fasting.

However, there are certain things to take into consideration to make sure your morning coffee routine is keto-friendly.

What is keto coffee?

Keto coffee is essentially low carb and high fat, just like the keto diet. The low-carb aspect comes from using less milk and sugar. High fat usually entails the addition of unsweetened, full-fat heavy cream, MCT or coconut oil, or grass-fed ghee butter.

The basic keto coffee recipe consists of three ingredients: oil, butter, and coffee.

Typically a keto coffee contains about a tablespoon of MCT or coconut oil and a tablespoon of grass-fed butter or ghee per one to two cups of coffee. Some people blend these ingredients in a blender or Vitamix. Often this is called bulletproof coffee.

Other ways to keep your morning brew keto-friendly

  1. Use sugar-free sweeteners (like stevia or sugar-free flavored syrups)
  2. Use unflavored beans (most flavored have added sugars and carbs)
  3. Substitute milk or coffee creamers for almond milk, coconut milk, or heavy cream
  4. Avoid pre-made drinks or ingredients (most contain lots of added or hidden sugars and carbs)
  5. Add fats with coconut or MCT oil in hot coffee drinks or heavy cream in cold coffee drinks
  6. Add cinnamon (this can help add flavor without added carbs and possibly reduce the desire for sugar-filled syrups)

Keto-friendly options at your favorite coffee shop

  1. Espresso: Avoid milk altogether and drink shots of espresso with some added coconut or MCT oil.
  2. Cappuccino: With less milk, and more foam these are more keto-friendly than lattes. Use nut milk or heavy cream instead of milk for an additional reduction of carbs.
  3. Iced or hot americano: Order with a splash of heavy cream or coconut milk and sweeten with stevia or sugar-free syrups.
  4. Hot or cold tea: For a coffee alternative, teas can be ordered. Most are caffeinated and can be sweetened with sugar-free sweeteners.
  5. Coldbrew: The cold brewing process typically brings out the sweeter flavors of beans, helping you cut out carb-filled sweeteners. Add some extra fat with coconut milk or heavy cream.
  6. Lattes: Substitute milk for almond or coconut milk or heavy cream to keep carbs down and increase fat content.

For anyone wanting to being the keto diet, its good news to know that coffee and tea can be a part of the to the keto diet, and can add to the enjoyment.

Dr. Jerry Hizon

A Typical Day on the Keto Diet

Just like trying anything new, switching to the keto diet and getting used to what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat can be hard at first.

Rest assured, all of these things will become easier and habitual with time.

In this article, we have included what a typical day on the keto diet may look like.

These are just some examples of typical meals and snacks, as you delve into your ketogenic journey, you should adapt your diet to match your lifestyle.

A Typical Keto Breakfast

A lot of people who embark on the ketogenic diet incorporate intermittent fasting into their routines. This means that they typically don’t consume meals past 8:00 p.m. on a given day, and before 12:00 p.m. the next day. Often, this means skipping breakfast and just supplementing with a keto-coffee to get them through the morning until lunchtime.

Keto coffee is coffee with added (and sometimes blended for added creaminess) ghee, butter, MCT oil, or coconut oil. If one isn’t intermittent fasting, a typical keto breakfast consists of eggs and bacon cooked in butter or avocado oil.

Adding mushrooms or spinach to these egg scrambles for some fiber and added nutrients or avocado for some added fats is not uncommon.

A Typical Keto Lunch

A ketogenic lunch usually consists of a fatty cut of meat (80/20 steaks or chicken of fatty fish like salmon) coupled with a spinach salad or some form of low-carb vegetable and an additional fat source. To add an extra fat component salads and veggies are topped with a good amount of extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, coconut flakes, flax seed, sunflower seeds, or even avocado. Meats are often cooked in ghee, butter, or oil to add an additional source of good fats.

A Typical Keto Dinner

Dinner is typically similar to a ketogenic lunch, however often in more substantial portions since it is often the last meal until 12:00 p.m. the next day. It consists of a fatty protein, low carb vegetable, and an additional fat source.

Fatty steaks or chicken wings served with cauliflower rice and/or buttered zucchini noodles serves as an example. Adding dressings and sauces to these dishes can not only be used to add flavor, but also increase fat intake.

Typical Keto Snacks

Most of the time, snacks are not needed on the ketogenic diet, as the higher fat intake makes one feel satiated until the next meal. Common snack choices for the rare times one needs them include: a handful or two of nuts (especially macadamia nuts with their high omega-6 fats), an avocado with some olive oil and a sprinkle of Himalayan salt, hard boiled eggs, cured meats, cubed cheese, a spoonful of nut butter or some fat bombs.

Another common and recommended thing to have on hand, especially when first transitioning or when one has a busy schedule is MCT oil or supplements. These can help one kick carb cravings and remain in ketosis until the next meal.

Keto and Hydration

It is important to note that a typical ketogenic diet consists of lots of electrolytes and fluids to combat dehydration. That means drinking a large glass of water upon waking in the morning and before coffee or breakfast, adding salts to most food choices throughout the day, and consuming roughly 10-12 glasses of water minimum throughout the day.

So there you go, an example of a typical day on the ketogenic diet. Of course, these are just a guide to work with, and you will create your own version of the keto diet and lifestyle as you continue on your journey.

Dr Jerry Hizon

The Ketogenic Diet guide to Fats and Oils

Since adopting a ketogenic diet means switching ones diet to be mainly composed of fats, it is important to know the ‘good’ fats and oils (healthy) from the ‘bad’ fats and oils (ie. unhealthy) in order to make this switch in a healthy manner.

With this in mind, lets take a quick look at the types of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fats (and oils), their benefits, recommended uses based on their smoke points and the products that contain each to help you navigate this transition.

‘Good’ Fats and Oils

Fats considered good keto options for health purposes can be broken down into 4 categories: saturated fats, monosaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and naturally occurring trans fats.

The health benefits of ‘good fats’ include improved LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, increased immune function, maintenance of bone density, lowered blood pressure, reduced belly fat, reduced insulin resistance, etc.
Saturated fats (and oils)

Recommended use:
High temperature cooking
Sauting
Naking
Deep frying

Recommended sources:
Red meat (preferably grass-fed or organic)
Ghee
Butter
Lard
Cream
Eggs
Coconut oil or butter
Palm oil
Eggs
Cacao butter
MCT oil or powder
Raw, whole milk

Coconut oil is especially beneficial because it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that are readily broken down by the liver and used as a form of energy. MCT supplements can also be taken and are a great source of healthy saturated fats.

Monosaturated fats (MUFAs) and oils

Recommended use:
Cold use and light cooking
Simmer sauces and vegetables
Cold salad dressings
Baking
Finishing dishes
Nut and seed oils should be reserved only for cold use

Recommended sources:
Olives and extra virgin olive oil
Avocado and avocado oil
Macadamia nuts and macadamia nut oil
Goose fat
Lard and bacon fat
Duck fat
Cashews
Almonds
Brazil nuts
Pecans
Chicken fat

Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and oils

Recommended use:
Cold use and light cooking
Simmer sauces and vegetables
Cold salad dressings
Baking
Finishing dishes
Nut and seed oils should be reserved only for cold use

Recommended sources:
Olives and extra virgin olive oil
Flaxseeds and flaxseed oils
Walnuts
Wild, fatty fish (i.e. salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel)
Sesame oil
Chia seeds
Nut oils (not as many peanuts because high in Omega 6s)
Avocado oil
Krill oil
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds

Naturally occurring trans fats (and oils)

Recommended use:
High-heat or cold cooking

Recommended sources:
Grass-fed animal products (grain-fed animal products are high in Omega 6s)
Dairy (i.e. butter and full-fat yogurt)

‘Bad’ Fats and oils

‘Bad’ fats (ie. unhealthy) include processed trans and polyunsaturated fats. These should be avoided when increasing your fat intake on keto as they have negative health effects: increased risk of heart disease, increased risk of cancer, increased risk of diabetes, reduced HDL and increased LDL cholesterol, decreased gut health, increased inflammation, decreased immunity, etc.

Sources of processed trans and polyunsaturated fats to avoid:

Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
Margarine
Packaged crackers
Packaged cookies
Cottonseed oil
Sunflower oil
Safflower oil
Soybean oil
Canola oil
Fast food

As a general rule-of-thumb, avoid all packaged and processed snack foods. They usually contain processed trans and polyunsaturated fats.

In summary, as you increase your overall fat intake on the ketogenic diet, is important to increase saturated fats (i.e. butter, red meats, and coconut oil), monounsaturated fats (i.e. avocado and extra-virgin olive oil), polyunsaturated fats (i.e. salmon or flax seed), and naturally occurring trans fats (i.e. grass-fed animal products or dairy).

You should avoid processed trans and polyunsaturated fats (i.e. margarine or packaged snack foods). You must be careful in how you cook and use good’ fats, in order to receive their health benefits and avoid excess free radical consumption.

Dr Jerry Hizon