Looking around the low carb community these days, it is easy to see issues it just didn’t really have when I first started. In fact, there barely was one at that point.1This was in 2011. So it was not that it didn’t exist, just not as large. I had heard about it before, but essentially been warned it was unhealthy. The upside is that it is much easier to find information today, though at the same time there is much more crap to wade through too. Not least have the popularity meant there’s a fair bit of snake oil going around too2As a beginner stick with the “don’t buy stuff in packets” rule, and you should be fairly safe..
Since then I’ve come across many people doing various types of what, when I started, was called LCHF3Low Carb High Fat. These days the majority of the information I use and fund useful come in English rather than Swedish, so the term keto is now much more useful, and I prefer it.. A few friends even stepped straight from being vegan to becoming carnivore just like that. Unless you know you have that kind of personality, I don’t really recommend going that fast. Though there’s really nothing wrong with doing so, it’s just a bit of a shock to the system and can be tough to go through. Arguably my shift took too long, but a more step by step path is what I recommend friends who ask to do.
So you want to go low carb and eat Keto. How do you do that? My first introduction was simple. No starch or carbs, no grains, no tubers etc. Vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, poultry, full-fat dairy and nuts and seeds. When you first start out, there’s no reason to overcomplicate things! You could even boil it down to this:
- No processed foods. If it comes in a box from a factory, you probably shouldn’t eat it.
- No sugar. To make this easier, if you have a sweet tooth, go for sweetness. I agree they aren’t always that tasty, but at least they are nowhere near as harmful as sugar.
- Focus on getting more fat in your diet. You, like most of us, are probably scared to eat fat, but you shouldn’t. This is where your energy will come from now. Fat isn’t dangerous, it’s delicious!
Now, since the world is rather less grownup than it should be, I need to point out that I am not a doctor and that you should consult your doctor if you take any medications and so forth.
I am a big believer in doing my own research, and I’ve learned the hard way that in the end I am the one responsible for my body and I am the one who has to live with my choices.
I’ve tried a few times to mention my dietary choices to doctors4I live in Sweden, and the medical system here has a much better reputation than it deserves. I’ve practically never (as an adult) had the same doctor twice. It’s also a struggle to ask for things or tests even if you offer to pay for them. It’s gotten a little bit better with a few private clinics, but not a lot. and at best they are bemused, at worst they actively try to get me to eat bread and grains. It’s not pretty.
For great tips on how to start, or restart, you Keto lifestyle I recommend checking out Youtube, with a focus on Dr Ken Berry (all manner of low carb stuff) and Health Coach Kait (mostly carnivore, but very keto-friendly too5The difference is keto usually means you eat some plant stuff like vegetables and so on, whereas someone doing carnivore usually eat almost exclusively animal products. Personally I fall into the second category, though I occasionally enjoy keto treats, nuts and such.). For more general information and lots of other stuff, check out Diet Doctor (also available in Swedish and Spanish). There are tons of great resources out there, but for getting started you’ll get an excellent education with these.
A great idea to start is this: open your cupboard and throw out everything with carbs and sugar in it.