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Food Selection


Your Guide to a "Clean" Food Selection

"If It Fits Your Macros" (IIFYM) is not sufficient for a healthy diet. This applies in particular to the ketogenic diet. This section intends to give you orientation when choosing your foods and supplements, and for designing your meals. The weighting proposed in the following, and the usually characteristic nutrient profiles of the respective food (groups), will already give you a sound basis for your supply with nutrients and a "clean" and healthy ketogenic diet. The chapter Nutrient Management will give you more tips on how to adjust your nutrient supply optimally to your requirements.

Food Selection for a Clean Ketogenic Diet

Meal Groups 1
(protein comes from food you can buy in supermarkets)
(protein comes from food supplements)
If energy balance is even and ketogenic diet is permanent (average values) 70-100 % of total daily energy intake 0-30 % of total daily energy intake
Foods and foodgroups covered Subgroup A (40-90 %):
- Meat, fish, eggs
- Vegetables, herbs
- Olive oil, canola oil, butter
- Spices, salt
Subgroup B (10-30 %):
- Nuts or nut butters: hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts or other low-carb nuts
- Peanuts or peanut butter
Egg protein shakes with plant-based oils (e.g. canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, linseed oil, nut oils) and water
Proportion of the food in the meal groups Subgroup A:
- Meat/fish/eggs: 250-400 g per meal of this group (Regulation of the protein intake*)
- Vegetables: 300-500 g per meal of this group
- Plant-based oils/butter: "fill up" until the target energy quantity for the meal is reached*
*In case of a high energy requirement, the absolute protein content in this subgroup may be somewhat increased, since Subgroup B contains comparably more fat.

Subgroup B:
- Nuts/peanuts/nut and peanut butters: no further requirements, since these foods are generally consumed in separate meals
- Peanut paste/nut butter can be blended with a little butter or with Meal Group 2 (reduced water content!) in case it contains a higher (natural) amount of carbohydrates
- 4-9 wt. parts water*
- 1 wt. part vegetable oil
- 1 wt. part egg-protein powder
*In case of a high energy input per meal, prepare your egg-protein shake with less water.
Advantages of the single meal groups Meat/fish/eggs/vegetables:
- Relatively great variety due to various possibilities of combination and preparation
- easy/flexibly applicable on social occasions or when eating out in a restaurant
Nuts/peanuts/(pea-) nut paste:
- no preparation necessary
- Suited as a snack on trips
- Fast and easy preparation
- Good satiation
- Easy digestible
- No uric acid formation (applies to egg proteins based on chicken egg white)
- Control of the average fatty acid composition by determined selection of vegetable oils
- Daily energy intake easy to control
Beverages Make sure you drink enough liquid. You should be fine if you consume 2.5 to 3.0 liters of water per day from all drinks and food (you may need more in case of heavy sweating). Try to stick to mineral water or tap water. All beverages must be carb-free. Alcoholic beverages of any kind should be avoided on this type of diet (they inhibit the fat burning process and uric acid excretion). (Unsugared) tea or coffee, on the other hand, are fine.

rump steakMeal Group 1 - meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fats and vegetable oils:

Try to buy as few processed goods as possible. When it comes to meat and fish and eggs, prefer animal products of natural origin or animal welfare. In the ketogenic diet, fatty fish and meat ingredients make more sense than lean varieties. Offal (micronutrients) and meat with edible connective tissue components (amino acid ratio) also upvalue the nutritional composition. Minced meat, for example, works well. Packaged goods help to assess the properties of the product if there is a nutritional label. Try to only buy natural oils in dark bottles. Vegetables can be pre-packaged or frozen (without additives) or fresh.
The most gentle way of preparing food from Subgroup A is boiling or steaming. Meat and fish may also be either grilled or fried. Add vegetable oils afterwards. Sauces or marinades are mostly unsuitable, most spices are fine. Subgroup B: Use pure (100 %) (pea)nut butter and preferably natural nuts. When making your selection, check the carbohydrate content according to the product label.

Meal Group 2 - egg protein powder and high-quality vegetable oils:

When eating "normal" food, the body might also suffer some stress from certain substances if they are taken up in large amounts. Well-selected dietary supplements, on the other hand, can help supply the body with selected nutrients in a defined composition without putting additional strain on the body. Use these possibilities of food engineering for your diet. Egg protein powders (protein powder based on hen's egg egg white) egg protein powder are particularly suitable for this purpose in the ketogenic diet. These proteins are not uric acid builders (in contrast to meat, fish, soy protein), they do not lead to water retention under the skin (possible with dairy products and protein powders based on cow's milk) and are free of cholesterol. You can get good products from numerous suppliers of dietary supplements.

Preparation note:
The main raw material of the Egg protein powder is separated chicken egg white. In powder form, it is more difficult to dissolve than most protein powders from other sources. You should therefore prepare the egg protein shakes in a small electric mixer or, even better, with a powerful mixing wand. Handshakers are often less suitable. The recommended weight-related mixing ratio of oil:powder is always 1:1, regardless of the amount of water used. With the combination of nut butter and Meal Group 2 you can do without a electric mixer if you first stir vigorously the nut butter with the vegetable oil and the egg protein and then stir in a small amount of water. The amount of water should at least correspond to that of the vegetable oil, but may be higher depending on the Egg Protein product used and any thickening agents it contains, as well as the consistency of the nut butter used. You can decide whether to change the consistency when stirring in. You cannot do without vigorously stirring in a small amount of water, as this causes the necessary emulsification of the components, without which you should not consume the mixture.

Foods you do not need:

As you can see, some foods (groups) are completely missing in the table above. These are in particular the typical carbohydrate suppliers such as cereals and their products (bread, pasta, rice, etc.), fruit, most legumes, sweets and beverages containing carbohydrates. Ready meals and preparations usually also fall into this category. You have to avoid these foods because of their carbohydrate content.
In addition, you should only consume milk and milk products (possible water retention under the skin) (except butter) as well as heavily processed fish and meat products in small quantities, even if they have a low carbohydrate content, or maybe you can do without them entirely.

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