You can eat a healthy, well-balanced diet without grain and starch. What nutrients are in those grains and starches, and how will we be able to get them when we aren’t eating them anymore? Having a well-balanced and healthy diet is always of precedence in any well-rounded nutrition plan, and the ketogenic diet is no exception. As the title suggests, balanced nutrition can be accomplished easily within the ketogenic lifestyle parameters.
The largest nutrient we’ll be missing is carbohydrate. Our body requires protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, water, and even a rock, which is what salt is, but we do not require carbohydrate. It’s the vitamins and minerals that are easily accessible through carbohydrate rich foods that we must make sure to include when switching over to a ketogenic diet.
The main contribution that most grains and starches have to offer are B vitamins, and minerals such as phosphorus, and potassium. If we are consuming nuts and seeds, as well as low glycemic fruits and vegetables, eggs, some full fat dairy, and lean meats, then those nutrients are easily replaced. What happens when the carbohydrate is removed from the meal, is that a wider variety of foods take their place. Instead of bread, pasta, and potatoes, there are more green vegetables, seeds and nuts. These options provide far greater nutritional value than grains and starches.
As a matter of fact, nuts alone will provide us with all the vitamins and minerals we would normally get from grains. A good amount of what is in those processed grain based products is added vitamins and minerals. The way our body best absorbs and utilizes nutrients is through natural sources. A ketogenic diet is based around natural food sources, and is most effective without any processed products.
The other criticism of a ketogenic lifestyle is that the diet is too limiting. This is patently false. A diet of bread, pasta, and potatoes is limiting. A diet based around vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, eggs, some dairy, and lean meats, is actually every food source that is available except for processed foods. Even some grains like quinoa, and natural oatmeal can be included if we use them as additions, and not the focus of a meal.
Another knock on this diet is lack of fiber. Regarding fiber, I think you’ll find that due to the fact you aren’t filling up on bread, pasta, and potatoes, you’re now consuming more vegetables. Eating a head of broccoli more than makes up for the fiber that needs replacing, not to mention things like phytonutrients, flavonoids, and estrogen lowering compounds that are found in cruciferous vegetables.
As you can see it is easy to replace the nutrients that are in the bread, pasta, and potatoes. When choosing a ketogenic lifestyle we are making a clear choice to eat more healthily. In essence, all that is being removed from the type of ketogenic diet that I endorse is processed foods. If the food is one of the natural food sources available to us, then it’s the right choice for both this diet, and our body.