Ketogenic Diet + Low Carb Key Lime Pie Recipe
What is Ketosis?
KetosisThe “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it makes the body produce small fuel molecules called “ketones” . This is an alternative fuel for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply.
Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar).
Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel throughout the body, including the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day2, and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose… or ketones.
On a ketogenic diet your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Insulin levels become very low and fat burning increases dramatically. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is obviously great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there are also other less obvious benefits, like for example less hunger and a steady supply of energy.
When the body produces ketones it’s said to be in ketosis. The fastest way to get there is by fasting – not eating anything – but obviously it’s not possible to fast forever.
A ketogenic diet, on the other hand, can be eaten indefinitely and also results in ketosis. It has many of the benefits of fasting – including weight loss – without having to fast.
Note of Caution
Who should NOT do a ketogenic diet?
Most people can safely do a ketogenic diet. But in these three situations you may need extra preparation or adaptation:
- Are you on medication for diabetes, e.g. insulin?
- Are you on medication for high blood pressure?
- Are you breastfeeding?
You should check with your physician if you have any concerns about starting a ketogenic diet plan with pre-existing health conditions, especially if those conditions involve kidney or heart problems. People with kidney disease should definitely consult with their physician about starting a ketogenic diet.
The Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
The benefits that come from a ketogenic diet are similar to those of any strict low-carb diet. However, the effect might be even greater since protein is more restricted. This raises ketones more, and lowers insulin (the fat-storing hormone) more.
1. Weight loss
Weight-lossTurning your body into a fat-burning machine has obvious benefits for weight loss. Fat burning is vastly increased while insulin – the fat storing hormone – levels drop greatly. This creates ideal circumstances in which fat loss can occur, without hunger.
2. Diabetes type 2 reversal
reverse-t2-diabetes-1200A ketogenic diet is excellent for reversing type 2 diabetes, since it lowers blood sugar levels and the negative impact of high insulin levels.
3. Improved mental focus
Ketosis results in a steady flow of fuel (ketones) to the brain. And on a ketogenic diet you avoid big swings in blood sugar. This often results in the experience of increased focus and improved concentration.
A lot of people specifically use keto diets specifically for increased mental performance.
4. Increased physical endurance
Ketogenic diets can vastly increase your physical endurance, by giving you constant access to all the energy of your fat stores.
The body’s supply of stored carbohydrates (glycogen) only lasts for a couple of hours of intense exercise, or less. But your fat stores carry enough energy to easily last for weeks or even months.
When you’re adapted to burning primarily carbohydrates – like most people are today – your fat stores are not easily available, and they can’t fuel your brain. This results in constantly having to fill up by eating before, during and after longer exercise sessions. Or even just to fuel your daily activities and avoid “hanger” (hungry and irritable).
On a ketogenic diet this problem is solved. As the body and brain can easily be fueled 24/7 by your powerful fat stores, you can keep going forever like the Energizer Bunny.
Whether you are competing in a physical endurance event, or just trying to stay focused on reaching some other goal, your body has the fuel it needs to keep you going and going.
5. Metabolic syndrome
There are many studies showing that low-carb diets improve markers of metabolic syndrome such as blood lipids, insulin levels, HDL-cholesterol, LDL particle size and fasting blood sugar levels. Improvements have been shown to be even greater when carbs and protein are restricted to a the point of being steadily in nutritional ketosis.
The ketogenic diet is a proven medical therapy for epilepsy that has been used since the 1920s. Traditionally it has mainly been used in children with uncontrolled epilepsy despite medication.
More recently it has also been tested successfully by adults with epilepsy, with similar good results. There are many randomized controlled trials that demonstrate the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet in decreasing seizures in patients with epilepsy.
Using a ketogenic diet in epilepsy is that usually allows people to take less anti-epileptic drugs, while remaining seizure-free. It’s not unusual to even be able to completely stop taking these drugs while staying seizure-free.
As all anti-seizure medications have side effects – like drowsiness, reduced concentration, personality changes or even reduced IQ – being able to take less or no drugs can be hugely beneficial.
9 Common Ketogenic Diet Mistakes That You Can Easily Avoid
1. Not Getting Enough Essential Electrolytes
When we eliminate carbohydrates from our diet, our body stops holding onto essential electrolytes and flushes them out, along with all that water that high carb diets cause you to hold onto. In particular, the body’s primary electrolyte; sodium. One of the most common ketogenic diet mistakes is not replenishing our electrolytes and eliminating salt from our diets (like we’ve been conditioned). Make sure you replace your electrolytes to stave off the dreaded keto flu.
2. Extreme Calorie Restriction
Initially, you should ignore calorie restriction all together while you adapt to a low-carb, high-fat way of eating. Even then, calorie restriction should be a careful calculation, just enough to lose excess weight.
Remember the ketogenic diet has a tendency to blunt hunger pangs through its suppression of the hunger hormone “ghrelin”. With a little attention and not much effort, you can adapt to not over eating naturally, without making it a chore. Over the top calorie restriction is not only a big ketogenic diet mistake but is responsible for the failure of so many other diets.
3. Excluding Good, Nutritious, High Fiber, Cruciferous Vegetables From Your Diet
A big misconception, that many who haven’t cared to read into ketogenic dieting make, is that people on the diet don’t get enough fiber and vitamins from vegetables. They assume because it is a high-fat, low-carb diet that the keto diet doesn’t include vegetables. They’re completely and utterly wrong. Make sure you get a good serving of vegetables with your meals, you need them!
4. Eating Too Many Omega 6 Heavy Foods
Understand that Omega 6 Fatty Acids are inflammatory and they counteract Omega 3’s. Consuming high amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids through foods such as peanuts, peanut oil and walnuts can see you with aching joints, especially if you’re a regular exerciser and on the other side of 40. Get lots of healthy Omega 3’s for heart health, joint function, and general well-being.
5. Focusing On The Scales
Yes, most people will see a dramatic weight loss in the initial weeks of starting a ketogenic diet. That weight loss will mostly be water.
Do yourself a favor, get rid of the scales and replace them with a measuring tape, skin fold calipers and, a camera. Your main focus now should be inches, not pounds or kilos!
You will be sorely disappointed if you watch the scales alone as the ketogenic diet is known for preserving muscle.
6. Eating 6 Meals a Day
We’ve all heard it and its a complete and utter nonsense that we should be eating 6 meals a day. Do not force feed yourself. Eat when you’re hungry, do not starve, eat no more, no less.
Simply fuel your body, it will tell you when it needs food.
7. Eating Too Much Protein
Use our Keto Calculator and stick to your macros, too much protein will prevent ketosis and can indeed prevent fat loss by stopping fat from being our primary source of fuel. Protein can absolutely be converted to fuel; we only need enough of it to maintain muscle mass.
8. Cheat Days
While there “might” be some argument for performance athletes or bodybuilders to carb load, but for the average Joe, cheat days are complete and utter nonsense and the perfect way to sabotage your diet.
Think about this, do alcoholics have cheat days? NO! So why would you get stuck into that addictive carb-loaded pizza and garlic bread on a Sunday, only to have to start all over again on Monday? (Warning: You will feel quite sick the next day by the way if you do).
9. Finally, Pushing The Keto Diet Onto Others Unsolicited
That’s right, no one likes to be told what they’re doing is wrong, even if you’ve got good intentions. Everyone has their own opinion on what the best diet plan is, regardless of whether they’re right or wrong.
Let your results speak for themselves, and people will come to you wanting to know how you got that amazing figure while eating delicious bacon and eggs.
The last thing you want to do is repel people and invite unwanted conflict into your life with unsolicited advice to somebody slurping on a smoothie next to you in the gym. Go about your business and reap the rewards.
Low Carb Key Lime Pie – Step by Step Recipe
Ingredients for your Low Carb Key Lime Pie:
7 ounces of Almond Meal
1/4 cup of Golden Flaxseed Meal, that you can get here
1 tablespoon of Natvia
3 ounces of Butter, melted
14 ounces of Sugar-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup of Heavy Cream
1/2 cup of Key Lime Juice (approximately 4 Key Limes)
4 teaspoons of Key Lime Zest (approximately 2 Key Limes) For zesting limes you can use a zesting tool but we find that a microplane produces a finer zest.
7 fluid ounces of Heavy Cream
Instructions For Making Your Low Carb Key Lime Pie:
Preheat fan forced oven to 170C/340F.
Combine almond meal, flax meal and nativia then mix well.
Add the melted butter and mix well.
Pour mixture into the base of a spring form pan and press into the base and at least 1in up the sides.
Bake the crust for 12 minutes, or until golden and firm. Set aside to cool.
Key Lime Pie Filling:
Reduce the oven temperature to 150C/300F.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar-free sweetened condensed milk in a stand mixer on medium speed. You can find the stand mixer we use here on Amazon or for something more budget conscious a hand mixer like this one will suffice.
Drop the speed to low and slowly pour in the lime juice, and then the cream and the lime zest.
Pour the mixture into the cooled base and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until there is only a slight wobble in the center.
Leave the pie at room temperature for 20 minutes to rest before placing in the fridge for at least 2 hours to cool.
Whip cream and spread over the top of the cooled pie.
Slice into 16 pieces and enjoy.
If you want to make a larger batch of Low Carb Key Lime Pie, simply adjust the serving amounts in our easy to use recipe card below. The measurements and ingredients will adjust themselves and all you have to do is follow the method.