If you want to make healthier food choices for your keto lifestyle, it’s absolutely necessary that you become a label reader! Check the label carefully on EVERYTHING you buy, (and you might want to take your reading glasses or a magnifying glass along, because the print on most of those packages is TINY)!
An Eye-Opening Experience
You will probably be shocked to see some of the unhealthy things that are added to processed foods. Sugar in some form, for example, is added to just about everything. Here are some of the things you’ll want to avoid on a healthy keto diet; if you see them on the label, drop it and run!
Sugar comes in many different forms and under many different names, but they all have one thing in common: they raise your blood glucose level, create an insulin spike and stop you from burning fat and losing weight. Over-consumption of sugar is responsible for a long list of health issues.
Anything with “malt”, “sugar” or “syrup” in the name should be avoided. Some of the less obvious names for it are things like agave nectar, dextrose, fructose, lactose, honey, , maltose, molasses, sorghum, maltodextrin, sorbitol, cane juice, sucrose, glucose, dextran, mannitol, treacle, diastase, muscovado, panocha, galactose, maltotroise, malt and starch. Any kind of fruit or whole grain ingredients also add unwanted sugar.
Some people will tell you that “natural” sugars like that in honey, agave, or the sugar found in fruits are ok, but this is not so. They all contain fructose, which is the worst type of sugar to consume; 100% of it goes directly to your liver rather than being distributed to the cells of the body. It contributes to insulin resistance and ultimately gets turned into cholesterol, fat and triglycerides.
Pick up a package of any processed food, and you are almost guaranteed to see some kind of corn-derived ingredient on the list. The large majority of corn produced in the U.S. today is genetically modified (you’ll see these referred to as GMO, GM or GE). This is something you want to avoid at all costs! Corn is high in both carbohydrates and sugar, so it’s not a good choice for a keto diet anyway. People usually refer to it as a vegetable, but in fact it is a grain.
Soy has been promoted for years as a health food (by the soy industry, of course), but this is not the case at all. Soy is a common allergen. Ninety-nine percent of it has been genetically modified, and it’s very high in pesticide contamination.
Most soy ingredients have been highly processed, which adds additional toxins to the final product. The various components of soy beans block the absorption of essential minerals by the body. They have been linked to problems such as suppressed thyroid function, kidney stones and even breast cancer. Soy has also been touted as a “cure” for hot flashes, but this claim has been disproven.
If you ARE going to consume any soy products, I highly recommend choosing ONLY organic, fermented varieties. There are only four such products: natto, soy sauce, tempeh and miso.
Like corn and soy products, vegetable oils such as canola, soybean, corn and sunflower oils are used in nearly every processed food out there. They are detrimental to your health for multiple reasons and have been linked to a host of chronic diseases.
Vegetable oils is actually a misleading name to begin with, because they are really made from seeds. They are loaded with Omega-6 fatty acids, which most people consume far too much of in their diet. Vegetable oils become even more toxic when heated, so cooking with them is very unhealthy. You can read more about choosing healthy oils and other fats here.
Artificial sweeteners are widely used these days in both food and beverage products. Every one of them is made from toxic chemicals that have a long list of detrimental effects on your health and that increase your risk of developing chronic diseases. They’re marketed under brand names like Equal, NutraSweet, Sweet n’ Low, Sugar Twin, and Splenda.
Natural sweeteners such as Stevia and Monk Fruit sweeteners are a much better choice. You’ll still want to read the label on any product you’re considering to make sure no unwanted ingredients have been added. Xylitol, a sugar alcohol, is also ok in moderation. But be careful – it is HIGHLY toxic to dogs!
You Get Out What You Put In
Healthy eating is one of the fundamental keys to being healthy at any age. Just by avoiding toxic, unhealthy ingredients like those mentioned above, you will go a long way toward improving your health and quality of life. The more whole, unprocessed foods you choose, the better.
This is so important, especially as we get older, when the consequences of years of poor dietary choices are likely catching up with us. Love yourself enough to choose healthy eating and you WILL start to notice changes for the better. I really want that for you in your life – it feels wonderful, and you are so worth it!
Keto on, my friends!