The ketogenic diet is all about achieving ketosis, a metabolic state that burns fat for fuel, instead of carbohydrates or protein. To remain in that heightened fat-torching state, you need to limit your carb intake to 5-10% of your total calories. For most women, that translates to about 25-40 grams of carbs per day (about the amount in a single English muffin, or one glass of fruit juice)—which is why followers of the diet need to be so careful not only about what they eat, but what they drink too. To help you choose your sips wisely, here’s a list of seven keto-friendly drinks that’ll make it a little easier to meet your carb cap.
Water with lemon or lime
Still or sparking zero-calorie, zero-carb water is always going to be a dieter’s best choice. But go ahead and add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to your glass. The sour juices have a negligible amounts of carbs. What’s more, drinking water before meals has been shown to be an effective way to help curb appetite.
Diet soda and other diet beverages
Most diet sodas and beverages sweetened with sugar substitutes have zero grams of carbs. Some keto purists may claim sugar subs are not actually keto-friendly, because they believe the sweet stuff increases cravings for carbs. But there is no evidence to suggest using carb-free sugar substitutes will interfere with your weight-loss efforts. (What’s more, many packaged keto snacks and foods made with carb-free sweeteners actually make it easier to stick to a keto lifestyle longer, so you can lose weight and keep it off.)
When selecting a diet drink, check the Nutrition Facts panel to make sure it contains less than 5 grams total sugars or 20 calories from carbs. Of course, you’ll need to count any carbohydrates in these beverages against your allotted daily carb budget.
Keep in mind that as a general rule, diet beverages that are clear have fewer questionable ingredients. There are also diet beverages, like Zevia, that are sweetened with all-natural stevia.
Coffee and tea (with cream, coconut oil, or butter)
If you like a dollop of butter whipped into your morning cup of Joe, you’ll be happy to learn that bulletproof coffee is indeed keto-friendly. When you blend fat like butter or coconut oil or heavy cream into your coffee or tea, you’re not adding carbs.
If you prefer a more traditional cup of coffee or tea, you’ll need to drink it either plain (or with sugar substitutes) and with very little milk since milk contributes some carbs.
On the keto diet you can drink some milk without disrupting ketosis. A ½ cup of milk has 6 grams of carbs (24 calories) while providing plenty of protein (4 grams), and much-needed nutrients like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D.
Unsweetened almond milk has around 30 calories per 8-ounce serving and no sugar, making it a great option for those following a keto lifestyle. Look for brands that are fortified with calcium and vitamins A and D.
While many smoothies are super sugary thanks to the fruit and milk base, a quick Google search of “keto smoothie” or “low-carb smoothie” will return millions of recipes. The best way to keep carbs low and taste and satisfaction high is to make your smoothie base with fats like nut butters, avocado, or coconut oil. Then add in some low-carb veggies like leafy greens, cucumbers, celery or beets, and smaller amounts of fruits like berries, apples or pears. If you need liquid, use ice, water or unsweetened almond milk.
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