By Jessica Lewandowski
Since the ketogenic diet requires a lot of healthy fat and a lot of protein, one of the easiest ways to satisfy both those needs is with meat. A diet doesn’t seem so bad if you can still eat steaks, pork chops, and chicken, right? It’s easy to get carried away, and many people don’t know what the actual recommendation for consumption of meat is. Use this handy guide to plan your weekly meals and still enjoy your favorite foods.
Fish is notoriously known as one of the healthiest meats you can eat on any diet, but particularly for ketogenic diets. Fish provides the body with Omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight bad cholesterol. The meat on fish is also incredibly lean and low in saturated fat. While you can feel safe eating just about any store-bought fillets, the healthiest fish to choose are salmon or tuna.
How often should you be eating fish? The American Heart Association suggests limiting your seafood intake to twice a week.
Unfortunately, you still need to avoid eating fried chicken (sorry, KFC), but chicken is another lean protein that can be enjoyed every week. The healthiest way to devour your poultry is to grill or bake skinless, white meat. Chicken breasts or thighs will be the most health-conscious cuts. Also, try to remove any extra fat before cooking your bird.
Poultry in general is safe to consume 2-3 per week. This includes turkey or game birds.
Red meat can be a tricky subject for dieters, since there is so much to choose from. What cuts of meat are healthy and which aren’t? How much beef should a person really consume? Typically, “lean” ground beef has only 15% fat content or less. Anything higher should be avoided. Also, look for cuts of meat that have “loin” in the name, like sirloin. Additionally, seek out the “choice” and “select” grades of beef. While “prime” grades are technically higher in quality, there is more saturated, unhealthy fat.
Red meat should typically be eaten no more than twice per week. Each serving should be about 3 ounces. You heard that right, the AHA suggests each serving of red meat be about the size of a deck of cards.
The question everyone wants to know the answer to: is bacon healthy for you? The short answer is: it’s okay. Moderation is key when it comes to pork. Pork is one of the lesser healthy options for anyone trying to lose weight, whether they’re on a low carb diet or not. Similar to red meat, you should stick to cuts of pork that have “loin” in the name. Ribs and, yes, bacon have much more saturated fat. While they’re not terrible options for ketogenic diets, they’re not the best choice.
Typically, most should limit their pork intake to once per week. Don’t go over two servings of pork per week.
For non-vegetarians, it’s easy to get large doses of protein in your diet. However, it’s easy to go overboard! Pay close attention to portion sizes, and you can healthily consume your favorite proteins every week.
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