First it was gluten-free, then it was Paleo, and now it's all about that keto life. Haven't heard of it yet? We're still getting our feet wet when it comes to this trendy way of eating, so we asked Mark Sisson, keto and health expert behind Mark's Daily Apple, bestselling author of The Primal Blueprint, and founder of Primal Kitchen, to be our featured foodie this week. He's sharing 10 of his favorite keto recipes and why he thinks eating a
million avocados per day a high-fat, low-carb diet is good for your health.
What Is Keto?
Let's get straight to the point. "A ketogenic diet is under 10 percent energy (calories) from carbohydrates, 15-25 percent from protein, and the rest from fat," says Sisson. So yeah, that means we can eat about 75 percent avocados, right?
We know what you're thinking: another low-carb diet? But Sisson breaks down the science so it makes sense: When we decrease our carb intake, the way we process fat changes. For fats to turn into energy (you know, so our bodies can function), they need to bind with a compound called oxaloacetate that comes from carbs. When we aren't eating any carbs, we don’t have enough of that compound to pair with fat. So what do our bodies do to prevent us from accumulating fat? The liver converts the “extra” fatty acids to ketones—an alternative fuel source that can be used by the muscles and the brain. This is ketosis. And why the keto diet is all the rage, because eating fat can help burn fat.
Sisson shares a few more benefits of the keto diet:
- Can't remember where you parked your car in the grocery store lot? Keto diets are believed to improve cognitive function for anyone having difficulty with memory loss.
- Avid runner or cyclist? Eating a keto-friendly diet may improve energy efficiency and increase the amount of fat athletes can burn before dipping into glycogen stores, which helps them perform optimally.
- Trying to lose a couple pounds before the wedding/reunion/pool party? Research says following a ketogenic diet helps with weight loss.
But it ain't easy in the beginning (the one thing it has in common with all other diets). "Most people experience the 'keto flu' or 'low-carb flu' for the first week or two of a ketogenic diet," Sisson says. He confirms most people complain about lower energy levels, headaches, and poor mental and physical performance in the first week or two, but eventually, that fog will lift.
If you're ready to start experimenting, try Sisson's ten favorite keto recipes, from his signature Big-Ass Keto Salad and beef kebabs to bison chili and fat bombs. We're all jumping on the keto bandwagon because these look to die for.
With a whole avocado, a generous chunk of cheese, and a hefty dose of avocado oil-based Primal Kitchen caesar dressing, Sisson calls this his fat-bomb salad. And that's a good thing.
Skip taco night at your local Mexican restaurant and bring it to your own kitchen in a much healthier way... with these cute, little butter lettuce wraps. Shrimp gets topped off with avocado, Primal Kitchen mayo, and cabbage, then wrapped in butter lettuce. You're for sure going to consider this keto recipe a new weeknight go-to.
Even though bagels aren't a highlight of the keto diet, you can still eat lox. This smoked salmon and avocado salad is proof you don't need a ton of fixins to enjoy a tasty, filling meal. Top it off with Primal Kitchen caesar dressing, and you need only crispy romaine lettuce and hearty kale to complete it.
Warning: This recipe is not for the faint of heart. If the thought of offal (that's the heart, liver, and other organs) scares you, we say take a culinary adventure and try it. You won't be able to tell it's not ground beef, because this warm chili tastes just like the one Mom used to make.
Here's the kicker: This salad has no potatoes! Instead, the low-carb, keto, Paleo salad has a secret ingredient that we know you've used before: cauliflower. With a keto-friendly mayo, hard-boiled eggs to give it some power, and parsley and pickles for extra flavor, the dish proves a potato-less salad can still taste, well, potato-y.
Have you ever loved the smell of a marinade so much you're tempted to drink it? (Oh, just us?) This lime and basil marinade will have you at least dipping your finger in for a taste because it smells so good. After marinating the beef, layer skewers with chunks of bell peppers and onion. It'll be the best thing to hit your grill in years.
Fat bombs might not sound like your typical healthy treat, but these prove otherwise. With almond butter, coconut oil, coconut flour, cacao powder, collagen, and chaga mushrooms, they're basically nutritional magic. Even though they look like dessert, we think eating them as a sweet breakfast option would work too.
Betcha didn't think there would be fudge on a keto diet. Coconut oil, cocoa powder, almond butter, and a touch of stevia and sea salt all happen to be keto friendly, but these bites are also a crowd-pleaser, so you can make them for the next party. Did we mention they're ready in 20 minutes?
According to Sisson, this is the keto ice cream you’ve been waiting for. It’s creamy, rich, and luscious, and made with just five ingredients. And guess what? There’s no dairy, no added sugar or artificial sweeteners, and no additives. Here’s his secret: high-fat coconut milk, macadamia butter, pure vanilla extract, and Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel.
The next time you're having a pizza party, make it a keto one. Combine cauliflower, egg, coconut flour, and herbs to make a crust that tastes like the real thing. Top it off with a homemade avocado oil pesto, veggies, and cheese (yes, cheese!), and your friends will be asking where you ordered it. It's THAT good.
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