Keto is a way of eating that features healthy low carb vegetables, nuts, fats, meats, eggs, and some dairy. Generally, eating under 20g net carbs a day will put you in a healthy state of nutritional ketosis, where your body uses ketones as fuel instead of carbohydrates. (This is often confused with ketoacidosis, an unhealthy state of emergency, not the same thing at ALL). Basically, you avoid eating foods that spike your blood sugar.
Sadly, there is more misinformation about the Keto way of eating than there is good information. I’ve heard some wild things. I’ve heard you can’t eat veggies (SOOO not true, I eat far more veggies now than ever in my life). I’ve also heard you can’t eat much protein (utterly not true). I highly recommend going to Reddit, on r/keto where you will find good information, especially reading the sidebar.
Who can eat keto?
Every person needs to find out which way of eating works for them. I’ve seen people going keto for a number of reasons. Epilepsy, diabetes, weight loss, PCOS, and many more. The main reason in my opinion is that it’s just flat out a healthy lifestyle. I personally feel much better on keto. So much better that I did my first marathon at age 54! I’ve done 2 now, and I’d never have attempted it before keto.
What does “fat-adapted” mean?
Keto actually changes your body chemistry to make you a fat-burning machine! You actually have more mitochondria (the body’s powerhouses) in your cells once you are fat-adapted. It takes 4-6 weeks to become fat-adapted on keto (no cheating though!). This is a transitional time, where your body is changing. You should supplement electrolytes during this time (and beyond). Athletes often find that they feel weaker during the transition. The good news is that once you’ve achieved fat-adaptation, many athletes find that their performance is improved. This is especially true for endurance sports. Again, lack of blood sugar spikes is extremely useful. Carb cravings tend to disappear around the time you become fat-adapted.
Isn’t all that fat bad for you?
More and more research shows that healthy fat is actually GOOD for you! We are getting a much better understanding of how fat works. Healthy fats include saturated fats (butter, cream, lard, nut butters, egg yolks) and fats that are monounsaturated (olive oil, avocado oil). Eating these fats often raises HDL and lowers triglyceride levels. My lipid profile went from good to excellent after a year of keto.
How do I know if I’m in ketosis?
If you eat under 20g net carbs a day, you’ll be in ketosis within 48 hours. That’s all you need to do!
How can eating more fat and less carbs help with weigh loss?
One issue people face while losing weight is hunger. Low fat diets tend to keep people feeling hungry and unsatisfied. Eating fat makes you satisfied, and keeps hunger down. Does that mean you can eat as much as you can? No. Calories do count, and you need to eat at a calorie deficit to lose weight. Fortunately, keto makes eating at a deficit easier. The food is more satisfying and filling. Many people who start keto find that they naturally eat fewer calories. Keto stops the blood sugar spikes that can cause hunger pangs. Keto is also very good at helping control carb cravings.
What is a net carb?
A net carb is basically digestible carbs. To calculate net carbs, you need to take total carbs, then subtract fiber and alternative sugars. That gives you net carbs. All of the alternative sugars that I use can be subtracted. I would NOT recommend subtracting sugar alcohols such as maltitol or xylitol completely, as they are partially digested and do have carbs. The only sugar alcohol I would subtract completely is erythritol. Allulose and tagatose can be subtracted also.
How can you make keto baked goods?
I use healthy flours, nuts, fats, and alternative sweeteners. I ask that you give me one bite! I think that’s all it will take to win you over! Wait til you try my Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
Can I eat a dozen cupcakes in one sitting?
Even keto baked goods should be eaten in moderation. Remember they are extremely high in fiber… Also, some people can experience digestive issues with alternative sweeteners. And again, calories do count!
What do I have to buy to start keto?
The beauty of keto is that you don’t need to buy anything special, just healthy food. There are many companies trying to win your dollar, but seriously, keto is just about healthy eating. No need for pee sticks, special supplements (other than electrolytes), or special oils.
Is Dessertcrazy gluten-free?
I’m not certified gluten-free. However, none of my ingredients are wheat-based. Coconut flour and almond flour are gluten-free items, however some of my ingredients might be made in plants that also use gluten-containing ingredients.
What about the keto “flu”?
There’s really no such thing! Keto “flu” isn’t a sickness at all. During your first couple of weeks on keto, you can lose a great deal of water weight. In that time, your body will flush out a LOT of electrolytes with the water. You will want to replace those electrolytes.
In order to do that, I highly recommend the following:
- Use light salt for potassium. Light salts are generally either 100% potassium chloride, or 50/50 potassium chloride and sodium chloride (table salt). This is an inexpensive way to get potassium.
- Take a magnesium supplement, in the form of magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate. (start with ¼ dose until you get used to it). I use Natural Calm.
- Salt your food generously.
- You can drink pickle juice for extra salt!
- You can google recipes for Ketoade for a summer drink.
- You can mix ¼ tsp lite salt into a cup of salty broth for a warm drink.
Even though I’ve been keto for years, I still take magnesium every night. I had leg cramps at night for years that disappeared once I started taking magnesium citrate.
What about food allergies?
We use dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, and coconut in quantity. As careful as I am, there are always trace amounts of coconut flour, almond flour, and peanut flour in the air. My chocolate chips DO contain soy lecithin. If you are allergic to nuts, peanuts, soy, dairy, or eggs, it’s best to find other options than my shop. As far as lactose-intolerant people, I use cream, butter, cheese, and sour cream heavily. Those items have less lactose than regular milk products, but still contain some.
Allulose is a wonderful natural alternative sweetener that is fairly new on the market. It has a low glycemic index, yet provides the structure needed for baked goods. It is 70% as sweet as sugar, so it needs to be used with another sweetener to “make up” the sweetness difference. It doesn’t have the off taste of many alternative weeteners. Although it looks on paper to have a high carb count, they are undigestible carbs, and don’t count towards net carbs.
Tagatose is a VERY new natural alternative sweetener. It has a very low glycemic index, and provides structure for desserts. As it browns faster than sugar, I often combine it with other sweeteners. It is 92% as sweet as sugar. As with allulose, it looks to have a high carb count, but the carbs are indigestible.
They do not count towards net carbs.
Erythritol is a natural alternative sweetener that has been around for a long time. It does provide structure to baked goods. It has some specific uses. It has a “cooling effect” that can be a good addition to mint desserts. It also has a tendency to recrystallize after use, which can be good for crunchy cookies. It is the only sugar alcohol that I use. Again, it has a high carb count on paper, but the carbs are indigestible and can be subtracted to get net carbs.
Monkfruit extract is a VERY concentrated sweetener from the Monkfruit plant. It is used in extremely small amounts with other bulky sweeteners. (There are commercial monkfruit/erythritol blends that I see people calling monkfruit, they are not the same). It can have an off taste when used alone, but that disappears when used in a mix.
Debittered Stevia is from the stevia plant. It is extremely concentrated, just like monkfruit. It has gone through one extra purification step to remove some of the bitter taste normally found with Stevia. I recommend using it with another sweetener rather than alone.
Inulin is a natural sweetener that I use in small amounts in yeasted goods. It is there to provide a bit of nutrition for the yeast to be activated.
Sweeteners you will NOT EVER find in my bakery are xylitol and maltitol. Xylitol has a fairly high glycemic index. Most importantly, it is DEADLY to dogs in trace amount. Since I’m a dog owner, it doesn’t come into my house or business! Maltitol is a junk sweetener. It’s very high on the glycemic index. I’ve seen some places recommend that you can subtract the carbs for net carbs, but that is really incorrect. Many of the carbs in maltitol are actually digested, and should NOT be subtracted for net carbs.
Coconut flour is an amazing high fiber flour that is one of my go-to ingredients. It generally is used in smaller quantities than most flour, as it absorbs liquid and expands. Generally you need a LOT of eggs in recipes that contain coconut flour. It cannot be substituted directly for almond flour. It is very low carb since most of the carbs are indigestible fiber, and can be subtracted for net carbs. Note that I said HIGH FIBER….
Almond Flour is another basic, healthy flour used in keto baking. It’s ground almonds! That makes it high in healthy nut fats, and high in fiber. Again, many of its carbs can be subtracted for net carbs
because they come from fiber.
Cocoa powder is also used as a flour in some chocolate desserts for keto. It actually provides some of the structure you need for baked goods. That mean chocolate keto desserts are often more chocolatey and good than non-keto desserts!
Xantham gum is used in small amounts to provide structure in desserts, it is a natural low carb thickener.
Chocolate chips are a bakery must! I use chips that are sweetened with erythritol, inulin, and stevia. No maltitol!