How chicken fits into the ketogenic lifestyle

How chicken fits into the ketogenic lifestyle

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Everything to know about keto

The human brain on keto
The ketogenic diet, which focuses on the intake of fats and proteins with 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates consumed daily, has been used for hundreds of years in the medical field to treat drug-resistant epilepsy. What happens when you eat significantly less or zero carbohydrates is that the liver begins to burn stored fatty acids for fuel. This releases ketones into the bloodstream, which is known as ketosis. The body’s cells begin to use ketones as an energy source, which is very efficient and particularly useful for the brain.

This is why it has been used by medical doctors to reduce seizures in children, oftentimes just as effectively as medication. These neuroprotective qualities have led many to explore the ketogenic diet’s effect on brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and autism.

Blood sugar boss
Beyond neuroprotective effects, the keto diet is useful for managing blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients. Because very little carbohydrates are consumed, there are drastically reduced occurrences of blood sugar spikes and cortisol release. Getting the body into ketosis is also useful in weight loss regimens because the body begins to burn fat stores for fuel instead of glucose from carbohydrates consumed throughout the day.

A ketogenic diet includes plenty of healthy fats like butter, ghee, coconut oil, MCT oil and olive oil, as well as high quality meat, fish, eggs, full fat cheeses, nuts, seeds and low carb vegetables. A typical ketogenic diet will see an individual eating 70% of their daily recommended calories from fats, 25% from protein and 5% from carbohydrates.

Getting started
At the start, it’s important to track exactly how many grams of carbohydrates you’re consuming if you really want to get your body into a state of ketosis. Get into the habit of reading nutrition labels because many foods contain added sugars and the numbers can creep up very quickly.

When 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates or less are consumed daily, it will typically take the body anywhere from two to four days to begin using fat stores as a source of energy. Results will of course vary from person to person depending on their individual chemistry and metabolism.

Dirty keto is a no go

Not all keto diets are created equal. There is such a thing as ‘dirty keto’, which is still keto in the technical sense; however, the fats and protein sources are of low quality and simply unhealthy. This means a whole lot of processed meats, fried food, industrial seed oils like canola and sunflower oil, margarine and other offenders.

Say yes to chicken and keto
Chicken breasts, thighs, drumsticks, sausages, jerky, chicken bone broth and similar are all on the keto-approved checklist and super healthy when prepared right. Poultry contains all essential amino acids necessary for protein synthesis. White poultry meat has a high protein content of 21-22%, while red poultry meat is 19-20 % protein. The protein in poultry contributes to satiety and balanced blood sugar levels, which prevents insulin resistance and the onset of metabolic disorders that can cause weight gain and obesity.

Typical day of keto
To get off to a strong start, it would be good to prepare a few meals ahead of time and get rid of any foods that might set you back. Get in the habit of checking out the carbohydrate content on any products you purchase. To get the net carbohydrates, subtract the total fiber content from the total carbohydrate count. For instance, if an item has 7g of carbohydrates and 2g of fiber, then there is 5g net carbohydrates. If you’re consuming 25g of carbs daily, then you have 20g more to go. Count and track and you’re good to go.

For fats, a good rule of thumb is to consume 8 tablespoons daily if you’re a female and 10 tablespoons if you’re a male. If you want the fine details, then go back to the keto calculator we linked earlier. While 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% is typical for a keto nutrition plan, it can be fine-tuned although fat will always be the main player.

Besides eating fibrous veggies, remember to hydrate to keep your digestive tract moving along. To figure out how much water to drink daily, multiply your weight in kilograms by 1.1. If you weigh 60kg then you should be drinking 66oz of water daily, which is almost 2 liters.

Remember to always consult with your doctor before starting any new nutrition and fitness regimen and to do your research.

Keto calculator
Check out this keto calculator to see how planning your fat, protein and carbohydrate intake works It will match your daily caloric intake with your age, gender, weight and activity level. You can also select whether you’re trying to maintain your weight, loss a few kilos or gain some weight.

Get started with these Cocorico chicken recipes today
Breast Fillets on Romanian Paprika
Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Chicken Fillets
Grilled Pesto Chicken and Herb Salad
Tuscan Lemon Baked Chicken
Chicken tandoori on warm bok choy
Hearty chicken soup with baby broccoli sprouts

Protein breakdown in Cocorico chicken
This is a quick reference guide for the protein, fat and carbohydrate content in 100g of chicken:

Chicken fillet
Protein – 23.28g
Fat – 0.94g
Carbohydrates – 0.2g

Chicken inner fillet
Protein – 22.38g
Fat – 0.94g
Carbohydrates – 0.2g

Grilled chicken
Protein – 20.43g
Fat – 6.30g
Carbohydrates – 0.24g

Chicken breast
Protein – 19.16g
Fat – 8.58g
Carbohydrates – 0.24g

Chicken drumsticks
Protein – 19.16g
Fat – 8.58g
Carbohydrates – 0.24g

Chicken thighs with bone and skin
Protein – 19.16g
Fat – 8.58g
Carbohydrates – 0.24g

Chicken wings with skin
Protein – 16.83g
Fat – 13.5g
Carbohydrates – 0.32g

Chicken prime wings
Protein – 16.83g
Fat – 13.5g
Carbohydrates – 0.32g

Chicken gizzards
Protein – 16.76g
Fat – 2.10g
Carbohydrates – 0.57g

Chicken liver
Protein – 0.23g
Fat – 0.64g
Carbohydrates – 2g

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