The general idea when well-wishing family and friends hear that I am trying to adopt a low-carb-keto diet is that either:
1- I am planning to ingest tremendous amounts of fat and clog my arteries
2- There are not a lot of food options and that I will be extremely deprived
3- This is another “FAD” diet, and that I am going through a phase
I tell you people, the general health benefits that this lifestyle has made me experience are unbelievable! Who thought that eating delicious fatty foods and not starving could lead to weight loss!
As you might notice I avoid using the term Low-Carb, High Fat Diet (LCHF); as this leads to the misconception that you are allowed to eat tremendous amounts of beef burgers fried in ghee and devouring sticks of butter all day.
This is far from true. The whole aim is to reduce carbs so that you reduce your insulin and glucose levels in order for your body to tap into your fat reserves.
The deficit in calories that you create by reducing carbs should be compensated by eating healthy fats.
This will help your body combat keto-flu and you will be fat adapted in no time.
There are endless amounts of YouTube videos on “what I eat in a day” on an LCHF diet. However, I thought I would compile a grocery list of things that can be found here in Riyadh-Saudi Arabia to remove the guesswork for you.
Keep in mind this list is not all size fits all. You have to know your macros, your goals and have a menu plan.
There are much more options that you may find on the net. I have stuck to basics in order to be budget friendly, keep things simple, and to make sure these items can be (mostly) found in the main supermarkets such as Tamimi and Danube, in case you live in Saudi Arabia.
click on download grocery list to get the pdf version
LOW-CARB LIFESTYLE STAPLES
Veggies are your best friend. Have a good helping of salads and greens every day.
Avoid starchy vegetables such as Golden potatoes.
Try to go organic whenever you can to increase the nutritional benefit and decrease the toxic effects of pesticides and harmful chemicals
Modify according to your health condition and needs. You can have lactose free, almond/Rice milk instead of regular milk. Instead of cheese, you can have nutritional yeast if you are vegetarian.
3- Meats and Proteins
Have a good assortment of protein such as Beef (preferably Grass-fed/organic), Poultry (preferably organic), and Fish (wild caught and not farm raised).
Organic – Pasture-raised eggs are recommended. However, work with whatever is available to you.
Beans and legumes are a good source of protein but have a high amount of carbohydrates. Have them in moderation.
Hummus is a good option. It is a good source of protein and has a low glycemic index.
3- Fats and Oils
The aim is to make your diet low in carb and raise the fat content in order for your body to burn fat.
You will only need to add small amounts of healthy fats to achieve this.
So don’t think you will be drowning your chicken drumsticks in butter or ghee.
As an example: on average most people might only need 2 TBS of Extra virgin olive oil/meal to achieve their macros for fat.
Avoiding wheat and decreasing grains is one of the most common causes of success to lose weight.
Check the grocery list for options. You can bake delicious pizza and cloud bread using almond flour.
Find the recipe for Almond Four Pizza on our Instagram account: fitness_arabika
5- Nuts and Spreads
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and macadamia nuts where live savers for me. They cure the munchies and there is nothing more satisfying the licking some healthy peanut butter right off the spoon.
As with all your other ingredients, try to find organic nut butter. The ingredients should be simple and with NO Hydrogenated Oils and low in net Carbs.
CONDIMENTS AND DRESSINGS
It is better to avoid sugary-store bought dressings and sauces. Try to make your own dressings using a combination of the ingredients that are keto friendly.
I would like to mention here Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Its benefits for burning fat and balancing the PH of the body are countless. Try to get the organic ACV “with the mother”, As this contains all the healthy nutrients.
You can find it in Saudi Arabia at Danube.
As you can see, there are plenty of options that you can choose from in order to have a healthy and balanced diet. I have mentioned only the staples that I rely on to keep it simple.
Go ahead! Give it a try and let us know how was your keto journey!