Ketogenic diet: tips from the best expert to wean yourself off sugar

Detoxifying from sugar is one of the founding principles of the ketogenic diet. Concretely, how do we do it? The solutions of Olivia Charlet, the super expert in ketogenic.

“Eat more good fats (omega 3 …), and much less (or almost more) sugar in all its forms: the ketogenic or low carb diet offers a complete upheaval of our eating habits,” warns Olivia Charlet, nutritherapist and naturopath in the preamble to her book “My bible of the ketogenic diet”(Edition Leduc.S). Drastically reducing carbohydrates (sugars), or even doing without them altogether, is not a foregone conclusion when we know that our diet provides us with an average of 400 g per day (between 50 and 65% of the caloric intake of the day!), mainly in the form of refined cereals, sugars (sucrose, lactose in particular), processed products low in fiber and rich in additives, all these products have a high glycemic index (GI). In other words, if you want to live in ketogenic mode, you’re going to have to skip a lot of your daily foods.

Slide 4 of 19: You forbid yourself certain foods

Ketogenic diet: the list of sugars to remove

And the list is long because sugars are everywhere! However, Olivia Charlet reassures by explaining that if you eliminate sugars, you replace them with healthy foods. So, don’t worry, you’ll have enough to eat. In any case, these sugars have no nutritional interest. As a result, when they are removed, the health effects can only be beneficial.

Foods rich in carbohydrates that should be told bye-bye:

  • Sugar and all sweet products: honey, jam, sweets,white sugar, cane…
  • All industrial products: biscuits, pastries, sauces, industrial breads, prepared dishes…
  • Cereals and legumes (however, gluten-free cereals and legumes may be incorporated from time to time, preferably in sprouted or pre-germinated form).
  • Vegetables rich in carbohydrates, and a large part of fruits.
  • All dairy products (yogurt, butter, cream, cheeses…). You can consume a little ghee (clarified butter). And if you do not have any pathology, you can keep one organic dairy product per week by favoring goat and sheep.
Slide 9 of 19: Your table is always well stocked

Sugar detox: give yourself a transition phase

Impossible to change everything overnight on your plate at the risk of getting depressed and falling back into your food shortcomings. “Give yourself several weeks to integrate new habits, advises our expert. The goal is to change your food choices in the long term.” Start by removing the sugar (white sugar, whole sugar, agave syrup …), that you add in your yogurts, coffee …, even synthetic sweeteners (such as aspartame, saccharin, sucralose …) that maintain the taste of sweet.

  • Reduce the fruits and opt for the less sweet: fresh or frozen red fruits (raspberries, strawberries, currants, blackberries …), coconut, avocado, olives …
  • Replace dairy products with low-carbohydrate vegetable alternatives (coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, plain soy yogurt, plain coconut…).
  • Sort through all the sweets you consume: sweets, pastries, pastries, biscuits, chocolate, ice cream, jam, sugary drinks(fruit juices,sodas, even light)…
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Ketogenic: Start by reviewing your breakfast

This first meal of the day is often rich in carbohydrates (bread, rusks, jam, honey, cereals, milk, fruit juices …). This excess sugar will lead to a spike in insulin that will result in a big slack in the morning and the urge to snack. Ideally, swap these foods for sources of good fats and proteins: boiled or omelet eggs, oilseed seeds, and oleaginous fruits (almonds, hazelnuts, chia and hemp seeds, avocado…), unsweetened vegetable drinks (coconut milk, almonds…), silky tofu…

Refined cereals: find alternatives

In her book, Olivia Charlet, the recognized expert in the ketogenic diet, offers you to follow these tips that will help you get through it:

  • Replace refined cereal products (white bread, white pasta, etc.) with their semi-complete version at first, then complete at second. Then, reduce the portion consumed each day so that it is only 25% of your plate.
  • For your homemade preparations, first, replace white flours with complete and gluten-free flours: whole rice flour, buckwheat flour, chestnut flour … richer in nutrients and have a lower GI. But they are still high in carbohydrates. So, in a second step, replace them with oilseed flours (almond, hazelnut, coconut …), lupine or soy. Their naturally sweet flavor makes it possible to reduce the dose of sugar in recipes, or even eventually to eliminate it.
Slide 14 of 19: You're replacing meat with "plant steaks"

Lower the glycemic index

What needs to be taken into consideration is not only the number of sugars contained in food but also its glycemic index. The higher it is, the higher the blood sugar, the more harmful the health consequences. Olivia Charlet explains: “Two foods containing the same amount of carbohydrates can have totally different effects on blood sugar levels. Some cause it to rise faster than others and therefore lead to greater blood sugar spikes. Others, on the other hand, make it rise less quickly, which avoids blood sugar spikes.” Hence this recommendation:

  • Avoid consuming vegetables and starchy foods with a high GI (mashed or baked potatoes, white pasta and rice…) and turn to medium GI carbohydrate sources, in the transition phase (sweet potato, squash,buckwheat, quinoa,lentils, chickpeas…).

Ketogenic Diet: Track Down Hidden Sugars

Hidden sugars are one of the wounds of our diet. Because as their name suggests, they are hidden, and sometimes even in unexpected foods like cold cuts. So, be extra vigilant:

  • Ban industrial products and ready-made dishes, often stuffed with sugar but also gluten and many other additives. Instead, bet on raw products, which you will cook yourself.
  • Be careful when shopping. The statement “no added sugar” does not mean that the product does not contain sugar, but simply that there has been no addition of sugar. The raw ingredients that were used to develop the recipe (flours, vegetables, fruits, legumes, etc.) can naturally contain them.
  • Locate on the labels all the ingredients ending in “ose” (maltose, dextrose, glucose syrup, fructose …) and zap them!
Slide 10 of 19: You only buy foods that are well rated by the Nutri-Score.

Wean yourself off sugar: opt for natural thumbs up

During the weaning phase, you can bet on certain plants (organic natural stevia …) and some low GI sugars (coconut sugar, kitul sap, yacon, or lucuma powder …). “Ideally, it’s better to avoid any sweet taste,” admits Olivia Charlet. It can indeed maintain the craving for sugar, and even have an influence on your insulin secretion (this is the case of synthetic sweeteners). Indeed, our mouth is equipped with sensors, and the only sweet taste is enough to start the production of insulin!” Ideally:

  • Prefer to use foods that also provide pleasure, but without sugars: 100% chocolate (if it is too difficult at first, opt for 90% chocolate), oilseed puree without sugar and preferably organic sprouted (hazelnut, peanut, almond, coconut), spices such as cinnamon (extra-strong preferably), vanilla, or citrus peels and coconut chips (pay attention to the ingredients that compose them).
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Now, if you wean off sugar seems insurmountable, try to reduce your intake as much as possible. “We all have an interest in it,” says Olivia Charlet. When consumed in excess, sugar is stored in the body as glycogen. However, glycogen reserves are very limited. As we do not do the physical activity; the excess carbohydrates are stored in the form of triglycerides. As a result, we get bigger. Thus visceral fat is formed in the abdomen in particular. Let’s remember that carbohydrates are fuels that burn quickly but, in excess, turn into fat, which explains the epidemics of obesity and diabetes that we know today.”

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