Christmas is just around the corner, and for many of us that means gathering around festive tables filled with delicious treats. But for people following a ketogenic diet, the holidays can sometimes be a challenge. No problem ! We have the solution for a memorable ketogenic Christmas Eve, without giving up flavor and festivity.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet, often called the “keto diet”, is a diet based on very low carbohydrates, moderate protein and high fat consumption. The main objective is to bring the body to a metabolic state called ketosis, where you burn fat for energy rather than relying on carbohydrates. Here are some key principles of the ketogenic diet:
- low carbusually less than 50 grams per day;
- high intake of healthy fatssuch as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, which constitute up to 70-80% of total calories;
- moderate protein consumptionto prevent them from being converted into glucose by a process called gluconeogenesis.
The ketogenic diet was initially developed as part of the treatment of epilepsy in children. However, over the years it has gained popularity for its potential benefits in other areas, including weight losscontrol of type 2 diabetes and improvement of cognitive performance (although, on this last point, more research is needed to confirm these effects).
It is important to note that the ketogenic diet can not suitable for everyone, and it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional before adopting it, especially for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Let us also remember that diets aimed at losing weight are generally counterproductive: they are often based on the yo-yo effect. Thus, 95% of people who followed a restrictive diet regain the lost weight (or more) within the next five years. In general, it is preferable to favor a varied and balanced diet.
A carb-free feast full of flavor
However, if you have chosen to follow a keto diet, we offer you some ideas for enjoying the gustatory pleasures of the end-of-year holidays while staying true to your food choices.
In appetizer, focus on olives, pickles and nuts, such as almonds and other nuts. You can also choose from charcuterie and cheese platters. As a starter, serve shrimp cocktail with avocado sauce, smoked salmon and lemon cream or prepare cream cheese pieces topped with nuts and berries.
For the Main course, opt for a fatty fish like salmon, which you can grill in an almond crust to give it a festive dimension. Another option: turkey (less fatty than capon) or roast beef. For a side dish, choose low-carb vegetables like Brussels sprouts, asparagus, or spinach sautéed in butter. Prepare mashed cauliflower instead of traditional mashed potatoes.
In dessert, the cheesecake will delight your taste buds – but remember to replace the speculoos base with crushed walnuts. You can also indulge in dark chocolate and fleur de sel truffles. Side drinks, focus on low-carb cocktails like gin and tonic. You can also toast with a glass of brut champagne or a glass of dry wine. Consider drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially if you consume alcohol.
Recipe idea: almond and spinach crusted salmon
- 4 fresh salmon fillets
- 1 cup flaked almonds
- 2 cups of fresh spinach
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- Zest of a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the spinach and sauté until it wilts a little.
Meanwhile, finely chop the almonds to create a crunchy crust.
Place the salmon fillets on a tray lined with parchment paper. Spread the sautéed spinach over each salmon fillet. Sprinkle the chopped almonds evenly over the spinach.
Add lemon zest on top for a touch of freshness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through and the almond crust is golden.
Good to know : This almond and spinach crusted salmon recipe is a variation on the classic “salmon Wellington”. Offers a delicious and festive ketogenic alternative to traditional carb-heavy Christmas dishes. Salmon provides omega-3 fatty acids that benefit heart health, while spinach adds essential vitamins and minerals.