Keto — the high-fat, low-carb diet that everyone wants to know more about. Seeing how rice is a main staple of our meals, trying to go on a keto diet plan in Malaysia can be tough. Not to mention, investing in fatty cuts of meat and healthy oils can be costly, too. Here, we outline what the keto is about, as well as tips on how to execute a keto diet plan in Malaysia. Disclaimer: Always make sure to consult a doctor before going on a drastic diet change, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes.
Keto Diet Explained
Keto, short for ketogenic, is a low-carb diet that focuses on the necessary consumption of a high ratio of fats to make up for it. This means you would typically eat lots of non-root vegetables in a day, while loading up on good fats and protein. A good estimate is 70% healthy fats from natural sources, 25% protein such as lean meats or eggs and below 5% carbs is usually around 20 grams of carbs per day. When eating from “regular” carb sources, 20 grams of carbs is very little, usually amounting to ½ cup rice or 1 half of a burger bun. Most keto dieters don’t eat these “regular” carbs at all; they stick to vegetables only to obtain the fibre and minor amount of carbs which they need.
Potential Benefits Of The Keto Diet
Wondering how a high-fat diet can be good for you? Studies have shown that a ketogenic diet actually contributes to better long-term weight control. Not only that, a high-fat diet reduces hunger and decreases insulin resistance, which can make weight loss easier. If you’re thinking “All that fat is going to get stuck in my arteries! I’m going to get heart disease!”, you’ll be happy to know that many studies, including this one, have in fact found that levels of good cholesterol (HDL) go up when on a keto diet, but levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides actually reduce. This means that overall, the keto diet should not negatively affect your cardiovascular health, though it’s important to monitor your cholesterol levels periodically while on the diet to make sure of this. After all, different people can react differently to the same diet.
When going on a keto diet plan in Malaysia, there are a few things to consider. First, you’ll likely have to slow down your social activities, as it can be hard to find dining places in Malaysia that dish out keto-friendly meals. The initial adjustment period can also be tough — many who have gone on the keto diet have shared the ‘keto flu’ experience, where it feels like you’ve fallen sick for the first few days. Uncomfortable symptoms can range from mild headaches and haziness to more extreme rashes and vomiting.
What To Eat On The Keto Diet Plan In Malaysia
Useful Tips Before Starting Your Keto Journey
Since dining out during this diet can be tough, executing the keto diet plan in Malaysia means you’re likely going to be cooking a lot more at home. To prepare your body and your pantry for success:
- Clear your home of temptations such as sugar, bread, rice, milk and pasta. The daily amount of carbs intake on this diet means you can only get your fill from green vegetables (no root vegetables).
- Go grocery shopping before you start. This way, you don’t have to head to the supermarket and face temptations, at least in the beginning. What you should shop for will be detailed further down below.
- Have Himalayan salt and multivitamins on hand to help reduce the severity of the “keto flu” when it hits. Add the salt generously to everything you cook, as you will lose water and salt easily on the keto diet. You can even add a bit to your drinking water for an added mineral boost!
Pantry Staples To Stock Up For The Keto Diet
When going grocery shopping before you start the keto diet plan in Malaysia, look out for these pantry essentials. Make sure you load up on these for the times you’ll be cooking at home (and it’ll likely be 90% of the time if not 100%):
- Chicken/Beef/Pork/Oily fish like salmon
- Green leafy vegetables
- Seasonings like herbs and keto-compliant sauces such as coconut aminos
- Greek yoghurt (can be eaten in small quantities)
- Heavy whipping cream or double cream for your beverages and to add into cooking
- Cheese (Parmesan/cheddar is adequate)
- Tea/coffee (you’ll only be drinking them black or with a dollop of heavy cream)
Meal Ideas For Trying The Keto Diet Plan In Malaysia
For the first month on the keto diet, try to avoid using artificial sweeteners so that you can break your sugar addiction. Eat as cleanly as possible from the above grocery list by mixing and matching to create simple meals. Here are some ideas you can try at home:
As you may have noticed, keto foods are mostly interchangeable between meals, and you can them in any combination. The general idea is to keep the fats high, and protein moderate. Note that after a few days on the diet, you may not feel very hungry anymore, and that’s normal. In fact, that’s one of the perks of the keto diet; the reduced hunger makes it easier to consume fewer calories. DO, however, drink a lot of water often and consume some minerals to keep your body hydrated. Doing the keto diet plan in Malaysia, where it’s hot and humid, makes keeping hydrated even more important!
After your initial month on keto, you can slowly open up your diet to eating keto-compliant processed foods if you want some variety. This means things like keto baked goods and some artificial sweeteners like stevia or erythritol. Making keto baked goods usually involve things like coconut flour, almond flour, heavy cream, and cheeses that can be costly, so try your best to keep these indulgences to a weekly or monthly affair.
Does Doing The Keto Diet Plan In Malaysia Need To Be A Forever Thing?
If you’re intimidated by the prospect of doing the keto diet plan in Malaysia, you may be wondering if this is a diet you need to keep up forever. Like any diet, unless it is a long-term lifestyle change, you may not be able to keep up with the weight loss and improved glucose control you get. That being said, you could always come off the keto diet once you reach your goal, but transition into a low-carb diet as maintenance instead. This allows you to increase your carbs up to between 100-150 grams, so there’s more wiggle room for you to enjoy a bigger variety of food.
What if you want to come off the diet and go right back to your previous high-carb way of eating? You will soon realise that if you do this, the weight and the impaired glucose tolerance is likely to return; you may find yourself back at square one. So, before you embark on the keto diet, ensure it is a sustainable move for you in the long-term. If not, there are many other diets out there that are not so restrictive and can still help you lose weight and get healthier, so try one of those instead! For those who like to eat out, we have outlined some non-keto diet plan healthy Malaysian breakfast and lunch options you can opt for when you are easing into eating better.