Fitness has become a passion for the current generation. The drive to remain healthy and active has sparked off several trends both in terms of workouts and diets. While an entire generation flock to stores to buy supplies for fun and interesting diets, many also require the sacrifice of food and drinks that most of us love!
One such interesting yet intense diet is the Ketogenic diet or the Keto diet. While our body generally uses carbohydrates to produce energy, this diet is all about mobilising the fat in our body to keep us going.
While strict diets are often not applauded by many, some of them are extremely effective in fast-tracking you towards your weight and fitness goals.
What is a Keto diet?
This new and improved version of the Atkin’s low-carb diet is a high-fat, mid-protein and low-carb diet. The aim of the Ketogenic diet is to drastically reduce the carb intake of your body and move it into a state of Ketosis.
In Ketosis, your body is forced to burn fat to produce energy owing to the lack of carbohydrates in your system. It also prompts the liver to burn its stored fat to produce Ketones that supply energy to the brain.
While there are up to 4 variations of this diet, the most commonly used versions are the standard Ketogenic diet (SKD) and the high-protein Ketogenic diet. In SKD, the diet is essentially 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs while in the latter it is 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.
The version of Keto that is common among sportsmen is called targeted Keto. This one allows the addition of carbs around workouts. The final type of Keto is called cyclical keto and has a pattern in which you can increase your carb intake cyclically - 5 days of keto followed by 2 high-carb days!
Due to the low carb intake in a Keto diet, you can forget the part where you have to count your calories and just focus on your workout and keeping your carb count low!
Additionally, the diet also has several health benefits for people with Type II Diabetes such as keeping the blood glucose levels low and reducing the body’s demand for insulin.
What are the challenges of a Keto diet?
First off, the sudden purge of carbs in your diet leads to a sharp drop in your energy level in the first few days until your body adjusts to the state of Ketosis. In fact, while the recommended carb intake in Keto is 50 grams, the ideal amount that is necessary to reach Ketosis is 20 grams only!
But let’s face it, Keto is not an easy diet even though it’s fun. You can gorge on all the cheese, ghee and butter that you want to eat but you have to say bye-bye to all the junk that we are so used to consuming.
The toughest part is to resist the cravings. Say no to your favourite plate of carb-loaded fries and soft drinks. The list for non-keto food is long and unfortunately, it includes many crowd favourites.
How is tea Keto-friendly?
For tea lovers, it raises that very important question. Do you need to give up tea if you are on a Keto diet?
Fortunately, the answer is no! Tea is Keto-friendly in most of its variations and while you are bidding goodbye to unhealthy dietary habits, you can hold on to your love for tea!
The more natural the tea is, the more suited for Keto it is! Most loose-leaf tea is keto compliant if you are drinking it with just water and no additives such as sugar and milk. They have almost negligible carbs and calorie counts, along with providing a bunch of other health benefits to you while on the diet.
Teas are rich in antioxidants that work wonders for your skin and also slows the breakdown of your body. It also has significantly lesser caffeine than coffee but it’s just enough to give you an energy boost. Besides being great for your teeth as well as the health of your heart, tea also helps your process of digestion!
What teas are to be avoided during Keto?
Even when teas fit in so beautifully with the requirements of the Keto diet, not all teas are perfect for consumption in its purview. Teas that contain any form of dried fruits and sugars will be responsible for shooting your calorie count up drastically. For example, a single serving of sweet tea has about 20+ calories. Hence, one cup of it and up goes your calorie count!
Here are the teas that you have to avoid completely on your Keto diet.
While these teas are convenient, you can stay assured that they will have added sugars in them. So, when you are faced with the challenge of choosing between health and accessibility, you know what’s the right choice to make!
The ready-to-drink varieties of tea might call you out from the refrigerator at your favourite store but we have to ask you to forgo this temptation. Owing to their pre-prepared nature, they will most likely have sugar, additives and flavouring in it which will hike up your calorie count.
With the heat of the summer days, we know that a glass of Iced Tea becomes your most preferred beverage. But with all the sugar or sweeteners, iced tea is not the most ket-friendly choice. You can, however, opt for a homemade iced tea minus the sugars and use a loose-leaf tea for steeping your brew!
Milk teas with sugar
The most commonly consumed variety of tea in South Asia, the delicious tea with the perfect shed of brown and just the right amount of sugar is the best early morning indulgence. But it is definitely a no-no for the Keto diet!
You can always add in a bit of sweetness to spruce up your tea with low-calorie sweeteners like Stevia or sugar-free!
Your comprehensive list of Keto-friendly teas
Thankfully, a majority of delicious teas come under the spectrum of what’s allowed in the Keto diet. Here is a list of natural and healthy teas that you can enjoy while you are on the diet and trying to reach your goal weight.
Green Tea is arguably one of the best choices for the Keto diet. The diet might cause a loss of muscles and increase oxidative stress. The high antioxidant content in green tea makes it easier for you to control this damage. Additionally, green tea has a host of other benefits such as increasing lean muscle mass and muscle strength. It also helps in weight loss and provides energy for you to workout with extra passion!
A cup of unsweetened, unadulterated green tea would have around 2 calories with a negligible amount of carbohydrates. Our favourite picks from our green tea collection that would make your Keto diet interesting are Green Valley and Ceylon Green.
- Green Valley is a pure Ceylon green tea from the Dimbulla region in Sri Lanka. This loose-leaf variety of tea is picked from the Pundalu Oya valley in the Nuwara Eliya region. The tea plantations are nurtured by the high mountain winds producing tea that is of the highest quality. Dimbulla Tea is sought after by tea enthusiasts around the world and is known for its strong flavour. It has a golden yellow appearance in the cup and is a delight to taste!
- Mythical Green is another variety of pure Ceylon green tea that is grown in the Uva region of Sri Lanka. Originating from a single estate located in the town of Nanu Oya at an elevation between 1,400 to 2,000 metres, this high-grown tea has a rich, earthy aroma with a mild roasted taste. Also a connoisseur favourite, this tea can satisfy all your iced tea cravings if you make it with chilled water and no other additives.
An easy choice, black tea with its myriad benefits can easily be a part of your Keto diet. Loose-leaf and natural black tea is low calorie as well as has a dismissable quantity of calories in it if taken without the milk and sweetener.
The caffeine content in black tea gives you the energy that you might be missing out on owing to the low carb content in your diet. The flavonoid antioxidants in this type of tea also help in disease prevention as well. The bold flavour of black tea also helps people switch from unhealthy and aerated drinks, making them the perfect Keto companion!
If we had to choose from our collection of black teas, the following would be our absolute favourite picks for the Keto diet.
- Colonial Mornings is a loose-leaf pure Ceylon black tea grown in the Dimbulla region of Sri Lanka and is perfect for your breakfast cuppa. This reddish amber tea with a rich, fruity aroma and a sweet, spicy, fruity and strong taste, it is truly a Royal English Breakfast Tea. A cup of this is low on calorie and is ideal to start off your day on an energetic note.
- Organic Gold is another gem originating from the Dimbulla region. This high-grown loose-leaf pure Ceylon black tea is grown in a single estate that has been producing premium quality tea for the last 2 centuries. A true indulgence, this tea has a smoky and herbaceous aroma with a slightly burnt, woody and strong taste! You can easily use this tea to brew yourself a delicious glass of iced tea.
- Divine Highlands is a well-known loose-leaf pure Ceylon black tea grown in the Nuwara Eliya region. Harvested at almost 6,100 metres, this tea is so exotic that it is indeed a drink fit for the Gods! It has a floral aroma with notes of jasmine and has a refreshing flowery taste.
The lesser-known and healthier cousin of the green and black teas, oolong tea is made from the leaves, buds and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant. The oolong is generally fermented and semi-oxidized putting it somewhere between the black and the green tea in the flavour spectrum.
This tea is famous for boosting your metabolism and therefore, helping in weight loss and promotes heart health by lowering cholesterol, It also helps in digestion and stabilizes blood sugar.
Our favourite, the Ceylon Oolong is a pure Ceylon oolong tea grown in the Ruhuna region in the Galle district of Sri Lanka. It is a low-grown tea with a fresh and mild flavour. This orange cuppa has a sweet fragrance and is rich in antioxidants making it good for you as well as the environment!
The least processed among all the varieties of teas, white tea is a great addition to your diet. It is rich in polyphenols called catechins that act as antioxidants inside your body. This high concentration of antioxidants in white tea helps slow down the breakdown of your cells as well as your ageing process.
Make your Keto better with the delicate and fragrant Ceylon Ivory tea
It also helps reduce the risk of heart ailments and improves your overall cardiac health while contributing to your weight loss journey. Among the white teas in our collection, we have two easy favourites!
- Ceylon Ivory is a delicate tea, both in flavour and aroma grown in the Ruhuna region. It is a pure Ceylon White ‘Silver Needle’ tea which is brought from farm to cup with the utmost care. The tea is handpicked, naturally withered and hand-rolled before firing. In your cup, it has a pale yellow colour with a fresh, light and nutty flavour and a mild aroma of fresh greens and lavender!
- Ceylon Gold is a pure Ceylon White ‘Golden Tips’ tea grown in the Nuwara Eliya region. Commonly called the ‘Golden Monkey’, this tea is harvested from a young tea bush before the buds have opened. The careful and delicate handling of the tea gives it a beautiful light and tart flavour with a rosewood aroma. In cup, it has a burnt gold colour!
Sticking to a fitness trend does not require you to give up all your favourite foods. It’s simply finding healthier alternatives to your diet and coupling that with a good and balanced workout!
Hence, when you are jumping into a Keto diet, find the best teas that you can enjoy minus the guilt of increasing your calorie count. The other health benefits of tea are always an added advantage!
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