Thanksgiving dinner is traditionally a high-carb affair.
Tables often feature some combination of mashed potatoes, thick gravy, sweet baked beans, yams, cornbread, and pie. Those dishes can feel like an abomination for people on a ketogenic diet, which limits one’s carb intake to 20-50 grams per day.
Keto dieters aim to stay in a state of ketosis, in which the body burns fat for fuel. The approach is backed by some evidence that suggests limiting carbs could boost your health. A rigorously controlled study published in the BMJ this month suggested that overweight people who stick to low-carb diets (getting 20% of their daily calories from carbs) may burn around 250 more calories per day than people who follow high-carb eating plans.
The study is the latest to question the conventional idea that “a calorie is a calorie.” More research is still needed, but the finding suggests there might be something sluggish about the way our bodies run when using carbs as an energy source, and that could have serious consequences for our health and make long-term weight maintenance trickier.
For keto eaters, a single serving of mashed potatoes or slice of apple pie could send their system out of ketosis by raising their blood sugar. But there are still ways to follow the rules and feast at Thanksgiving. Here are a few simple and delicious ways to stay keto this week without deprivation or cheating.