We speak to keto pioneer Ally Mellor on how to feel merry and bright while staying in ketosis.
With the keto diet moving from a craze to an entrenched part of many Australian’s lives, it’s not unusual to have Christmas guests who are on a low-carb diet.
To get into a state of ketosis, where the body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy, so it burns fat instead and creates ketones for fuel, you have to minimise carbs and sugar and hone in on protein and healthy fats.
This can be tricky at Christmas time when carb-loaded food and sugar-laden drinks are free flowing, but you can modify just about anything to make it keto-friendly.
Like what you see? Sign up to our bodyandsoul.com.au newsletter for more stories like this.
Australia’s keto pioneer, Ally Mellor, who has a dozen keto Christmases under her belt, shares her tips for a keto-friendly Christmas from almond meal stuffing to DIY dips and even desserts that are good for you and taste good.
While many Aussie Christmas favourites are already high in protein and low in carbs, such as fish, prawns, ham, turkey and salads, here are a few healthy swaps for other festive favourites that still get the keto tick.
Alternatives to carbs
- If a potato bake is usually part of your Christmas lunch or dinner spread, you can swap carb heavy potatoes for cauliflower and keep all the yummy cream and cheese that makes it flavourful. Cauliflower rice goes beautifully with salmon, or for some festive colour add a capsicum frittata to the table.
- Instead of stuffing a turkey or chicken with seasoned breadcrumbs, try almond meal. It won’t affect the flavour or texture, and because it’s made from ground almonds, it will add some extra nutrition to the meal in the form of fibre and good fats.
- Many pre-made store bought dips are high in sugar so don’t pass muster for anyone on keto but it’s easy to whip up a homemade guacamole with a few avocados and some lime juice, or make your own tzatziki with Greek yoghurt, cucumber and garlic
- For a sweet treat, rum balls are a festive take on protein balls and can be kept keto-friendly with sugar substitutes such as monk fruit and a nut base. If you can’t be bothered making them, Locako launched a Christmas themed keto rum ball this year. The DF, GF rum ball is low carb (less than 3g), has no added sugar and is boosted with collagen, coconut oil, nuts, prebiotics and probiotics to make it the ultimate healthy keto snack
Drinks and dessert:
- If you’re in ketosis, it’s best to avoid sugar loaded alcoholic beverages so opt for sparkling wine, red wine and no-sugar seltzers instead
- It is possible to have a delicious dessert that isn’t high in sugar if you make some simple swaps. While the classic Christmas pavlova doesn’t get the keto tick, a small serving of fruit and cream is still ok, and you can also keep some good quality low-sugar ice cream in the freezer or whip up some ‘nice cream’ with frozen bananas and berries. Other keto-friendly options include mousse made with avocadoes or coconut cream, chocolate brittle with nuts and cacao, chocolate fudge, chocolate gummies or peanut butter brownies.
Ally Mellor has been on the keto diet for more than a decade and is the founder of Australia’s pioneering keto company, Locako. For more information, recipes or to buy a box of keto rum balls, visitLocako.
Any products featured in this article are selected by our editors, who don’t play favourites. If you buy something, we may get a cut of the sale. Learn more.