Keto baked goods

 Baked goods can be a wonderful addition to your Keto diet -- but be careful!

Baked goods can be a wonderful addition to your Keto diet -- but be careful!

When I first started Keto I bought every cookbook that was mentioned on the various Keto Facebook pages as having sections with desserts, baked goods, fat bombs and other treats. I was incredibly overwhelmed by the ingredients I was called on to buy, which I dutifully did! I bought a multitude of sweeteners and in the end, ended up shipping most of them to Keto girlfriends who were already using them. I bought bags of coconut flour (which, two years later, I still have never used!) and almond flour (which I do use), and I bought all manner of thickeners. In my case, the cookbooks were not enough to feed my obsession, and I downloaded baked goods and treat recipes from the internet. I bought three-ring binders and protection sheets to house these recipes until those binders were stuffed and I had to consider either culling the recipes to make room for more, buy more binders, or realize that I was not going to bake anything but one or two of the recipes, so it was time to get rid of the rest. Been there done that yourself?  Well have fun and spend your money. BUT:

Use Keto baked goods and treats with caution!

I have many reasons for giving this advice. Besides saving you the time and money that I foolishly spent, I realized early on - and you will too - that eating a well-formulated Ketogenic diet kept me full for hours and I no longer needed to snack. I even found myself not wanting meals at all (OMG skip dinner? Are you kidding? Yet I did!). As you find you are eating less on a Ketogenic diet, you will find that you want to fill your day with good, solid nutrition, which baked goods take away from. There is only so much room in your stomach for a meal. Don't use up that space with a baked good.  

However, that being said, sometimes just nothing seemed to appeal to me, and one of those little bagels was perfect with cream cheese and a nice slice of fresh tomato. One time I got grilled cheese on the brain and nothing would satisfy me but a sandwich. However, that being said, I would have something like that once or twice then put the rest in the freezer and go on with my meals that might be bacon with stuffed omelettes, ribeye steak and grilled asparagus, Cobb salad topped with steak tips - you get the idea!  

The other thing that stopped me in my tracks was looking at the macros for these items. "Fathead dough" is loaded with cheese, i.e., protein. Almond breads have plenty of carbs. Recipes you see for pizza crusts made with chicken are very high in protein. Recipes you see for cauliflower crusts are high in carbs. Understand that even when you eat Keto, portion control for carbohydrates and protein is still very important. This leads me to my next caution: The dreaded BINGE.

If you have never had a problem with binge eating then you can skip this. But if you have a problem, you know you do and you don't need me to explain it to you. The interesting thing I found when I started Keto, is that not all overweight people struggle with bingeing. Sometimes it is just the food and insulin and fat storage. Sometimes it is just large portions. Sometimes it is just snacking all day out of habit. I'm not talking about that — I am talking about how one chip will make you finish the bag — or one snack bag will make you finish all 6 or 8 in the package. Or how one Oreo leads you to the whole line, the whole package, and then brings you to looking for more things to eat even though by then you feel sick. THAT is what I am talking about. And if that is you, then I urge you to stay away from Keto baked goods (and desserts) until you have a stronghold in this lifestyle. It took me 1-1/2 years to have that grilled cheese sandwich for one or two days then put the rest of the loaf in the freezer. When I started Keto, I was as prone to bingeing as I was before doing Keto. I still might be if I were faced with Keto cookies and candies and cakes. I can handle the bread and bagels you see pictured here. I'm not going down the sweets path yet!

When Keto baked goods and sweets ARE a good idea

What I would say further, even taking the cautionary binge tale into account is this: It is better to "feed" the craving than fight it. But I would feed it very carefully. Do you want to go into the lion's den 1/2 dozen times a day to feed it, or would you like to go in maybe once then hand the task off to someone else? Make the bread and make the bagels; make the candies and the puddings; make the cheesecake and frosted lemon cake. Make it all. BUT if you know you are a person who has trouble with bingeing then make arrangements to get it out of the house once you have had a taste or a meal with it. NO - having it in the freezer did not stop me: I once ate a half of a raspberry peanut butter loaf FROZEN until I finally just crumbled it and threw it in the trash. All Keto. All good (even the amount I ate did not bring me over my 20 total carbs for the day!), but it reinforced the binge behavior which was NOT good. I am now almost two years into Keto, into my paradigm shift, and I don't know that would happen again with baked goods like bread and bagels. But it might if there was a lot of sweetness involved (yes, a cautionary tale there too even if you cut out all the sugar). If I were to bake cookies or a cake or a pie (yes, ALL possible on Keto), I would make sure that I was in a sharing situation. I would bring it to a party or to someone else's house or to work or to anywhere that would get it out of my reach. It might take another 1 1/2 years before I would "trust" myself with sweets and desserts. Keto is not a way of eating that is meant to deprive you. I don't feel deprived on Keto - never did, even at the beginning. Find everything you CAN eat and enjoy. Find safe substitutions if you have to. Some say not to feed the craving because cravings beget cravings. My experience has been (as long is there is no sweetness involved), that I can satisfy the craving and be done with it for months. You will have to find what works for you.

If you feel you could never do Keto if you couldn't have bread and rolls and cakes and cookies again, then maybe it is a good idea to have these items even at the beginning of your journey, just as long as there is a blaring siren and flashing red light above them — like at a railroad crossing when the train is coming through. But be cautious and be aware that if you get stuck on those tracks... well then....