By Likhitha P Nair
A recent study published in the journal Science Immunology talks about how low-carb diets like keto can help provide immunity against infections like influenza. According to researchers, the ketogenic diet characterises the immune response in the lungs, promoting the expansion of T cells that play a central role in protecting lung against infections. The weight-loss results it can give sans a tiring exercise routine is visible, but Keto meals can be hard to follow regularly. All the meat, oil and fat you have to consume daily can get quite overwhelming.
“The best part of a Keto meal is that it includes more than just meat and proteins. Keto revolves around more fat in your diet and that can be accomplished by using a lot of coconut and coconut oil in your regular cooking if not paneer and ghee,” says Cinu Chandran, a Dubai-based Malayali chef who extensively works on home-made keto recipes. According to the chef, you can easily put together tasty items from around your kitchen, rather than worrying about a confusing grocery list. “Just marinate a piece of chicken breast in some curry powder, garlic, salt and lemon juice. Then egg wash (egg that is beaten with water, milk or cream) and coat it in dry coconut flakes. You can panfry this and serve it with garlic mushrooms for an easy keto meal that is packed with nutrients.
Another problem most people face on a ketogenic diet is the lack of fibre intake, which could lead to constipation. The routine only allows the intake of selected low-carb vegetables, and for an Indian diet, there are even fewer items that are affordable and readily available— including cabbages, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, cabbages and cauliflower. But one can always look for replacements, says the chef. “Our state is blessed with plenty of homegrown veggies—especially nutritious leaves like moringa, pumpkin leaves, amaranth etc.
So making a coconut-rich thoran with these vegetables or a simple stir-fry serves the purpose,” he says, adding that mushroom and tender jackfruit dishes are great options too. He also recommends making a regular cabbage thoran, and stuffing your omelette cooked in home-made ghee with it.