What is a Keto Diet?
A keto diet, also identified as a ketogenic or low-carb diet, is a high-fat diet that is becoming increasingly popular.
In this article, we’ll explain what a keto diet is, why people choose a ketogenic diet, and how it works
Table of Contents
- What is a Keto Diet?
- What is a Keto Diet?
- What is Allowed on a Keto Diet?
- Who Can Be On A Keto Diet
- Who Should Not Be On A Keto Diet
- What is a Basic Keto Diet?
- What is a List of Foods you can Eat on the Keto Diet?
- Pros of the Keto Diet
- Cons of the Keto Diet
- Keto Diet – My Opinion
What is a Keto Diet?
A keto diet is a diet that involves eating foods that provide healthy fats and protein but very few carbohydrates.
When the body burns fat for energy, it makes things called Ketones to use for fuel. Ketones are elements the body creates when it uses fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.
The whole process of turning fat into ketones is called ketosis – hence the name of the diet.
What can explain it better than a video?
Ketosis and The Keto Diet.
Ketosis happens when the body has run out of glucose (blood sugar) and uses stored fats as an alternative energy source. During this state, known as “ketosis,” the liver produces ketone bodies, which the brain uses as an alternate fuel source.
Because of your low-carb intake, ketosis helps you burn fat, feel less hungry, and helps you build muscles.
So, the keto diet is a low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet that encourages the body to use fats for fuel.
What is Allowed on a Keto Diet?
If you are a novice to this diet, your body will undergo an adaptation period lasting from several days to a few weeks. It happens because your body changes to make energy through fat instead of carbohydrates.
Symptoms of the adaptation include exhaustion, lethargy, and headaches. However, these symptoms disappear once the body has adapted.
Who Can Be On A Keto Diet
For healthy people who aren’t pregnant or have diabetes, a keto diet should include 60-80% fat, 10-30% protein, and 5-10% carbs.
In some cases- cyclical keto diet- you are allowed to have periods of higher carb refeeds, for example, six ketogenic days followed by three high carb days.
In other cases, you are allowed more carbs around workouts (targeted keto diets).
And lastly, for a high-protein keto diet, your protein ratio is allowed to increase to 35%. The balance is often 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
Who Should Not Be On A Keto Diet
However, a few people for whom a keto diet isn’t suitable include; pregnant women, children, people with a very low BMI, people at risk of hypoglycemia, and those with conditions that a keto diet may aggravate.
What is a Basic Keto Diet?
The Keto diet drives your body to use another type of fuel (fat). While burning fat seems ideal for losing weight, getting the liver to make ketone bodies can be tricky.
As a result, a basic keto diet should have the following:
- Fewer than 20 to 50g of carbs daily. So, avoid carbohydrate-rich foods such as legumes, fruits, grains, and vegetables.
It may be shocking to find fruits and vegetables on this list, but keep in mind that a medium-sized banana has about 27g of carbs.
However, you can have certain fruits and vegetables like berries, leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, cucumber, celery, and summer squashes.
- Not too much protein, as too much protein, can interfere with ketosis.
Protein choices with high saturated fat, such as beef, bacon, and pork, are encouraged.
- High amounts of high-fat food, including almonds, walnuts, avocados, olive oil, butter, coconut oils, tofu, and seeds, should be included in your basic keto diet.
What is a List of Foods you can Eat on the Keto Diet?
Here is a list of low-carb, keto-friendly foods that are appropriate to eat when you’re on a keto diet.
- Fish and seafood
- Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
- Low-carb veggies
- Red meat
- Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese
- Chicken & Eggs
- Nuts (peanuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds) and its products such as peanut butter, almond butter
- Seeds (Flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds)
- Healthful oils like olive oil, coconut oil, butter, pork fat, etc
- Fruits: Berries (strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries), avocado, olives, or coconut.
- Unsweetened coffee and tea
Here is a checklist of food that is NOT appropriate to eat when you’re on a keto diet.
- Chips and crackers
- Sweetened yogurt
- Cereals and Oatmeals
- Baked goods, including gluten-free baked goods
- Honey, syrup, or sugar in any form
- Starchy vegetables and high-sugar fruits
- Alcoholic Drinks
Consumption of foods in this section depends on your daily carbohydrate goal, as they fall in the middle of high-carbs and low-carbs.
- Milk: (Almond, coconut, or other low-carb milk is best in this instance)
- Beans and Legumes: Although a great source of fiber and protein, beans and legumes are also high in carbohydrates. So, if you eat beans and legumes, eat them in small quantities.
If you do not like to do all the shopping and preparing you can have a look at the main menu and find the best keto meal delivery for your situation.
Pros of the Keto Diet
1. It supports Weight Loss:
One of the reasons people get into a keto diet, One of the most significant benefits is weight loss. Because there’s less sugar in the bloodstream, the body burns stored fat for energy rather than relying on carbohydrates.
The keto diet consists of foods that fill a person up, and the food reduces appetite and promotes weight loss.
2. Improves Acne:
Although acne has several causes, sometimes, it is due to diet and blood sugar. According to a study, a decrease in carb intake reduces acne symptoms in some people.
3. Improved Mood:
Another benefit is improved mood. Many people who keep a ketogenic diet report feeling happier and more energetic.
Other advantages of the keto diet have been discovered by research. Researchers have found that a ketogenic diet helps reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Some studies show that the keto diet is a safe and supportive treatment alongside chemotherapy and radiation therapy in people with certain cancers.
Other research shows that keto diets may help improve the heart’s health.
Cons of the Keto Diet
Keto sometimes comes with side effects like constipation and the keto flu.
Apart from the fact that the diet is restrictive and hard to follow, it can negatively affect your relationship with food.
Other side effects of the keto diet range from bad breath to hair loss and damaged gut health.
Keto Diet – My Opinion
While the keto diet may look like an excellent deal for you, it is crucial to discuss the diet plan with your doctor or dietician- especially if you are trying to manage a health problem or disease. Knowing that the keto diet is a safe eating plan for you is essential.
The Keto is more restricted in what you can eat compared to the Mediterranean diet.
Keep in mind the studies on the adverse side effects of the diet (1). Also, there are no substantial studies on the long-term benefits of the keto diet.
So, work with your doctor or dietician and devise a plan that best suits you.