The keto diet is certainly popular. So many celebrities and influencers have tried it and talked about it on talk shows that there’s almost no way you haven’t heard about it. The diet is known for delivering super fast results especially in the beginning. The hype is still here, so let’s learn all the facts about the ketogenic diet before you decide to give it a try. Everything you need to know about the keto diet you will find below.
What is ketosis in a ketogenic diet?
Ketosis is a metabolic state that has been around since humans have. When you eat a super low amount of carbohydrates, you are in fact starving your body and brain of glucose, which is its main source of fuel. Since the body still needs to function, it starts to use an alternative fuel source: ketones, which are molecules that your liver creates from excess fat when your blood insulin is very low. This process is called ketosis and it’s the key part of the ketogenic diet.
The liver actually produces ketones all the time, but if your diet is full of carbohydrates and protein the process of ketogenesis will slow down. When you replace carbs and protein with fat, your body will turn to ketosis faster and will produce more ketones, meaning that it will start to burn fat for energy instead of carbs.
You will probably find some online trainers or “body hackers” which will imply that they can help you with getting into ketosis without changes to your diet, by using some supplements. Don’t fall for the trap, as there is no way to do this properly without eating a very low-carb diet. Our bodies are more intelligent than we think!
What should you eat on the keto diet?
Everything you need to know about the keto diet is that fat must be 60 to 80% of your total daily calories. Protein can be up to 20%, and carbs about 5%. To maintain your body in ketosis, it’s recommended to keep carb intake at 20-30 grams per day maximum, which is really not much – about a half of a bagel.
If you thought carbs are only in starchy or wheat foods, think again: 1 cup or brussels sprouts has 8 grams of carbs, 1 cup of chopped broccoli has 6 grams of carbs, etc. This means that basically, if you eat some keto vegetables with your food, you will reach your maximum carbs very fast. Fruits have even more carbs than vegetables, so they are almost off the table, except for some berries. A fun fact is that you can eat bacon on a ketogenic diet! You should however limit the amount of bacon you eat, since it is an ultra processed food which has been linked to increased heart disease risk and cancer. Starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn are off the table since they are too high in carbohydrates, and so are most fruits.
When looking for carbs to eat, vegetables are a great option since they contain many micronutrients and fiber, which can improve your health.dietketoapp.com
Foods to eat on Keto
Fish and seafood. In fact, most fish are keto-friendly. Fish such as salmon and sardines are great choices due to their fat content, and so are cod and trout. Here’s a list of keto-friendly fish and seafood to choose from:
Meat and poultry
Meats are great for keto, and there’s lots of choices such as beef, pork and poultry. Soy products such as tofu are also ok. A specific detail about keto is that sausages and bacon are allowed, you should however, check the labels of the products to make sure there aren’t any added sugars or carbs. Keto meat options:
A delicious food found in a dozen keto recipes are eggs. They are healthy and vegetarian friendly. You can cook them in many different ways, and they are not expensive. You can eat boiled eggs, omelets, poached eggs, scrambled eggs, fried or in quiches.
A big part of keto are products like cheese, cream and butter. Greek yogurt is also a great protein source with very few carbs. Choose full-fat dairy products, low-fat and nonfat are not keto-friendly.
Fruits and berries
It’s ok to eat some berries, lemons and lime on keto. The servings should be rather small. All other fruits should be avoided since they include way too much sugar. Keto-friendly fruits:
You can eat lots of vegetables on the keto diet, as long as they are low carb. Almost all vegetables that grow above ground are fine to eat on keto, fresh or frozen. Keto-friendly vegetables:
- Brussels sprouts
Nuts and seeds
Nuts are ok to eat in moderation, they don’t have too many carbs but it’s still easy to overeat them. It’s important to choose nuts which are lower in carbs, like macadamia or pecans, instead of cashews which have more carbs. Best nuts for keto:
- Brazil nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Foods to avoid on Keto
- Sugary foods must be avoided on keto: candy, cookies, soda, cakes, cereals and ice cream. Sugar is at least limited in most diets, so this should not come as a surprise.
- Most fruits also have too much sugar and should be avoided. Here are some non keto fruits: mangoes, bananas and grapes. Salad dressings, ketchup and most sauces are loaded with sugar, be sure to check the labels.
- Natural sweeteners such as honey and agave syrup are also not allowed on keto. They are still sugar.
- Starchy foods must be avoided completely since starch turns into sugar when digested. Starchy foods which you should completely avoid on keto: pasta, rice, potatoes, bread, tortillas, chips, bagels, crackers, oatmeal, buckwheat, whole-grain pasta, whole-grain bread and couscous.
According to multiple studies, the keto diet is very effective for weight loss. Many people believe that eating less carbs in general can boost mental activity and physical health, help manage cravings and decrease blood sugar.
Starting off as a treatment for epilepsy in children, the keto diet has become very popular. People who want to lose weight or have better control over their diabetes see results within a short time frame. Based on research and several studies, keto undoubtedly helps with weight loss and with reduced sugar cravings. Recent research shows promise with keto diet in disorders like brain tumors, migraines, autism and Alzheimer’s disease.
For people suffering from type 2 diabetes, it might be very beneficial to follow a ketogenic diet, since it has been shown to dramatically reduce insulin needs. Here’s everything you need to know about the keto diet, a super diet when it comes to fast weight loss and blood sugar levels control.