What is the keto diet?
The keto diet is a low-carb and high-fat eating plan that has become rather widespread among the dieters in the last years. According to the standard keto diet recommendations, you should cut your carbs intake to 50 grams a day (it is about 5% of your daily calorie intake). Healthy fats should make up 75% of your calorie intake, and proteins – 20%.
How does it work?
When people consume carbs, while sticking to their regular diet, the body turns them into glucose and uses it as a primary energy source. When you are lacking glucose, your body starts using the body fat as a fuel.
The eating plan aims to minimize your carb intake to make your body use your excess body fat and produce ketone bodies (small molecules that serve as an alternative source of energy) by the liver. So, ketosis is a state when your body uses body fat as a primary source of energy.
According to studies, this eating plan not only helps to shed pounds but has numerous health benefits as well. Moreover, it can minimize the risk of certain health conditions – acne, diabetes, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer. The keto diet can help to:
- Stabilize blood sugar level
- Get more energy
- Lose excess weight
- Reduce food cravings
What to eat and avoid on a keto diet?
The keto diet offers a list of specific foods which you can eat and which you should avoid to achieve desired results.
Your meal plan should be based on:
- Meat and protein (for example, beef, poultry, pork, lamb, ham, sausage, bacon, eggs and more)
- Seafood (mackerel, salmon, oysters, crab, octopus, shrimps and more)
- Healthy fats and oils (for example, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and more)
- Vegetables (exclude only starchy vegetables from your daily ration and eat more low-carb veggies, such as green vegetables, tomatoes, anions, peppers and more)
- Dairy (cheese, sour cream, full-fat yogurt, heavy cream)
- Low-sugar fruits (for example, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries, avocados)
- Nuts and seeds
- Water (necessary amounts)
You should avoid:
- Carbs (wheat, barley, oats, rice, corn, rice, buckwheat, bulgur millet)
- Sugar (including honey and sugar syrups)
- Beans and legumes
- Certain fruits (bananas, pineapple, apples, oranges, grapes, dried fruits)
- Certain veggies (carrots, potatoes, corn, cherry tomatoes)
- Some dairy foods (milk, fat-free or low-free dairy products)
- Unhealthy oils (corn, sunflower, canola, soybean oil)
- Alcohol and soda
Is the keto diet safe for me?
Yes, there is a study which proves that the keto diet can be helpful against obesity and improve insulin resistance in your body (2). However, the long-term effect on your health in general is lacking scientific backing.
That’s why before starting this diet you should know about its possible side effects. You can experience a keto-flu, which is caused by the body’s reaction to carbs restriction. You’ll need some time (approximately 24-48 hours) to get used to the changes in your diet. The symptoms of the keto-flu are:
- Sugar cravings
- Brain fog
- Poor concentration
- Stomach pains
- Muscle soreness
However, not all the dieters suffer from this flu. There are many people who easily establish new eating habits. Everything depends on your overall health, lifestyle and metabolic flexibility. To reduce the symptoms, you should sleep 7-8 hours per day, perform low-intensity workouts every morning and drink plenty of water.
In conclusion, although this diet isn’t highly restrictive and you still can get necessary nutrients, there are certain risks which can affect your health. That’s why you should make it a rule to consult a health professional before starting a new diet. Remember, that only a well-balanced meal plan and regular physical exercises can help you to achieve your goal.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!