If you are interested in giving the keto diet a try, there are several important points you need to keep in mind. Take a look at a few of the basics regarding the keto diet below, and maximize the benefits of your new lifestyle.
What is a ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is an extremely low carb, very high-fat diet that is designed to force your body to burn its own energy stores. The goal is to drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake, essentially replacing your carbs with fat. Therefore, on the keto diet, you will have a certain number of carbs you can eat per day. The rest of your diet will be lean protein, vitamins, minerals, and fat.
How does the keto diet work?
When you reduce the carbs you put in your body, you induce a metabolic state called ketosis.
This means that your body has to burn fat for energy. When your body breaks down fat, it releases its own internal carbohydrates, which you can use for energy.
It also turns fat into ketones through basic bodily processes in the liver, which is why it is called the ketogenic diet. These ketones are important for supplying energy to the brain.
Keto basics: What is ketosis?
Ketosis refers to a metabolic state where your body is forced to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. When you reduce your carbohydrate intake, your body has to find them somewhere else. Otherwise, your body does not have any glucose it can use for energy.
If you don't consume any carbohydrates on your own, your body will use ketosis to turn fat into carbohydrates. That way, your cells keep operating.
Different Types of Ketogenic Diets
There are several different types of ketogenic diets. They include:
The standard ketogenic diet is a diet that is high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbohydrates. This type of diet has 70 percent fat, 10 percent carbs, and 20 percent protein.
High protein keto
A high protein keto diet is very similar to the standard keto diet mentioned above. The only difference is that this diet has a lot more protein. This type of diet focuses on consuming a diet of 60 percent fat, 5 percent carbs, and 35 percent protein.
The targeted ketogenic diet is ideal for people who work out regularly. Even though you limit your carbohydrate intake during most parts of the day, you can add carbs to your diet based on your workout routine.
The Benefits of Ketogenic Diets
There are several significant benefits of following a ketogenic diet. Some of the biggest benefits include:
The biggest driving factor of the ketogenic diet is weight loss. Many people follow the ketogenic diet in an effort to lose weight. Multiple research studies have shown that you can follow the keto diet to lose weight, and it might be just as effective for weight loss as a low-fat diet. The principle behind this is very simple. If your body has to burn fat as an energy source, you will start to lose weight.
Another major benefit of the ketogenic diet is that you can reduce your risk of diabetes. People who consume too many carbohydrates are at a significant risk of developing diabetes. On the ketogenic diet, you do not consume a lot of carbohydrates, so you significantly reduce your sugar intake. Because you do not consume nearly as much sugar as you otherwise would, you significantly reduce your risk of developing diabetes. One study has found that the ketogenic diet can drastically improve your insulin sensitivity, which can help you stave off the development of type 2 diabetes.
Reduced Cancer Risk
There are a few other possible benefits of the keto diet as well, including a lower risk of cancer. This is an area that is still being studied, but there is some thought that following the keto diet might be able to reduce the risk of tumor growth. Therefore, there is a chance that following the keto diet could help you reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer.
There are women all over the world who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can lead to a wide variety of complications. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is directly tied to insulin levels, and following the keto diet can help you reduce your insulin levels. As a result, it could have a positive impact on people with PCOS, possibly reducing some of the symptoms and complications that go along with this condition.
Finally, following the keto diet can also have a positive impact on the health of your skin. If you consume healthy fats and reduce your sugar consumption, there will be less oxidative stress placed on your body. As a result, you can reduce inflammation levels throughout your body, which can help you reduce the appearance of varicose veins, lessen the impact of acne, and help you keep your skin looking bright and beautiful.
Foods to Avoid on Keto
In general, any foods that are high in carbs or sugar should be limited. Some of the most common foods you will have to cut out include:
Sugary Foods and Drinks: You will need to remove fruit juice, sodas, smoothies, candy, ice cream, cake, and chocolate from your diet.
Wheat: You will also have to cut out wheat-based products from your diet as well. A few examples include cereal, pasta, and rice.
Fruit: In addition to fruit juice, you will have to remove fruit from your diet. This includes apples, oranges, pears, and larger servings of berries.
Sauces and Condiments: You will have to remove a few condiments from your diet as well. These include ketchup, barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, and certain types of mustard.
Root Vegetables: You will also have to remove root vegetables from your diet as well. This includes parsnips, sweet potatoes, and potatoes.
Alcohol: If you drink alcohol, you will have to remove certain ones from your diet. Common examples include beer, wine, cocktails, and certain types of liquor.
You need to avoid this list if you want to keep your body in ketosis.
Foods to Eat on Keto
On the other hand, there are several foods you should eat regularly. Examples include:
Vegetables: You should eat a lot of low-carb vegetables, including peppers, onions, and green veggies.
Nuts and Seeds: You can eat a lot of nuts and seeds, including chia seeds, walnuts, and almonds.
Dairy Products: You can consume certain types of dairy products, including unprocessed cheeses.
Meat: You can consume red meat including steak, ham, sausage, chicken, and turkey.
Fish: You can also eat plenty of fish, including mackerel, tuna, trout, and salmon.
Healthy Oils: You can consume some healthy oils on the keto diet, including avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil.
Try to stick to this list if you want to maximize the benefits of the keto diet.
Sample Weekly Keto Menu
A sample weekly menu for the keto diet includes:
Monday - Have egg muffins for breakfast, a smoothie with peanut butter and almond milk for lunch, and pork chops for dinner with broccoli and a salad.
Tuesday - Enjoy an egg and cheese omelet for breakfast, a shrimp salad with avocado for lunch, and mackerel with asparagus cooked in olive oil for dinner.
Wednesday - Have eggs, tomatoes, and basil for breakfast, some walnuts, almonds, and avocado for lunch, and cheese-shell tacos with salsa for dinner.
Thursday - Enjoy some Greek yogurt with peanut butter for breakfast, some celery sticks and hummus for lunch, and chicken with cheese and pesto for dinner.
Friday - Have eggs with avocado and spinach for breakfast, chicken breast with asparagus for lunch, and a steak with onions for dinner.
Saturday - Have a salmon omelet for breakfast, some Greek yogurt with some chia seeds for lunch, and shrimp skewers with peppers and onions for dinner.
Sunday - Indulge with some cream cheese pancakes for breakfast, chicken and broccoli for lunch, and “zoodles” with bolognese sauce for dinner.
How to Eat Out on a Keto Diet
If you are dining out, you need to ask the restaurant which meals can be made keto-friendly. Most restaurants offer dishes that have red meat and fish. Take a look at the nutrition facts and make sure you replace any high-carb food with extra vegetables. When in doubt, ask for either a keto-friendly menu or the nutrition facts for clarification. Pay close attention to the condiments, as they often have a lot of sugar in them.
Risks of the Keto Diet
If you stay with the keto diet for an extended amount of time, there are a few possible side effects. These include:
You may experience low protein levels in the blood
The extra fat in the diet could lead to complications involving your liver or heart.
You may be at a greater risk of developing kidney stones.
You need to pay attention to your vitamins and minerals to ensure you do not develop a deficiency.
See your doctor regularly to make sure you protect the other parts of your body.
Supplements for a Ketogenic Diet
Because of the risks of the keto diet, you may need to consume supplements to prevent protein, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies. That is where we come in. With keto-approved shakes, you can bolster your diet and maximize the benefits of the keto lifestyle.