The keto diet, also known as a ketogenic diet, has become a popular type of diet that has earned so much popularity in recent days. Now, the question obviously arises, what actually is the diet? In short, it’s a dietary plan that forces your body to burn fat for energy instead of glucose and other carbohydrates from your food, such as grains, vegetables, and fruits. Continue reading to find out more about what you need to know about the keto diet.
Does the keto diet work?
My initial goal for following the keto diet was to lose weight. Moreover, the scientific evidence backing it up got me really motivated. But it’s an important point to note that there’s no guarantee that the keto diet will work for you. Another important thing to note that if you are already getting your desired result from your current diet plan, then you are better off sticking with that.
I’ve been on the keto diet for about a few months and I’ve been feeling great! Here are some of the changes I noticed myself.
I was losing unwanted weight, my concentration increased so I can focus more on my everyday tasks, I have improved and more regulated moods, my digestion improved, I can see an overall improvement to my health and well-being.
Positive Effects of Ketogenic Dieting
There is some remarkable research that shows potential advantages of a ketogenic diet such as:
It aids in weight loss and reduces inflammation and acne, reduces the risk of cancer, improved digestion, reduces the frequency of epilepsy, improves heart health and lowers blood pressure, protects brain functioning, improves health in women, and helps fight Type 2 diabetes.
How the Keto Diet Works?
The tissues of our body use carbohydrates, fats, and glucose for energy. When the diet supplies less glucose, the body then starts to fuel itself by metabolizing fats. Ketosis is the metabolic state that occurs when our body depends solely on burning fatty acids and ketone metabolism for energy. When the body is filled with ketones, (ketones are acids that collect in the blood and urine when the body uses fat) it’s the indication that the body has started using fats for fuel.
What to Eat and Avoid on the Ketogenic Diet
So, you’ve decided to follow the keto diet. Are you ready to find out what you can eat and what not? Let’s go over some common items that are widely used.
Beverages: Avoid alcoholic drinks and cheese as they will ruin ketosis. Have raw dairies instead. Drink coffee, black tea (no sweeteners), green tea, yerba mate, etc. are your best friends.
Vegetables: Veggies can become the sneaky source of carbohydrates. Focus on those vegetables that grow above ground, leafy and green. Avoid root veggies as they come up with high carb content. Limit your intake of water chestnuts, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnip, and all other potatoes, etc.
Fruits: Berries (blueberries, strawberries, etc) are allowed in small amounts. Avocados are great as it contains high fat and low carb. Avoid other large fruits like apples, bananas, oranges.
Oils & Fats: Load your diet with saturated and unsaturated fats like grass-fed butter, lard, ghee plus coconut oil, and fish oil. You should also reduce your intake of omega-6 fats which are found in corn, safflower, sunflower, sesame oils, and soy.
Dairy: Yogurt, ghee, sour cream, and heavy cream are good. Avoid dairy products that contain sweeteners or condensed milk and buttermilk.
Protein: Keto diet includes beef, pork, whole eggs, fermented soy products, nuts, and nut butter. Limit your intake of chicken, turkey, and farmed seafood.
Is The ketogenic Diet Safe?
Following a keto diet in the short term can be safe. However, in long term, it can cause health issues. Many people experience symptoms like a headache, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea for the first few weeks. You can end up having less intake of necessary nutrition like folate, potassium, and calcium, etc. You are also highly likely to suffer from other side effects as well. That is why the long-term keto diet is not a good idea.
There are other risks involved such as high saturated fat which is linked to heart disease and it is also associated with “LDL” or bad cholesterol which can also cause heart disease. You may be at risk for nutritional deficiencies if you are not eating a well-balanced diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, and grains. You can also be deficient in micronutrients such as magnesium, selenium, and B and C vitamins.
A keto diet has fewer carbohydrates and is rich in proteins and fats, like meats, eggs, processed meats, cheeses, fish, butter, and oils. The diet could also cause problems such as liver disease and kidney problems by making conditions worse. If you are having mood swings or feeling confused, this could be related to the low-carb diet, as your brain needs healthy carbohydrates to function properly. A word of caution, talk to your doctor or dietitian before starting this diet or any other diets to be on the safe side.
According to research, many people use the ketogenic diet or a low carbohydrate diet to lose weight. However, the difference in weight loss when compared to other diets, like the traditional diet or the Mediterranean diet, the weight loss does not seem to last for a long time. The keto diet has been linked to improving blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes but only for a short time. The long-term effects of the ketogenic diet are not known as people do not stick to the diet as they should. This can be related to the type of foods in the diet.
Although the most visible benefit is weight loss, improved mood, and better mental clarity, lifetime keto eating is never recommended. That is why you are having a problem, it’s best to listen to your doctor. The key is to ask yourself, do I really need this? If you are having health issues and willing to try out the new diet plan, maybe you should swing it.
The diet is simple. All you need is to change your bad eating habit. If you stick with it, you are guaranteed to feel better and healthier! I would try to have a balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and lots of water. You cannot fail with that.
Let’s start your keto diet TODAY! Please feel free to leave a comment. You can also take a look here to find out the difference between success and failure on the keto diet.