The Keto diet is the latest regimen to hit the scene and you can’t watch your favorite doctor’s TV show or use social media without seeing a reference to it.
But what is the keto diet?
In the following guide we’re going to answer this and other questions to help you get started on your keto journey.
What is Keto?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat and low-carbohydrate diet that’s designed to train the body to run on fat instead of sugar, which comes from carbohydrates.
As such, the keto diet requires that you give up all foods that are high in carbohydrates. This includes candy, pies, cake, ice cream, cookies, rice, cereal, bread and pasta.
But… there is some good news.
You can eat all the vegetables you want, as well as meat, fish, fowl, nuts and seeds and some fruit.
How Does it Work?
Your body deals with the low-carb consumption during keto in two ways. First, it enters into a state of ketosis which shifts your body’s energy source to primarily fats. This means that it breaks down fats into ketones which are used for energy.
The process of going into ketosis does take a few days and during this time people experience some adverse side effects, including brain fog, irritability, nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort, and some people label this the “keto flu”.
The second process that your body uses is gluconeogenesis.
This basically refers to the process of your body creating glucose, because not all cells can function on fats alone.
Being fuelled mostly by fat produces a state called ketosis and it has many benefits, including turning your body into a fat-burning machine, and it also has been shown to reduce inflammation and its accompanying conditions.
Know Your Macros
Protein, fats and carbs are micronutrients that you find in the food that you eat every single day. The Standard American Diet typically consists of 35% fats, 15% protein and 50% of carbs. The keto diet typically requires that your diet consist of 75% fats, 20% protein and 5% carbs. That’s 10x less carbs than the SAD.
Foods to Avoid
Foods to avoid on the keto diet include cereal, cakes, cookies, pasta, pies, bread, carrots, apples and other high-glycaemic fruits and vegetables that quickly convert to glucose in the bloodstream.
Keep in mind that the goal of the ketogenic diet is to reduce the amount of glucose that gets into the bloodstream because glucose shuts off ketosis. You replace these foods with natural fats such as ghee and butter, fish, eggs, and meat.
The Benefits of Keto
– It’s nutrient rich
The keto diet is protein rich but you need to consume clean proteins like beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and turkey.
Nuts, seeds and oil provide you with good fats, and you’re spoilt for choice with options like macadamia nuts, pecans, brazil nuts, avocado oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee, olive oil, full fat yoghurt, and even unsweetened almond milk.
– It’s convenient
Keto is not a plan you have to buy or sign up for.
It’s not special food that you have to have delivered or even a complicated book that you have to read. The keto diet is simply a shift in how you eat.
It also reduces cravings for sweet foods as well as the need to snack all the time.
– It can help to manage chronic disease
Type 2 diabetes means that you have insulin sensitivity issues due to a high sugar content in the blood. That’s why research has shown over and over again, that the ketogenic diet works really well for type 2 diabetes.
Also, the keto diet is often prescribed to children that have refractory epileptic seizures, as getting into a state of ketosis can decrease the frequency of their seizures.
– It’s good for weight loss
Keto allows you to burn a lot of stored fat. Because fat is very satiating when you eat a high content meal, you end up not eating as much, therefore you limit the amount of calories that you take in throughout the day. This is one of the reasons why a lot of people who start the keto diet experience rapid weight loss, especially when paired with intermittent fasting.
The Keto diet is proof that you don’t need to consume carbs for survival and you can easily survive on fats and proteins. It’s very similar to other well-known low-carb diets, such as Atkins and Banting. The best part is that it’s easy to apply and benefit from, granted that you follow the requirements.
So what are you waiting for? Go try a keto diet and let us know what you think!