WHAT IS KETO DIET?
The term keto refers to the fact ~ high in fat and extremely low in carbs.
Ketogenic diet is a way of eating a high amount of fats, medium amount of proteins and very low carbs.
What are carbs?
If you are interested in weight loss then carbs are not good for you.
Carbohydrates are macro nutrients found in starches, foods with high sugar content, bread, flour, pasta, rice, potatoes, cereals, bagels. These foods are so much available and delicious that they can be easily over consumed.
Carbohydrates breaks down to glucose which is in turn used by body to release energy.
What is ketosis?
When carbs are discarded for a long time from our diet then our body enters into a phase called ketosis.
In a normal condition, body burns glucose for energy. But once our body enters ketosis, then it starts burning fat for energy.
What are ketones?
When in a natural condition, the body uses glucose as its main source of fuel, but while being in a ketogenic diet (deficiency of available glucose) for long, our body starts breaking down fats for energy and that is when liver produces a molecule known as ketones to be used as fuel to the body and brain.
Do you want to know the ketones level in your body?
Then order some ketone pee strips (NO, this is not any affiliate link).
This is an important step to start. As a beginner you need to know what are the foods which are pushing you away from the ketosis.
You cannot rely on every recipes you see on the internet which says keto approved. You have to check yourself whether a certain combination of foods raising or decreasing your ketones.
There is also a danger of having high ketones count known as DKA (Diabetic Keto Acidosis).
Ideally our ketone level should not go beyond > 1.5
So, it is always good to have a ketone level checked.
How much carbohydrates should you consume while in a ketogenic diet?
Low carb researchers Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney suggested an upper limit of 50 gms of carb for a daily intake.
Anything below that level is good for a ketogenic diet.
Aiming for 35 gm of carbs daily should be a good keto way.
How to tell if you are in ketosis?
1. As I mentioned earlier that you can use the keto strips to check if you are in ketosis.
2. The other symptoms can be a rapid weight loss (initially it is due to drop in water weight)
3. Reduced food cravings is another indication.
4. You can also face bad breath or fatigue.
5. A bad headache could also be a symptom. Drink enough water to avoid the negative feelings.
BENEFITS OF A KETO DIET
Ketogenic diet would not have been trending if it was not a very effective measure.
1. Curb diabetics
Keeping the blood sugar level low and check on insulin it has proved to be effectively curbing diabetics. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic patients have got very positive effect following a ketogenic diet.
2. Effortless Dieting
Eating more proteins and fats satisfy our hunger pangs.
Following a keto diet will never make you feel hungry as you are already consuming full filling meals.
3. Leads to a lesser risk of Cataracts
Our eyesight gets effected gradually if we have high blood sugar levels.
A ketogenic diet always tends to lower your blood sugar levels and hence maintains an improved eyesight. It even decreases the risk of cataracts due to the same reason.
4. PCOS can be treated with a ketogenic diet
PCOS is a very common problem in women health.
Low carb diets decrease the overall insulin level and hence reduces the irregular menstrual periods and improve PCOS condition.
5. Improves Digestion and reduces Bloating
It is well known that potato, pasta, high sugary foods are likely to increase the body bloating due to acid reflux. So maintaining a low carb diet improves these conditions.
Taking out the carbohydrate from the diet also helps in digestion and other gastrointestinal problems.
6. Helps to gain Muscles
A muscle gain also comes with fat gain. A ketogenic diet solely promotes muscle gain.
For an endurance athlete, the ketones in the blood lead to significant performance boost.
Dr Stephen Phinney and Dr Jeff Volek have a number of papers published about ketogenic dieting for ultra-endurance athletes.
7. Improves Gall Bladder health
Gallstones are formed due to a high amount of carbs intake. So keeping a sufficient amount of fat and keeping the carb count low somewhat prevents the formation of gallstones.
8. Lowers Blood pressure
Low carb diets are greatly associated with lowered blood sugar levels.
Since the ketogenic diets are designed to reduce the carb intake, it lowers the blood sugar level effectively.
Lowered blood sugar levels reduce the risk of heart disease, kidney failures and other cardiovascular diseases.
9. Helps fight Obesity
Abdominal Obesity, diabetes, hypertension are effectively reduced while on a ketosis.
A large percentage of harmful fat in the abdominal cavity is lost due to low carb diets.
Ketogenic diet helps to fight obesity and prevent major metabolic problems.
10. Increase in energy levels
You will notice a lack of cravings for carbs and a boost in energy levels within a week of a keto diet.
11. Increases HDL
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as the good cholesterol which carries the cholesterol from the body to the liver where it can be reused or excreted. So higher the levels of HDL, lower is the risk of any heart disease.
HDL can be increased by eating a lot of fats. As fat consumption is the main ingredient of a ketogenic diet, so the HDL level tends to increase measurably.
12. Controls LDL
The bad cholesterol or the Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) tends to increase the rate of heart disease.
The higher the level of LDL, the higher is the chances of heart attacks. Though all the LDL particles are not of the same size. The smaller particles are more harmful.
A low-carb diet for a prolonged period starts turning the smaller particles into larger ones and thus it becomes less harmful.
13. Lowers Triglycerides Level
Triglycerides are the fat molecules in the blood which are a strong heart disease risk factor.
The consumption of sugar and high carb diet tends to increase the triglyceride level.
Hence, on the contrary, a low carb diet tends to eliminate the triglycerides on a large percentage.
HOW TO START A KETOGENIC DIET FOR BEGINNERS
To start a ketogenic diet all you need is determination and crystal clear meal plan.
1. Initially, it will be a bit tough to get accustomed with the new changes of eating habits. So you may take a week before you actually can start the diet. But in the meantime do not start eating high-fat diets along with carbs which is a sure shot way to obesity.
2. You will get ample of keto breakfast, lunch, dinner recipes available on the internet. Always be prepared for a weekly meal plan. You can do the meal plans on weekdays and get your grocery shopping on Fridays.
3. While you prepare yourself for a high fat and low carb diet, do not forget to take the protein intakes in between. If you feel you are not getting enough proteins then the Egg whites are an excellent way.
4. If you are unsure of what amount of protein, fats and carbs will be good for you then you can use the Keto Calculator. You can use any keto calculators as it is always a good start to know your body. Having the calculation metrics will help you to keep focused on your diet plan.
KETOGENIC DIET FOOD LISTS
Now when you have decided to start with your first ketogenic diet then here go the food lists which you should be aware of.
You will have 2 sections here. One the foods to have and the second, the foods to avoid. Take notice of both.
Keto Foods to have
- Avocado Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Goose fat
- Red Palm Oil
- Cottage Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Whipped Cream
- Brussels sprouts
- Egg Plant
- Green Onion
- Red Cabbage
- Bell Peppers
- Brazil nuts
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Hemp seeds
Foods to avoid while in a Keto Diet
- Sugary Foods
- Milk Chocolates
- Sweet Potatoes