What is the keto diet?
The keto diet, or ketogenic diet, is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. When you eat very few carbs, your body enters a metabolic state called ketosis. In ketosis, your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose (sugar).
How does the keto diet work?
When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose. Glucose is the main source of energy for your cells. However, when you restrict carbs, your body doesn’t have enough glucose to use for energy. Instead, it breaks down stored fat into ketones, which your body can use for energy.
What are the benefits of the keto diet?
The keto diet has been shown to have a number of health benefits, including:
- Weight loss: The keto diet is a very effective way to lose weight. Studies have shown that people on the keto diet lose more weight than people on other diets, even though they eat more calories.
- Improved blood sugar control: The keto diet can help to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes. This is because the keto diet helps to reduce insulin resistance, which is a major underlying cause of diabetes.
- Reduced risk of heart disease: The keto diet can help to reduce the risk of heart disease by improving cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure.
- Improved brain function: The keto diet has been shown to improve brain function in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.
- Reduced inflammation: The keto diet can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. This may benefit people with chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and asthma.
How to start the keto diet
If you’re interested in trying the keto diet, there are a few things you need to do:
- Limit your carb intake. Aim for 20-50 grams of net carbs per day. Net carbs are total carbs minus fiber.
- Increase your fat intake. Fat should make up 60-75% of your daily calories.
- Moderate your protein intake. Protein should make up 15-20% of your daily calories.
Here are some examples of keto-friendly foods:
- Meat: Beef, chicken, pork, lamb, etc.
- Fish: Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are best.
- Eggs: Whole eggs are best.
- Non-starchy vegetables: Leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, etc.
- High-fat dairy products: Cheese, cream, butter, etc.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, etc.
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, etc.
Here are some examples of foods to avoid on the keto diet:
- Sugary drinks: Soda, juice, sports drinks, etc.
- Grains: Bread, pasta, rice, cereal, etc.
- Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, corn, peas, carrots, etc.
- Fruit: Most fruits are high in carbs and should be avoided on the keto diet. However, berries are low in carbs and can be eaten in moderation.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils, etc.
- Processed foods: Anything that comes in a box or bag is likely to be high in carbs and should be avoided on the keto diet.
Tips for staying on the keto diet
- Drink plenty of water.
- Get enough electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals that help your body function properly. You can get electrolytes from supplements or from foods such as leafy greens, avocado, and coconut water.
- Listen to your body. If you’re feeling hungry, eat. And if you’re feeling full, stop eating.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. There are many different ways to do the keto diet. Find what works best for you and stick with it.
The keto diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that can have a number of health benefits, including weight loss, improved blood sugar control, reduced risk of heart disease, improved brain function, and reduced inflammation. If you’re interested in trying the keto diet, be sure to talk to your doctor first.