Keto diet: all you need to know
Trying to shed a few pounds and get into better shape? Looking to lead a healthier lifestyle or address your diabetes? Frustrated by your inability to stick with one diet for an extended period of time? If so, read on.
Has anyone ever told you about Keto? This diet has grown increasingly popular in recent years, but why? Let the experts at Royal Craft Wood show you how being on a Keto diet may improve your health and help you create healthier lifestyle eating habits.
WHATS KETO DIET
The Ketogenic Diet has grown in popularity in recent years, and it’s easy to understand why. How about a diet that allows you to eat all the protein, meats, and veggies you want, as long as it’s not fried? It seems too good to be true! However, the way the Keto diet works is that once you start to eat more high in fat content foods and fewer carbs, you can kick your metabolism into ketosis. This process essentially changes how your body generates energy; instead of getting its energy from high sugary foods like carbs, it transitions to generating energy from the protein you take in. Without carbs, the body breaks down lipids into fatty acids, which are subsequently converted into ketones. But what exactly are ketones and how does a keto diet work, you might ask?
Well, glucose is our body’s primary energy source, which is derived from sugars. The body searches for an alternate fuel source when glycogen levels are depleted due to insufficient availability. We’re talking about fat here. This process may occur due to deprivation, exercise, or while following a low-carb, ketogenic diet. The breakdown of lipids for energy results in the formation of ketones, which the body and brain utilize as fuel. Ketosis is the medical term for this state.
Moreover, as ketogenic dieters decrease their carbohydrates and increase their protein consumption, they produce ketones, which they use as an energy source. As a result, a keto or ketogenic diet is an extremely low-carb diet that transforms the body into a fat-burning engine! Millions of individuals have already benefited from its many weight loss, health, and performance benefits!
WHAT DOES “KETOGENIC” OR “KETO” EVEN MEAN?!
Ketogenic refers to a low-carbohydrate diet (kind of like the Atkins diet). In this diet protein and fat make up the bulk of your calorie intake while restricting carbs that are easy to digest, such as sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread, should be the first items to go. Carbohydrate consumption should be kept at under 50 grams per day if you want to do it right. It causes your body to run out of fuel (blood sugar) that it usually relies on and as a consequence, your body will start burning protein and fat to convert into energy. This process typically takes anywhere from 3 to 4 days to take effect, however once it does you’ll notice you’ll start shedding weight more quickly as well. Ketosis is the medical term for this process. It's critical to keep in mind that as nice as it is, the ketogenic diet is a short-term weight loss approach, not a long-term health improvement strategy. Even so, it's a fantastic way to begin your weight reduction quest.
BENEFITS OF THE KETO DIET
A low carb keto diet essentially limits carbs, such as those found in sweet meals, pasta, and bread, to help lose weight and improve your health. Instead, it’s loaded with protein, fat, and nutritious veggies to make up for it. You may be surprised to find that various low-carbohydrate diets actually exist today! Moreover, research has even shown that they may both help people lose weight and improve their health.
Many individuals strive to lose weight to improve their physical appearance and self esteem that it entails, health, and even reduce pressure on their joints and other bodily ailments. In terms of weight loss, cutting carbs is one of the simplest and most effective ways! A growing body of evidence suggests that low-carb/ketogenic diets are more effective than other approaches at helping individuals lose weight because they force your body to burn fat that you no longer need as fuel, causing you to lose weight.
We all know that in order to lose weight, you must reduce your daily calorie intake. In today's environment, diets that claim to help you lose weight by depriving you of nutrients or by contaminating your food with chemicals will leave you hungry and gain back all you lost quickly. It’s important to note that if you want to lose weight you need to ensure you are not restricting your body of the nutrients it needs. It's unrealistic to totally alter your eating habits in order to lose weight, since the moment you return to your old habits, you'll regain all of the weight you lost.
Consistency is key! You can eat nearly all the same foods you normally would when on a ketogenic diet, which allows you to better control your eating habits after. Eventually, food may transform from an enemy into a friend since it allows your body to burn fat 24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving it access to stored energy for weeks or months thereafter. Since hunger is no longer a factor, some even believe it may help with problems like sugar or food addiction and even eating disorders (like bulimia).
KETO DIET AND CANCER
Whether or not your body utilizes or stores sugar for energy is controlled by a hormone called insulin. Being on a ketogenic diet means you’ll burn through this fuel pretty quickly, so you won't need to have any on hand at all. As a result, your body will start producing less insulin since it no longer has as much of a need for it, which can be a plus for any diabetic readers hoping to reduce their diabetes. It has also been found that some kinds of cancers may even be prevented or delayed by consuming these lower quantities of phytochemicals. However more research is still being conducted on to what extent that is true and its effects on the human body’s susceptibility to cancer.
ENERGY AND MENTAL HEALTH
Feeling energized daily is how you should feel! With this diet, you’ll notice a sense of energy that was never there before, leaving you more energized to take on the day’s tasks. When you follow a ketogenic diet, you have access to all of your body’s fat as energy, significantly increasing your physical endurance. After a few hours of vigorous activity, the body’s supply of stored carbohydrates runs out. However, the energy you get from your fat reserves may endure for many weeks or even months. We know this feels too good to be true!
DRAWBACKS OF THE KETOGENIC DIET
Even though ketogenesis may seem to be a novel idea, your body automatically switches to it when it runs out of glucose to utilize as fuel. As an alternative energy source, your body will start to use ketones created from fat breakdown. It’s like your body has a built-in generator for emergencies! Which makes this diet an optimal solution for weight loss.
DIFFICULT TO SUSTAIN
One downfall of Keto is that the numerous food restrictions make it difficult for many individuals to stick to it. Thus, unfortunately promoting yo-yo dieting, which has been linked to an increased risk in gaining back weight after. Which is why taking careful steps after to wind yourself off the diet is important. Don’t jump back into a full swing carb loaded diet, take time to introduce certain carbs back into your diet gradually. If you don't make an effort to maintain that momentum thereafter, you'll find yourself yo-yoing between diets and falling off the wagon once again. The only way to tell whether your body is still in a state of ketosis is through a blood test, which is just something to keep in mind as you're winding yourself off in the end.
RISKS & SIDE EFFECTS
It’s important to note the cons of keto diet. First off, it’s nearly impossible to obtain all the vitamins, minerals, and fibers you need from fresh fruits, legumes, veggies, and whole grains when on the keto diet. People often say they feel foggy and exhausted as a result of these deficits. The keto flu is the term used to describe these symptoms. Due to the absence of fiber in the keto diet, constipation is also a frequent problem.
Furthermore, the Keto diet's high fat content may be harmful to one's cardiovascular health. It's recommended by the American Heart Association that individuals eat no more than 5 to 6 percent of their daily calorie intake as saturated fat. As a consequence, many people on the Keto diet who consume excessive amounts of saturated fat increase their risk of heart disease, so be mindful of that. We often see an increase in lipids (fats) in patients' blood after six to eight weeks on the ketogenic diet.
When you start tracking your food intake and keeping track of your calorie intake, you lose touch with your body's natural hunger signals. Some people have a hard time listening to their bodies and instead depend on statistics to tell them what to eat, which may lead to psychological problems like guilt and overeating. So be sure to be mindful of that and take necessary steps to monitor in a way that won’t lead to mental problems like guilt or a lowered self esteem.
MAIN RULES OF A SIMPLE KETO DIET MENU
The following foods are included in a ketogenic diet: In order to stay in ketosis, it’s necessary that you cut off all carbs from your diet. Your carbohydrate intake should be maintained to a minimum of 20 grams net carbs per day. The less carbs you consume, the better your body will be at producing ketones because of this. To begin, maintaining tabs on your carb intake may be useful.
WHAT TO AVOID
Don't worry; nothing is off limits on the ketogenic diet. Carbohydrate "investment" refers to the way you choose to use your carbs. Avoiding the following foods may help you stay within the macronutrient limits of the keto diet:
- Lentils, legumes, and nuts
- Oats, rice, and other cereal grains
- Low-fat dairy products
- Sugar alternatives and artificial sweeteners
- Juices and sodas
- Crackers, pretzels, and potato chips, among other common traditional snacks
- Sweet potatoes, corn, and peas all fall under this category
- Margarine and shortening, both of which are hydrogenated fats
- Wines and beers, among other alcoholic beverages
Lemons, limes, tomatoes, and a few berries are the only exceptions to this rule. Rather it’s important to fill your body with berries (all within good measure) as they are a good source of antioxidantes.
Foods with a net carbohydrate content of no more than five are allowed! Simply avoid high-carb vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, kale, bell peppers, brussel sprouts, and beans among others to keep you under the daily carbohydrate restriction of 20 grams. However, if you're following a ketogenic diet that allows for more carbohydrates each day, you may consume as many veggies as you like.
Carbohydrates are abundant in fruits and berries, which is why they taste so sweet and delicious! In general, the sweeter and bigger the fruit, the more sugar it contains. Thus, fruits should be avoided on the ketogenic diet for optimal outcomes; however, berries are still okay but only in moderation.
KETO FATS, SAUCES, AND OILS
Everything tastes better with a buttery sauce, spicy dip, delicious relish, or savory marinade, right? We think so. To be successful on a ketogenic diet, you need to consume enough fat in your meals to satisfy your hunger at each meal. Keto-friendly foods like olive oils, balsamic dressings, and the like are ok in moderation, but creamy ranch dressings, sugary dips, and the like should be avoided for optimal results while on the diet.
KETO FRIENDLY SNACKS
Cheese boards are among the top Keto-friendly snacks! For Keto dieters, it's essentially an all-you-can-eat tray piled with your favorite meats, cheese, and berries. We all know the struggle in holding yourself over after an exhausting day, and dieting on top of it is no fun! So finding ways to combine the things you love while dieting is the best way to keep you going. Arrange a delectable spread—chop, slice, and munch from one of your cutting boards all your favorite keto-friendly treats and make dieting a breeze.
Whether you’re looking to try something new or to just shed some weight, the ketogenic diet is a great non-long-term option. The one downside is that it's only good for a year before it loses its effectiveness. Some doctors fear that eating so much fat would have a negative influence on one's cholesterol levels since there is no known, credible research on the long term effects of keto on one’s diet. With that, consider it a short boost to a better way of life and eating habits, rather than a permanent fix.