What is Keto diet?
A keto or ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, high fat and moderate protein diet. It helps you in loosing weight, balancing blood sugar and cholesterol levels and also reduces the risk of heart diseases. This is so because it increases the efficiency of burning fat in the body.
Low carbs generally refers to carbohydrate intake under 100 g per day. But ideally keto low carbs refers to carbohydrate intake below 20 g per day.
How does the keto diet work?
Before this, you should understand how body functions on carbohydrate and protein.
- All carbohydrates from the foods we eat are broken down into glucose. It is the first source the body goes when it needs energy.
- If you eat more carbohydrate, your body will store excess glucose in the liver and muscles. But when these get full, it will store as body fat.
- Now, if we eat less carbohydrates then the first source of energy will become fats. As it burns, there is production of ketone bodies.. This puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis.
- Hence in order to fulfill the energy requirement of body efficiency of burning fat increases.
- The significance of taking excess fat is fulfilling the energy requirements, maintaining required stores and removal of unwanted fat content.
- Now coming to protein, its main function of is growth and muscle development.
- For that reason, moderate intake of protein is essential.
- If we take excess of protein it will start converting into energy and thus sparing fats.
- Thus, if they are not used they again start accumulating.
- In this way, keto diet is effective in weight loss and other health benefits.
Keto diet food list
Foods to eat
You should eat high fat and low carbs foods. It means they are less starchy and have low sugar content. They include –
- Vegetables – Above ground vegetables are low carbs than those grow below ground. So you can take spinach, avocado, zucchini, lettuce, celery, asparagus, kale, olive, cucumber, tomato, brinjal, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans and capsicum. Avocado is also a good source of fibre.
- Fruits – Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, blueberries. A small portion of other kind of fruits can contribute to high carbohydrate content. This can exceed your daily carbs allowance.
- You can include green banana as it is a good source of fibre but take it in moderation as it has some carbs also.
- Nuts – Peanuts, walnuts, hazelnut, pine, almonds, pecans
- Fats, sauces and oils – butter, mayonnaise, heavy cream, cream cheese, tabasco sauce, soy sauce, mustard sauce, salsa, pesto, tomato paste, olive oil, coconut oil, peanut butter
- Alcohol – Try to avoid it. But still if you want you can have a glass of champagne,whisky, brandy, red wine and white wine.
- Drinks – water, lemon water, coconut water, tea, coffee, vegetable juice, diet soft drink, milk, soy milk, almond milk
- Include meat, eggs, fish and sea foods.
- Also, you can eat 90% cocoa chocolate.
Foods to Avoid
- Vegetables – Below ground vegetables especially potato and sweet potato.
- Fruits – especially mangoes, grapes and banana
- Nuts – cashew and pistachio
- High carbs sauces and unhealthy fats – Tomato ketchup, jam, maple syrup, barbeque sauce, vanaspati
- Drinks – Beer, smoothie, shakes, mango juice, energy drink, ice tea
- Also, try to avoid beans or legumes, bread, pasta and rice.
Important – Avoid all kind of sweetners. Although you can take a very small portion of it.
As you can see keto foods include a large variety of plant based products ( fruits, vegetables, nuts, soy milk, almond milk and other drinks). So, it can be easily followed by vegans, vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians. If you are a Vegetarian, you might also be interested in reading Keto Diet for Vegetarian article.
Who should not do ketogenic diet?
- If you are taking medication for diabetes. This is because avoiding carbohydrates and taking high fat diet can rise your blood sugar level initially. But gradually as the fat metabolized your blood sugar comes to normal. Thus, if you take medication in addition to keto diet then it can lead to severe decrease in blood glucose levels.
- If you taking medication for high blood pressure. Low carbohydrate diet can lower your blood pressure.
- In case of breastfeeding and pregnancy.
- Also, you should not do it in case of anemia and underweight.
Dangers of keto diet
While ketogenic diet has many proven benefits but it is still controversial.
- The main potential dangers is in regard to medications like diabetes. This is because the condition of ketosis is a mild form of ketoacidosis which is the complication of Type I diabetes.
- Some people may show certain side effects. This is often referred as keto flu. However, it can be easily cured in few days.
- Symptoms includes poor energy, mental confusion, increased hunger, weakness, nausea and digestive discomfort.
- To minimize this, you can initially start with a moderate carbs diet and then a low carbs diet.
So, now you can have your healthy keto foods and snacks. Go for it.
To get clear idea of calories and intake of fat, carb and protein intake in keto diet you must use KETO CALCULATOR.
KETO CALCULATOR will also help you on your goal whether it is weight loss or muscle building or maintain your current body.
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