What is a Keto Diet?

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The keto diet is one of the fastest growing diets around the globe since it helps with weight loss and has a number of other benefits as well.According to various studies, keto diet is said to reduce the risk factors for diseases like diabetes, epilepsy, Alzheimer, stroke etc. Starting a keto diet requires planning. It involves taking 75% fats, 20% proteins and only 5% carbohydrates. Let’s dig in more. A keto diet is said to switch the body’s energy supply. A keto diet is a diet that emphasizes on taking foods that are low in carbs, high in fats and proteins.

What Is a Keto Diet?

Taking in low carbs brings changes as it forces your body to use fat as a source of energy, allowing fat to burn which results in weight loss. A keto diet incorporates eating seafood, poultry, meat, low carb veggies and fruits, dairy, nuts and seeds.

This diet resembles the famous Atkins diet and follows almost the same meal plan, however, just a few alterations in the final phase. All the changes in your body occur through a process called ketosis. It’s a process where your body utilizes the ketones in your body rather than using glucose.

What Are Ketones: Ketones derive from fat and serve as a more stable energy source compared to glucose, hence, help in reducing weight while offering other health benefits as well.

What To Eat In A Keto Diet?

The road to a keto diet focuses on three things.

  1. Eating foods high in fats.
  2. Eating foods moderate in proteins.
  3. Eating foods low on carbs.

Meat: Grass-fed meat, organic meat and unprocessed meat (low in carb and keto friendly) are healthy options to eat. The amount of meat consumed, however, shouldn’t be very high because meat is high in proteins and you only need a moderate amount of proteins or else your excess amount of proteins will turn into glucose and make it difficult for you to enter ketosis. Hence, make sure to reduce meat consumption.

Seafood: Fish are an essential part of a keto diet since they are low in carbs and provide a good amount of proteins as well. Eating fatty fish like tuna, salmon and mackerel are beneficial too since they are fatty-acids rich.

Eggs: Organic eggs are keto friendly and you can take them in any way including boiled, butter fried, omelette, scrambled etc.

High-fat Sauces: As per keto diet specialists, the calories should come from fat. While natural resources like meat, fish and poultry are high in fats, you can also add high fat sauces in your daily diet to take it up a notch. Adding butter, coconut fat and some high-fat sauces will keep you well fed with fat. Some high fat sauces include garlic butter, bearnaise etc.

Vegetables: You’ll find vegetable in almost every diet. For a keto diet, green vegetables are beneficial. Cauliflower, avocado, cabbage, broccoli, zucchini etc., can do wonders.

High-Fat Dairy: Include butter, fat cheese, and high-fat yogurt (in low amount) since they are high in fat. Milk should be avoided because there are 15 grams of carbs in a glass of milk, however, you can use a smaller amount in coffee. Make sure to stay away from low fat yogurt as it typically contains a lot of sugar.

Nuts: When it comes to eating nuts, only the ones that are low in carbs should be eaten. Avoid eating cashews since they are high in carbs. You can go for pecan nuts, macadamia etc.

Miscellaneous: Mustard, mayonnaise, sriracha, pesto, broths, seeds, fermented foods, pickles, coffee, and tea are recommended.

What Not To Eat:

These are the foods that are restricted:

Sugar: You need to avoid sweeteners, including artificial sweeteners. They include soft drinks, candy, pastries, chocolate, cakes, buns, sports drinks, cereals, ice creams, desserts etc.

Starch: Pasta, porridge, french fries, bread, potato chips, rice, potatoes, whole grains, yams, carrots etc., should be avoided.

Legumes: They are rich in carbs so they should definitely be taken out of the diet. Legumes include lentils, beans and chickpeas etc.

Beer: They are loaded with sugar, therefore, should be avoided.

Fruits: Fruits that are high in carbs should be avoided.

Benefits Of A Keto Diet

  • Helps treat epilepsy, cognitive behavior, migraines, acne, and liver diseases.
  • Reduces risk of cancers, diabetes, and alzheimer.
  • Reduces appetite, controls blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, body fat, and sugar cravings.
  • Helps in reducing weight.
  • Regulates blood sugar levels

Ketosis Test

Since the aim of this diet is to get you in a state of ketosis, you can check the progress by testing for it. There are ways in which you can do so such as urine test, breath test etc.

Checking for body changes: When you finally hit ketosis, you’ll have bad breath, frequent bathroom visits, decreased appetite and an increased level of energy throughout the day.

Keto Diet Side Effects:

Some people who begin their journey with this diet may face some side effects too. These include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Keto breath
  • Keto flu
  • Lack of sleep
  • Diarrhea

If you begin to face one or more symptoms then make sure to remain hydrated and keep an eye on your salt intake. Also, visit an expert for tips.

Keto Recipes To Know About

Here are some of the most loved keto recipes that you can try:

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken (10 minutes) 

Ingredients:

  • Thinly sliced chicken breasts - boneless (1½ pounds )
  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • Heavy cream - 1 cup
  • Chicken broth - half cup
  • Garlic powder 1 tbps.
  • Italian seasoning - 1 tbsp.
  • Parmesan cheese - half cup
  • Chopped spinach - 1 cup
  • Sun dried tomatoes - half cup 

Method:

  • Add olive oil in a skillet, add and cook the chicken on medium heat for 5 minutes on each side or until the chicken turns brown on each side. Remove the chicken and put aside on a plate.
  • Include the broth, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, Italian flavoring in the same skillet, turn the temperature a bit higher and cook until it begins to thicken.
  • Add spinach and sun dried tomatoes and let it stew until the point when the spinach begins to shrink.
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet and enjoy.

Avocado Greek Salad (15 Minutes) 

Ingredients:

For The Dressing:

  • Olive oil - ¼ cup
  • Red wine vinegar 2 tbsp.
  • Minced garlic 1 tbsp.
  • Dried oregano 2 tbsp.
  • Salt ¼ tbsp.

For The Salad:

  • 1 sliced (halved) large cucumber
  • 1 deseeded and sliced capsicum
  • Thinly sliced red onion - half
  • 4 vine ripened tomatoes - should be cut into wedges
  • 200 g cubed good quality creamy feta cheese
  • 80 g pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 diced large avocado

Method:

  • Take a large bowl and put all the salad ingredients in it (cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, capsicum, and kalamata olives). In a separate jar put the avocado.
  • Next, take another jar or container and whisk the dressing ingredients (olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano and salt) in it. Place a lid and shake well.
  • Take 1 tablespoon of dressing you just made and pour in in the avocado jar. Pour the rest of the dressing in the large bowl where you added the salad ingredients.
  • Add the avocado in the large bowl where the salad ingredients are. Top with feta cheese and season with additional salt, if needed (in case your feta cheese isn't much salty).

How Much Time It Takes For The Results To Show?

It depends from person to person and also on how much carbs you’re limiting from your diet. The more concerned and strict you are about following a keto diet the faster you’ll get into ketosis and will see the benefits.

A keto diet sure looks difficult but has amazing health benefits. If you are looking to lose weight and stay fit then a keto diet is right for you.

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