Keto Diet explained
- 29 Oct 2019
What’s to Know about the Keto Diet?
There’s been a lot of talk recently about the Keto Diet and its fast effects in weight loss and curing different illnesses. Many people have already experienced keto’s proven benefits for weight loss, health and performance, though it is mostly linked with weight loss. All in all, people are talking about Keto as being pretty impressive! So, here’s a little bit of background about what it is and the do’s and don’ts of Keto…
What is Keto?
Keto – short for ketogenic –was designed in 1923 by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic for the treatment of epilepsy. All Ketogenic Diets are high in fat, adequate in protein and low in carbohydrates. This combination changes the way energy is used in the body, converting fat into fatty acids and ketones in the liver. When there is an elevated level of ketones in the blood, one is in a state of ketosis, which has a variety of therapeutic benefits for the sick and healthy alike. In addition to the macronutrient ratio, the frequency of eating can influence ketosis. More specifically, a practice called intermittent fasting, which reduces the window of time a person eats throughout the day, can help in obtaining and sustaining ketosis. When the eating window is shortened, the body is forced to access energy from its own fat stores rather than calories directly from the diet.
What are its effects?
The most common side effect of the Keto Diet is keto flu which only lasts a few days. The keto flu is a collection of symptoms associated with the body adapting to a ketogenic diet. Nausea, constipation, headaches, fatigue and sugar cravings are common in some people who are adapting to a high-fat, low-carb diet. Though significant weight change can only be maintained through a continuation of the diet, or a total lifestyle change in the long term. It is also reported to help clear up acne, lower the risk of cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease. There are also reports of Keto lowering the risk of diabetes. The low intake of carbs can help eliminate spikes in blood sugar and this decreases the need for insulin.
However, there have also been reports of some negative side effects such as low blood sugar, constipation, bad breath, tiredness, and the possibility of developing kidney stones (Ouch!). The go to attitude with ketogenic diet is to have your blood micro nutrients balanced specially magnesium and sodium. This can be achieved by taking magnesium supplements and a little good grade Himalayan salt.
What can you eat…?
Something that makes this diet quite popular is that you don’t go hungry, and you certainly don’t have to sacrifice really delicious meals! Keto diet meals are based around the following foods:
- Dairy products: Butter, thick cream, cheese (try to ensure they are unprocessed and grass-fed )
- Proteins: red meats, pork, poultry, fish (fatty varieties like salmon and mackerel), eggs (all grass fed)
- Low carb vegetables or basically vegetables which grow above ground: greens, tomatoes, cauliflower
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Oils: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil for food preparation
What you must avoid!
Here’s what NOT to eat on the Keto Diet:
- All sugary foods, sweets, and drinks (including beer)
- Wheat-based foods like pasta, rice, bread
- Fruits (except for small amounts of berries)
- Beans and root vegetables
- Low-fat or diet food and drink as they are highly processed and usually contain a lot of carbs
- Sauces that contain sugar and carbs
Hopefully this gives you an overall view of what the Keto Diet is all about! Please remember that, as with any new health regime, it’s really important to consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.