Finding the Right Diet
Getting the right nutrition is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle. However, with all the popular diets and nutrition information out there, it can be hard to determine which diet will work best for you. One well known diet is the Ketogenic diet, also known as Keto. It rose in popularity around the early 2000s and has been popular ever since. But just what is Keto? Why is it so popular? Is it just a trend, and what does it do to your body? The answer is simpler than you think.
Keto - What is it?
The Ketogenic diet is essentially a low sugar, low carb diet. Under this diet participants eat less carbs, more fats, and moderate protein. This combination aids in digestion, improves your body’s metabolic rate, allows the body to burn fat and calories more quickly, and can improve your overall health and well-being.
While Keto has exploded in popularity over the past few years, the diet has been around for decades. Keto was originally developed in the early 20th century as a treatment for epilepsy and other health conditions. Previously, fasting was the primary way that doctors regulated medicine resistant seizures and epilepsy. However, Keto had a better long-term effect on the body compared to fasting and also had less side effects. Since then, the diet has become more mainstream and is recognized for its numerous health benefits, with good reason.
The Full Breakdown of Keto
Unfortunately, your body loves carbs and sugar. Not only does your body hold onto these foods and store them as fat, but it also loves to use these nutrients as energy, especially for your brain. However, when you consume less carbs your body has to change its fuel source. Instead of relying on glucose or sugar found in carbs for energy, your body begins to produce ketones. Ketones are an alternative fuel source created from fat by the liver. This process is known as Ketosis. Ketosis allows your body to run more efficiently and burn fat 24/7, which is why many people feel better and lose weight on a Ketogenic diet.
Keto Meal Plan: What Can You Eat?
While there are different variations and intensities of the diet, the standard Keto ratio is 75% fat, 20% protein, and just 5% carbs. While most fruits are prohibited as well as grains, rice, bread and other carbs, you can still eat plenty of great tasting foods on a Keto diet. Some options include seafood, natural fats such as olive oil, butter, and coconut oil, protein such as eggs, dairy, or unprocessed meat, and some vegetables. Potatoes, carrots, peas and other starchy vegetables are not apart of a Keto diet and should be avoided. Drinks like water, tea, coffee, and moderate amounts of red wine are also okay for a Keto diet.
Pros of the Keto Diet
Keto is a popular diet, and with good reason. The diet makes your body burn fat for fuel instead of sugar, it aids in weight loss, is good for your heart health and can make you feel better. Keto can also significantly improve blood sugar and insulin levels. It is also filling unlike many other diets, so you won’t feel restrained or hungry. Overall the diet is a great way to lose weight and eat a more nutritious diet.
Cons of the Keto Diet
While Keto is an effective diet it may not be suitable for everyone. Athletes, women who breastfeed, and people who take insulin or medicine for their blood pressure should consult with a doctor before beginning the diet. Also, if you continue Keto for extended periods you may be at risk for developing nutritional deficiencies since many nutrient dense fruits and vegetables are prohibited. Remember, Keto works by changing the way your body burns fuel, and this change comes with side effects. Some people experience “brain fog”, dizziness, nausea, irritability and fatigue when they begin Keto. Most of these side effects pass after a few weeks, but they are noticeable enough that they deserve to be mentioned. Finally, many people may find that the diet is very restrictive. Alcohol, and even some healthy foods like carrots and most fruits are not acceptable for Keto which can be frustrating and make the diet difficult to maintain.
Overall, a Ketogenic diet can be great for people who want to eat healthier, lose weight, watch their sugar intake, or manage health conditions. However, to successfully complete Keto, planning and discipline is required. You may need to pack Keto approved snacks for work or look at menus before eating out. You should also take supplemental vitamins if you plan on maintaining the diet for a long time, and as always consult with your doctor or nutritionist before starting a serious diet. With dedication and patience Keto may be a great change and help you meet your fitness goals.
– The Ketogenic Diet: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide to Keto
– Diet Doctor
– A Ketogenic Diet for Beginners
– What is the History and Evolution of the Keto Diet?
– Ketogenic Diet Foods – What to Eat