Keto Diet : A Guide To Beginners

KETO : It is not a short term diet plan, it’s a long term lifestyle.

Albeit Keto Diet has been around for years now, it has gained immense popularity in the recent years. It is one of the most searched and popular diet plans that exist. Whether you are looking for a dietary change or to shed few extra stubborn pounds then no doubt Keto would have definitely appeared on your search list.

This low carb, high fat plan is lauded by Professional Athletes to Hollywood celebs with many citing the diet’s benefits. Adriana Lima is famously a fan, along with the Kardashians and basketball player Lebron James.

What exactly is Keto Diet?

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A keto diet is an eating plan that emphasizes foods that are high in healthy fats, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates. The goal  basically is to consume more fat calories than that of carbs. The keto diet stimulates the body’s sugar reserves to be depleted. As a result, it will start to break down fat in order to provide energy. This causes the body to produce molecules called ketones, that it uses as fuel. The body’s ability to burn fats can result in weight loss.

The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state through starvation of carbohydrates instead of a starvation of calories.

What can you eat on a Keto Diet?

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The keto diet is essentially a high-fat diet so your meals are about 70 or 80% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrate. The key to a successful ketosis is to avoid eating too much of carbs and choosing low carb recipes.

Here is the list of food that should be included on your shopping list if you are on keto diet.

  • Vegetables : Cauliflower, Cabbage, Broccoli, Zucchini, Green Beans, Peppers, Eggplants, Tomatoes, Asparagus, Cucumber, Onion, Mushroom, Spinach, Kale.
  • Meats : Chicken, Pork, Steak, Ground Beef, Lamb, Bacon, Turkey, Ham, and Sausage. 
  • Seafood : Salmon, Tuna, Cod, Trout, Catfish, Scallops, Crab, Oysters, Lobster, Mussels.
  • Dairy : Heavy cream, Hard cheese, Butter, Sour cream, Plain Greek yogurt and Cottage cheese.
  • Nuts & Seeds : Almonds, Peanuts, Macadamia nuts, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Sunflower seeds.
  • Avocado and Berries : Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries.
  • Fats & Oils : Coconut oil, Olive oil, Ghee, Mayonnaise, High-fat salad dressing, Saturated fats, Eggs.
  • Sweeteners : Stevia, Sucralose and other low carb sweeteners.

Foods to avoid on the Keto diet

  • Fruits : Most varieties, including tropical fruits like Bananas, Mango, Pineapple and Papaya.
  • Grains : Wheat, Corn, Rice, Cereal, Legumes.
  • Vegetables : Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Baked Potatoes, Peas, Carrot, Yam.
  • Processed carbohydrates : Bread, Crackers, and Junk food.
  • Drinks : Cola, Soda, Margarita, Protein Shakes, Energy Drinks, Iced Tea, Frappuccinos.
  • Sweets, desserts, and most items with any added sugar.

What are the benefits of the Keto Diet?

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The ketogenic diet gets credit for being a fast way to lose weight, but there are many studies that suggests many other benefits are possible with this low-carb, high-fat approach to eating.

  • Weight loss : The keto diet can lead to weight-loss for a variety of reasons: It ups your protein take , it can help reduce your overall calorie intake, and it increases the amount of fat your body burns at rest and while exercising. 
  • Protection against type 2 diabetes : The keto diet cuts your daily carbohydrates intake to less than 20 grams; for people with diagnosed diabetes, this may help manage the condition.
  • Hormonal balance : Keto diets help balance other hormones besides insulin. Among those is leptin, a hormone that tells your brain to stop eating. Ghrelin, the hormone that tells you to eat more. When these hormones stay in balance, you’re less likely to have hunger and cravings.
  • Keto may boost heart health and help treat cancer.
  • Anyone with high blood pressure will appreciate the positive blood pressure control that results from a keto diet.

What are the downsides of the keto diet?

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Like every other diet plans keto has its own side affects too.

  • The Keto Flu : The Keto Flu is a set of flu-like symptoms that typically occurs in the first week of going Keto. The symptoms can include fatigue, nausea, headache, and irritability.
  • Trouble Sleeping : Insomnia is a common side effect in the early stages of the Keto Diet. It has been presumed that the extreme dietary change can cause initial spikes in the stress hormone cortisol, which may interfere with sleep. 
  • It takes serious commitment : Keto diet is restrictive; and is difficult to stick to without proper planning and without giving your system time to adapt.
  • Constipation : Lack of fibre and carbs could lead to constipation. It affects the digestive tract, and you may feel a constant discomfort because of a troubled stomach.

All the above symptoms arise mainly due to the adaptation process, dehydration and electrolyte deficiency ,taking the right steps to fix them will help resolve most of the problems. To ease the adaptation process, make sure to drink plenty of water, add salt to your meals, and include lots of non-starchy vegetables every day. These side effects can be completely reduced with time and a well formulated Ketogenic Diet.

Note : Before beginning a low-carb diet such as Keto or making other dietary adjustments, speak to your Dietician or Doctor.

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