The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates.
This diet shares many similarities with the Atkins and low carb diets.
It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.
Keto diet can cause significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has some health benefits
There are several versions of the keto diet. The standard (SKD) version is the most researched and most recommended. It typically contains 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbs.
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs. Modifying your diet and practicing intermittent fasting can help you enter ketosis faster. Certain tests and symptoms can also help determine whether you’ve entered ketosis.
Keto diet can help you lose slightly more weight than a low fat diet. This often happens with less hunger.
It can boost insulin sensitivity and cause fat loss, leading to significant health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
It may also provide many health benefits, especially with metabolic, neurological, or insulin-related diseases.
Foods to avoid
Avoid carb-based foods like grains, sugars, legumes, rice, potatoes, candy, juice, and even most fruits.
Foods to eat
Base the majority of your diet on foods such as meat, fish, eggs, butter, nuts, healthy oils, avocados, and plenty of low carb veggies.
You can eat a wide variety of tasty and nutritious meals on a ketogenic diet. It’s not all meats and fats. Vegetables are an important part of the diet.
Great snacks for a keto diet include pieces of meat, cheese, olives, boiled eggs, nuts, raw veggies, and dark chocolate.
Reading food labels, planning your meals ahead, and bringing your own foods when visiting family and friends can make it much easier to stick to the ketogenic diet.
When eating out, select a meat-, fish-, or egg-based dish. Order extra veggies instead of carbs or starches, and have cheese for dessert.
Many of the side effects of starting a ketogenic diet can be limited. Easing into the diet and taking mineral supplements can help. Certain supplements can be beneficial on a ketogenic diet. These include exogenous ketones, MCT oil, and minerals.
In general, a ketogenic diet can be great for people who:
· are overweight
· have diabetes
· are looking to improve their metabolic health
It may be less suitable for elite athletes or those wishing to add large amounts of muscle or weight.
It may also not be sustainable for some people’s lifestyles and preferences. Speak with your doctor about your eating plan and goals to decide if a keto eating plan right for you.