The Ketogenic diet or keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. Keto diets can have many benefits to health and weight loss. Like the Atkins diet, the Keto diet is a low to no carb diet that replaces carbs with fats. According to the Keto diet, the reduction in carbs puts the body into a state of ketosis.
Ketosis is an increase in ketone levels in your body. During ketosis, your body gets more of its energy from ketones, which are produced from fat, instead of your body using glucose for energy, as it normally does. Several studies have shown that ketosis has many health benefits, including better management of blood sugar, weight loss, fewer seizures in epileptic people, improvement in Alzheimer’s, and more.
There are a few variations of the Keto diet including,
- The standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet. It typically contains 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbs
- The cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high carb days.
- The targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.
- High protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
Practicing intermittent fasting can also help you enter ketosis faster. For more information on intermittent fasting check out this article found here.
Below is a list of foods that you can eat while on a Keto diet:
- meat: red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken, and turkey
- fatty fish: salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
- eggs: pastured or omega-3 whole eggs
- butter and cream: grass-fed butter and heavy cream
- cheese: unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella
- nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil
- avocados: whole avocados or freshly made guacamole
- low carb veggies: green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
- condiments: salt, pepper, herbs, and spices
The foods you should avoid while on Keto are:
- sugary foods: soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
- grains or starches: wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
- fruit: all fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries
- beans or legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
- root vegetables and tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
- low fat or diet products: low-fat mayonnaise, salad dressings, and condiments
- some condiments or sauces: barbecue sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, etc.
- unhealthy fats: processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
- alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks
- sugar-free diet foods: sugar-free candies, syrups, puddings, sweeteners, desserts, etc
A Sample Menu for a day on the Keto diet would look something like this:
- Breakfast: Mushroom omelet
- Lunch: tuna salad with celery and tomato atop a bed of greens
- Dinner: roast chicken with cream sauce and sauteed broccoli
Summary: The Keto diet can be a great option for people struggling with weight loss, or have any of the conditions mentioned above Keto has been shown to help. It is always best to choose a diet that works best for your body and if you have any questions or concerns, consult your doctor or healthcare provider first.
Kubala, Jillian. “A Keto Diet Meal Plan and Menu That Can Transform Your Body.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 11 Mar. 2022, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/keto-diet-meal-plan-and-menu#sample-menu.
Mawer, Rudy. “The Ketogenic Diet: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide to Keto.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 22 Oct. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-101#foods-to-eat.
Paoli, Antonio. “Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe?” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, MDPI, 19 Feb. 2014, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945587/.