The keto diet is a low-carb diet designed to force your body to burn ketones for fuel rather than sugar from carbs.
The liver produces ketones from fat stores – called ketosis – hence the name of the diet. The main goal during the diet is to keep the body in a state of ketosis so that it begins to fuel your daily activity with energy from fat.
Ketosis is a natural state in which our body enters on an empty stomach. Once your body depletes energy stores from carbohydrates, the body switches to ketones for fuel. While fasting is the best way to induce ketosis, a high-carb diet will also work.
The principles behind the diet are similar to the banting diet, but the carbohydrates are even more limited. Unlike the banting diet, you need to carefully monitor your protein intake.
High level, here is what you would be allowed on the Keto Diet:
- Saturated fats from oils can be consumed in large amounts, along with smaller amounts of healthy unsaturated fats.
- Fruits are prohibited – they are high in carbohydrates, but small portions of certain fruits, like berries, are allowed.
- Limit vegetables that are high in carbohydrates. Opt for leafy green vegetables that grow above the ground.
- Avoid large amounts of meat, but low-carb, unprocessed meats are getting the green light.
- Fish and other seafood are great additions to your menu.
Is the keto diet safe?
There are obvious dangers in removing carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables. You will eventually run out of vitamins and minerals, as well as decrease your fiber intake, which can lead to constipation.
Plus, like all high fat diets, consuming saturated fat may be linked to increased bad cholesterol and heart disease. At the moment, there is a lot of debate around this issue.
Planning and research are essential
The keto diet is unnatural; you will need to prepare your refrigerator in advance and plan your meals in advance. The only advantage of the keto diet over other diets is that you can test for ketosis.
A few companies sell these keto bands that give you an indication of your ketone body concentration. This means that you will never have any doubts about the effectiveness of your diet or the impact of cheating on ketosis.
Many people who try keto also report a ‘keto flu’. It is usually an unpleasant period during which the body adapts. The dieter may experience symptoms such as fatigue, headache, irritability, difficulty concentrating (“brain fog”), lack of motivation, dizziness, cravings for sugar, and nausea.
It’s bad enough that many throw in the towel on the diet. However, many other users report that their body adapts after a few days.
Changing the way your body eats is no small change and should be undertaken with caution.
Make sure you do the proper research. Talk to your doctor before making any permanent changes to your diet and exercise routine.
The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Before starting any treatment, please consult your health care provider.