The Beginner’s Guide to the Keto Diet

If you are a health nerd like me then you’ve most certainly heard of the keto diet before. Although I understand you may be a little hazy on the details or maybe even confused.

But don’t worry, I got you.

I will take you through all the necessary details you need to know about Keto Diet in the most simplified way.

So read on!

Let’s start with, WHAT IS KETO DIET?

Also known as a ketogenic diet, it is a way of eating wherein you consume low carbs so the body produces ketones in the liver, which is then used as energy.

High carbs lead to the production of glucose and insulin. Now glucose is the easiest molecule for the body to convert and use as energy. While insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body. When the glucose is used as the primary source of energy, the body stops using fats. So if you reduce carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis.

In the ketosis process, the body produces ketones which are done by a breakdown of fats in the liver. This mainly forces your body to come into a metabolic state.

On a keto diet, the major thing that happens is that your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Leading to a decrease in insulin and accelerating fat burning.

HOW DID KETO DIET COME INTO EXISTENCE?

Surprising it may sound, but keto was designed to help people who suffer from seizure disorders— and not to help people lose weight.

This is because both ketones and another chemical produced by the diet, called decanoic acid, may help minimize seizures.

But then these people started showing drastic weight changes. Since the body retains fluid when you eat carbs, but with low carb diet, you lose this water weight as well, while high-fat content keeps you full for longer curbing other cravings as well.

 

A KETO DIET INCLUDES

70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate.

Image courtesy: perfectketo.com

Fat Intake

Fat is the cornerstone of the keto diet, making up the bulk of calories as they make up 70-80% of your calories. Someone consuming 2,000 calories every day would need to take in 144 to 177 grams of fat. But it’s important to source high-quality, healthy fats, so keep that in mind.

 

Protein Intake

Protein is the second important aspect in keto. The preferred, consumption is of 0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass, as this will prevent muscle loss as well.

 

Carbohydrate Intake

If you want to stay within 5-10% then you need to consume between 100 and 200 calories from carbs, which is about 25 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. If you are exercising as well then you might be able to consume 80 grams of carbs.

 

WHAT TO EAT ON A KETO DIET?

Keto diet requires strict planning, the more restrictive you are on your carbohydrates, the faster you will enter ketosis.

Try to keep your carbohydrates in control, by consuming more vegetables, nuts, and dairy. Here’s a short table to depict what to avoid and what to eat.

 

Do Not Eat

         Grains – rice, cereal, wheat, corn, etc.

         Sugar – honey, maple syrup, agave, etc.

         Fruit – oranges, apples, bananas, etc.

         Tubers – potato, yams, etc.

 

Do Eat

         Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc.

         Leafy Greens – spinach, kale, etc.

         Above ground vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

         High Fat Dairy like hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter, etc.

         Nuts and seeds like macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.

         Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries

         Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners

         Other fats like coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.

 

However if you find yourself hungry, which may happen at the start, try to snack on nuts, seeds, cheeses, or peanut butter.

 

BENEFITS OF A KETOGENIC DIET

Well, I don’t need to reiterate how beneficial Keto diet is, but this short list will add more faith in this way of eating.

 

  • Weight Loss

The major advantage is that on keto, your insulin (which is a fat storing hormone) levels decreases immensely, turning your body into a fat burning machine.

In fact, many scientific studies claim, the ketogenic diet to a better result than compared to low-fat and high-carb diets.

 

  • Control Blood Sugar

Keto naturally lowers blood sugar levels because of the type of foods you start eating. And if you’re pre-diabetic or have Type II diabetes, I would strongly suggest going for a ketogenic diet.

 

  • Mental Focus

Ketones are an amazing source of fuel for the brain. By lowering carb intake, you also avoid sudden spikes in blood sugar. Together, both result in improvement in focus and concentration.

 

  • Increased Energy & Normalized Hunger

By providing your body with a far more reliable energy source, you will surely feel much more energized. Fats are a more effective molecule to burn as fuel, and to add to that it is naturally more satisfying, therefore keeping you “full” for longer.

 

  • Cholesterol & Blood Pressure

A keto diet will also improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels which is linked with arterial build up. This happens because a low-carb, high-fat diets lead to an increase in HDL and reduction in LDL particle concentration.

 

  • Insulin Resistance

With keto, you will automatically start eating food that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is responsible for keeping insulin in control.

 

  • Acne

Last but not the least, it also leads to experience improvements in skin health. Reduced carbs also reduce oily and watery skin making it less conducive for acne to erupt.

 

Interested in trying a keto diet?

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