The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that can provide you with a whole host of health benefits. With many studies showing that this kind of diet can improve your health and help you to lose weight, it’s easy to see why so many people are opting to try it out. Ketogenic diets may also help reduce the risk of developing epilepsy, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Here is a beginner’s guide on everything keto, helping you understand what the diet is all about and how it may benefit you.
Understanding the Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is high in fat and low in carbs, sharing several comparisons with low-carb diets and Atkins. The main aim of a ketogenic diet is to reduce carbohydrate intake, swapping it with fat. When carbs are reduced, a metabolic state called ketosis happens. As this process begins, your body will become incredibly good at burning fat, which is turned into energy. It goes on to turn fats into ketones in your liver, providing energy for your brain. Ketogenic diets can also cause huge reductions in insulin levels and blood sugar. There are various health benefits that you can receive from following a ketogenic diet.
Understanding the various types of ketogenic diets can help you find one that is right for you and your body. The standard ketogenic diet is low in carbs, moderate in protein, as well as high in fat. It usually contains 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. The cyclical ketogenic diet involves moments of higher-carb refeeds, which is usually based around five ketogenic days and two high in carb days. The targeted ketogenic diet enables you to factor in carbs around fitness and workouts while the high-protein ketogenic diet includes higher levels of protein than the typical ketogenic diet. This ratio is usually 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs. Each type of ketogenic diet is different, with athletes and bodybuilders primarily using the targeted or cyclical diet. You should take time to consider which diet will work best for you.
Following a ketogenic diet can be great for weight loss and reduce your chances of developing a disease. Research indicated that the ketogenic diet is much better to follow than a typical low-fat diet. As the ketogenic diet keeps you fuller for longer, this means that you can lose any weight without needing to count your calorie intake or keeping track of what foods you consume. One study showed that those who follow a ketogenic diet were said to of lost 2.2kg more in weight than those participants who followed a standard calorie-restricted diet. There are various reasons why the ketogenic diet is more advanced and better for you than a typical low-fat diet, including the increase in protein, which can provide you with several health benefits. Increased ketones, improved insulin sensitivity, and lower blood sugar levels may also play a major part.
Diabetes is caused by changes in metabolism, impaired insulin function, and high blood sugar. When following a ketogenic diet, you can expect to lose excess fat, helping to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One study has shown that the ketogenic diet can improve insulin sensitivity by up to 75%. If you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, you should seriously consider trying out a ketogenic diet to help lower your risk.
Other Health Benefits
There are plenty of other health benefits that you can receive from following a ketogenic diet. Incorporating keto into your life can help to improve risk factors such as blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and high body fat. The diet is also presently being used to monitor and treat various types of cancer, as well as slowing down tumor growth. Those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease may see a reduction in symptoms when following a ketogenic diet. Research has proven that the keto diet can also cause a huge reduction in seizures in children who are epileptic. There are many more health benefits that you should check out, giving you more reasons than ever to give the ketogenic diet a go.
Foods to Avoid
When on the ketogenic diet, there are various foods that you need to avoid, especially those that are high in carbohydrates. Try to reduce or eliminate foods such as grains, fruit, diet or low-fat products, unhealthy fats, alcohol, sugary foods, beans, as well as some condiments and sauces. Many of these foods often contain high levels of sugar and unhealthy fat. When going grocery shopping, it’s always best to read the label so you can check what type of ingredients are in the food you’re consuming.
Foods You Should Eat
Now you know what foods you should avoid, it’s time to understand what type of foods you do need to follow a successful keto diet. Meats such as sausage, chicken, turkey, ham, steak and red meat are what you should be eating. Fish like tuna and salmon, as well as dairy products such as eggs, butter, and cream, can also be beneficial for you. Nuts, low-carb vegetables, and healthy oils are also recommended. It’s best to plan your diet predominately on whole foods.
While the ketogenic diet is risk-free for most people, there may be various side effects that can occur as your body gets used to the new changes. You may experience the keto flu, which typically lasts for a couple of days. When getting keto flu, you can expect an increase in hunger, nausea, sleep issues, poor mental and energy function, as well as a decrease in your exercise performance. To reduce the risk of side effects, try to stick to a low in carb diet for a couple of weeks, as this may help teach your body to start burning more fat before carbs. You may also find a change in your mineral and water balance, so it’s best to add more salt to your meals. Try and remember that if you get the keto flu, it will be over in a matter of days.
While no supplements are required for the ketogenic, there are a few that can be of use to you. When adding MCT oil to your yogurt or drinks, the oil can provide energy and increase ketone levels. Minerals such as added salt can also be beneficial, especially when starting out due to changes in mineral and water balance. To get more information on supplements that you can take when on a ketogenic diet, be sure to check out the Blue Sky Vitamin blog that can give teach you about the Ketogenic Diet: Everything You Need to Know. The more you read up on what the diet involves, the more changes you can make.
While a ketogenic diet can be fantastic for those who are diabetic, overweight or looking to improve their metabolic health, it may not be as suitable for elite athletes who want to add large amounts of weight or muscle. Just like with any diet, it will only be worthwhile if you remain consistent and motivated. If you are interested in trying out the ketogenic diet, make sure that you are up to date with what types of foods to eat and avoid, as well as all the health benefits that you can take on board, helping you stay active and in good shape.