Keto: Nutritionist explains how the ketogenic diet works
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The Ketogenic Diet, also known as Keto, is a low-carb, high-fat diet which is advocated by many celebrities as a weight loss tool. It was first developed in the 1920s for children with epilepsy, but is followed by millions across the world in a bid to shed weight as well as reduce blood sugar levels. For anyone following a Keto Diet, there are certain guidelines when it comes to what food you can and can’t eat, to ensure maximum results.
What is a Keto Diet and can it help with weight loss?
Dietdoctor.com explained: “A keto diet is one that limits carbs and has many potential health benefits.”
When you eat fewer carbs, your body burns fat for fuel.
This can put your body into a metabolic state called ketosis and studies show significant weight loss on keto, without having to count calories.
The BBC says “research has shown a ketogenic diet can induce rapid weight loss, partly from water loss but also some fat loss”.
When following a Ket Diet, you should limit carbs to 20 or fewer grams of net carbs per day, or five to 10 percent of calories.
As for protein, it is suggested to “eat enough protein to meet your needs” and most people need at least 70 grams per day.
In terms of fat, it is advised to “include enough to add flavour” as there is “no reason to add lots of fat unless you need extra calories”.
What to eat on a Keto Diet?
The fewer carbs consumed, the more effective the diet is for reaching ketosis and losing weight.
Animal proteins such as fish and seafood are very keto-friendly. Salmon and other fist are not only nearly carb-free, but they are rich in B vitamins, potassium and selenium.
Meat and poultry are considered staple foods on the Keto Diet.
Again they can contain no carbs and be rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as being high in protein which can help preserve muscle mass during a very low carb diet.
Eggs are another extremely healthy protein source; a large egg contains less than one gram of carbs and about six grams of protein – ideal for keto.
Dairy, for example cheese, is low in carbs and high in fat which make them a great fit for Keto.
Plain Greek yoghurt and cottage cheese are healthy, high protein foods.
While they contain some carbs, it is recommended to eat them in moderation on the Keto Diet.
Several varieties of unsweetened plant-based milks are Keto-friendly, inlcuding soy, almong and coconut milks.
Vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables are extremely low in carbs.
Greens also bulk meas without drastically increasing the carb count and herbs such as oregano and rosemary add flavour with almost no carbs.
Peppers are also appropriate for the Keto Diet and summer squashes such as yellow squash and courgettes are extremely versatile and low in carbs.
As for high-fat vegetables, avocados and olives are fairly high in fat, contain fibre and are low in net carbs.
There are several other low carb vegetables that can be eaten on the Keto Diet.
What food to avoid on a Keto Diet?
As for what foods to avoid, there are several vegetables which shouldn’t be consumed as they are not low in carbs.
These include potatoes and sweet potatoes, onions (in large amounts), certain winter squashes such as butternut squash, corn and beets.
Dietdoctor.com also suggests avoiding “sugary” and “starchy” foods as they are “very high in carbs”.
Bread, tortillas, muffins, bagels and pancakes as well as pasta and rice are on the list.
Cereal is also a no-no, alongside cakes, cookies and other baked goods.
Sugar and anything made with sugar, and most fruits and fruit juice are said to not be consumed on a Keto Diet.
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