What Is a Ketogenic Diet?
It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
Ketosis : Is a metabolic state where ketones become the main sources of energy for the body and brain. This happens when carb intake and insulin levels are very low.
When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.
Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits.
SUMMARY: The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, and shifts the body’s metabolism away from carbs and towards fat and ketones.
Foods to Eat
You should base the majority of your meals around these foods:
- Meat:Red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey.
- Fatty fish:Such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel.
- Eggs:Look for pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.
- Butter and cream: Look for grass-fed when possible.
- Cheese:Unprocessed cheese (cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella).
- Nuts and seeds:Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Healthy oils:Primarily extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
- Avocados:Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole.
- Low-carb veggies:Most green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
- Condiments:You can use salt, pepper and various healthy herbs and spices.
Foods to Avoid
Any food that is high in carbs should be limited.
Here is a list of foods that need to be reduced or eliminated on a ketogenic diet:
- 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:These are highly processed and often high in carbs.
- Some condiments or sauces:These often contain sugar and unhealthy fat.
- Unhealthy fats: Limit your intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
- Alcohol:Due to their carb content, many alcoholic beverages can throw you out of ketosis.