Keto Diet Basics
Everyone and their grandmother is talking about the keto diet (short for ketogenic) as if it’s a new trend, but did you know it’s been around since 1924 when Dr. Russell Wilder of the Mayo Clinic found that it helped control seizures in children?
Today the ketone diet is still used effectively for weight loss and health, and research has proven it’s efficacy against such diseases, as diabetes and cancer.
What is the Keto Diet?
Well simply put, it’s a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat.
More specifically, on the keto diet 60-80% of your calories will come from fat, 15-25% from protein, and 5-10% from carbs.
When you eat more fat than carbs, ketones are formed because your body is using fat as its energy source. When a diet is high in carbs, and not fat, the carbs are the energy source which forces stored fats to be used for energy. This is called ketosis.
What happens when we burn more fat for energy? You lose weight.
Once ketosis is reached, you will lose weight until your body reaches a healthy and stable weight. This is similar to long-term fasting, which is not always feasible; but with the keto diet, the body thinks you are fasting and your health will reap the benefits.
It’s important to remember that when you eliminate glucose (by not consuming foods with sugar and starch), you begin to burn stored fat or fat from food which is what you want from a diet. A bonus of the keto diet is that you don’t have to worry about burning fat through intensive exercise.
What Can You Eat?
Here are the foods you can enjoy while on the keto diet:
- Coconut oil
- Almond oil
- Olive oil
- MCT oil and powder
- Nut butter
- Grass-fed butter
- Salmon and other seafood
- Unprocessed meat and poultry
- High-fat Greek yogurt (if you tolerate dairy)
- High-fat cheeses like mozzarella, parmesan, swiss, or cottage cheese (if you tolerate dairy)
- Heavy whipping cream (if you tolerate dairy)
- Low-carb vegetables (those that grow above ground)
- Nuts like almonds and macadamias
- Stevia and other low-carb sweeteners
Here are the drinks you can enjoy:
- Coffee or tea without sugar
- Bone broth
- Coconut of almond milk (unsweetened)
Foods You Should Avoid
- Wheat products like pasta, cereal, pastries, cakes, rice, beer, or corn
- Whole grains from quinoa, rye, buckwheat
- Anything sugary from candies, chocolate, and ice cream
- Starchy vegetables such as potatoes and yams
- Oatmeal and muesli
- Low-fat products such as milk
- Large fruits high in sugar such as apples, mangoes, bananas, oranges, grapes
- Fruit or sugary juices
- Sweetened nut milks
- Sweetened tea, coffee, lattes
- Milkshakes high in sugar
- Cocktails with syrups
- Sports drinks
Other Benefits of the Keto Diet
The process of burning fats comes with more health benefits than shedding a few pounds. Here are some of the other ways the keto diet can improve your health:
- Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Improve brain function
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Support gut health
- Lowers bad cholesterol levels
- Reduce blood sugar levels
- Protect against cancer
Want more? Check out my video, How to Get Started Eating Keto.
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