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.

Weight Loss 

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
  • Eggs
  • 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
  • Avocado
  • Berries
  • Mayonnaise
  • Stevia and other low-carb sweeteners

Here are the drinks you can enjoy:

  • Water
  • 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
  • Sodas
  • 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.

Health Benefits of the Keto Diet |
Leann Forst, MBA, CHC, CEOC — Holistic Health Practitioner

Leann is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Certified Essential Oils Coach, holding a Master’s degree from Drake University and a Bachelor of Science from Upper Iowa University. Leann is accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. And she is an award winning author of 2 books How to Get Your Kids to Beg for Veggies and 100 Ways to Lose Weight”.

Born and raised as an Iowa farm girl, she moved to Texas in 1998 where she lives with her husband and 2 kids.

As a wife of a brain cancer survivor, Leann has a special interest in anti-cancer nutrition and detoxification. She works with individuals and groups, and speaks regularly at hospitals, schools and organizations to teach people how to attain optimal health by getting to the root cause of chronic and inflammatory conditions, while using healing modalities such as essential oils. Click here to get Leann’s free report, “37 Cancer Facts You Should Know…But Probably Don’t

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.

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