Are you interested in slimming down? Are you tired of diets that advocate low or no fats and crave your high fat meats? You might well be turning over going on the keto diet, the new kid on the block. Endorsed by many celebrities including Halle Berry, LeBron James and Kim Kardashian amongst others, the keto diet has been the subject of much debate among dietitians and doctors. Do you wonder if the keto diet is safe and right for you personally?
What’s the ketogenic diet anyway?
You must remember that the body uses sugar by means of glycogen to function. The keto diet that is extremely restricted in sugar forces your system to utilize fat as fuel instead of sugar, since it will not get enough sugar. Once the body will not get enough sugar for fuel, the liver is forced to show the available fat into ketones which are used by your body as fuel – hence the term ketogenic.
This diet is a fat rich diet with moderate amounts of protein. Depending on your carb intake the body reaches a state of ketosis in under weekly and stays there. As fat is used rather than sugar for fuel in the body, the weight reduction is dramatic without the supposed restriction of calories.
The keto diet is such that it you should try to get 60-75% of one’s daily calories from fat, 15-30% from protein and only 5-10% from carbohydrates. This usually means that you can eat only 20-50 grams of carbs per day.
What can you eat on this diet?
The diet is a fat rich diet that is somewhat much like Atkins. However, there is greater emphasis on fats, usually ‘good’ fats. On the keto diet you can have
Grass fed beef
Full fat cheese
You can also get yourself a whole range of snacks which are meant for keto followers. As you can see out of this list, fruits are restricted. You could have low sugar fruits in a restricted quantity (mostly berries), but will have to forego your favorite fruits as these are all sweet and/or starchy.
This diet includes no grains of any sort, starchy vegetables like potatoes (and all tubers), no sugar or sweets, no breads and cakes, no beans and lentils, no pasta, no pizza and burgers and incredibly little alcohol. This means no coffee with milk or tea with milk – in fact, no milk and ice-creams and milk based desserts.
A number of these have workarounds as possible get carbohydrate free pasta and pizza, you could have cauliflower rice and now you can find even restaurants that focus on keto aficionados.
What are the great things about the keto diet?
If you are wondering if this specific diet is safe, its proponents and those who have achieved their weight loss goals will certainly concur that it is safe. On the list of benefits of the keto diet you may expect:
Loss of weight
Reduced or no sugar spikes
Seizure controlling effect
Blood pressure normalizes in high blood pressure patients
Reduced attacks of migraine
Type 2 diabetes patients on this diet may be able to reduce their medications
Some benefits to those suffering from cancer
In addition to the first four, there isn’t sufficient evidence to support its effectiveness or elsewhere for other diseases as a lot more research is required on the long-term.
Are there any side-effects of this diet?
When you initially start the keto diet, you can suffer from what is known as keto flu. These symptoms may not occur in all people and usually take up a couple of days after being on the dietary plan, when your body is in a state of ketosis. A number of the side-effects are:
Cramps and tummy pain
Diarrhea and/or constipation
Dizziness and poor concentrations
Carbohydrate and sugar cravings
These may take up to week to subside as your system get used to the new diet regime. You can also suffer from other problems when you start the keto diet – you may find that you have increased urination, so it is important to keep yourself well hydrated. You may also suffer from keto breath when your body reaches optimal ketosis and you can use a mouthwash or brush your teeth more frequently.