All You Need to Know About the Keto Diet
By Therese Aseoche
You’ve most likely heard about the Keto Diet over the last few months because it’s slowly taking the world by storm. I’ll start this off by explaining what the Keto Diet is: it’s a low-carb high-fat diet that’s known to be the fastest fat burning and offers a number of health benefits against Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and epilepsy.
Honestly speaking, that’s enough to convince anyone to switch to this particular diet. But before you start buying those 5-day meal plans from a Keto Food Delivery Service, here’s an easy-to-understand guide to everything you need to know about it!
How Does it Work?
Being on a Keto Diet means drastically lessening your carb intake and replacing it with high amounts of fat. By depriving your body access to glucose you get from carbs, your body starts to source energy from your fats instead and thus becoming more efficient in burning fat than it was before.
There are different types
There are several versions of the keto diet. According to healthline.com, these include:
- Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): A low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet which typically involves 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs.
- Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): wherein you dedicate two full days of high carbohydrate consumption after five Keto days in order to fully refill muscle glycogen stores.
- High-protein ketogenic diet: Similar to SKD, but includes more protein (typically 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs).
But the most researched and most recommended version of by nutritionists is the Standard Ketogenic Diet.
Other than helping you lose weight much faster, the Keto Diet also helps you achieve the following:
Reduce Acne: Processed and refined carbs have been found to affect skin health negatively, so cutting down on these carbs will naturally help reduce your acne.
Control Blood Sugar: Keto Diet also lowers your blood sugar levels, making it a more effective method to manage and prevent diabetes compared to other low-calorie diets. It’s also known to decrease insulin levels to the healthy range.
Improve Mental Health: Studies show that Keto Diet offers neuroprotective benefits, which can help combat risk of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and sleep disorders. Since ketones (which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver) are a great source of fuel for the brain, being on a Keto Diet can also improve mental focus.
The Keto Diet is also said to have an effect on illnesses relating to the heart, cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome, and epilepsy.
There are Side-Effects
Of course, like all things, the Keto Diet also has its risks.
Common side-effects include leg cramps due to the body’s lack of minerals (make sure to drink plenty of water and include salt in your food), constipation (non-starchy veggies should be a good source of fiber), reduced physical performance and low blood sugar (only at the start when your body is still adjusting to sourcing energy from fat).
To minimize these side-effects, try reducing your carb intake gradually over a few weeks before eliminating them from your diet completely.
What to Eat
It’s best to base your diet on whole, single-ingredient foods, and foods that don’t make health claims.
Stick to these foods for your Keto Diet:
- Grass-fed and wild animal sources
- Low-carb, non-starchy vegetables (kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus)
- Low-sugar fruits (berries, cherry, avocado)
- Healthy fats (saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated omega 3s)
- Full-fat dairy (full-fat yogurt, unprocessed cheese, mayonnaise)
- Herbs and spices
Find the full and comprehensive list on what to eat here.
What Not to Eat
Basically, you should steer clear from anything high in carbs, meat that is factory-farmed, and processed food.
Reduce or eliminate completely these foods from your diet:
- All grains and starches (pasta, rice, bread, cereal, white potatoes)
- Sugary foods (soda, fruit juices, cake, ice cream, honey, syrup)
- Sweet alcoholic drinks (beer, sweet wine, cocktails)
- Tropical fruits (pineapple, mango, banana) and high-carb fruit (grapes, tangerines)
- Starchy vegetables (potatoes, beans, yam, carrot, corn, peas)
- Milk and low-fat dairy
- Factory-farmed animal products (sausage, hot dog)
- Unhealthy oils (Soybean oil, Canola oil, Sunflower oil)
- Artificial sweeteners and condiments
Find the full and comprehensive list on what not to eat here.
Tips when Dining Out
First thing’s first: find out if the restaurant offers gluten-free, low-carb and sugar-free items.
Then, follow these rules of thumb:
- Stick to meat, veggies, and cheese (make sure they’re grass-fed, low-carb and unprocessed)
- Getting a burger? Leave out the bun!
- Read salad ingredients carefully (beware of high-sugar salad dressings and high-carb add-ons)
- Avoid breaded and fried food
- Ask about sauces, condiments, and garnishes that come with the dish
- Only drink coffee, tea, and water
- Don’t be tempted by dessert
Keto Diet Philippines Facebook page also sometimes reports “Keto Approved” meals you can order from restaurants found locally.
Sample Keto Diet Meals
Here’s a sample meal guide for beginners that’s simple and easy to make, sourced from dietingwell.com:
- Breakfast: 3 Egg Omelet with Spinach, Cheese, and Sausage
- Lunch: BLT Salad
- Dinner: Baked Salmon with Asparagus
- Breakfast: Bacon and Eggs
- Lunch: Spinach Salad
- Dinner: Cheese-stuffed Bunless Burgers
- Breakfast: Healthy Baked Egg Muffin Cups
- Lunch: Cottage Cheese, Walnuts, and Blueberries
- Dinner: Meatloaf
- Breakfast: Healthy Baked Egg Muffin Cups
- Lunch: Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps
- Dinner: Slaw Hash
- Breakfast: Healthy Baked Egg Muffin Cups or Fat Coffee
- Lunch: Spam Fries and Coleslaw
- Dinner: Tacos
Are you on a Keto Diet? Share your tips with us below!