THE KETO QUICK START GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
The ‘keto diet’, which is a short term for ‘ketogenic diet’, is a diet that has low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat. Research has shown that our body needs fat to thrive which is why the keto diet which is based on high fat intake and low carb (carbohydrate) is often adopted. The keto diet offers a lot of health benefits such as weight loss as it is designed to force your body to burn fat for fuel instead of glucose. It has been adopted also to help improve the health conditions of people with diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The keto diet involves a drastic reduction in carbohydrate intake with a pronounced emphasis on high fat intake and medium protein intake. This reduction in carbohydrate forces the body into a metabolic state called ketosis, which is primarily the end game of a keto diet. During ketosis, your body switches from using high carbs as its primary source of energy to using fat instead. This is achieved by producing ketone bodies or ketones from the fat obtained from fatty meals as well as your own body fat. This helps to cause a massive reduction of blood sugar and insulin level.
TYPES OF KETO DIET
There are various types of the keto diet and they include:
1. Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This diet contains very low carbohydrate, medium protein and high-fat diets. This usually contains 75% fat and 20% protein and 5% carbohydrate
2. Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This is when high carbs diets are consumed periodically e.g. 5-day ketogenic diet & 2-day high carbs diet.
3. Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This also involves the consumption of carbs especially during workouts.
4. High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to the keto diet except for the fact that you consume higher protein content. The food ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs
Standard and High-protein ketogenic diet are the only types of theketogenic diet that extensive research has been carried out on. Cyclicaland Targeted ketogenic diets are much more advanced ketogenic dietsand are primarily used by athletes and body-builders. Standard ketogenicdiet has been vastly researched and is oftentimesrecommended.
BENEFITS OF THE KETOGENIC DIET
1. Weight Loss: Ketogenic diet helps in weight loss while also reducing risk factors for diseases. For several reasons, the ketogenic diet is considered superior to the low-fat diet because the ketogenic diet has an increased protein intake which has numerous benefits. When on a ketogenic diet, you lose weight even without counting calories or tracking your food intake
2. Improved Mental Performance: The keto diet helps your mood and keeps it stabilized. This is due to the consumption of fats high in omega-3s which supports brain and cognitive performance.
3. Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Due to the decreased intake of carbs in the keto diet, the blood sugar and insulin levels are stabilized because the body cells are better sensitive to insulin and this helps reduce the risk of diabetes. A study showed that a keto diet improves insulin sensitivity as high as 75%.
FOODS TO AVOID
Basically, foods with high carbohydrate content should be drastically reduced or blotted out. This implies you’2;ll eat no or little pastry, bread or any other carb.
Here are foods to reduce or totally stop:
● Alcohol: This is because of the high carbohydrate content. The high carb content can often distort ketosis metabolism.
● Grains: Foods like rice, maize, wheat products should be avoided.
● Sugary Foods: Foods like ice cream, pizza, smoothie, candy, cake, soda.
● Root Vegetables and Tubers: Potatoes, yam, carrot, cocoyam.
● Low-Fat Products: Yoghurts, cheese, milk.
● Unhealthy Fats: Processed vegetable oil, mayonnaise should be limited.
● Beans and Legumes: Kidney beans, peas.
● High-Sugar Fruits: Banana, raisins, dates, pears, mango
FOODS TO EAT
Now that pretty much of your favorite foods have been ruled out, you’re probably wondering what’s left to eat. Here are some foods you can include in your keto meal plan.
- Meat: Grass-fed beef, Red meat, Chicken and Turkey, steak, ham, organic chicken.
- Eggs: Pastured eggs or omega-3 eggs are essentials
- Cheese: Unprocessed cheese(goat, cream, cheddar)
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds
- Healthy oils: Coconut oil and/or MCT (Medium-chain triglycerides) oil, avocado oil, primary extra virgin olive oil
- Low carb vegetables: Most green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers, spinach, Brussels sprouts.
- Almond flour: Comes in handy when preparing your desserts.
- Butter and cream: Grass-fed butter
- Fatty fish: Line-caught fish.
- Avocados: Whole avocados.
The major side effects of keto diets are keto flu. Some digestive systems which are sensitive to fat can also exhibit keto diarrhea. Another side effect observed is the keto breath where your breath stinks.
The keto flu is often an initial side effect when your body is still adapting. You’ll experience a number of symptoms in the first one or two weeks of adopting the keto diet as your body is adjusting to using fat for energy instead of carbohydrate. Major side effects include fatigue, increased hunger, sleep issues, decreased exercise performance, headaches, brain fog, decreased mental performance, irritability, increased urination, moodiness, constipation and indigestion. This can very much be minimized by consuming a regular low carb diet in the first few weeks so that your body can adjust to burning fat before completely eliminating carbs. Mineral supplements such as water electrolytes or salt can be added to your food as a keto diet often alters water and mineral balance of the body.
The keto diarrhea occurs in a sensitive digestive system and it is experienced by some people. This happens because the digestive system is sensitive to eating a lot of fats. However, this is a temporary side effect which should persist for only a few days but if prolonged you should consult your doctor. The keto breath is when your breath stinks. This can easily be suppressed by eating sugar-free chewing gum or drinking naturally flavored water.
The keto breath is when your breath stinks. This can easily be suppressed by eating sugar-free chewing gum or drinking naturally flavored water.
Always endeavor to switch between vegetables and meat as both have different nutrients and health benefits. There are also keto-friendly snacks you can eat when you’re on a keto diet. They include:
● Strawberry and cream
● Fatty meat or fish
● A handful of nuts
● Hard-boiled eggs
● Cheese with olives.
● Celery with salsa and guacamo