Are you interested in losing weight? Are you sick and 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 brand 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. Can you wonder if the keto diet is safe and right for you?
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You must remember that the body uses sugar in the form of glycogen to operate. The keto diet that is extremely restricted in sugar forces your system to utilize fat as fuel instead of sugar, since it does not get enough sugar. When the body does not get enough sugar for fuel, the liver is forced to turn the available fat into ketones which are used by the body as fuel – hence the word ketogenic.
This diet is a fat rich diet with moderate levels of protein. Depending on your carb intake the body reaches a state of ketosis in under a week and stays there. As fat can be used rather than sugar for fuel in your body, the weight loss is dramatic without the supposed restriction of calories.
The keto diet is so that it you should aim to get 60-75% of one’s daily calories from fat, 15-30% from protein and only 5-10% from carbohydrates. This usually means you could eat only 20-50 grams of carbs per day.
What can you eat with this diet?
The diet is a high fat diet that is somewhat similar to Atkins. However, there is greater emphasis on fats, usually ‘good’ fats. On the keto diet you might have
Grass fed beef
Full fat cheese
You can also get a whole range of snacks that are meant for keto followers. As you can plainly see out of this list, fruits are restricted. You can have low sugar fruits in a limited quantity (mostly berries), but must forego your favorite fruits as they are all sweet and/or starchy.
The dietary plan 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 – actually, no milk and ice-creams and milk based desserts.
A number of these have workarounds since you can get carbohydrate free pasta and pizza, you could have cauliflower rice and now there are even restaurants that focus on keto aficionados.
What are the benefits of the keto diet?
If you are wondering if the dietary plan is safe, its proponents and those who have achieved their weight loss goals will certainly agree that it is safe. Among the 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 experiencing cancer
Apart from the first four, there is not sufficient evidence to support its effectiveness or otherwise for other diseases as a lot more research is required over 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 might not occur in every people and usually take up a couple of days after being on the dietary plan, when your body is in circumstances of ketosis. Some 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 a week to subside as the body get used to the brand new diet regime. You can even suffer from other problems when you start the keto diet – you might find that you have increased urination, so it is important to keep yourself properly hydrated. You may also suffer from keto breath when your body reaches optimal ketosis and you will work with a mouthwash or brush your teeth more frequently.