Introduction to the Ketogenic Diet Keto Friendly Foods and What to Avoid

Introduction to the Ketogenic Diet

Eating fats to sustain wellness was something that that was unheard of in the past. Most people associated with fats with weight gain, obesity, high blood cholesterol, and other serious medical conditions. However, healthy fats are essential for weight loss and healthy wellbeing. Keto is a diet that advocates for high intake of healthy fats and below is its overview.

What is Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic (keto) diet is a low-carb diet plan which involves the consumption of fewer carbs. Apart from that, users need high amounts of healthy fats and adequate protein. The main purpose of the keto diet is to ensure that you get your calories from fats and brain. Because the body normally uses carbs as its main source of fuel, this diet quickly depletes sugar reserves. As a result, the body will start using fat and protein for energy. The eventual effect of this is a metabolic state called ketosis.

What to Eat On a Ketogenic Diet

If you are using the keto diet meal plans, then you need to limit your carb intake to less than 50g daily. This is a restrictive type of diet that you can use in multiple ways. Foods which are appropriate for ketogenic diet include: 

  • Above-ground vegetables: cabbage, spinach, kale, celery, and broccoli. 
  • Nuts and seeds: walnuts, flaxseeds, nut butter, sunflower seeds, macadamia, and almonds. 
  • Proteins: grass-fed beef and pork, seafood, poultry, fish, lamb, tofu, eggs, and seafood.
  • Fat: macadamia oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, and olive oil.
  • Low-carb sweeteners and high-fat dairy.
  • Certain fruits: strawberries, raspberries, lemons, blackberries, limes, and avocados.
  • Drinks: water, tea, coffee, and almond milk.

Foods to Avoid

If you are using the ketogenic diet, then you need to know that there are certain foods to avoid. This low-carb diet requires you to give up most starches and sugars. Some of the food varieties that you should avoid include: 

  • Root vegetables: carrots, turnips, potatoes, and beets. 
  • Starches and grains: sprouted grains, rice, oats, wheat, millet, quinoa, and buckwheat. 
  • Fruits: pears, plums, mangos, bananas, lemons, watermelon, oranges, and apples. 
  • Grain products: granola, cereal, pasta, pizza, bread, popcorn, and oatmeal.
  • Legumes: lentils, kidney beans, navy beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and black beans.
  • Sweets: pudding, candy, tarts, chocolate, buns, cookies, and ice cream.
  • Sweeteners, sweetened sauces, and dips: honey, corn syrup, maple syrup, Splenda, BBQ sauce, ketchup, and tomato sauce.
  • Sweetened drinks and alcohol: smoothies, sweetened tea, soda, cider, sweet wines, and beer.
  • Low-fat dairy: fat-free yogurt, skim milk, cream cheese, and low cheese.

How Low Carb Is A Keto Diet?

Generally, if you are on a keto diet, then you need to eat fewer carbs. In order for the body to attain and maintain ketosis, then your carb intake needs to be below 50g daily. Overall, your net carb intake should be around 20g per day. However, you need to take high amounts of healthy fats. The percentage of your healthy fats should be ideally between 50-70% of the calories.

Health Benefits of Ketogenic Diet

Keto diet meal plans can help you to quickly attain your wellness goals.  The low-carb diet involves the consumption of high amounts of healthy fats. In addition to that, consumers need to take moderate amounts of protein content. Health benefits of the ketogenic diet include:

Aiding Weight Loss

Keto diet forces the body to use fat for fuel instead of glycogen. The low-carb diet induces a natural process where the body quickly depletes into fat cells. As a result, the body ends up burning the fat reserves and speeds up weight loss.

Introduction to the Ketogenic Diet Keto Friendly Foods and What to Avoid

Supporting Brain Function

The ketogenic diet has the ability to support brain function. It has neuroprotective properties which are critical for brain function. Research shows that the food varieties used in this diet lead to better brain function. Keto can help to ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even sleep disorders.

Improving Heart Health

Healthy fats can improve heart health. By diligently using keto diet meal plans, you will be able to reduce the level of “bad” blood cholesterol. One research study established that those who use this kind of diet normally end up with “good” cholesterol.

Minimizing the Symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

PCOS is an endocrine disorder which enlarges the ovaries. Taking a high-carb diet will facilitate the development of cysts which cause the ovaries to enlarge. Conversely, taking a low-carb diet such as the ketogenic diet can significantly reduce the symptoms of PCOS. Keto-friendly foods enhance weight loss, aid hormonal balance, improve the level of fasting insulin and luteinizing hormone. All these effects usually lead to improved PCOS symptoms.

Potential Side Effects of a Keto Diet

The Ketogenic diet is generally safe. However, there are high chances that users may experience negative side effects initially. This usually occurs as the body transitions from using glycogen to fats as the source of fuel.  A low-carb diet such as this normally causes “keto-flu” which has symptoms such as: 

  • Fatigue 
  • Poor sleep 
  • Headaches
  • Increased hunger pangs
  • Brain fog
  • Reduced physical performance

Bottom Line

Using the keto diet can help you to attain your wellness goals. Consuming keto-friendly foods lead to better heart health, brain function, weight loss, and improved general wellbeing. Even so, consumers need to be careful. This is because keto normally leads to side effects such as the keto flu. However, this flu normally occurs during the initial use of this diet before subsiding after a few days.

Sources 

  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketosis-safety-and-side-effects 
  • https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/should-you-try-the-keto-diet 
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/ 
  • https://foodinsight.org/keto-diet-101-what-to-know-before-you-commit/