The keto diet is a popular diet that many people adopt, particularly for weight loss. There are several keto diet reviews, with most people experiencing positive results. However, there’s still some controversy around this diet. Is it healthy? What are the side effects?
This article answers the common questions a beginner might have about the keto diet. It will serve as a guideline to introduce some foods to eat and not eat on a keto diet. There’s also a meal plan to show how these foods can be a part of everyday diet. Is a keto diet the best approach? Find out.
What Is a Keto Diet?
First, what is a keto diet? A keto diet is a low carb diet where the body uses ketones as an energy source. Other names for it are ketogenic diet, low carb diet, and low carb high-fat diet.
When you eat foods high in carbs, the body produces glucose and uses it as energy. The body doesn’t need fat as its energy source, so it stores it. But when you lower the intake of carbs, the body enters into ketosis as in the keto diet.
Ketosis is a state where the body produces ketones as its primary energy source. These ketones are products of the breakdown of fat in the liver.
How Does Keto Diet Work?
A keto diet aims to put the body into ketosis. When you eat foods with less than 50 grams of carbs, the body will run out of fuel. Once the body runs out, it turns to fats and proteins as its energy source. This metabolic state is known as ketosis and leads to weight loss.
Ketosis is possible when there’s no glucose for the body to burn as energy. With the low carbohydrate level in a keto diet, it’s easy for the body to convert fat to ketones. It takes about three to four days for this to happen.
Who Should Use a Keto Diet?
First, many people who want to lose weight use a keto diet meal plan. Also, people who have medical conditions such as epilepsy may adopt a ketogenic diet.
Persons with heart diseases or some brain diseases may also find it helpful. However, there are not enough studies to support this.
Is Ketogenic Diet a Healthy Choice?
Is the keto diet healthy? The main reason people use a keto diet is to lose weight. There are different positive keto diet reviews to prove that it’s working for them. Research shows faster weight loss when people use the keto diet plan than a conventional low-fat diet.
Besides, there’s good evidence that a keto diet reduces seizures in children with epilepsy. It’s sometimes as effective as a prescription drug. Keto diet meals also help in regulating the blood sugar level for patients with type 2 diabetes. However, there’s no strong evidence to show it helps control diabetes in the long term.
Foods to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet
- Here’s a keto diet food list to show most of the healthy keto-friendly foods:
- Seafood: Many kinds of seafood are low in carbs or contain no carbs. For instance, shellfish and fish are keto-friendly. They also contain omega-3, vitamins, and minerals.
- Low Carb Vegetables: Most vegetables are low carb, thus great keto diet foods. They also contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some low-carb vegetables include Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower.
- Avocados: Avocados are keto-friendly and healthy. They contain lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Cheese: Cheese is keto-compliant and healthy. There are different types of cheese. They are all low carb and high fat, making them perfect for the keto diet.
- Egg, Meat, and Poultry: Eggs are nutritious, and each one contains less than 1 gram of carbs. Meat and poultry do not contain any carbs at all. They are nutritious; and also a good source of protein.
- Healthy Fats: Coconut oil, olive oil, butter, and cream are healthy.
- Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are rich in fiber and very healthy. They are also low-carb and high-fat foods.
- Berries: Fruits are often high in carbs, but berries are low carb and high in fiber. They also contain antioxidants.
- Other foods are unsweetened coffee and tea, dark chocolate, and cocoa powder.
Foods to Avoid on a Keto Diet
This keto diet review also highlights some foods that are not keto-friendly. Generally, limit the intake of any food high in carbs.
Here are some of the foods to avoid:
- Legumes: Beans, lentils, peas.
- Grains: For example, pasta, rice, cereal, and other wheat-based foods.
- Fruits: Most fruits except berries.
- Root Tubers and Vegetables: Potatoes, yams, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.
- Sugary Foods: For example, fruit juices, ice cream, sweets, and sweetened beverages.
- Low-Fat Products: Most of these products are processed and contain high carbs.
- Margarine: Use better or healthy fats instead. Also, limit the intake of other processed fats.
- Products with Artificial Sweeteners: For instance, some sauces, dressings, and condiments.
A Sample Keto Diet Meal Plan for a Week
This plan shows what a typical keto diet menu would look like for a week.
- Breakfast: omelet with mushrooms and peppers
- Lunch: spinach and artichoke soup
- Dinner: Chicken casserole
- Breakfast: Yoghurt with chia seeds, raspberries, and walnuts
- Lunch: Cauliflower soup with tofu cubes
- Dinner: Pork chops with zucchini and tomatoes
- Breakfast: Baked avocado egg boats
- Lunch: Beef and broccoli stir fry
- Dinner: cheesy keto quesadillas
- Breakfast: Egg muffins and unsweetened coffee
- Lunch: Avocado and goat-cheese salad
- Dinner: Roast chicken and veggies
- Breakfast: keto frittata with bell peppers and spinach
- Lunch: Fish casserole
- Dinner: Keto cauliflower carbonara
- Breakfast: Butter-fried eggs, strawberries, and avocado.
- Lunch: Oven-baked or smoked salmon
- Dinner: keto pizza or cabbage rolls
- Breakfast: Cheese roll-ups
- Lunch: Keto steak salad
- Dinner: Grilled chicken with boiled eggs, almonds, and broccoli
The Benefits of a Keto Diet
The use of low-carb or ketogenic diets is controversial. However, there are many health benefits of a keto diet, some of which include:
- Weight Loss
Expert and individual keto diet reviews show that low-carb diets are more effective for weight loss. During ketosis, the body burns stored fats, and the level of insulin also decreases. When carbs are low, it’s easier for rapid weight loss to occur.
- Reduced Appetite
It’s easy to control appetite because keto diet meals reduce feelings of hunger. Reduced craving is one of the reasons the keto diet for beginners isn’t depressing. Many people eat twice, or even once a day, and feel satiated.
- Reduced Blood Sugar Level
Studies prove that low carb diets help control blood sugar and insulin levels. In some cases, it may lead to a reversal of type 2 diabetes.
Other Benefits of a Keto Diet Include:
- Treatment of epilepsy
- Improved energy and mental performance
- Reduced risk of heart diseases.
Side Effects of a Keto Diet
What are keto diet side effects? Here are some common side effects of different keto diet reviews.
- Constipation: This is often a result of dehydration. And ketones leads to more excretion of water. It’s best to increase water intake daily and eat vegetables high in fiber to avoid constipation.
- Cramps: The most common is leg cramps, and this often occurs when starting a keto diet plan for beginners. Increasing fluid intake or supplementing magnesium can be helpful. Also, making foods have some salt can reduce this problem.
- Heart Palpitations: There may be an increase in a heartbeat when switching to keto diets. This problem is usual, but taking enough fluid or a potassium supplement can avoid it.
- Fatigue: It takes the body a few days to adjust to burning fats. During those few days, there may be reduced physical performance and a feeling of weakness. After that, energy level and strength will get back to normal.
Keto Diet Results
The keto diet is becoming a trend, with many persons using it. There are thousands of keto diet reviews, each showing how the ketogenic diet improves health. These keto stories also highlight inspiring journeys to weight loss from both men and women. Many people begin to see results after the first few weeks.
A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that aims to put the body into ketosis. When this happens, the body burns stored fat for energy instead of glucose. This process leads to weight loss, and changes become visible in the first few weeks for some people.
Different low-carb foods can be a part of a keto diet. A typical keto diet contains healthy foods like vegetables, poultry, and seafood. Apart from weight loss, the keto diet has other benefits. Some of these benefits include reducing the risk of some diseases. Furthermore, for people starting on a keto diet, drinking enough water will help to stay hydrated.