The ketogenic diet is also known by many names with some of them being such as keto diet and low carbohydrates diet, among others. This is a diet that usually has very low amounts of carbohydrates which makes the liver manufacture ketones which are used as energy by the body.
What generally happens when you consume a meal that has lots of carbohydrates is that the body generates insulin which is used to process by the glucose coming from carbohydrates so as to provide the body with the energy that it requires so as to perform optimally. This is a bad thing for our well being as the production of excess glucose makes our body not to be able to utilize fats, storing them in the process since glucose is much easier to break down.
The major goal of the keto diet is to make our body to have no other option other than going into a metabolic state where the liver manufactures the ketones which breaks down fats. This is, therefore, a perfect diet for those looking to lose weight.
Ketogenic Diet Friendly Foods
1. Low carb vegetables
Low carb vegetables are those that have high levels of nutrients such as vitamin C and very low levels of carbohydrates and calories. While on this type of diet you will have to do away with vegetables which are starchy.
Examples of veggies that have low carbohydrates, are high in nutrients, and are less starchy include cauliflower, zucchini, and broccoli, among many others.
2. Healthy fats
Healthy fats are extremely nutritious and studies have even shown that fats such as avocados drastically reduce LDL cholesterol which is harmful while raising HDL cholesterol which is beneficial to the body when consumed in large amounts.
Healthy fats foods include avocado, nuts, coconut oil, chia seeds, olives, pumpkin seeds, and nut butter with added sugar.
3. High protein foods
Cheese and yogurt are very essential when it comes to weight loss as they have been proven to promote feelings of fullness and to reduce appetite enabling people to avoid eating unnecessarily.
High protein foods include natural cheese, plain yogurt, eggs, lamb, chicken, pork, venison, and fatty fish such as sardines, tuna & salmon.
Foods To Avoid When On A Keto Diet
When you are on a keto diet, you cannot eat anything you want as some foods and drinks might block you from achieving nutritional ketosis. Nutritional ketosis refers to a metabolic state that enables your body to burn fats stored in your body for fuel instead of sugar and carbohydrates.
Below are some of the foods to avoid:
Even though most legumes have high protein, they are not good for you while on the keto diet. The primary reason why they are not ideal for the ketogenic diet is that they are high in carbs.
Examples of legumes to avoid include black beans, lima beans, green peas, lentils, great northern beans, navy beans, and pinto beans, among others.
I’m sure you are surprised that fruits are on this list. The reason why this is the case is that most fruits are high in both carbs and sugar. However, not all fruits are bad for keto diet and fruits you can eat include cherries, blueberries, avocado, raspberries, and blackberries, among others – low glycemic fruits.
Fruits to avoid include pineapples, mangos, apples, grapes, and dried fruits such as dates, among others.
Grains are rich in carbs and this is why you should avoid consuming them while on the keto diet. This means that when you are on keto diet oatmeal, wheat, oats, corn, barley, corn tortillas, and products made from such grains, for example, pasta and bread are out of bounds.
Beverages are amazing and refreshing but they are also a rich source of carbohydrates and sugars and this is why you should avoid them. When on the ketogenic diet you should focus on drinking at least six to eight glasses of water a day.
Examples of beverages to avoid include sodas, fruit juices, energy drinks, beer, and cocktails, among others.
Benefits Of Ketogenic Diet
1. It leads to weight loss
It is, in fact, one of the most effective diets for weight loss as individuals who are on this kind of diet usually shed weight faster compared to those using other diets.
2. It helps you to fight and manage diseases
A ketogenic diet helps to lower both the insulin and blood sugar levels in the body which is very essential to people suffering from Type 2 diabetes and to everyone in general.
Also, the diet helps to reduce blood pressure which in return helps to reduce the risk of serious diseases such as cancer, kidney failure, stroke, and heart failure, among many others.
The ketogenic diet is also used as therapies for some brain disorders while studies have shown that this diet is capable of curing epilepsy in babies. With such kind of benefits to our health, it is easy to see why this diet is one of the most sort-after diets for people trying to lose weight and also for those who are looking to live a healthy life.