“You are what you eat”, no one denies that food significantly affects our health as well as our body shape. Recently, the diet plan called “ketogenic” has become very popular because the latter is not only good for your health but also helps in losing weight. We will explain to you what a keto diet is and how it can change your life!
What is the ketogenic diet?
The “Ketogenic” diet is a way of focusing on consuming very low carbohydrate but high-fat food. During this program, you must avoid carbohydrate intakes, such as white bread or pasta, and replace them with fat in order to push your metabolic system into a “ketosis state”(a state where your body efficiently burns body fat for energy, instead of carbs as usual).
To enter ketosis faster, it is important to limit carbs to approximately 20-100 grams per day, depending on your carb tolerance. Moreover, not only carbohydrates but you should also reduce glucose (sugar) taking and moderate protein consumption since they are sources of energy as well. Remember that the core of the keto diet is to force your body to take energy from fat only.
What can you eat during a keto diet?
As we mentioned above, you need to control your daily consumption and choose your food wisely. For beginners, we have listed recommended keto-friendly food that might help you in preparing your meal plan:
- Fatty fishes like salmon, sardines, and mackerel, etc.
- Shellfish, shrimp, crabs, or squid are almost non-carb.
- Some non-starchy vegetables can perfectly replace high-carb ingredients, for example, cauliflower (instead of using rice or potatoes), avocado, zucchini, etc.
- Cheddar, Parmesan, or mozzarella cheeses are also safe to eat.
- Grass-fed meat and poultry.
- Eggs are undeniably one of the healthiest food options and a-must for the ketogenic lifestyle.
- Adding 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil to your food can promote ketone production.
- Cooking with virgin olive oil or use as a salad dressing instead of creamy dressings.
- Plain Greek yogurt with nuts or cinnamon for a snack.
- Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.
- All berries contain many important nutrients but very low carbs.
- Butter and cream are acceptable if you consume them in moderation.
- Coffee and tea without sugar.
- Keto-friendly breakfast cereal that you can easily find in supermarkets.
Also, avoid all fat-free and low-fat products because they are typically high in carbs. It is advised to start your keto-focused plan with breakfast first to let your body adapt and not get too tired.
What are the health benefits of a keto-focused diet?
The ketogenic diet provides more advantages than you think. It can improve your health, fight against many diseases and it is also considered a healthy way to get on a diet. Below are 5 main health benefits that might surprise you:
1. Weight loss
As stated above, a ketogenic lifestyle can efficiently prevent you from gaining weight by strictly avoiding carbohydrate consumption which is one of the main reasons for obesity. Besides, your metabolism system will be forced to burn the fats into energy, including the ones that are already stored in your body as well. Thus, not only this diet plan can promote weight loss, but it can also lower your appetite which leads to lower calorie long-term intake.
2. Diabetes and prediabetes curing
Carbohydrates are complex sugar molecules. When ingested, your digestive system will convert these compounds into sugar for energy which will enter the blood later. Therefore, if you consume excess carbs, your body will produce too much insulin and the unused amount will be remaining in the blood. This could develop type 2 diabetes unless you change your dietary behavior.
For that reason, long-term low-carb diet consumption can prevent diabetes by reducing the blood sugar level. However, we highly recommend consulting your doctor first before trying any diet plan.
3. Neural diseases prevention
As neural diseases like Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s are incurable, we try to find ways to prevent them whether by trying brain exercises or dietary management. Recently, many health specialists believe that a ketogenic diet can be one of the solutions due to its neuroprotective action. In other words, a low carbohydrate-based diet might protect the nervous system and brain from damage.
4. Acne prevention
You could be surprised by the fact that keto-based habits can enhance your skin color and prevent acne problems. With less carb intake, the sebaceous glands will produce less oil on the skin and consequently reduce pimples and clogged pores that are usually caused by excess oil. However, it should be done along with proper skincare routines to obtain better results.
5. Cancer treatment
Even though this last one could sound a bit far-fetched, many people believe that a carb-restricted diet may promote cancer treatment. As cancer is related to insulin compounds and requires glucose for energy, you should consume less sugar and carb so that the cancerous cells become weak and starve. As a result, cancer may be destroyed or at least help prevent malignant growth.
Now, you have learned how to properly practice a ketogenic diet and what are its beneficial effects. However, for better solutions, we recommend you to practice intermittent fasting (the way of limiting your food intake to 8 hours per day) and to regularly do exercises along with diet control.