If you’re interested in weight loss, then you may have heard of the ketogenic dieting trend, also known as the “keto” diet. More than just a buzzword, the keto diet relies on the principle of ketosis, which is the state your body enters when it processes its fat stores for energy. The traditional way to achieve this is to avoid glucose, the body’s preferred energy source. Glucose is obtained from your diet, notably in foods that are high in carbs and sugars. When your body goes for a long period of time without glucose, it will enter ketosis and break down fat to use as energy.
What You Can Eat on a Keto Diet
Shopping on the keto diet is healthy, affordable, and uncomplicated. The keto diet is high in fat, moderate in proteins, and very low in carbohydrates. In fact, carbs should consist of less than 5% of your whole diet. For this reason, any food that has little to no carbs are allowed within the keto diet. Some examples include seafood, meats, leafy greens, poultry, nuts, eggs, and cheese. Foods high in fat should be emphasized to help promote satiety, which may be lacking in a low-carb diet. Avocados, plain Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese are some excellent high-fat, low-carb options. Healthful fats such as olive and coconut oil are encouraged as well.
Some of the most-important specifics to eat on the keto diet include salmon; seeds like sunflower seeds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds; and cheeses like cheddar, goat’s cheese, halloumi, and feta. These healthy, delicious specifics can be tailored to meet your keto diet and your personal tastes.
What to Avoid on a Keto Diet
Obviously, carbs and sugars should be avoided. This includes all grains, pastas, processed cereals, and baked goods. You must also eliminate starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, corn, carrots, and beets. Most fruits, which tend to have high amounts of sugar, should be avoided as well. The one exception is berries, which have very little carbs per serving, and a good amount of fiber to help you feel more full – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all fair game on the keto diet.
Under the keto diet, you should also be scrutinizing your condiment use very closely. Most of the flavor in dressings, dips, and sauces comes from their high sugar content. Traditional pantry staples like barbeque sauce, ketchup, and ranch dressing are no longer allowed under this diet. Instead, replace these condiments with plain mustard, hot sauce, vinegar- and oil-based dressings, or a keto-friendly ketchup.
Benefits of a Keto Diet
The keto diet is an extremely effective way to lose weight. Studies have shown that individuals placed on a keto diet tend to lose more weight on average compared to other dieting methods. There is also some evidence that suggests the keto diet can help to mitigate blood sugar imbalances, which can benefit people with diabetes.
Keep in mind that no diet is perfect, nor suitable, for everyone. Always consult with your doctor or a nutritionist before beginning any new diet or exercise regimen, and monitor your health closely as you progress.
The key to losing weight and keeping it off is to make sustainable lifestyle changes. The ketogenic diet may produce fast results, but you can’t live on fats and protein alone, nor will you find results overnight. It is not advisable to stay on the keto diet indefinitely. Diet, exercise, sleep, and hydration all go a long way in boosting your health and wellness, so find what works for you, and curate your diet and lifestyle to help find a healthier, happier you.
About the Writer: Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves to write for business, health, and women’s interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.