Are you thinking about starting a ketogenic diet but don’t have enough information about it? This guide will help give you a rundown of the basics of a ketogenic diet so you can decide if this is your next step toward overall health. A ketogenic diet is essentially a low-carb, high-fat diet which has myriad health benefits, from weight loss and appetite control to better maintenance of blood sugar levels. It may reverse the development of type 2 diabetes and helps control the onset of epileptic seizures.
The ketogenic diet, commonly known as “the keto,” is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. It involves a drastic reduction of carbohydrates, replacing them with high-fat foods. This reduction in carbs makes the body to go into the metabolic state known as ketosis, hence the name. In ketosis, our body becomes more efficient at burning fat to release energy by turning fat cells into ketones in the liver, which are helpful for supplying energy to the brain. Ketogenic diets have numerous health benefits; here are just a few:
The ketogenic diet promotes weight loss by turning your body into a fat-burning machine. Increased speed of fat burning and a drop in insulin levels creates the ideal circumstance for weight loss without excessive hunger.
Boosted energy levels and mental performance
A ketogenic diet stimulates the flow of ketones to the brain, which enhances brain focus and performance. It also boosts energy levels as the heavy fat cells that cause lethargy are burned.
A ketogenic diet supports better appetite control. As the body burns fat throughout the day, you have constant access to energy, which results in reduced feelings of hunger. This makes it possible for you to eat less and lose excess weight more easily while balancing your blood sugar levels.
Blood Sugar Control
The ketogenic diet controls blood sugar levels and may help reverse the development of type 2 diabetes. This happens as ketosis lowers blood sugar levels while reducing the negative effects of higher insulin levels. It may also be helpful in preventing the onset of pre-diabetes.
The ketogenic diet has been shown as an effective therapy for epilepsy because it may reduce seizures while helping to reduce the side effects of some anti-epilepsy drugs.
Enhanced physical endurance
A ketogenic diet can improve physical endurance by providing constant access to energy by continuously burning fat.
Foods to eat
A ketogenic diet includes increasing the amount of the following foods in your diet plan.
- Fatty fish: Salmon, trout, tuna, etc.
- Meat: Red meat, steak, chicken, turkey, etc.
- Butter and cream
- Unprocessed cheese
- Nuts and seeds, including almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
- Healthy oils: virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
- Low-carb veggies
- Seasonings, including salts, spices, and herbs.
Foods to avoid
Foods high in carbohydrates should be avoided or limited. The following foods should be reduced or completely avoided while on a ketogenic diet.
- Sugary and processed foods
- Grains or starches
- Fruit, with the exception of berries
- Low-fat or diet products
- Beans or legumes
- Root vegetables and tubers
- Condiments that contain sugar
- Unhealthy fats
- Sugar-free diet foods
The ketogenic diet offers plenty of benefits, but, as with many eating plans, requires a change in mindset. Consider giving it a test run for a few weeks to see if it is for you, and reap the rewards!
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