The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is a very low-carbohydrate diet that turns the body into a fat-burning machine. Here you will learn how to follow a ketogenic diet that is based on authentic foods. It has many potential benefits for weight loss, health and athletic performance, and there are millions of people who have already experienced it. Many celebrities have spoken about the benefits of this diet that made them lose many kilos. If you want to know more, read on.
What is the keto diet?
The keto diet is focused on the consumption of foods rich in healthy fats and proteins with restriction of carbohydrate consumption to generate a process called ketosis similar to fasting.
What is ketosis?
This process causes the reserves of fat in the body to be transformed into ketones that act as nourishment for the muscles and brain in contrast to carbohydrates. As a result, you will get a fat burning and a weight loss quickly compared to conventional diets.
For this reason, the ketogenic diet has many admirers such as nutritionist Susie Burrell who says it is perfect not only to lose weight but also to reduce the temptation to sweet, relieve pain in people with chronic diseases and brain inflammation.
Here are some of the staples you should build your ketogenic diet around:
- Fatty nuts and seeds: cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds
- Whole eggs
- Full-fat cheese
- Chicken: Thighs and legs
- Vegetables: spinach and other greens, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, mushrooms, bell pepper
- Olive oil
- Salted butter
- Heavy cream
- Sour cream
- Cream cheese
- Fatty fish: salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies
- Chicken broth or bouillon cubes with at least 1-gram sodium
That last item may surprise you, but for many people, it makes all the difference. Why? When carbs are cut, we rapidly deplete glycogen, the stored form of carbohydrate. For every gram of glycogen, we lose 3 grams of water. Addition of the bouillon will help prevent dehydration and improve the way you feel on the diet. Water isn’t enough on keto; you need enough sodium, too.
“Chicken broth is absolutely critical on this diet as a way to ensure you are getting enough sodium,” Jason Wittrock, who is a Physique Competitor from USA, explains. “Any time a client calls me and feels bad, I immediately tell them to drink a cup of chicken broth, and their symptoms usually go away.
Foods to Avoid
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of what to eat on a ketogenic diet. Make sure that you read and re-read through the list of acceptable foods to build a mental image around what type of meals you will want to eat.
If you’re still unsure about any products or food items that might not be keto friendly, don’t worry too much. Below, you’ll find a list of things that you should always be on the lookout for.
- Sugar. It’s typically found in soda, juice, sports drinks, candy, chocolate, and ice cream. Anything that’s processed and sweet you can think of most likely contains sugar. Avoid sugar at all costs.
- Grains. Any wheat products (bread or buns), pasta, cereal, cakes, pastries, rice, corn, and beer should be avoided. This includes whole grains like wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat, and quinoa.
- Starch. Avoid vegetables (like potatoes and yams) and other things like oats, muesli, etc. Some root vegetables are okay in moderation.
- Trans Fats. Margarine or any other spreadable replacement butter should be avoided as they contain hydrogenated fats (bad for us).
- Fruit. Avoid any large fruits (apples, oranges, bananas) as they’re extremely high in sugar. Some berries can be consumed in moderation.
- Low-fat foods. These tend to be much higher in carbs and sugar than full-fat versions. Make sure you read the package to make sure a mistake isn’t made.
In general, the more “real” the food, the better it is for you. While some processed foods are acceptable, many are not. Make sure that you read through the ingredients and nutrition information to make sure that it can fit within your diet.
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