The Keto Diet – What you should know?
One of the recent buzzword going around the diet and health sector recently is the Keto Diet. Keto actually stands for ketogenic which naturally is a high-fat and low-carb diet.
Is this for real?
To date, more than 20 studies have already proven that this diet program could effectively help you to lose weight. What more? It even comes with health benefits too.
Known truths about the Keto Diet
To say the least, there are some similarities with many known low-carb diets including the Atkins program. What you would be doing in this diet program is to reduce your intake of carbohydrates drastically. Instead, you will be replacing the intake with fat. The name keto is used to illustrate ketosis, the metabolic state that your body goes into since you have reduced carbs.
This means that your body can now burn fat for energy at an incredibly efficient rate. What will also happen in the liver then is that fat is converted into ketones? This will allow your body to channel energy to the brain which means you can very much function quite efficiently. Another plus point about the keto diet is that it helps to reduce your blood sugar level as well as insulin too.
Types of Keto Diet
In general, keto diets can be differentiated into various types which are:
- SKD – This stands for the standard ketogenic diet which is very low carb (5%), moderate-protein (20%) and high-fat (75%).
- CKD or Cyclical ketogenic diet. Such a plan involves taking refeeds of a higher carb period. This is where you take 5 ketogenic diet days and then 2 high-carb days, etc
- TKD or targeted ketogenic diet. You will be required to add carbs around the fitness regime program
- High-protein ketogenic diet. This is very much like the SKD with a higher ratio of protein where you take only 5% of carbs, 35% of protein and the rest for fat.
- Take note that CKD and TKD are mostly adopted by very active people like sports athletes and bodybuilders while SKD and high-protein keto diets have substantial scientific evidence of its effectiveness. In fact, the most researched diet program is SKD and is the most commonly practiced.
Is it effective as a weight-loss program?
Studies have already found that the keto diet works very well for those looking to lose weight. As compared to many other low-fat diets before this, it has been proven to be a lot better. The significant advantage that the keto diet has is convenience. In fact, this diet program allows you to stop counting your calorie intake or even track your food intake while enjoying weight loss.
What does more protein mean?
When you take more protein and lesser carbs, you enjoy a series of benefits. This is where your body starts producing ketones which means it will lower your blood sugar levels. This, in other words, mean that you reduce the risk of diabetes significantly. A keto diet will shed off any excess fat in your body which is one of the major causes of Type 2 diabetes and even pre-diabetes. Furthermore, it also improves up to 75% of your body’s insulin sensitivity. One study that compared diabetic patients who took the keto diet as compared to another higher-carb diet group was about 95% and 62% respectively.
What other benefits and usage does a Keto diet bring?
There is still not enough concrete evident that keto diet can help in the treatment of diseases but it surely can help to moderate the risks involved. It must be noted that this diet program first came about to help treat epilepsy, one of the many types of neurological diseases. Besides that, the keto diet has already been found to be involved or associated with:
- Cardiovascular diseases – improving body fats, HDL cholesterol and blood pressure means that you will reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Cancer risks – Keto diet is being considered and tested to help reduce the growth of certain tumors.
- Alzheimer’s – Studies are underway to prove if the keto diet helps to reduce the speed of progression of Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s, brain-related injuries, skin problems and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Types of food in a keto diet
Basically, if you are taking the keto diet, you should try to avoid the following types of foods:
- Starchy foods like rice and pasta
- Fruits, especially large ones
- Sugary foods like smoothies, pastry, cakes, candy and soft drinks
- Peas and beans
- Sugar-free foods
Meanwhile, a keto diet is where you should be taking more foods in the following:
- Fish – Fatty ones like tuna, salmon, mackerel and trout, among others
- Meat – lots of them including red meat, ham, sausage, turkey, chicken and pork
- Dairy products – omega-3 eggs are great and cheese too
- Nuts like almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, hazels
A typical Keto diet meal plan
Below is a sample of a keto diet that you can adopt in a week making variations and replacements as you go along.
- Day 1 – Cheese omelet and ham for breakfast, cheese slices with ham for lunch and fish with eggs for dinner
- Day 2 – Eggs and cheese for breakfast, peanut butter for lunch and meatballs with vegetables for dinner
- Day 3 – Milkshake for breakfast, avocado and shrimp salad for lunch and pork chop with salad for dinner
- Day 4 – Sunnyside up with ham for breakfast, eggs and burger for lunch and steak with salad for dinner
- Day 5 – Peanut butter and stevia for breakfast, coconut oil stirred-fry chicken for lunch and beef patty with egg and bacon for dinner
- Day 6 – Take bacon, tomatoes, and eggs for breakfast, chicken and cheese for lunch and salmon for dinner
- Day 7 – Omelette with avocado for breakfast, celery and nuts for lunch and beef with vegetables for dinner
Remember that vegetables and meat will be the mainstay so you need to rotate them as much and as frequently as you can.