The keto diet is a popular low-carb, high-fat diet that can help you lose weight and improve your health. The idea behind the keto diet is to drastically reduce your intake of carbohydrates and replace them with fat. This way, your body switches from using glucose (sugar) as its main energy source to using ketones (fat molecules) produced by your liver when you burn fat.
By doing this, you enter a state of ketosis, which is a metabolic state where your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbs. Ketosis can also lower your blood sugar and insulin levels, which can benefit your health. Some of the conditions that may benefit from a keto diet include diabetes, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
What can you eat on a keto diet?
The keto diet is based on eating foods that are high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbs. The general macronutrient ratio for a keto diet is 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbs. However, this may vary depending on your individual needs and goals.
Some of the foods that you can enjoy on a keto diet are:
- Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs
- Cheese, butter, cream, and yogurt
- Nuts, seeds, and nut butter
- Avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, and other healthy fats
- Leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and other low-carb vegetables
- Berries, lemon, lime, and other low-carb fruits
Some of the foods that you should avoid or limit on a keto diet are:
- Bread, pasta, rice, cereal, and other grains
- Potatoes, corn, peas, beans, and other starchy vegetables
- Bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, and other high-carb fruits
- Sugar, honey, maple syrup, and other sweeteners
- Milk, ice cream, and other high-carb dairy products
- Cake, cookies, candy, chocolate, and other desserts
- Beer, wine, juice, soda, and other sugary drinks
How to start a keto diet?
If you want to try a keto diet for yourself, here are some steps that you can follow:
Calculate your macros.
You can use an online calculator or an app to estimate how many grams of fat, protein, and carbs you need to eat per day based on your age, weight, height, activity level, and goals.
Plan your meals.
You can use keto-friendly recipes or meal plans to create a weekly menu that fits your macros and preferences. You can also use a food tracker or an app to log what you eat and monitor your progress.
Stock up on keto essentials.
You can shop for keto-friendly foods at your local grocery store or online. Some of the items that you may want to have on hand are eggs, cheese,
butter, cream, nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, meat, poultry, fish, leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, berries, lemon, lime, and spices.
Drink plenty of water.
You may lose some water weight when you start a keto diet due to the depletion of glycogen (stored carbs) in your muscles and liver. To prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, you should drink at least 2 litres of water per day. You can also add salt or electrolyte supplements to your water if needed.
Be patient and consistent.
It may take some time for your body to adapt to ketosis and for you to see the results of your keto diet. You may experience some side effects such as fatigue, headache, nausea, constipation, or keto flu in the first few days or weeks of starting a keto diet. These are usually temporary and can be alleviated by drinking more water, eating more salt, and increasing your intake of fibre and fat. You should also stick to your keto plan as much as possible and avoid cheating or bingeing on carbs.