What Is the Keto Diet and How Does It Work?

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keto diet

What is the Keto Diet?

The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat eating plan that puts your body into ketosis – a metabolic state known as ketosis. This can aid weight loss, provide energy boosts and improve chronic health conditions.

Keto diet can be used to manage diabetes. But first, consult your doctor or dietitian before beginning this type of eating plan.

What Is the Keto Diet?

The keto diet (also known as “ketogenic diet”) is a low-carb, high-fat eating plan that encourages your body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. According to registered dietitian Scott Keatley RD and founder of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy in Houston, this type of eating plan can aid weight loss while decreasing carb consumption for additional health benefits like improved blood sugar regulation.

According to Jessica Cording, RD, a New York City-based nutritionist, the keto diet causes your body to enter a metabolic state known as ketosis. This causes it to break down fatty acids and use ketones for fuel instead of glucose from carbohydrates, she explained.

Keto dieters may experience weight loss quickly, but this could also lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances that could result in headaches, fatigue and nausea. To combat these effects, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day and replenish depleted electrolytes with bouillon cubes or Powerade Zero.

How Does the Keto Diet Work?

The keto diet works by encouraging your body to burn fat for energy instead of glucose, the fuel it normally uses. This switch in fuel source is known as ketosis and typically begins 3 to 4 days after you begin restricting carb consumption.

Dieting isn’t for everyone and can be challenging to stick with long term. If your goal is to shed pounds and improve health, opt for a balanced diet consisting of plenty of fresh produce like fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains in the long run.

Additionally, be mindful of the type of fats you consume since some saturated fats can be detrimental for your gut. Eating too much saturated fat could lead to symptoms such as diarrhea and constipation.

What Can You Eat on the Keto Diet?

On the keto diet, you can eat almost anything as long as it meets your carbohydrate goals. This includes vegetables, meats and cheeses.

Vegetables are low in carbohydrates and packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Opt for non-starchy veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, bell peppers or zucchini to reap their nutritional benefits.

Nuts and seeds are also an excellent snack choice; they contain healthy fats, proteins, and fiber.

Dark chocolate is another beneficial option, as it contains flavanols which may help lower cholesterol and heart disease risk.

Coffee and tea are both acceptable beverages on the keto diet, offering numerous health benefits such as weight loss and improved wellbeing.

To achieve optimal nutrition, limit your carbs to 20-30 net grams daily. This number is calculated by subtracting dietary fiber from total carbohydrates consumed.

What Can You Avoid on the Keto Diet?

The keto diet emphasizes whole, nutrient-dense foods like meat, fish, eggs and nonstarchy vegetables. Additionally, it relies on healthy fats like olive oil or avocados.

On the keto diet, you may choose to include some dairy products; however, it’s best to opt for nonfat, low-fat or unsweetened varieties. Milk and other dairy products contain carbohydrates which could cause an insulin spike which isn’t ideal when following a ketogenic diet.

Meats are an integral part of the keto diet, but be sure to select only high-quality options that are grass-fed and organic. Steer clear of processed meats and deli meats as these can add salt and saturated fat to your intake.

On the keto diet, most fruits are prohibited; however, you can enjoy some berries in moderation. Additionally, carb-free starchy vegetables like broccoli, spinach and zucchini can be included without guilt; however it’s best to steer clear of pasta, rice and tortillas for this diet.

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