Maybe, like me, you've just joined the 'Keto Diet for Beginners' group on Facebook, and you're now trying to figure out what it actually involves. You know, like what you can and can't eat and whether it's right for you.
Luckily for you, we've done some digging and spoken to Dr Deborah Lee from the Dr Fox Online Pharmacy to find out everything there is to know about the popular diet and why people are so keen to give it a go.
So, What Is Keto?
The main takeaway from the Keto diet is that it's high-fat, adequate-protein and low-carbohydrate. It aims to push your body into ketosis, where you burn fats rather than carbohydrates. And often, it's described as a rapid weight-loss diet.
What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a process that occurs when your body doesn't have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. Instead, it burns fat and makes ketones. These ketones can then be used as fuel for the body.
"When carbs are restricted, your body produces less insulin. Insulin promotes fat and sugar storage, so being in ketosis, and reducing insulin, has the opposite effect. Ketosis is a metabolic state which favours weight loss" says Dr Deborah Lee.
Is Ketosis Safe?
For most people, ketosis is perfectly safe. But, there are side effects from being in ketosis, including ‘keto-flu’, bad breath, lethargy, and constipation.
Dr Deborah Lee also mentions that the diet should only be used as a short-term solution, for around 3-6 months, and always under medical supervision.
Why Is The Keto Diet So Popular?
Over the past few years, the Keto diet has become increasingly popular. And one of the main reasons for that is because it's been followed by various celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kim Kardashian and Megan Fox.
What Can and Can't You Eat On Keto?
Carbs are a big no, no. But, anything that's high in fat and protein, is seen as good.
Here's a non-exclusive list of foods you can eat while following Keto:
Meat (including chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, venison, bison, pork)
Seafood (including salmon, tilapia, cod, prawns)
Nuts and Seeds (including almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, cashews)
Low Carb Vegetables (including broccoli, courgettes, bell peppers, cauliflower, leafy greens, asparagus, mushrooms)
High-Fat Fruits (including coconut, avocado)
Here's a list of foods you should avoid while following Keto:
Grains (including rice, farro, barley, quinoa, wheat, bread, pasta)
Fruits (including apples, oranges, bananas, berries, kiwi, pears)
Beans and Legumes (including black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils)
Dairy (including milk and yogurt)
High Carb Vegetables (including potatoes, corn, peas, beetroot)
What Are The Health Benefits?
According to Diabetes.co.uk, the Ketogenic diet has a variety of benefits (especially for those with Diabetes) including:
Reducing high blood pressure
Reducing triglyceride levels
Raising HDL cholesterol levels (a good sign of heart health)
Improving mental performance
Reducing dependence on medication
Improving insulin sensitivity
On top of this, Dr Deborah Lee tells us that the diet may be beneficial for those who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and acne.
What Does A Week-Long Keto Meal Plan Look Like?
When it comes to mealtimes, following a Keto diet doesn't have to mean boring, tasteless meals. There's a variety of ways to make recipes keto-friendly, and just as delicious. Need some inspiration? Below, you'll find a week's worth of recipes perfect if you're following the Ketogenic diet.
You should always consult your GP before partaking in any form of diet.
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