Even though Keto has been around for years, I only heard of it a few months back. To be honest, I didn’t know what it was or that people actually followed it. But since then, I’ve rapidly had several of my friends tell me that they are following the Keto Diet for Weight Loss! As I’ve never been one for crash dieting, I decided to give this diet a closer look and here’s what I found!
What Exactly Is A Keto Diet?
Ketogenic Diet or Keto is a diet plan where you consume higher quantities of fat, moderate quantities of protein and smaller quantities of carbs in order to induce Ketosis in the body. In Ketosis, your body burns stored fats due to lack of Glucose for energy. This results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body which help fuel the body in absence of Glucose.
It is based on the principle that in the presence of Glucose, your body will not burn stored fats to release energy. So we create a situation where the body is forced to use the stored fat instead of Glucose. It is generally used to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children.
What Can You Eat During Keto?
I am listing below some of the foods you can opt for during the Keto Diet. There’s many more foods that are permissible and you should consult a nutritionist regarding your food plan before you start Keto.
- Low carb vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, etc.
- Meat & Poultry Foods
- Coconut Oil
- Cottage Cheese
- Plain Yogurt
- Olive Oil
- Nuts & Seeds such as Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Macadamia nuts, Pecans, Pistachios, Walnuts, Chia seeds, Flaxseeds, Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds, etc.
- Berries such as Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, etc.
- Shirataki Noodles
- Unsweetened Coffee and Tea
- Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder
What Not To Eat During Keto?
- Potatoes (including Sweet Potatoes)
- High carb foods
- Alcohol (except the occasional glass of red wine)
- French Fries
- Potato Chips
- Wholegrain Products
Benefits of Following Keto:
- Low carb diets such as Keto tend to reduce your appetite which helps in rapid weight loss.
- Studies show that people on low-carb diets lose weight more rapidly and easily than those on low-fat diets.
- Increased Levels of ‘Good’ HDL Cholesterol
- Reduced Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
- May Lower Blood Pressure
- Effective Against Metabolic Syndrome (Metabolic syndrome is a condition which is highly associated with the risk of diabetes and heart disease.)
- Improved ‘Bad’ LDL Cholesterol Levels
- Helps to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children.
Following are some of the side effects of following the Keto Diet:
- Following the KEto Diet on a long-term basis can cause Ketoacidosis (production of high level of blood acids in the body which may lead to hospitalization)
- During the initial phase of the Keto Diet, your body can go into shock due to the drastic change in your diet that is caused by cutting out carbs. This can lead to excessive weakness and fatigue.
- Another side effect of following Keto is said to be the formation of Kidney Stones in the body.
- Keto, in the long term, is also said to cause Anaemia due to the dietary restrictions imposed during the diet.
- Keto Diet is not the best option for a long term weight loss target as it involves the cutting out of multiple nutrients from the diet.
What I’ve listed out here for you is a basic idea of what the Keto Diet is and how it functions. Mere reading online is not the best way to decide upon a diet plan for yourself and I personally would not recommend that you start the Keto Diet without consulting a nutritionist. It is essential to ensure that your diet caters to your body needs and so, if you are considering Keto or any other diet change, do your research online and head to a nutritionist before starting out!