The Keto Diet, Is It Good For You?
The Keto or Ketogenic diet, is a current diet trend that involves eating high fat, low sugar and low carb meals. But it’s not as simple as that. The Keto diet involves lessening, and sometimes completely eliminating, the sugar and carbohydrates in your diet. This allows your metabolism to shift its focus to effectively burning the fat you intake into a source of energy. This metabolic process is called ketosis, allowing people on the keto diet to lose weight quickly without “counting calories.” It also lessens the cravings you may experience, so you don’t eat more than what your body truly needs.
There are several forms of the ketogenic diet with the advanced types mostly being used by athletes and bodybuilders. The Standard Keto Diet has been the most studied and researched, which is why it is the recommended keto diet for the everyday person. The SKD is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs.
Despite it being a high fat diet, people who want to try the keto diet should consume healthy fats such as coconut oil and avocado. Other food that should be a staple are meats like steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken, and turkey; fatty fish such as salmon and tuna; pasteurized or omega-3 whole eggs; unprocessed cheese including mozzarella, cheddar, goat, cream, and blue cheese; nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.; and low carb vegetables which include leafy greens, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. You can also have condiments in the form of salt, pepper, and other healthy herbs and spices.
Food you should avoid are sugary, processed food such as softdrinks, fruit juices, smoothies, cake, ice cream, and candies; grains and starches like rice, pasta, and cereals; all fruit except for small portions of berries like strawberries; beans and legumes, peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, and lentils; unhealthy fat like processed vegetable oil and mayonnaise; alcoholic beverages and sugar-free diet foods.
The Keto diet is not for the long-term. Dieticians recommend that you do it for a maximum of a year before slowly weaning yourself from the diet. It’s simply a short to medium term plan to lose weight. So once you’re done with the diet, you can choose which practices you want to keep for the long run such as not consuming sugary and processed food. You should always look for any nutrient deficiencies and health risks that may occur with every new diet you try, so you know how to avoid or adjust the meal preparation to meet the requirements of a balanced diet. Remember, living a healthy life starts with eating right!