What Is Keto? A Complete Beginner Guide!

Want to know if the hype about the “keto diet” is worth it? We’ve got you because everything you want to know about keto, we are going to simplify it for you.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

The Keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. The keto diet basically teaches the body to use a different source of energy than that in the regular diet where glucose (from carbs) is the main source of energy.

The keto diet centers around fat as the main source of energy. Carbs and proteins in diet are lowered in quantity and this causes the body to consume fat as the fuel for energy.

In other words, our human body uses two sources of energy: fat or glucose (from carbs). In the keto diet, the glucose or carbs are lowered in quantity or taken out of the diet and this way, the body uses only fats for energy and burning body fats.

What is Ketosis?

During a keto diet, the body’s intake of carbs is decreased and that of fats is increased. The low amount of carbs in the body causes it to use fats for energy, instead of carbs or glucose. Ketones, which are acids that are produced in the body when it breaks down fats for energy, thus become the main source of energy, instead of glucose. The low amount of glucose in the body causes the liver to produce more ketones to ensure the body stays energized.

Benefits of Keto Diet

A good keto diet plan has proved to benefit our bodies. The most important benefit of the keto diet is weight loss.

Other than that, many physicians have seen significantly good results of the keto meal plan on patients with epilepsy. Around 40-50% of epileptic children on keto meals showed a 50% reduction in seizures and around 10-20% of children with epilepsy achieve more than a 90% reduction in seizures. (Cleveland Clinic).

Specific diets with low-carb intake are good for the heart and lower the risk of heart disease.

A good keto meal plan with low carbs and moderate fats lowers the risk of type-2 diabetes as well.

High-fat diet improves the body’s lipid profile, which is a cholesterol blood test that measures the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your body.

Types of Keto Diet

Ketogenic diet has been modified or altered according to the needs, lifestyles, and goals. We’ve picked out the three most popular ones for you.

Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD)

This is a high-fat, low-carb, and moderate-protein diet. Typically containing around 70-75% fat, 20% protein, and 5-10% carbs, SKD is the most popular kind due to one of the most effective results – weight loss.

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD)

It resembles SKD but with one exception – you purposely take more carbs (100-150 gm) once or twice a week to create a carb cycle for better performance in a strenuous workout routine. It is mostly used by athletes or those with physically demanding routines.

Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD)

This is also similar to SKD with some changes in nutrient timing intake. The carbs are taken in the same amount (5-10%) but before and after the workout. Doing so has been shown to boost workout performance and the fitness gained through it.

Keto-Friendly Food List

Here we are going to share keto food lists in individual categories like meat, vegetable, fruits, and nuts. Let’s dive in.

Keto-friendly Meat, Poultry, and Their Alternates

If you are a meat person, then you’re going to enjoy going keto because meat is highly suggested as they are high in fat content. Following are the kinds you can devour while being on the keto diet.

Beef, lamb, pork, poultry, sausages, and even soy products like tofu and tempeh. You can also add seafood to your diet as most fish and shellfish are keto-friendly. Just make sure you don’t incorporate added sugars or breading to keep the quantity of the carbs low.

Keto Vegetables

Enjoy adding tons of vegetables as long as they are non-starchy such as broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, and especially green vegetables. Avoid vegetables with high starch content like potatoes, corn, peas, and lentils.

Keto Fruits

Most of the berries are keto-friendly, just keep the serving small. Avoid fruits with high sugar content.

You can have avocados, watermelons, lemons, and berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Nuts and Seeds

Most of these are low in carbs but are still recommended to take in small portions as some can be high in carb content such as cashews.

Here are some keto-friendly nuts you can have as a snack to satisfy those late-night cravings.

Peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, Brazil nuts.

Seeds: Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds.

Dairy products and Eggs

Any full-fat dairy product works wonders for weight loss except for milk as it contains high carb content. The rest of the full-fat dairy products like cheese, butter, and cream can be added to your diet, especially in keto breakfasts.

Eggs are keto-friendly so eat them without any guilt. Boil them, fry them, or make an omelet. You don’t have to worry about anything because eggs have almost zero carb content.

Healthy snacking is fine. Just watch out for excess fats. Remember you’re trying to lose weight so avoid excess eating or munching when you’re not that hungry.

How Should I Go Keto as a Beginner?

We know deciding menu feels too much of a hassle but once you’re through it, it’d save a ton amount of energy because you won’t have to figure out what to eat every day. Let’s help you plan your nutritious keto diet.

During the first week, take it slow. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much information and change in diet. Take time to let your body get accustomed to the new diet.

Make a keto shopping list and bring home some keto-friendly stuff we’ve mentioned next time you go grocery shopping. You can find tons of stuff now. Get your hands on keto-friendly alternatives like keto bars, keto brownies, and keto chocolates.

Just Keep Some Rules in Mind

  • Go high on fats. These should constitute 75% of your keto diet. Eat meat, dairy products, and non-starchy vegetables.
  • Eat good proteins. Make it close to 25% of your diet. Prefer eating meat, seafood, eggs, and yogurt.
  • Cut out the carbs. Keep your carb intake close to 5% of your daily diet. Avoid starchy foods like bread, pasta, grains, etc.
  • Hydrate More & Drink Simple! Stick to simple non-sugary drinks/beverages. Look for store-bought keto drinks as well to kick off easily.
  • Eliminate Starchy Food. Avoid starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, green peas, carrots) and fruits (apples, mangoes, bananas, grapes)
    Go On Intermittent Fasting. Limit your food consumption to around 8 hours window.

Are there any Adverse Effects? Other Side of the Coin

Research on people consuming a diet with high fat and low carbs has shown some disturbing insights as well. They were at high risk of developing heart health issues like heart attack, strokes, and higher-than-normal cholesterol levels. People who are on the keto diet are also at higher risk of clogged arteries.

A Keto diet may also cause

  • Low blood pressure
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Kidney stones
  • Nutrient deficiency

The keto diet may adversely affect those with issues of the pancreas, thyroid, gallbladder, or liver.

Bottom Line

Don’t think of the keto diet as only a restrictive and hard-to-follow regimen. There are still tons loads of food options to keep your meal plan diverse and fun. Start slow and take it up the notch steadily. Play around with options and try new and easy recipes.

Keto is an effective route, especially for weight loss and many more health benefits. But remember, it’s a controversial diet plan that has been linked with some adverse effects if taken in extremes. Have fun going keto!

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