What is the Keto diet?
To look and feel healthy is among the ultimate goals of any human being. However with the countless weight loss diets out there, finding a sure fix diet to maintain the desired healthy, trim and lean appearance can be challenging. The Keto diet, for many, has become the key feature to achieving such a healthy transformation.
Also known as the ketogenic diet, low carb diet and low carb high fat (LCHF), this diet’s principal goal is to burn fat to produce energy. Usually, with the large quantities of sugar consumed, the body will burn sugar stored to provide much-needed energy. As such, once on the keto diet, the consumption of carbohydrates should be about 50 grams or less every day.
As you may have already guessed the keto diet is high in fats and low on carbohydrates. Carbohydrate-rich foods are broken down into glucose. Insulin must be produced to process the glucose so it can be transported around the body. This action results in the fats consumed are stored as opposed to being used to provide energy instead of carbs. However, by lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis.
Relax! It’s not as scary as it may sound. Ketosis is a natural process which the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver. Ketones, a type of acid, is sent into your bloodstream so that your muscles and other tissues can then use them for fuel.
The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. Yet this is not achieved through starvation of calories but through starvation of carbohydrates.
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What are the Benefits of the Keto Diet?
Who would have imagined it possible that simple alterations to ones food intake could ignite a total transformation? Yet it is possible to attain not only a sense of well-being and achievement but also amazing physical transformations. Numerous benefits are attained from the Keto diet from weight loss and increased energy levels to therapeutic medical applications. Listed below are a few of the benefits of practicing the Keto diet.
- Weight Loss: For many, the struggle with their weight seems like a never-ending battle. Dining out may not always be the healthiest option for you while on a diet. Relief is within sight as there are numerous Keto meal prep recipes to experiment with. That way, you don’t have to lose the joy of eating great tasting food. Amazing physical transformation awaits as your body becomes a fat burning machine and our tasty Meal Prep recipes will surely help.
- Mental Focus: Pregnant mothers are often reminded to ensure that they include healthy fats in their diet to help with the brain development of their unborn babies. Studies show that an increased intake of fatty acids can have impacting benefits to our brain’s function. Thus the Keto diet will be a sure fit to gain continued brain development and function resulting in improved focus and concentration.
- Control Blood Sugar: Blood sugar refers to the amount of glucose present in the bloodstream. Additionally, it is well known that high blood sugar often leads to other health setbacks and complications including diabetes. It is every diabetic person’s dream to keep their sugar levels at an appropriate level. The keto diet drastically reduces the occurrences of spikes in your blood sugar levels thus managing and helping in the prevention of diabetes.
- Increased Energy and Subdued Hunger: As you already know energy is important in order for us to perform our day to day functions. It has been recognized by countless experts that fats are the most efficient molecule to burn to produce fuel for the body. In addition, consuming healthy fats leaves you with a more satisfied feeling for a longer period. Besides, food is supposed to help provide that much-needed energy and with delicious keto Meal Prep recipes, your hunger will be appeased.
- Insulin Resistance: If insulin is produced when the body is in a state of insulin resistance, the cells can not work effectively. This is because they are resistant to the insulin which leads to high blood sugar. Thankfully, research shows that a low carb, the ketogenic diet can help people lower their insulin levels to healthy ranges.
What are the risks of the keto diet?
As with any diet or alterations made to one’s eating routine, there are a variety of risks which may materialize. Discussed below are several risk factors which should be considered when changing to the keto diet.
- Weight Regain: Health experts argue that the keto diet should not be done for the long term, as a few months, at best will significantly reduce one’s mass. Additionally, weight fluctuations may cause individuals to develop eating disorders. These disorders, in turn, cause them to regain much of the weight loss and sometimes gain much more.
- The ‘Keto’ Flu: Kristen Kizer, RD, a nutritionist at the Houston Methodist Medical Center noted that some of her patients experienced vomiting, gastrointestinal distress, a lot of fatigue, and lethargy. These symptoms described the “keto” flu and lingered only a few days.
- Diarrhea: The lack of fiber in the keto diet can lead to diarrhea. It may be caused by the gallbladder (the organ for producing bile to break down fats) being overwhelmed with the increased fat intake. The dairy intolerance of others may also result in diarrhea.
- Reduction in Athletic Performance: Although losing a few pounds may make you feel energetic, too much weight loss only increases feelings of exhaustion. According to Edward Weiss, Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University, the keto diet makes the body too acidic. This, in turn, reduced the performance of the athlete.
- Ketoacidosis: Kizer argues that if you have type II diabetes, the keto diet is not for you unless you have your doctor’s permission or close supervision. This is because the body stores up too many ketones — acids produced as a byproduct of burning fat. The blood becomes too acidic causing damage to the liver, kidneys, and brain. Left untreated, it can be fatal.
Top 15 Food you can eat on the keto diet
Here is a list of fifteen food items you can enjoy while on the keto diet:
- Seafood: Most seafood such as fish and shellfish are low in carbs and a good source of vitamins, minerals and omega 3s.
- Low carb vegetables: Vegetables which are low in starch content are also low in carbs but a rich source of nutrients such as vitamin C and other minerals.
- Cheese: Although there are hundreds of cheeses, they are all low in carbs but high in fats. They are both delicious and full of protein, calcium and great fatty acids.
- Avocados: Avocados are amazingly healthy as they contain many minerals including potassium which assists in the transition to the keto diet. They also promote healthy heart function.
- Meat & Poultry: Although meat and poultry are rich in high-quality protein and nutrients, they are low on carbs. Ensure that grass-fed meats are used as they contain the necessary fats and nutrients which grain fed meats lack. To get started, try our keto lamb meatball meal prep recipe. Yum!
- Eggs: In addition to maintaining that full feeling, eggs are rich in nutrients which promote a healthy heart. Ingredients in the yolk help promote eye health as well. Whip up some of our keto prosciutto egg cups for breakfast and have your family begging for a second serving.
- Coconut oil: Due to its exceptional characteristics, coconut oil is perfect for the keto diet as it can increase ketone levels. Additionally, it increases your metabolic rate to promote the loss of weight and belly fat.
- Plain Greek Yogurt & Cottage cheese: These are both high in protein and have been shown to decrease one’s appetite yet promote feelings of fullness.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is high in antioxidants and provides numerous benefits for heart health. It is ideal for salad dressings and other cooked foods.
- Nuts & Seeds: Be advised that cashews and pistachios are rich in carbohydrates and should be avoided. Although they are high in fiber and help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, they should be consumed with moderation.
- Berries: Berries are rich in antioxidants and nutrients which reduce inflammation and protect against diseases. They are also low on carbs but high on fiber.
- Butter & Cream: When consumed in moderation, these almost carb-free substances have neutral or beneficial effects on heart health.
- Unsweetened Coffee & Tea: These drinks both boost your metabolism as well as your physical and mental performance. They also help to reduce your risk of diabetes.
- Dark Chocolate & Cocoa Powder: The antioxidant properties of cocoa and the flavanols contained in dark chocolate make them perfect at maintaining healthy arteries and low blood pressure.
- Water: Water is life. Whether you drink it flat, iced or with a hint of fruit, it is the best of all the drinks out there. Add a hint of salt if you experience the ‘keto’ flu symptoms.
Top 15 Foods you can’t eat on the keto diet
Here is a list of fifteen foods which you should avoid while on the keto diet:
- Processed Meats: These meats are often packed with preservatives and linked to cancers. Sausages, hot dogs and deli meats are a few examples.
- Legumes: Although very nutritious they are rich in carbohydrates. Lentils (green, red, yellow, etc), pinto beans chickpeas and kidney beans are a few examples of such carbohydrate-rich legumes.
- Sweetened Sauces & Dips: Ketchup, Barbeque sauce, and some salad dressings contain more sugar than is allowed while on the keto diet. Here are some delicious alternatives you can put to the test.
- Root Vegetables: Most are loaded with starch (carbs), such as carrots, yams, beets, potatoes, and turnips.
- Grains & Starches: Grains and other starchy foods are filled with carbohydrates. These include pasta, rice, bread, pizza, oats, and baking flour. Stay clear of those.
- Fruits: Indeed, fruits remain a great source of much-needed vitamins and minerals for the body. However, most possess too much natural sugar. Such fruits include, for example, watermelon, bananas, pineapple, mangoes, plums, and grapefruits.
- Low Carb or Sugar-free Packaged Snacks: They boast of less sugar while they contain little to no sustainable nutrients. Additionally, all artificial ingredients are potentially dangerous to the body. Instead, bake up some keto crackers to snack on.
- Shredded Cheese: These types of packaged shredded cheeses should be avoided as it contains hidden carbs such as potato and corn starch.
- Low-fat Yogurt: Low-fat yogurt contains more carbs than whole milk yogurt.
- Pork Rinds: This deliciously addictive treat is void of significant nutrients and from a keto point of view would be equal to a potato chip. Plus the flavor enhancers and sugars added aren’t part of the keto diet.
- Unhealthy Fats & Oils: These unhealthy oils promote bad fats, for example, vegetable oils, corn oil, margarine, and trans fats.
- Processed Foods: Processed foods are rich in many of the bad fats, high in hidden sugars and carbs. These include chips, ice cream, cakes, crackers, and pretzels.
- Sugar & Sweeteners: Sugar in any form is a definite no! For example, cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, and refined sugars should all be avoided. Need help staying away from sugar? Try our 21-day sugar detox meal prep recipe ideas.
- Sweets: If you have a sweet tooth, we got you covered. Try our 18 easy keto snack recipes and indulge in the sensation you love the most.
- Alcohol: Alcohol is produced due to the fermentation of sugar. Therefore alcohol should be avoided at all costs.
Top Keto supplements
When on the keto diet, one often has to eliminate various foods from one’s diet. It’s important to substitute for these minerals lost with keto supplements. Listed below are a few supplements which can be used while on the keto diet.
- Keto Advanced Weight Loss Diet Pills from Shark Tank
This supplement helps to promote weight loss, improve brain function and burn fats instead of carbohydrates
This supplement promotes the burning of fats to be used as fuel by the body. Thus you’ll achieve weight loss, improved mental focus and better quality sleep are promised by this supplement.
This supplement made from all natural ingredients is useful for boosting energy and increasing metabolism.
Our favorite Keto recipes
Here are a few of our Keto Meal Prep recipes that we think you would surely enjoy while on the keto diet:
- Cheesy Keto Chicken Meatballs
- Nutty Keto Pancakes Meal Prep
- Chilled Avocado Soup Meal Prep
- Keto Fresh Raspberry Cheesecake
- Keto Cashew Cheesecake Bites
Comment below and let us know which keto meal prep recipe you love making the most.