Are you a person who is fond of diets? If yes, then we’re certain that you have come across the ketogenic diet. This diet has been making headlines for over 90 years now. Back then, it was a diet which was developed to treat epilepsy patients. Off late, the ketogenic diet has risen to fame as it is a very easy diet to follow and is considered as a “cure-all” diet. But what exactly does it do to our body and what’s the right way to follow it? We’ve put together some important things that you need to know before you step into the world of keto. It will give you a heads up about the much-hyped keto diet. Let’s read on together.
How Does The Keto Diet Work?
The word “keto” comes from the term ketogenic diet. Here, keto represents what actually happens in the body—our body produces small fuel molecules known as “ketones” (1). This is apparently an alternative source of fuel for the body which is made use of when the blood sugar (the glucose) is less in supply.
Now, how are these ketones produced? When we eat negligible amounts of carbs and consume proteins in moderation, it can be easily broken down into sugar (2).
Where are the ketones produced? They are produced in the liver; from all the fat that is consumed. And this is used as the fuel for the rest of the body, including our brain. Our smarty brain is a hungry organ (trust us, it is) and it cannot just run on fat, it requires a lot of energy which it derives from either the glucose or in this diet’s case, the ketones.
During this diet, our entire body switches the fuel tank to just fat (like it literally banks on fat). Isn’t fat bad for us? Well, in this case, the body’s insulin levels go down and the fat burning spikes up dramatically. Also, the body is said to be in a “ketosis” mode as it produces ketones (not rocket science). This diet helps you in the weight-loss process without having to starve yourself to hunger or sickness.
Who Shouldn’t Be Doing This Diet?
A keto diet is usually a very safe-to-follow type of a diet. However, for these three groups of people, it’s a strict no-no (3).
- Those who are Diabetic.
- Those who have high blood pressure or are hypertensive.
- Breastfeeding women.
The 6 Rules To Follow
1. Pay The Closest Attention To Carbs
It’s all about the carb intake here. Limit it (we have always been exposed to humungous levels of processed food all our life). Cut down on processed carbs too (like the cookies and crackers) and opt for whole grains and oats instead.
But, even here, pay attention to the portions and some of the carbs. Unites States Department Of Agriculture (USDA) recommends only 5-6 ounces of whole grains or a slice of whole wheat bread per day (4).
2. Eat A Lot Of Fat
Fat makes you feel heavy, right? But, some fats like the ones found in meats and dairy aren’t the villains. Health organizations like the American Heart Association ask us to have a saturated fat intake of 13 grams per day (5). Whereas, most nutritionists recommend mono-saturated fats instead, like the ones we get from avocados or olive oils.Pile Them Up—The Non-Starchy Vegetables
3. Pile Them Up—The Non-Starchy Vegetables
One advantage of this diet is that it makes you eat these non-starchy green beauties (like the asparagus, broccoli, and spinach). These veggies are the fiber suppliers to our digestive system. However, don’t go too green, just one cup of serving is enough for a day.
4. Take A Test Drive Of The Diet
Keto also includes intermittent fasting as well, i.e. it allows you to eat for eight hours of a day and the remaining 16 hours you need to be in a state of fasting (this is just an option here) (6). Why do it? It’s during the fasting stage that our body tends to burn more fat.
5. Cooking At Home More Often
There is a list of the kinds of foods that we shouldn’t be eating while on this diet. Therefore, it forces you to start cooking at home more often than usual. This is definitely beneficial as you will have control over the amount of oil that goes into your food. You wouldn’t know how much oil a restaurant would be using in a salad dressing even if you’d just ordered a bowl full of veggies.
6. Stock Up On Fermented Foods
Cutting out on foods like fruits, and some of the most important sources of fibers can make you feel weak and tired. And it also leads to constipation—a primary complaint from many.That’s exactly why we recommend you to eat fermented veggies (pickles, kimchi, etc.). They make up for the absence of the healthy bacteria in the gut and will help you stay healthy and active for the rest of the day.
We’re pretty sure that now you are well educated about how to start your keto diet. But remember to consult a dietician before starting off. Have you followed a keto diet already? Do you have friends and family who have been followers? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.