You’ve probably already heard of the Keto diet. The Keto (short for “ketogenic”) diet is very low in carbohydrates and high in fats and it seeks to put the body in a situation of ketosis, which translated means that our body becomes a fat burning machine. Such a situation is achieved in any of these two ways: by limited proportions of food or by the reduction of foods rich in glucose.
The consumption of carbohydrates drops between 5 and 20% when following the Keto diet, giving priority to foods with good fats, 75% of which is in our diet. This makes the liver stop using glucose as a form of energy, and the body has no choice but to get that energy from the fat it has stored. It is a great alternative if you are looking for quick weight loss.
In a diet such as the ketogenic one, the body changes its signals and slowly begins to understand that its source of energy is no longer glucose, but fat, so it starts to work exclusively with fat. Insulin levels drop dramatically and the increase in fat burning is remarkable. Inevitably, the body accesses body fat deposits and starts burning fat. All this is wonderful for those who are focused on losing weight, especially for people suffering from morbid obesity. This diet is also satisfactory because it reduces hunger levels, and offers a permanent supply of energy.
There is no evidence that states the Keto diet is harmful to the body but it does offer a healthy amount of documented benefits, especially for people who deal with high blood sugar, fatty liver issues, and for those with considerable amounts of weight to lose.
What to eat on a ketogenic diet?
Natural fat: the main source of calories when following a keto diet is fat so your daily fat intake should be high. Stick to natural sources of fat such as meats, fish and eggs and try cooking with butter and/or coconut oil and feel free to add all the olive oil your heart desires to your salads and vegetables.
Fish: all fish, including seafood, are welcome to the keto diet. The best choice? Fatty fish like salmon and trout.
Meat: the keto diet doesn’t require large amounts of protein as it is a high-fat diet and if you ingest more protein than your body actually needs, reaching ketosis will be more difficult as excess protein turns into glucose. Stick to moderate amounts of unprocessed meats that are low carb and keto-friendly, especially those that are organic and/or grass fed.
Above ground vegetables: any vegetable that grows above ground is perfect for the keto diet since above-ground veggies contain less carbs and starch than those that grow underground such as potatoes, carrots and onions. Feel free to eat all the leafy, green items you want including cucumber, zucchini, lettuce and avocado.
Eggs: all the eggs you want in your preferred presentation. Worried about the cholesterol? Try to keep it under 36 per day.
Your pros and cons
As we have mentioned before, with the Keto diet the decrease in blood sugar levels is achieved, regenerate fatty liver, and causes weight loss in less time, also, it is effective to improve epileptic disorders, cancer and Alzheimer’s.
However, the difficulty occurs when ketosis is not controlled as it should be and ketones damage the muscle mass causing some unpleasant side effects such as headache, dizziness, bad breath, excessive sweat and urine. You might also suffer from constipation due to lack of fiber in your diet, so watch out. This can be easily avoided by adding a high-fiber supplement to your daily diet such as Nopalina which will keep you regular without a problem.
If you decide to go the keto route, do so under the supervision of a specialist.