Updated: May 26, 2020
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
Are you thinking about starting a ketogenic diet but don’t have enough information about it? This guide will help give you a rundown of the basics of a ketogenic diet so you can decide if this is your next step toward overall health.
A ketogenic diet is essentially a low-carb, high-fat diet which has myriad health benefits, from weight loss and appetite control to better maintenance of blood sugar levels. It’s been reported that it can even reverse the development of type 2 diabetes and helps control the onset of epileptic seizures.
I tried the vegan version of a keto diet for a couple of weeks, but to be honest, I missed my beloved carbs far too much. But as an objective health coach, I thought other people, who can stick with it, might be able to reap the rewards!
The ketogenic diet, commonly known as “the keto,” is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. It involves a drastic reduction of carbohydrates, replacing them with high-fat foods. This reduction in carbs forces the body to go into a metabolic state known as ketosis, hence the name. In ketosis, our body becomes more efficient at burning fat to release energy by turning fat cells into ketones in the liver, which are helpful for supplying energy to the brain. Ketogenic diets have numerous health benefits; here are just a few:
Benefits of Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet promotes weight loss by turning your body into a fat-burning machine. An increased speed of fat burning and a drop in insulin levels creates the ideal circumstance for weight loss without excessive hunger.
Boosted energy levels and mental performance
A ketogenic diet stimulates the flow of ketones to the brain, which enhances brain focus and performance. It also boosts energy levels as the heavy fat cells that cause lethargy are burned.
A ketogenic diet supports better appetite control. As the body burns fat throughout the day, you have constant access to energy, which results in reduced feelings of hunger. This makes it possible for you to eat less and lose excess weight more easily while balancing your blood sugar levels.
Blood Sugar Control
The ketogenic diet controls blood sugar levels and may help reverse the development of type 2 diabetes. This happens as ketosis lowers blood sugar levels while reducing the negative effects of higher insulin levels. It may also be helpful in preventing the onset of pre-diabetes.
The ketogenic diet has been shown as an effective therapy for epilepsy because it may reduce seizures while helping to reduce the side effects of some anti-epilepsy drugs.
Enhanced physical endurance
A ketogenic diet can improve physical endurance by providing constant access to energy by continuously burning fat.
Foods to Eat
A ketogenic diet includes increasing the amount of the following foods in your diet plan.
Low carb dark leafy green veggies, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, capsicum.
Nuts and seeds, including almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Plant protein, like tofu, soy meats and tempeh.
low carb fruit, like berries, coconut and avocado.
Healthy oils: virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil.
Coffee, tea and unsweetened clear drinks.
Sugar free plant milks, such as almond, soy, oat or hemp.
Seasonings, including salts, spices, and herbs.
Foods to avoid
Foods high in carbohydrates should be avoided or limited. The following foods should be reduced or completely avoided while on a ketogenic diet.
Sugary and processed foods
Grains or starches
Fruit, with the exception of berries
Low-fat or diet products
Beans or legumes
Root vegetables and tubers
Condiments that contain sugar
Sugar-free diet foods
The ketogenic diet offers plenty of benefits, but, as with many eating plans, requires a change in mindset. Consider giving it a test run for a few weeks to see if it is for you. If it is, share your findings with me in the comments below!
Remember, always be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new diet strategy, and especially if you are pregnant, or on any type of medication.