Needless to define what ketogenic diet does because if you are on this page, you most likely know the benefits and if not all, at least the one you want to make use of.
But in case you have some doubts and are curious to know in detail, here’s explaining what keto diet is and what all benefits it has to offer.
Understanding Ketosis and Ketones first
The human body, in a normal scenario runs on glucose. However when your body does not have enough insulin to turn glucose into energy, your body needs another source and it uses fats to produce energy.
With the breakdown of fats, your body also produces some chemicals which are known as ketones.
Chemically known as ketone bodies, ketones are the by-products of breaking down of fatty acids.
Ketones are present in everyone. The chemicals made in your liver are sent to the bloodstream from where these are consumed as fuel by your muscles and tissues. The process of producing of ketones is called ketosis.
How does Ketosis Take Place?
Endogenous ketones are triggered by the body in a natural way while
- On a strict low-carb, high-fat diet known as ketogenic diet
- It can also take place after long exercising
The body becomes ketogenic implying, it is producing ketones.
What is Ketogenic Diet?
Also known as keto diet, it involves having particular type of food which is able to provide a balance of nearly 75% fat, 20% protein and 5 % carbs.
Ketogenic diet is fat rich diet with less carbs which lead to ketosis. When the body reaches this process, it becomes capable of drastically reducing fats for energy not burning carbohydrates.
So a person on keto diet has to refer to a specified list of food items primarily which are able to fulfil the criteria of fat level of up to 75%. At the same time, you have to avoid eating certain foods. Unlike other diet forms, people on keto diet, need not face the issue of selecting the food items as there are ample food products which suit the keto requirement.
Let’s take a quick look at the foods that help following keto diet efficiently.
Keto Foods – What to Eat
Meat – Unprocessed grass fed meats are healthiest options of meat, being low in carbs. Alternatively processed meat items like sausages, meat balls etc. often contain high amount of carbs. So prefer eating unprocessed one.
However, do not have excess of meat as it is also a rich source of protein. If there is protein in excess, it gets transformed into glucose which makes it difficult to perform ketosis.
Salmon – All sea foods are excellent sources to be followed in keto diet especially fatty fish salmon.
Eggs – Eggs in any form are fine for keto diet. You can eat boiled eggs, butter fried, omelettes or scrambled. Prefer taking organic eggs to reap maximum benefits.
Prefer vegetables grown above ground – Leafy green vegetables are best suited for keto diet. It includes cabbage, cauliflower, avocado, broccoli and zucchini.
There are a number of ways for making veggie interesting and tasty. These can be butter fried or had raw by pouring olive oil over them.
Nuts – It is very easy to fall in the habit of eating more nuts in keto diet. So be mindful of what kind of nuts you are having and how much. Nuts such as cashews, pistachios are high on carbohydrates. Instead keto friendly nuts like pecan and macadamia should be eaten since these avid the risk of having too many carbs and thus can be enjoyed gilt free.
Seeds – Seeds are another rich source of nutrients required for ketosis. Flax seeds, hemp seeds can be taken when following keto diet.
Water – This is the most important part of the diet. Drink as much water as you can in any form available. Having it plain is of course the best option but there is no harm even if you have it with ice. Water in the form of hot tea, or adding cucumbers, applies, lemon slices is helpful too.
Adding a little salt to water helps in combatting symptoms of keto flu including headaches.
Tea and Coffee – Take any form of tea black, green, orange, mint etc. but take it without sugar. Similarly coffee without adding sugar can be added to the meal.
Keto Diet – What not to eat
It is equally essential to be aware of foods that are to be avoided in keto diet. Below is the list of such carb abundant foods which can prove to be an obstacle in the way of ketosis.
- Grains and starches – It includes things like wheat based products, rice, pasta, cereals etc.
- Unhealthy Fats – Avoid eating processed items like vegetable oil.
- Alcohol – These drinks limit your ketosis process due to high amount of carbs.
- Fruits – All fruits except berries.
- Beans & Root vegetables – Peas, kidney beans, chick peas, potatoes, carrots etc. should be avoided
Ketogenic Diet Plan for Beginners
During the initial days of your keto diet, you may find it difficult and undergo the symptoms characterized as keto flu including signs like nausea, headache, diarrhea etc.
To make it easier for you to continue on your diet pan, below we suggest some diet patterns that you can follow to minimize your discomforts.
Please note that the below plan is made keeping in consideration the food items allowed in ketogenic diet maintaining their healthy combination. If, however you are allergic to certain food items, please speak to your dietician and get a customized plan for you.
Breakfast: Egg, tomato, basil and goat cheese omelette
Lunch: Almond milk, peanut butter, cocoa powder and stevia milkshake
Dinner: Meatballs, cheddar cheese and vegetables
Breakfast: A ketogenic milkshake
Lunch: Shrimp salad with olive oil and avocado
Dinner: Pork chops with Parmesan cheese, broccoli and salad
Breakfast: Bacon, eggs and tomatoes
Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil and feta cheese
Dinner: Salmon with asparagus cooked in butter
Breakfast: Omelette with avocado, salsa, peppers, onion and spices
Lunch: A handful of nuts and celery sticks with guacamole and salsa
Dinner: Chicken stuffed with pesto and cream cheese, along with vegetables
Breakfast: Fried eggs with bacon and mushrooms
Lunch: Burger with salsa, cheese and guacamole
Dinner: Steak and eggs with a side salad
Breakfast: Sugar-free yogurt with peanut butter, cocoa powder and stevia
Lunch: Beef stir-fry cooked in coconut oil with vegetables
Dinner: Bun-less burger with bacon, egg and cheese
Breakfast: Ham and cheese omelette with vegetables
Lunch: Ham and cheese slices with nuts
Dinner: White fish, egg and spinach cooked in coconut oil
Each vegetable or meat type has different nutritional value, hence you should always have them changing. Ketogenic diet offers the benefits of eating multiple foods without feeling the monotony. So enjoy varied types of foods and enjoy the benefits of ketosis