Here is what you need to know.
Keto is loved by celebrities like Halle Berry, Savanna Gutherie, Jenna Jameson, Tim Tebow, and Kourtney Kardashian. Jenna Jameson credits the keto diet with her more than 80-pound postpartum weight loss. Halle Berry claims that it helps her maintain her health and her type II diabetes. Tim Tebow and Kourtney Kardashian have touted it as a detox, or a “reset button” for the body.
With all the glowing testimonials about Keto, it is not universally loved. Tamra Judge who was on the keto for a few weeks, quit saying it didn’t do anything for her and noted that it made her feel sick.
Regardless of all the positive and negative reviews, though, you may still be questioning what keto diet is, and how it works.
The keto diet is an eating plan that consists of 75-80 percent fat, 15% protein, and very little carbohydrates – about 5%. Acceptable foods on the keto diet are fish, meat, eggs, dairy, some oils, and green, cruciferous, vegetables. Pasta, rice and other grains, potatoes, and most fruits are strictly prohibited.
Keto works by changing the way the body turns food into energy. Typically, during digestion, we break down carbohydrates — like those found in the verboten foods above — into molecules of fructose, galactose, and glucose, the last of which serves as the body’s primary source of energy. When the body can’t draw it from carbohydrates — either because they’ve been cut out of the diet or because a person hasn’t eaten for a long time — it looks for other forms of energy.
After about two to seven days of following the keto diet, you go into something called ketosis, or the state your body enters when it doesn’t have enough carbs for your cells to use for energy. That’s when you start making ketones, or organic compounds that your body then uses in place of those missing carbs. At this point, your body also starts burning fat for more energy.
When did the keto diet start?
The keto diet is definitely not a fad, at least not in the usual sense of the word. It’s been around for nearly a century. In the 1920s, epilepsy researchers found that increased levels of ketones in their patients resulted in fewer seizures, and the diet is still a widely accepted treatment for epilepsy today. It was never intended as a weight loss diet. However, people who started following the keto diet noticed weight loss for a few reasons: When you eat carbs, your body retains fluid in order to store carbs for energy (in case it needs it). But when you’re not having many carbohydrates you lose this water weight.
Increasing healthy fats generally help curb cravings since it keeps you satisfied. Plus the fact that ketosis encourages your body to burn fat, means you can end up with significant weight loss.
What can I expect on the keto diet?
Some experience “the keto flu” at the beginning as the liver begins to turn fat into ketones to be used as energy. The symptoms of the “keto flu” are brain fog, headaches, nausea, and fatigue, along with bad-smelling breath, sweat, and urine. Keto Flu is caused by a rapid decline in carbohydrate intake and a drop in electrolytes. It’s best to ease into the diet by gradually reducing carbohydrates and staying well hydrated. Your goal is to get to consume no more than 50 grams of carbohydrate a day. Keto friendly shake preparations are widely available to minimize the possibility of the keto flu. The ingredients are proportioned with the correct ratio of macronutrients and contain electrolytes. Keto Fuel by BulaFit is a delicious shake that you may want to try. We wrote an article about Keto Fuel that goes into greater detail about the product.
Should I try it?
Yes, but do it right. The keto diet is often referred to as the Atkins diet. Although similar to keto, The Atkins Diet focuses on high fat and high protein with little carbohydrate. Studies have shown that eating low carb, high fat, high protein diet such as the Atkins diet can lead to a fatty liver. However, the difference between a healthy keto diet and the others is that keto encourages the consumption of a lot of green, cruciferous vegetables in addition to healthy fats and grass fed, heritage proteins. The consumption of vegetables will provide enough nutrients and carbohydrates while also preventing the development of a fatty liver. Cruciferous vegetables are like a scrubber for your arteries and will help push cholesterol out of your liver. If you won’t consume cruciferous vegetables on this diet than you may want to consider another eating plan. Vegetable consumption is a must.
What foods are not allowed on the keto diet?
Because you’ll be focusing on fat and protein— and reducing the carbs— pasta and grains will no longer be on your menu. It also means that starches like potatoes, carrots, and legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and black beans are off-limits, too. Anything with a lot of sugar such as apples, bananas, candy, cakes, and donuts are not allowed. Some alcohol is allowed but should be avoided until your body has adjusted to being in ketosis. Our The Keto Basics guide will outline everything you should not eat.
What can I eat on the keto diet?
You’ll be loading up on healthy fats like butter, olive oil, and avocado, along with plenty of lean protein like grass-fed beef and chicken, and leafy green (or other non-starchy) veggies.
Are snacks allowed? They sure are. There are plenty of packaged options out there designed for Ketonians.
There are options for coffee drinkers too who love their lattes. Bulletproof coffee will be your go-to drink. Once you have one of these latte’s will become a figment of your imagination. There are many companies that offer bulletproof coffee varieties like Keto Kofi by Bulafit. Just one scoop of Keto Kofi deliciousness is all you need.
There are also many restaurants that are keto friendly. Restaurants like the Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse and Panera. Quite frankly you can eat in most restaurants when you know what foods are ok and which ones are not. Our The Keto Basics guide will list the majority of them. A quick read through before you go out will allow you to a night out without coming out of ketosis.
Having a cookbook handy designed for keto eating will allow you to prepare delicious, nutritious meals without needing to calculate your macros. Cookbooks like, Make It Keto by Jennifer Winder is an excellent cookbook to start with. Her new Make It Keto cookbook features her most popular recipes including delicious easy-to-make meals, sides, appetizers, desserts, and snacks. Each recipe shows a breakdown of its ketogenic nutrition facts including net carbs.
Make It Keto has over 150 pages of recipes so you’ll always have an idea of what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
If you want to go ahead give the keto diet a try, make sure to check with your physician first. Having current bloodwork will help you and your doctor determine if you are benefitting from keto. If you do keto right it is a diet that will become a lifestyle – and your doctor will love your test results.