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The Keto diet is all the rage nowadays. What is it and how does it work? Let’s have a look.
The ketogenic diet (or keto diet) is a very low carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits. The keto diet requires you to drastically reduce carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat—fat provides you your body with all the energy requirements. The reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body literally becomes a fat-burning machine. It turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.
The standard ketogenic diet typically contains 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbohydrates.
The Keto diet is one of the extensively studied diets and has been shown to cause significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. Also, many studies show that the keto diet can help you lose weight and improve your health significantly. Hence following a keto diet with keto diet foods is good for those suffering from diabetes. It may even have benefits against epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease.
When you consume carbohydrates, it is broken down and converted into glucose, which is the main source of energy for the cells. Glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream, and with the help of a hormone called insulin (which is produced by the pancreas), it travels into the cells of the body where it is stored and used for energy.
Without getting too much into the science of it, ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs. It happens when you significantly reduce your intake of carbohydrates, thus limiting your body’s supply of glucose.
Following a ketogenic diet rich in keto diet foods is the most effective way to enter ketosis. Generally, this involves limiting carb consumption to around 20 to 50 grams per day and filling up on fats, like red meat, fatty fish, eggs, nuts, heavy cream, and healthy oils like avocado oil and ghee. Organic food products are preferred since it is healthier.
It is also important to note that high protein consumption can throw your body out of ketosis because protein can be converted into glucose if consumed in high amounts. Hence, it is important to curb your protein consumption while on keto. It can be tempting to consume more protein than your body requires for all those muscle gains, but as long as you’re on a keto diet, moderate your protein consumption fastidiously.
Consuming low-carb food is the best way to enter into ketosis. Practicing intermittent fasting could also help you enter ketosis faster. The most common method involves limiting food intake to around 8 hours per day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. For example, lots of people find that consuming food between 11:00 am till 7:00 pm and fasting for around 16 hours after that fits well with their lifestyle. There are many different forms of intermittent fasting, so you can consult with your nutritionist for your needs.
There are blood, urine, and breath tests available, which can help determine whether you have entered ketosis. It works by measuring the number of ketones produced by your body. You can also deduce whether you have entered ketosis by closely following your symptoms. Certain symptoms that may indicate that you’ve entered ketosis include increased thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, and decreased hunger or appetite.
You can base your diet on the following foods: