Are you interested in losing weight? Are you sick and tired of diets that advocate low or no fats and crave your high fat meats? You might well be considering going on the keto diet, the brand new kid on the market. Endorsed by many celebrities including Halle Berry, LeBron James and Kim Kardashian amongst others, the keto diet has been the subject of much debate among dietitians and doctors. Do you wonder if the keto diet is safe and right for you personally?

What is the ketogenic diet anyway?

You must remember that the body uses sugar in the form of glycogen to operate. The keto diet that’s extremely restricted in sugar forces the body to use fat as fuel rather than sugar, since it does not get enough sugar. When the body will not get enough sugar for fuel, the liver is forced to turn the available fat into ketones that are used by your body as fuel – hence the word ketogenic.

This diet is a high fat diet with moderate amounts of protein. Based on your carb intake your body reaches a state of ketosis in less than weekly and stays there. As fat is used instead of sugar for fuel in the body, the weight loss is dramatic without any supposed restriction of calories.

The keto diet is such that it you should aim to get 60-75% of one’s daily calories from fat, 15-30% from protein and only 5-10% from carbohydrates. This results in that you could eat only 20-50 grams of carbs in a day.

What can you eat with this diet?

The diet is a high fat diet that is somewhat much like Atkins. However, there’s greater emphasis on fats, usually ‘good’ fats. On the keto diet you could have

Olive oil
Coconut oil
Nut oils
Butter
Ghee
Grass fed beef
Chicken
Fish
Other meats
Full fat cheese
Eggs
Cream
Leafy greens
Non-starchy vegetables
Nuts
Seeds
You can also get a whole range of snacks which are meant for keto followers. As you can see from this list, fruits are restricted. You could have low sugar fruits in a limited quantity (mostly berries), but must forego your favorite fruits as they are all sweet and/or starchy.

This specific diet includes no grains of any sort, starchy vegetables like potatoes (and all tubers), no sugar or sweets, no breads and cakes, no beans and lentils, no pasta, no pizza and burgers and incredibly little alcohol. This also means no coffee with milk or tea with milk – actually, no milk and ice-creams and milk based desserts.

Many of these have workarounds as you can get carbohydrate free pasta and pizza, you can have cauliflower rice and now there are even restaurants that cater to keto aficionados.

What are the benefits of the keto diet?

If you are wondering if this specific diet is safe, its proponents and those who have achieved their weight loss goals will certainly concur that it is safe. On the list of great things about the keto diet you may expect:

Loss of weight
Reduced or no sugar spikes
Appetite control
Seizure controlling effect
Blood pressure normalizes in high blood pressure patients
Reduced attacks of migraine
Type 2 diabetes patients with this diet may be able to reduce their medications
Some benefits to those experiencing cancer
In addition to the first four, there isn’t sufficient evidence to support its effectiveness or elsewhere for other diseases as a lot more research is required over the long-term.

Are there any side-effects of this diet?

When you initially start the keto diet, it is possible to suffer from what is referred to as keto flu. These symptoms might not occur in all people and usually take up a few days after being on the diet, when your body is in a state of ketosis. A number of the side-effects are:

Nausea
Cramps and tummy pain
Headache
Vomiting
Diarrhea and/or constipation
Muscle cramps
Dizziness and poor concentrations
Insomnia
Carbohydrate and sugar cravings
These may take up to week to subside as your system get used to the new diet regime. You can also suffer from other problems when you start the keto diet – you may find that you have increased urination, so it is important to keep yourself properly hydrated. You may also have problems with keto breath when your body reaches optimal ketosis and you will use a mouthwash or brush your teeth more often.

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