When it comes to weight loss, changing one’s diet is one of the surefire ways. One such diet that has gained popularity due to its effectiveness is the ketogenic diet. The diet simply restricts the intake of carbohydrates such as rice, bread, and pasta. Here is everything there is to learn about this diet. Plus, listed here as well as a quick and easy guide for a keto shopping list.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is somewhat similar to the Atkins diet which restricts the intake of carbohydrates by a certain amount. Rather than get calories from carbohydrates, the diet entails that an individual get calories from fat and protein.
Once carbohydrate is limited to 50 grams or lower in a day, the body goes through a state of ketosis. This means that it burns down fat and protein for fuel rather than carbohydrates, which eventually leads to weight loss.
Benefits of the Diet
1. Reduces Appetite
The worst feeling that comes with dieting is hunger, which is why some people quit halfway and give in to the food cravings. However, this is unlikely to happen on the ketogenic diet. A diet that is low in carbohydrates leads to appetite reduction according to recent studies.
2. Fastest Way to Lose Weight
Cutting carbohydrates from the diet is proven as the most effective methods of losing weight. Moreover, studies claim that the ketogenic diet help people lose weight faster compared to low-fat diets.
3. Reduces Abdominal Fat
The fat in the abdominal cavity is called visceral fat which is linked to insulin resistance and inflammation. Ketogenic diets or diets that restrict the intake of carbs help reduce the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity. This drastically reduces the risk of getting type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
4. Reduces Triglycerides
Fat molecules that circulate in the blood are called triglycerides. A high amount of such fat can lead to heart disease. When carbohydrates are limited in the diet, there is a dramatic drop in the level of triglycerides in the bloodstream.
5. Increases High-Density Lipoprotein.
High-density lipoprotein is also called the good cholesterol which lowers the risk of getting heart disease. A diet with increased fat intake and reduced carbohydrate intake helps boost the levels of good cholesterol in the body.
6. Reduces Insulin and Blood Sugar Levels
For people with diabetes, the ketogenic diet may prove to help lower insulin and blood sugar according to studies. However, before trying this diet, it is highly advisable to speak with a licensed physician and dietician, especially for those with insulin resistance disorders and diabetes.
7. Lowers Blood Pressure Levels
High blood pressure is linked to diseases such as kidney failure, stroke, and heart disease. An effective method in lowering blood pressure is through a healthy diet, one like the ketogenic diet. It restricts carbohydrates that is effective in lowering blood pressure.
8. Treats Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome
A condition that is linked with heart disease and diabetes is known as metabolic syndrome. This condition manifests multiple symptoms such as the following.
- Abdominal Obesity
- Elevated Fasting Blood Glucose Levels
- Elevated Blood Pressure Levels
- Increased Triglycerides
- Decreased High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels
Studies claim that the ketogenic diet is useful in the treatment of the symptoms mentioned above. The metabolic syndrome is nearly eradicated.
9. Treats Epilepsy
According to studies, this diet aids in the treatment of epilepsy in children. In the study that was done, more than half of the kids on the said diet experienced more than 50 percent reduction in the occurrence of seizures. Moreover, approximately 16 percent became free of seizures. The effects of the diet are further studied for individuals who have Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.
Keto Shopping List: What to Buy
For individuals ready to take the leap and start the ketogenic diet, here is where one should start. This keto shopping list should help with planning meals.
As much as possible, opt for grass-finished or grass-fed beef, wild-caught seafood, and pasture raised pork and chicken. Such meats have higher anti-inflammatory properties (omega 3) and lower pro-inflammatory properties (omega 6). Such meats include the following.
- Ground Beef
Fruits and Vegetables
For vegetables, choose those who are low in carbohydrates such as peppers, onions, cauliflower, and broccoli. Tomatoes can be consumed as long as it is done in moderation. As for fruits, these include berries, olives, and avocados.
Seeds and Nuts
Under this category, these include chia seeds, hemp, flax, walnuts, pecans, and almonds.
These may be taken out of the diet entirely or used in moderation. Such condiments that may be used include low-carb salad dressing, salt and pepper, and real mayo. For spices, use organic spices rather than ones that have already been chemically processed. Choose to use homegrown spices.
The focus once more is increasing the intake of fat that contains omega three fatty acids. Such oils that are healthy sources of this fat include coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil.
Choose grass-finished or grass-fed dairy as much as possible. The same goes for eggs. Opt for organic or farm-fresh eggs. Some dairy products to add to the diet include the following.
- Cheese (Cheddar, Goat, Mozzarella)
- Cream Cheese
- Cottage Cheese
- Heavy Cream
- Nut Milk
- Plain Yogurt (Preferably Greek Yogurt)
- Sour Cream
Living without sugar can be difficult, especially if most of the sugar comes from carbohydrates. In this case, sweeteners can still be incorporated into the diet. Some of the sweeteners that may be added to the keto diet include the following.
For Swerve and Truvia, both versions have alternatives in brown sugar.
Again, before trying out the ketogenic diet, it is best to consult with an attending physician or a dietician. For individuals with insulin resistance conditions or people with diabetes, starting on the diet is ill-advised without proper consultation with the primary healthcare provider.