The Ketogenic Diet: What Beginners Need to Know

ketogenic diet

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

The term “keto” comes from the word “ketones,” which is your body’s alternative fuel if there is a shortage of glucose in your system. This is produced when you eat few carbohydrates and a moderate amount of protein. Thus, the ketogenic or keto diet is otherwise known as a low-carb diet.

By lowering your carb intake, your body will be inducted into “ketosis,” which is a natural process that your body undergoes so you can survive whenever your food intake is low. By limiting carbohydrates and overloading on fats, your body will begin to burn ketones as its primary source of energy. When you achieve the proper ketone level, you will enjoy plenty of health benefits.

What to Eat and Avoid During Ketogenic Diet

What you eat will greatly depend on how fast you want to reach the state of ketosis. The fewer carbohydrates you eat, the faster you will get into the ketogenic state.

Do Eat:

  • Meat, which includes red meat, white meat like turkey and chicken, and pork products like ham, bacon, and sausage
  • Fish that are high in fat, such as salmon and tuna
  • Dairy products, such as eggs, cheese, and butter (those that come from free-range animals are your best option)
  • Green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach
  • Oils and dressings, such as ranch, Greek and aioli
  • Avocado and low glycemic berries like blackberries and raspberries
  • Low-carb sweeteners like stevia

If you find it too difficult to get enough fat as you make the shift from your usual diet to keto, the Brain Octane Oil can help you. This is a flavorless oil that will stimulate your body to yield ketones. You just have to add it to your cooked vegetables and salads.

Also, you can add one teaspoon of this to your one cup of freshly brewed coffee to make your Bulletproof Coffee, along with one tablespoon of grass-fed butter.

Don’t Eat:

  • Grains, which include corn, rice, cereal, and wheat
  • Sweet items like honey, maple syrup, and agave. This will also include ice cream, cookies, and cake, along with sugary drinks like juices, soda, and smoothies.
  • Fruits high in sugar, such as oranges, apples, and bananas
  • Starches like sweet potatoes, bread, potatoes, and pasta
  • Diet foods, as they are heavily processed and contain lots of sugar

Always bear in mind that the ketogenic diet is high in fat (70%) but moderate in protein (25%) and low in carbs (5%).

Read about the 7 Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet

Important Things to Consider

As with most other diets, not everyone can significantly benefit from the ketogenic diet. Special consideration is required when you are breastfeeding and taking medications, especially those for high blood pressure and diabetes.

So as a precaution, it is highly recommended that before starting on the ketogenic diet, you must check with your doctor. This is the best way to avoid the potential issues of the ketogenic diet and ketoacidosis, which happens when your body produces excessive amounts of ketones.

One of the biggest concerns involved in starting the ketogenic diet is Keto flu or the temporary groggy feeling you will experience for the first couple of days. Expect to feel a bit of discomfort in the form of nausea, headache, and fatigue.

Common side effects will include cramps, constipation, reduced physical performance, and even heart palpitations. These issues are related to a lack of micronutrients or dehydration. So make sure to increase your water intake and consume foods with great sources of vitamins and other micronutrients.

Following the ketogenic diet will have a huge impact on your health. Switching from your usual diet to a low-carb diet can be a bit tough, but this can be made easier and more successful if you know what to expect, apart from what you must and must not eat. Most importantly, make sure to consult your physician before making this change.

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