Why is the ketogenic diet so popular? What makes it so successful among people who want to lose weight or simply want to clean up their eating? Moreover, we’re constantly being shown that keto is a lifestyle that has been adopted by many iconic celebrities as well. What does that mean? Is it a diet that requires high-budget to be sustained? Do people need to stay under special observation to be able to succeed? Well, the keto diet has definitely raised many questions and has become a very discussed topic.
On one hand, there must be a very good reason why tons of accredited dietitians recommend and encourage people to follow it. On the other hand, there are opponents of the diet who claim that it is harmful to the body in the long run. Others say that it is a good eating habit only for those who suffer from diabetes, or for those who have a brain condition such as seizure. Since I often cook and proudly serve keto dishes my relatives and friends, I found it mandatory to research deeper in the hope to find if keto recipes, and the keto diet overall, is good for the average man.
What is the ketogenic diet?
As we’ve all already heard, generally speaking, the ketogenic diet is a nutritional strategy based on the reduction of dietary carbohydrates. Thus, it “forces” the body to independently produce the glucose necessary for survival and to increase the energy consumption from the fats contained in the adipose tissue.
Generally speaking, the ketogenic diet is based on the drastic reduction of carbohydrates in the diet: but why? Carbohydrates are the energy source of the cells to carry out any activity. If this energy is lacking, the body needs to find a substitute: with this diet, it will be pushed to use fat as an energy source. In this phase the body produces ketones.
What are ketone bodies?
Ketones are a metabolic residue of energy production. Normally, these bodies are produced in minimal quantities and are disposed of with urine and lung ventilation. However, when eating keto, the ketone bodies reach a higher level over normal, which lowers blood PH, thus, causes the ketosis state.
Simply put, ketosis is the mechanism that pushes the body to burn spare fat because it no longer finds carbohydrates and sugar. As a rule, ketosis is reached after a couple of days of a restrictive diet with only 20-50 grams of carbohydrates consumed per day.
How to understand that you are in ketosis?
It is possible to identify a possible state of ketosis by taking urine tests, blood ketone meters test, or a breath ketone analyzer. However, there are revealing symptoms of entering a ketosis state that requires no tests. These include:
- Dry mouth and/or thirst
- Increased or excessive production of urine
- Acetonic breath or sweat
- Decreased appetite
- Tiredness or exhaustion
Therefore, it is very important to keep oneself hydrated when following a keto diet.
What to eat on the ketogenic diet?
The most important aspect of achieving the state of ketosis is to eat foods that do not contain carbohydrates or have very low doses. limit those that contain few and avoid foods that are rich in them.
The recommended foods in keto include those which are very high in protein. These are:
- Meat. Very different from other diet regimes, you can use also fatty meat such as pork belly, lamb, and poultry with the skin. Any meat is good in keto.
- Fish and seafood products
- Cheeses. All kinds of cheeses
- Fats and oils for seasoning. Be it olive oil or coconut oil, they’re all suitable for the diet
- Vegetables excluding starchy vegetables
As you can see, there is a wide variety of very common and affordable products one can use when on a keto diet.
What NOT to eat on the ketogenic diet?
Well, there’s always something you can’t eat when on a diet, keto is also the case. Here is what you have to avoid eating:
- Cereals, potatoes and their derivatives
- Sweet and soft drinks
- Honey, sugar, and syrups
Generally, it is recommended to maintain a carbohydrate intake of less than or equal to 50g / day, ideally organized into 3 servings with 20g each.
A rather strict guideline for a correct ketogenic diet provides for an energy breakdown of 10% from carbohydrates + 15-25% protein + 70% or more from fat.
Why is the keto diet good to follow?
Besides being a recommended diet for those who look to lose weight, keto is a great eating plan for those struggling with:
- Mild and severe obesity;
- Type II diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Remember: avoid DIY on diets. If you intend to follow any diet, not just the keto diet, always consult your doctor and a nutritionist. Only when provided with tailor-made advice you can achieve the best results with no adverse effects.
Check our keto category recipes for delicious and mouth-watering dishes!