The keto diet is an upcoming and emerging meal plan that is designed to improve health, energy levels, as well as lose weight. While the popularity is growing on this particular diet plan, there is plenty of information that has yet to be presented. Consider the following information below as your go-to guide for the keto diet and what you need to know about it.
Obesity in the U.S.
In recent years, obesity was designated as a diagnosed disease, since more than 60 percent of the entire country’s population is overweight or obese. With that said, dieting in the U.S. has become a regular thing for a wide range of people. Some sources state that about half of all women are on a diet, with many younger adults and even children dipping into the dieting world. With that said, how come there is such a high amount of adults who jump on-board a diet, only to continue jumping on-board?
A Look at Standard Diets
The weight loss industry is a booming area and every year new products, diets, and programs are introduced as being the most effective in helping people to lose weight. While it is a very popular industry, every year adults jump on diet and exercise plans only to fail by mid-year and essentially jump off. This is one of the reasons why the weight loss industry does so well and it is one of the reasons why you have frustrations about dieting.
Many diet plans do not work for various reasons. One of the most common reasons that diets don’t seem to have longevity is because many are not feasible for an extended period of time. This means that many may reasonably stay on a diet for a month or two only to fall back to old habits. For this reason, it is important to find a diet plan that encourages and supports long-term success. The ketogenic diet, or the keto diet, is a diet plan that encourages long-term success because it works by changing your behaviors for the long-term. Let’s take a closer look at the ketogenic diet and what a typical plan looks like.
The Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is widely known for its macronutrient allowance; it encourages high fat and low carbohydrates as a way to promote certain physiologic responses in the body. The primary process the body promotes when on this diet is ketosis, which can have a few different meanings. More on this will be ahead, but first let’s take a look at the basics of what you can eat on the diet.
The keto diet has some restrictions, but overall the restrictions are what make the diet unique and effective. Let’s take a look at what these restrictions entail and what is allowed when on this meal plan.
What Can you Eat when on the Keto Diet?
One of the primary things you can eat when on the keto diet is foods loaded with protein. Since this meal plan suggests adequate protein each day, consider taking advantage of consuming lean meats such as lamb, salmon, halibut, eggs, as well as chicken. While it is encouraged that your diet contains more fat than the standard diet, it is important to take note that your protein options should be lean and that you should avoid deep frying meats whenever possible.
While the keto diet suggests that you mostly cut carbs from your diet, there is room for you to still indulge in fresh vegetables. However, there are certain vegetables that you should aim to eat and others you should avoid (see the section below). Consider eating fresh broccoli, cauliflower, and any vegetable that is not grown in under the ground, such as with tubers.
It seems that many diets tend to stray from dairy products and usually this is due to the fat content. The keto diet encourages the consumption of dairy products that have full fat in them, which is opposite of traditional weight-loss logic. High fat dairy products such as cheese, creams, and butters are actually encouraged on the keto diet and typically this helps to fill you up quicker. Consider consuming your dairy in moderation as a way to regulate the amount of calories you take in.
One of the most important parts of the keto diet is healthy fats. The consumption of healthy fats allows for a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are strongly associated with heart health. For this reason, consider eating almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, cashews, and any nut you desire. If you are looking to regulate your caloric intake, you will still want to monitor the total amount of nuts and seeds you eat as a way to keep down on calories.
Cooking at home requires the use of oil to enhance the flavor and to prevent sticking. Consider eating coconut oil, high fat dressings on your salad, and other omega-3 rich oils like grapeseed and olive oil.
Some Sweeteners are Ok
The idea of jumping on the keto diet is to change your behaviors to avoid sugar and carbs. For this reason, consider avoiding sweeteners if you can, but generally some are ok to consume. You are allowed to consume Stevia, erythritol, and others, but if you are on the keto diet to lose weight, it is best to train your mind now that you do not desire sweet foods.
What Can’t you Eat when on the Ketosis Diet?
Now that you have some information on what you can eat, now is the time to focus on some things you can’t eat. Take a look ahead at some of the more common foods you need to avoid.
The biggest reason to start the keto diet is to purge sugar and carbs out of your diet. This means that giving up sugar is the first task that you need to do. In order to be effective in cutting sugar from your diet, you should consider eating foods raw and consider skipping on added sweeteners as these are much stronger than sugar and can increase your desire to eat more of it. Skip on adding honey, sweeteners, maple syrup, agave nectar, sucrose, glucose, or any variation of sugar that you can think of for best results.
Grains Food Group
Many diets encourage cutting grains from your diet, since grains are considered to be carbs. When on this diet, you will need to avoid whole wheat options, corn, cereals, oats, rice, pasta, and other foods that contain grain sources and traditional flour.
One drawback that many people tend to dislike is that fruits are typically not allowed in the keto diet. Fruits contain high amounts of fructose, which is a strong form of sugar and for this, fruits are not allowed. You will need to skip on some of the favorites such as apples, oranges, peaches, bananas, and grapes.
As listed above, vegetables that are grown above the ground are allowed, but the veggies that are grown under the ground are not. These vegetables are generally called tubers, or root vegetables, and the most popular tuber are potatoes. Consider skipping on any variety of potato, yams, beets, onions, carrots, as well as radishes.
What are Ketones?
The ketogenic diet is mostly geared off the fact that the body is most efficient when it is burning the correct kind of energy throughout the day. The body is used to using sugars as small burst of energy throughout the day, but generally speaking, your body runs off fats throughout the day. For this reason, the ketogenic diet encourages the building of ketone bodies as a way to make the body more efficient.
Ketone bodies are the result of the body changing how it uses energy; since there are very little sugars to use as energy, the body switches gears and uses fats as fuel. It is important to achieve ketosis when on the diet in order to be successful in your keto meal plan.
Keto Diet Plan
There are a few different variations of the keto diet that you can jump onboard with, but the standard version splits the macronutrients into proportions that are not typical with a usual diet. Let’s take a closer look at the macros you will need to eat each day in order to have a complete ketogenic meal plan.
As stated before, the first macro you should ensure you get adequate amounts of is protein. There are not many diets (if any) that suggest you eat few of and the ketogenic diet plan is no different in that sense. The macro breakdown of proteins should be around 25 percent of your total daily calories. This means that if you consume a standard 2,000 calorie diet when on the ketogenic meal plan, then you should aim to have about 125 grams of protein each day. Following along with an easy-to-track application can show you your exact protein breakdown.
The next primary macronutrient that you should aim to eat is carbs. As stated above, the keto diet meal plan generally encourages as little as possible in this area, but you do need some for your health. With that said, you should aim to eat around five percent of your total calories as carbs. This means that if you consume a standard 2,000 calorie diet that you should be eating around 25 grams of carbs. This is one of the hardest parts for adults who first start on the program so give it your best when first giving it a try.
The final primary macros are fats and this is the food group that makes up your diet plan. The keto diet meal plan suggests that you should consume around 70 percent of your calories from fat. With a standard 2,000 calorie diet, this means you are consuming about 1,400 calories alone from fat, which translates to about 156 grams of fat. One of the hardest parts of the keto diet plan is to give up the carbs, but many people struggle with this much fat in the diet simply because this much fat will for sure fill you up.
Keto Diet Menu
Now that you have most of what you need to know about the diet, now is the time to find a keto diet menu that works for you. Some may say that the keto diet is too restrictive and that it is hard to find foods, but the truth is there is quite a bit that you can enjoy. Consider the recipes below to pique your interest.
Instant Pot Deviled Eggs
This is a traditional holiday and spring time food, so indulge away as you desire. There is absolutely nothing different with this recipe that would push you away so consider this recipe to start your keto diet menu in the right direction.
Jalapeno Popper Pizza
Wait a sec, pizza? Shouldn’t this be discouraged since it probably has quite a bit of carbs? Not necessarily because this pizza is prepared using almond flour. Baking with almond flour will be a nice substitute for many of your previous favorite foods and it is great when on the keto diet. Follow along with the recipe here for further direction.
Quite honestly, the list could go on when looking for keto diet meal plan foods. To simplify your quest for great tasting foods, consider taking a look here for 50 keto recipes that can instantly make it to your menu when you get started on the keto diet. With a little creativity, you can make any food you enjoy.
What are the Health Benefits of the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is widely popular for what it can do for your health and wellness, weight, as well as energy levels, which is the purpose of this next section. Listed ahead are some potential health benefits that the keto diet meal plan brings.
Epilepsy, which involves seizures, is a condition that affects children and some adults. One possible treatment option for those who suffer from seizures and from epilepsy is to go on a keto diet. There is much as to why this is a great option, but it seems it has to do with how the body uses fuel (calories). Consider talking with your doctor about a keto diet if you suffer from epilepsy or seizures.
It should be known that there is no cure for cancer and that your doctor should be in charge of your treatment if you have cancer, but there is some promise with a keto diet for preventing the spread of certain malignancies. Consider talking with your doctor about a ketogenic diet if you have cancer.
With a diet that is very high in fat, it would seem that your heart would be greatly affected. However, the keto diet meal plan may have some promise in being a cardio-protective diet. Perhaps the high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet protect the heart more? Regardless of the reason, if you are interested in a potential protection of your heart, consider talking with your doctor about a keto diet.
Mental Health Boost
Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease are two of the most common issues to affect older adults. While there is no current cause of the conditions, it seems a ketogenic may have potential in these conditions. If you or someone you know have this condition or are at risk, consider discussing a ketogenic diet with your doctor.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
This condition is commonly referred to ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive muscular condition of the nervous system that causes weak muscles. The condition is very fatal and there is currently no known cure. There may be some promise of a ketogenic diet in the setting of ALS, but the research and data is fuzzy. Consider discussing a keto diet with your doctor if ALS is something that affects your health.
By far, the most common reason that adults go on a ketogenic diet is for the potential for weight loss. Studies have demonstrated that the keto diet can significantly reduce overall body weight and your body mass index in obese patients. In addition, this diet can lead to improvements in triglycerides, bad cholesterol, and better blood sugar levels, not to mention increases in good cholesterol levels. Consider the keto diet meal plan if you desire similar benefits and health boosts.
Wrapping it Up
The ketogenic diet is a highly effective and non-traditional diet plan that has been the talk in recent years. Known for its extreme high amounts of fat and low carbs, the keto diet has been used by individuals looking to lose weight and cut sugar from the diet for good.
The healthcare industry has been involved in the research of the keto diet for certain diseases such as epilepsy, cancers, heart disease, mental health issues, as well as ALS. While the diet may have some benefit in these conditions, it is important to remain on this diet if it helps with weight loss or with any of the listed conditions. Jumping on board the keto diet plan and remaining on the diet is the best way to get the results you want, which means finding recipes to make your lifestyle change seamless is important. Consider any of the listed recipes and sources to aid in your search of tasty recipes.