Most of us have heard about low carb diets including Dr. Atkins and South Beach. But the most popular one at the moment seems to be The Ketogenic Diet. The big difference, says Mayo Clinic, is Keto is a high fat and very low carb diet. Check with your medical professional to be sure this is right for you before you start it.
Here’s a summary of what Harvard Health has to say: the Keto Diet pushes your body into using ketones for energy, fuel produced by the liver from stored fat. In most diets, your body relies on sugar or glucose from carbs. A wide variety of foods contain carbs including legumes, fruit, vegetables, and grains. For the process to work, your body needs to be on less than 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day; too much protein can interfere with this; and it takes a few days to reach the state of ketosis. As Harvard Health also points out, an average banana has about 27 grams of carbs—so it’s not always easy to reduce your carbs to the recommended levels.
You would eat more fat at each meal than in a typical diet, and while the diet doesn’t forbid fats such as butter and coconut oil, you can also choose healthier unsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil. All fruits have carbs, but some have less than others–veggies also vary in carb counts. Below the ground veggies such as potatoes, for example, tend to be higher than those cultivated above ground. A standard size 100 gram serving of potatoes has 15 grams of carbs, sweet potatoes have 17, and carrots have 7. Spinach has one gram, a 100 gram serving of cucumbers has three, and so does cauliflower. A 100 gram serving of tomato has 3 grams of carbs and an average avocado has 2 grams of carbs. A nutritional guide/carb counter and nutrient information is highly recommended if you try this diet.
The benefits of the Keto Diet tend to be quick, which can be motivating in itself—and so help with continuing weight loss. Lost pounds tend to be in the abdominal area first, and the foods most people take out tend to be the easiest to digest such as white sugars, bread, cakes, and processed foods. One study has shown that this diet appears to be a plus for brain health—teenagers with epilepsy suffered fewer seizures when on this diet.
More on The Keto Diet.
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