In the century where everyone is health conscious and a weight watcher here’s yet another diet that skyrocketed lately. The Keto Diet- as interesting the name sounds, the diet has a lot of different interesting aspects to it. But foremost unlike any other diet, this one has a lot of science going on throughout. A diet that is super low on carbohydrates, which makes it difficult for all the vegetarians in India as all those protein elements have got some sort of carb. We’ll get to vegetarians for keto diet further in the blog. There’s some serious threshold if you want to execute the Keto Diet. This has to be the most effective fat burning diet!
Some studies show that one should stay below 50g of carbs but with experienced people’s take, they prefer staying below 20g of carbs. While you’re on a Keto Diet you need to account every single thing. Keto diet has to include everything home-made and strictly no junk or fast food. And ideally, you must cook for your own meal because then you need to keep a track of the proteins & carbs (needs to be under 20g). Keys to a successful keto diet is when you focus on two points:
- Stay below 20g of carbs
- Avoid a teeny tiny trace of sugar!
(Anything with slightly high sugar component shouldn’t be consumed!)
The Science of Keto
Our body’s favorite source of energy is through carbs. And keto diet is all about Ketosis and Low-carb. Having said that & going with the rumors that keto is a low carb diet, well sorry to burst your bubble, there’s a difference between the two. Firstly let’s understand what Ketosis is,
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process where the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it starts burning the stored fat in the body. This results in a build-up of acids called Ketones. So basically,
No Carbs → No Glucose
Body starts draining glucose from glycogen as fat in your body and turns it into Ketones (the fat cut down element).
Keto Diet is an ultra-low-carb diet, which causes the production of ketones. Ketones are produced when the body runs out of sugars (carbs). Now you know the science behind the diet and why it actually works! So if now someone comes up to you and say “But how does your brain work?” You’ll have the answer; the blood glucose is saved for the brain, and the body converts fatty acids into ketones. These can cross the blood-brain barrier to fuel the brain. The muscles do not use ketones – instead, they can directly metabolize fatty acids. Ketones are the fuel source just as glucose that is gained from carbs and 1g of Ketone is better than 1g of glucose!!!
Not all is magic and fun about this diet, with all the pros comes one major downfall that is ‘THE KETO FLU’.
THE KETO FLU
It is not as scary as it may sound, just like any other flu, the keto flu is a collection of symptoms experienced by some people when they first start the keto diet. It is experienced initially when you start the diet, which is draining muscles off the glycogen. But here’s the solution, if you work-out you may not experience this as severe as others who don’t. But not to scare you off, this doesn’t last for more than 4-5 days. When you work-out glycogen runs fast so that the ketosis happens fast and this reduces the duration of the “Flu”.
Symptoms of “THE KETO FLU”:
- Stomach aches or pains
- Dizziness or confusion
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Muscle cramping or soreness
- Lack of concentration or focus
People go through these symptoms as their body is adapting to a new diet which consists super low carb.
“Must and Must not” of the Keto Diet
The food items listed below can be included in your meals. You should them majorly on these.
Food that you can have and shouldn’t include are:
- Fats: Butter & cream, cheese but unprocessed like Cheddar, blue, mozzarella, goat or cream cheese. You may include nuts but must be taken in very low amount as it also has carbs, seeds(healthy snack like chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds)
- Healthy Oils: You can cook your meal or add these oils to your meal olive oil, avocado & coconut oil.
- Flesh: Meat, fatty fish, eggs (preferably omega-3 whole eggs)
- Low carb veggies: Vegetables will prevent constipation after all the fat & meat intake and keep you healthy. Make sure you include these in your meals, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, and zucchini.
- Breaking the hoax, peanut butter is not exactly healthy for a ketogenic diet. If you’re strictly following the diet, you must know that peanut butter has 14g of net carbs which is why it is recommended either not to consume or if taken, then you need to maintain the serving size.
- Also, you must avoid dairy products of the fat content in them.
Pros of Keto
The high amount of fat in keto diet minimizes the carb craving. Here are a few pros listed below that you attain if you execute this diet.
- This diet supports weight loss.
- Because it suppresses appetite which eases the efforts of losing the weight.
- Lowers cholesterol
- This also helps in controlling blood pressure.
- Enhances mood, mental focus, sleep.
- Improves cognitive function.
- Regulates hormonal balance which means this diet can help women with PCOS/PCOD or people with thyroid issues.
This was pretty much what you must know before you begin your keto diet. Remember, no diet would help you enough if you aren’t working out or being a tad bit active. Coming to an end, I’d like to inform you that I am no health expert, these are bits and pieces acquired from the internet and a few from personal experience. Hope you achieve the set health goal. It’s definitely worth a try! Good luck!