A keto diet is a very low carbohydrate diet with high constituents of fats and proteins. The real idea or goal for a keto diet is so that you get more calories from fats and proteins and less from carbohydrates.
The lack of sufficient carbohydrates in the body declines the body’s fuel forcing it to breakdown stored fats, a process called ketosis.
Who should go for a keto diet
A keto is mostly recommended for children with epilepsy because it can help prevent seizures.
Adults with epilepsy are recommended to take modified Atkins diets.
A ketogenic diet is currently used also by most people to reduce weight and reduce heart problems.
There are several importance of keto diet and reasons why you should get yourself into it.
Some of the importance of keto diet are;
- Reduces acne
- May help reduce seizures in epileptic people
- It can help in reducing the risks of cancer
- It helps in weight loss – This is one of the basic importance of keto diet
- It reduces the risks of heart diseases
- Reduces blood sugar and insulin levels
- It can help in lowering blood pressure
- It reduces brain disorders like Alzheimer’s syndrome
- It improves health in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
For health purposes, there are groups whom doctors don’t recommend a ketogenic diet. Below is a complete list of people who are exempted from a keto diet;
- Pregnant women – Being in ketosis when pregnant can lead to development problems for the baby which can include poor brain development and increase risks of spina bifida, which is a neural tube disorder.
- People on hypo-causing medications such as insulin, glinides, and sulphonylureas must seek medical advice before going into the ketogenic diet
- People on diabetes medications should also seek their doctor’s advice to know if a ketogenic diet is appropriate for them
- People who want to go into the keto diet with no aim of reducing weight must seek their doctor’s advice in order to adjust the diet a bit
What to consider before starting on a keto diet
Before going into the ketogenic diet, you must set your goal and the special reason why you actually need a keto diet. Doing this will help you in tracking your diet and response to the ketogenic diet.
A keto diet is not a normal meal but it is used for medical purposes, therefore you need to have a reason for going into it.
Before you start eating anything with the aim of having a ketogenic diet, you must get to know which foods are appropriate for ketosis. This is recommended because the primary aim of a ketogenic diet is to consume low carbohydrate foods and high fat and protein foods.
Below is a complete guide on which foods to consume and not to consume in a ketogenic diet.
Ketogenic diet basically means a diet that has low carbohydrates but high-level proteins and fats. The reason for this diet is so that you can get more calories from proteins and fats and less from carbohydrates.
This is a short-term diet that is treated as a way of losing weight. By cutting on carbohydrates consumption the body will eventually run out of “fuel” after 3-4 days thus prompting it to breakdown fats to provide more energy for daily activities. As fats are broken down a person loses weight at last.
Selecting on the best foods for the keto diet is very essential to avoid inconveniences which include not getting the required results after indulging in the keto recipes.
Below are the perfect foods that can make up your keto meal;
Best foods for ketogenic diet
Including eggs in your diet is a perfect procedure for a keto diet. Some people might be wondering why an egg should be included and yet their primary target is to lose weight. You don’t have to worry about this at all. Eggs help you to feel fuller for longer periods and thus you will not be tempted to dive into unhealthy foods.
An egg should be eaten 30 minutes after waking up and you have to eat everything including the egg white and the York.
The high cholesterol levels in eggs should not worry you because it will not raise the blood cholesterol level if you are in a keto diet.
Remember a maximum of six eggs is enough. You don’t need to eat too many eggs at once as it can lead to health problems and then instead of you witnessing the positive health changes, you will see your health becoming more worse than before.
#2 Meat and Poultry
Meat and poultry are the staple foods in a ketogenic diet. They contain very low carbohydrates and are rich in vitamin B and minerals such as selenium, zinc, and potassium. They are also rich in proteins.
Experts have advised choosing meat from grass-feeding animals because it contains higher amounts of omega-3 and antioxidants than meat from grain feeding animals.
#3 Ghee/Butter and Cream
Ghee has plenty of saturated fats compared to other types of butter.
Both ghee and cream contain very little amounts of carbs thus this makes them perfect inclusion into the keto diet. They also contain conjugated linoleic acid which promotes weight loss.
The past studies had shown butter and cream as causative agents of heart diseases, but recent study disapproved it after it found out that butter and cream reduce the chances of heart diseases.
Fish is another very perfect food for a keto diet as most of them contain very low levels of carbohydrates.
Salmon, mackerel, and sardines contain omega-3 fats which help in reducing insulin and increasing insulin sensitivity in fat people.
Fish also has other health benefits such as improving mental health and reducing incidences of diseases.
Leafy vegetables like spinach, collards, and kales are a very perfect addition to your diet because they contain very low levels of carbs.
Eating vegetables also reduces the risks of cancer and heart diseases.
The best vegetables to include in your keto diet include; spinach, collards, kales, chard, arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, celery, cucumber and zucchini
Fruits, specifically avocados, are very perfect for a keto diet as it contains multiple minerals such as potassium. It also contains several minerals and generally has a lower carbohydrate level.
Potassium can also help in improving cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Berries are also good for a ketogenic diet as they contain low carbohydrates and high fiber levels. They contain antioxidants that reduce inflammation and protects you against diseases.
#7 Nuts and seeds
Consuming nuts and seeds is a bit challenging as you need to be a bit picky because some of them contain relatively high levels of carbs than others.
Consuming nuts can make you feel fuller for longer hours thus avoiding the chances of going for unhealthy foods. Frequent consumption of nuts also reduces the risks of certain cancers, heart diseases, and other chronic illnesses.
Nuts and seeds also contain high-fat content and this is why they are perfectly included in a keto diet.
Walnuts, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and chestnuts will be the best if incorporated into your diet.
#8 Coffee and tea
Coffee and tea are generally carb free and contain caffeine which increases metabolism and improves physical alertness and mood.
Although for a perfect keto diet you must go for unsweetened coffee and tea which can also reduce diabetes.
#9 Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains low levels of carbs and it also contains antioxidants that can reduce risks of heart diseases by lowering blood pressure and keeping arteries healthy.
Appropriate fruits for ketogenic diet
Keto diet involves consuming foods that contain low carbohydrates but high in fats and proteins. This is the reason why you need to be a bit picky when selecting the perfect fruit for your ketogenic diet too.
Selecting fruits for a ketogenic diet can be a bit tricky as most fruits contain high levels of carbohydrates. The maximum recommended carbohydrate intake while in a keto diet is 30g which represents 10% of the total daily consumption. This value is recommended in order for the body to undergo ketosis efficiently.
Getting into the keto diet is good in order to reduce weight and also help in other health conditions like reducing high blood pressure and improving mood. Though, ketosis can cause effects to some individuals which constitute keto flu. To avoid these effects and symptoms, you must do some consultations from your medical practitioner before going as a whole into the keto diet.
Perfect fruits for a keto diet
Watermelon is the number one fruit that is keto-friendly as it contains high water value which can help in reducing the chances of dehydration while on a keto diet. One cup of diced watermelon provides approximately;
- 45.6 calories
- 11.5g of carbohydrates
- 0.6g of fiber
Feeding on watermelon is highly recommended as it contains vitamins A and C and also contains lycopene, which is associated with the reduction of risks or heart diseases and cancer
Some people group tomatoes as vegetables but it is a fruit. It is also the perfect choice for a keto diet. One tomato fruit contains;
- 22.1 calories
- 4.8 g of carbohydrates
- 1.5g of fiber
Tomatoes are excellent sources of vitamin A, C, and K. They also contain lycopene which has a history in reducing heart diseases.
Avocados are also highly recommended fruits for a keto diet due to its high nutritional value. One full avocado contains;
- 322 calories
- 17.1g of carbohydrates
- 13.5g of fiber
- 29.5g of monounsaturated fats
Monounsaturated fats are very good in a diet as they reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood thus lowering risks of heart diseases and stroke.
Avocados also contain vitamins C, E, K and B6, folate acid, pantothenic acid, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese.
Copper plays a role in the manufacture of red blood cells, maintaining nerve cells and the immune system
Avocados also contain antioxidant lutein, which plays a role in keeping eyes healthy.
One cup of cubed raw cantaloupe contains;
- 54 calories
- 10.6g of carbohydrates
- 12.6g sugar
- 1.4g fiber
Cantaloupe is highly recommended in a keto diet because it contains vitamins A and C and potassium. It also contains chemicals such as lutein and zeaxanthin which help promote healthy eyes and also help prevent certain forms of cancer including lung and breast cancer.
One raw apricot contains;
- 4g of carbohydrates
- 1g of fibre
- 3g of sugar
N/B: Try to avoid dry apricot fruits as they contain high levels of carbohydrates.
Apricots are a great source of vitamin A, C, and E, beta carotene and antioxidants.
#6 Carambola/star fruit
- cubed star fruit contains;
- 5.2g of carbohydrates
- 3.6g of fiber
- 2.6g of sugar
It is rich in vitamin C and contains potassium.
This fruit improves metabolism and helps reduce cholesterol levels
Approximately eight strawberries can provide;
- 46.1 calories
- 11.1g of carbohydrates
- 2.9g of fiber
They are well packed with vitamin C and potassium.
Potassium helps in muscle contractions and nerve impulses. It also helps in maintaining proper dehydration.
One small yellow peach contains;
- 12 g of carbohydrates
- 2 g of fiber
- 11 g of sugar
It is also rich in vitamin C and minerals like potassium, and phosphorus.
Lime juice can help flavor keto recipes and provide nutrition. One lime can provide;
- 20.1 calories
- 5.3g of carbohydrates
- 1.9g of fiber
They are also an excellent source of vitamin C.
One cup of fresh blueberries can provide;
- 84.4 calories
- 21.4g of carbohydrates
- 3.6g of fiber
They are also rich in vitamin K and C and Manganese.
They contain antioxidants such as anthocyanins which can help protect against aging and also reduce the chances of cervical cancer.
One lemon can provide approximately;
- 24.4 calories
- 7.8 g of carbohydrates
- 2.4 g of fiber
They are also rich in vitamin C.
One cup of fresh raspberries contains;
- 64 calories
- 14.7 g of carbohydrates
- 8.0 g of fiber
- 53.7% vitamin C
- 40.8% manganese
They are rich in vitamin K which is needed to produce proteins that help in blood clotting and bone metabolism.
Raspberries also contain anthocyanins which can help in reducing the risk of heart diseases and diabetes and also improves short term memory. It also contains quercetin which helps in slowing cancer growth.
This is also one of the fruits for a keto diet. One cup of rhubarb can provide approximately;
- 3.4 g of carbohydrates
- 13 calories
- 176 mg of potassium
- 4.9 mg vitamin C
- 52 mg of Calcium
One cup of fresh blackberries provides approximately;
- 61.9 calories
- 14.7 g of carbohydrates
- 7.6 g of fibre
They are rich in vitamin C and K and manganese.
Appropriate vegetables for a ketogenic diet
Selecting the best keto vegetables can be tricky but with this guide, everything will be easier for you
The purpose of a keto diet is to primarily get more calories from proteins and fats and get less from carbohydrates. It involves feeding less on high carb foods.
Most vegetables contain high levels of carbohydrates but what helps reduce this is the high amount of fiber they also contain which then disqualifies some percentage of carbs thus making them ideal for a keto diet.
The most appropriate vegetables are the ones that are above the ground, meaning the leafy vegetables such as cabbage. Most underground vegetables like potatoes are not very appropriate for a keto diet as they contain relatively high carbohydrate levels.
22 Keto vegetables to include
The best keto vegetables are those that contain low levels of carbohydrates. Most leafy vegetables are known to be keto-friendly. Below are the best vegetables to include in a keto diet as they are very delicious and rich in nutrients but low in carbohydrates.
- Green beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
16 vegetables to avoid
Although avoiding vegetables is not perfect advice anyone can give you but some are not keto vegetables, they can cause more harm when in keto. Generally, most root vegetables are not keto-friendly as they contain high levels of carbohydrates. Below is a complete list of vegetables to avoid when in a keto diet;
- Sweet potatoes
- Onions in large dosses
- Baked potatoes
When including vegetables in your ketogenic diet, you must adhere to this list if you really want to realize the best results. Don’t just dash into any delicacy when in keto without properly understanding if it suits your diet line at that particular time.
BEST DRINKS FOR A KETOGENIC DIET
Taking plenty of fluids when in a keto diet is highly recommended but you need to select the best drinks that are keto-friendly to avoid getting negative results. Below is a list of drinks you can incorporate into your ketogenic diet
- Black tea
- Green tea
- Kombucha drink in moderation can be used as an alternative to soda
- Diet soft drink
- Sparkling water
- Non-dairy milk alternatives
- Michelob ultra-beer
These are the only tested drinks that are keto-friendly. All the other drinks should be avoided as they can affect your ketogenic diet goals.
After starting on a ketogenic diet some people may experience sick-like symptoms which might terrify them. You need not worry if this happens to you. Read this guide and understand why this happens
What is Keto flu
Keto flu is short term symptoms that may appear 3 – 7 days after starting a ketogenic diet.
Many people have gone for the keto diet to reduce weight as a recent study found that cutting on carbohydrate intake and increasing proteins and fats intake can actually help in reducing weight. But to some people, after starting on a keto diet some symptoms start to show up which are signs of keto flu.
Reducing carbohydrate intake causes a condition called ketosis, which involves the burning of fats in the body to provide energy. This can come as a shock to the body thus causing withdrawal-like signs which people call keto flu.
Symptoms of Keto Flu
Adjusting the body to low carbohydrates can come as a very big shock and thus can cause mild symptoms that disappear after some time. Keto flu symptoms are caused by a temporary imbalance in energy sources, insulin and minerals in the body.
Insulin is also involved in transporting glucose to the brain and thus when it reduces the brain will have insufficient fuel to do its functions and this can cause a headache.
Keto flu symptoms are not for everyone because some people just cope with the diet immediately but some experience the symptoms for either a shorter period or longer periods.
Keto flu symptoms include;
- Sleepless nights
- Muscle cramps
- Poor concentration
- Low sugar levels
- Stomach pain
- Muscle soreness
- Bad breath
These symptoms can even make some people quit their ketogenic diet but there is a need to have tips on how to go about if you experience these symptoms after starting on a keto diet.
Getting rid of keto flu
Most people put themselves through the ketog diet in order to reduce weight and also for health purposes but the keto flu symptoms can easily discourage. Here are the things you can do in order to get rid of the symptoms;
#1 Take more water
Drinking enough water is highly recommended if you are in a keto diet for health purposes and it also reduces the symptoms such as fatigue and muscle cramps.
Most people on a keto diet tend to lose water if they experience signs like diarrhea.
Generally, dehydration in a keto diet can happen when glycogen, a stored form of carbohydrates reduces thus causing water to be excreted from the body. Taking enough fluids and electrolytes is highly recommended to reduce the chances of dehydration.
#2 Eat a different dietary food
Changing the dietary food doesn’t mean quitting keto-friendly foods but actually including a different keto-friendly food in your diet and eliminating others that seem to be causing the symptoms.
Some fats might be the cause of the abdominal disorders you are experiencing, thus changing to a different fat-based meal will be the best trick.
On the other hand, high levels of medium level triglyceride have been found to be able to cause cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. This will be reduced by consuming foods which contain long-chain triglyceride such as olive oil.
#3 Avoid strenuous exercise
Avoiding strenuous exercise while experiencing keto flu symptoms is very important to reduce the impact of the symptoms but light activities like walking and yoga should not be avoided as they help in improving the body’s adaptability to the keto diet.
#4 Eat more fiber
This will reduce constipation.
Eating vegetables with high fiber content or taking fiber supplements will be very appropriate for people who experience constipation.
#5 Get enough sleep
People who are adapting to the keto diet may experience sleeplessness which can cause keto flu symptoms to become worse.
If you experience a lack of sleep you can’t try to reduce caffeine intake, Practice switching off all lights in the bedroom to create a dark environment, take a bath before sleeping and try to get up early.
#6 Take medication
You can also visit a doctor for appropriate medication.
Some people think being in keto hinders exercise. This is totally not true. In fact, doing exercises while in keto is very beneficial towards attaining your keto diet goals.
Importance of exercise in keto
Below are the benefits of exercise when in keto
- It helps in getting into ketosis faster
- It hastens weight loss
- It can reduce keto flu symptoms
- Prevents sleeplessness symptom caused by keto on some people
- Helps in burning belly fat
- It boosts libido
- It boosts your metabolic health and digestive system
- It can reduce the effects of muscle loss when in ketosis
Appropriate exercises in keto
Not all exercises can be performed when in a keto diet to avoid side effects. Below is a list of exercises you can involve yourself in when in a keto diet
- Weight lifting
Exercises to avoid
Below is a list of exercises you must not involve yourself in when in keto;
Avoid any exercise you have never done before
EFFECTS OF KETO DIET
Just like any other thing, the keto diet also has its own disadvantages which include;
- It can lead to a reduction in muscle mass
- It is not a permanent method of weight loss as a person can regain weight after quitting it and going back to their normal diet
- It can cause ketoacidosis in diabetic people
- It reduces your involvement in athletic activities
- It can cause keto flu symptoms
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While the keto diet is very beneficial, it should be approached with greater caution to avoid any long-term effects.
We advise you to always try visiting your doctor for a consultation to know if you can get into the keto diet. Doctors understand what you can and cannot get to so consulting them will help in avoiding some side effects.
The foods highlighted here are very appropriate for a keto diet if you follow every step appropriately.