Are you trying to learn about the keto diet in the most simple way? Read this article to learn about keto in a nutshell.
What is Keto in a Nutshell?
A keto diet helps you burn fat easier by eating low-carbs and high fats. Keto foods are real foods. You don’t have to buy any supplements or specialty bars to stay in the diet. These foods will help you stay fuller, longer and also has benefits for type 2 diabetes.
Eating fewer carbs puts your body in a ketosis state. This means that your body is ready to burn fat and turn it into energy.
Not sure how many carbs, proteins, and fats your body specifically needs? A quick visit to your local keto doctor can get you the numbers you need to get started.
Is the Keto Diet Healthy?
Many doctors recommend a keto diet when it’s for the right person. However, there are some instances when you should not be on a keto diet.
If you are taking medication for diabetes or high blood pressure, please consult your doctor. A keto diet may help reverse your type 2 diabetes and help your blood pressure. However, a keto diet will also mean adjusting your medication and dosage. A doctor may want to monitor you more closely while on a keto diet.
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What is the Key to a Successful Keto Diet?
The key is to watch the carbs you eat. Ideally, less than 20 grams a day. The fewer the carbs you eat, the easier it is to get your body ready to burn off fat.
What Are the Benefits to the Keto Diet?
Going on a keto diet means reaping a ton of benefits. Weight loss is an obvious one, but you’ll also find yourself with higher energy and medical benefits.
A keto diet turns your body into a fat-burning machine. On the diet, your insulin levels drop. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone. Dropping those levels means getting your body ready to burn the fat you don’t want.
Controlled Blood Sugar
The types of foods you eat on a keto diet naturally lower your blood sugar levels. This is great news for people with type 2 diabetes. The keto diet helps you to manage your blood sugar levels easier than with insulin. In some cases, it can even reverse diabetes.
When you eat fewer carbs, you’re also avoiding spikes in blood sugar. This means your body will be able to focus more. Studies also show that fatty acids improve your brain’s functions. The keto foods will help you concentrate for longer periods of time.
Increased Energy & Normalized Hunger
Going on a keto diet means you’re giving your body a better source of energy. You’ll burn more fats, which is the best molecule to burn for that energy.
You’ll also find that eating the keto foods, you’ll feel fuller, longer. You won’t have the feeling that you need to snack all day long because you’ll be giving your body what it needs.
Cholesterol & Blood Pressure
A low-carb, high-fat diet can improve your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Most importantly, it lowers the cholesterol known to build up in arteries
Some people on a keto diet have reported an improvement in blood pressure. Sometimes, these issues are related to excess weight. Therefore, losing that weight and improving blood pressure goes hand-in-hand
So, What Do I Eat, Then?
Counting carbs can be a good place to start. Here is a list you can use when grocery shopping on the keto diet:
Eat These Foods:
- Meats (fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs)
- Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, etc)
- Nuts and Seeds (macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc)
- Berries (blackberries, raspberries, and low glycemic impact berries)
- High Fat Dairy (hard cheese, high fat cream, butter, etc)
- Above Ground Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc)
- Sweeteners (stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, etc)
- Other Fats (coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, etc)
Avoid these foods:
- Grains (wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc)
- Sugar (honey, maple syrup, agave)
- Fruits (apples, bananas, oranges)
- Rooted Fruits or “tubers” (potatoes, yams)
Keep in mind, the keto diet runs on high fats, low carbs, and moderate proteins. A good rule of thumb is to eat 70% fat, 25% protein, 5% carbs.
Vegetables on a Keto Diet
Vegetables are a delicious healthy snack for anyone’s diet. Be careful when you’re on keto, though. Some vegetables carry more carbs. Dark green and leafy vegetables are the best choice.
Here is a list of low carb vegetables (and their carb counts) you’ll want to stock up on:
- Broccoli rabe (0.15g)
- Bok Choy (1.18g)
- Celery (1.37g)
- Spinach (1.43g)
- Asparagus (1.78g)
- Avocado (1.84g)
- Arugula (2.05g)
- Zucchini (2.11g)
- Swiss Chard (2.14g)
- Mushrooms (2.26g)
- Tomatoes (2.69g)
- Cauliflower (2.97g)
- Cabbage (3g)
- Broccoli (4.04g)
- Green Beans (4.27g)
- Snow Peas (4.95g)
- Brussels Sprouts (5.15g)
- Kale (5.15g)
Generally, you’ll want to avoid vegetables with lots of colors. Sweet and starchy vegetables are high in carbs, and the sweeter it is, the more sugar it has.
Most of your meals should have protein, vegetables, and a good amount of fats. Here are some suggestions for your next keto dinner:
- Basted chicken thighs with a side of broccoli and cheese
- Steak with butter and a side of sauteed spinach
- Korean BBQ Beef Stuffed Bell Pepper
- Sausage and Pepper Soup
- Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Cauliflower Soup
- Tex Mex Casserole
- Salmon and Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce
Keto in a nutshell can be defined as eating fewer carbs and more fats. As with any new health change, it can be difficult to start.
- Keep it strict. Cut out all your excess sweets. You’ll be more successful if you don’t allow yourself any give when it comes to drinking sodas or deserts.
- Drink lots of water. One of the most common issues people have on a keto diet is dehydration. Keep up your water intake so that doesn’t happen to you.
- Track your foods. Be careful with your carbs, especially. It’s easy to lose track of them when they’re hidden in so many vegetables.
Deciding on a healthier meal plan isn’t easy, but your body will thank you for it.
Looking for more health and fitness advice? Check out our nutrition and health food section for more tips and inspiration.