What is the Keto Diet?

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The keto diet is very heavy on fats and proteins, and it virtually eliminates carbs and sugar, which is similar to the Atkins and other low-carb diets. The increased proportions of fats and proteins are believed to trigger the process of the body’s transition into the metabolic state of ketosis, which would never be possible in the presence of quick energy-releasing carbohydrates. Under ketosis, the body is forced to become reliant on burning its fat reserves for energy instead of carbs. 

Advantages of the Keto Diet

Some of the advantages of the keto diet are:

  1. Ketones produced in the liver during ketosis have been shown to improve brain function by protecting and strengthening the brain and nerve cells.
  1. It promotes greater weight loss in comparison to low-fat diets.
  1. According to studies, reducing blood sugar levels can in turn regulate levels of insulin, a hormone involved in controlling blood sugar. 
  1. It has been linked to better heart health, since the consumption of good fats is responsible for reduced cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels endanger heart health.
  1. Increased blood sugar levels, in combination with fats, might lead to acne in some individuals. Hence, the keto diet can regulate blood sugar levels and thereby lower the chances of acne. 

Foods to include in a Keto Diet

Sixty to 80 per cent of calories in any keto meal plan should be consumed via fats, 10 to 30 per cent should be from proteins, and only five per cent should come from carbohydrates.

Fruits high in sugars and carbs, like bananas, are ideally consumed as a single serving per day, making sure to not cross the five per cent carb intake mark. Avocadoes are full of healthy fats and are ideal for keto diets.

Vegetables like spinach and arugula can be consumed in high quantities. Leeks, squash, and eggplants can be consumed in moderation because they have fats but also have a comparatively higher carb content. 

When it comes to nuts and seeds, almonds, chia seeds, or flax seeds are high in fats and can be consumed in high amounts, but peanut and other nut butters, cashews, and pistachios should be consumed in moderate amounts.

In dairy, cheeses like cheddar, blue cheese, and feta are good in high quantities, whereas goat’s cheese, Greek yogurt, and ricotta can be eaten in moderation. Avoid regular milk.

The best oils or butter to cook with are coconut, olive, and avocado oils, butter, and ghee. Processed vegetable oils and margarine are best avoided.

Fatty cuts of meat such as steaks, skin-on fish such as salmon, and chicken thighs with skin can be consumed in a meal or two per day (due to their high protein content). Protein intake through lean meat such as skinless chicken breasts may only be increased if trying to meet protein requirements on moderate-to-high levels of physical activity during the week, such as doing gym exercises or playing sports.

Arslan Ahmed | Contributing Writer

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