The “ketogenic diet”, also known as the keto diet, has become increasingly popular with celebrities, including Bollywood stars like Karan Johar, Huma Quereshi and Hollywood starlets Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Kardashian have used it as a weight loss regimen. But similar to any other weight loss program, while some vouch for the diet plan to lose weight, others reject it, claiming it is a fad. But how do you decide if it may not work for you? Let’s make it simple for ourselves, here is a basic understanding of the keto diet:
What is the Keto Diet?
According to the dictionary definition, the keto diet is a popular weight loss method around the world. It got a lot of attention when popular showbiz names called it their “secret” to weight loss. Put simply, it’s a low-carb, high-fat diet that starts the body burning fat instead of using glucose for fuel.
Do you know that the keto diet was originally developed for epileptic diseases?
In short, the diet is high in good fats and proteins and low in carbohydrates. This is how it tells the body to switch to ketosis mode. And so it starts to burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. According to reports, this diet was thought out and developed to combat epilepsy and related epileptic diseases.
After reading this, the question that immediately arises is: is it normal for a normal person to follow this diet with the goal of rapid fat loss? And the answer is simple, you can. However, it is recommended that you follow your doctor’s advice if you decide to change your eating habits.
The Science Behind The Keto Diet
Our body at the cellular level is equipped with mitochondrial organelles that oxidize carbohydrates to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate – our energy currency) for the cell. On the keto diet, we tend to stick to a low-carb infusion. And so the reduced availability of carbohydrates and the increased mitochondrial decoupling during nutritional ketosis point to a decline in ATP production, at least until compensatory adjustments are made. It’s a complex process and sounds like something that isn’t the most natural way of working for the human body. In computer language, it’s like overwriting the code.
Are There Any Side Effects Of The Keto Diet?
Browsing through several health forums, it can be concluded that those who choose the keto diet have generally not seen any serious side effects. Although some initially suffered from constipation, mildly low blood sugar, and indigestion. But in most cases nothing became life threatening. However, in some serious cases, doctors speculate that a low-carb diet can lead to kidney stones. In some cases, your body can have high levels of acidity (acidosis).
What If Keto Flu?
Some common mild side effects of the diet during the first few days are grouped together and called “keto flu”. This can include headache, weakness, and irritability. Some also complained of bad breath and tiredness.
Foods You Should Eat While On The Keto Diet Plan
The keto diet doesn’t mean you should cut out meat and cheese entirely. You can base the majority of your meals on these foods:
- Meat (red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken) and oily fish (salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel) can be included in your eating plan
- Pasture or omega-3 whole eggs also make it onto the list
- Unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella are a yes
- Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds should also be good for your body
- Foods cooked in extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil are also recommended by health portals
- Green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, and peppers can also be added to your meals
Foods To Avoid While On The Keto Diet
On a ketogenic diet, foods rich in carbohydrates should be reduced or eliminated. Here are some things to avoid:
- Sugary drinks such as soda, smoothies or sweets and wheat-based products, rice, pasta and muesli impede your diet
- Sugar-free sweeteners are again a no-go
- Peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas shouldn’t be in your diet either
- Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips are also not recommended.
- Unhealthy fats like processed vegetable oils are also on the list of foods to avoid
- Say no to all types of alcohol such as beer, wine, and other mixed drinks
- Fruits: Aside from small servings of berries, fruits should be avoided in your diet
Before starting a keto diet, here are five key tips:
- At the top of the list of priorities is having enough water throughout the day.
- Do not rush with the diet. Take the time to slowly introduce high-fat foods into your routine and slowly cut down on carbohydrates. Rushed dieting can lead to constipation, diarrhea, and other keto flu symptoms.
- Do not miss out on sports! While on a keto diet, make sure that you keep your body active with some exercise. Not strenuous, but just enough.
- Remember to cut down on starchy and sugary foods and increase your fiber and protein intake.
- Because the ketogenic diet involves a paradigm shift in diet, it can disrupt the electrolyte balance in the body. So increase your salt intake.
Disclaimer of liability: The tips and suggestions mentioned in this article are for general information only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Please consult a doctor before starting any fitness program or medical consultation.