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Diet Kickstart: Keto

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The ketogenic diet, which involves a high-fat and low-carb regimen, has been a popular topic in the dieting world recently. It is asserted that you are able to consume an unlimited amount of fat, never experience hunger, and potentially even improve your physical fitness when following this diet regimen; making it an option that appeals to all.

Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet focuses on reducing the body’s intake of carbohydrates, since those are usually its main energy source. This encourages the body to start using fat instead, thus resulting in effective weight loss.

When you eat foods that have carbs in them, your body changes them into glucose, which is basically sugar in the blood, and then that sugar is used for energy.

Because glucose is the simplest form of energy for the body to use, it’s always used for energy before your body turns to stored fat for fuel.
On a ketogenic diet, the goal is to restrict 
carbohydrate intake so that the body must break down fat for energy.
When this occurs, fat is broken down in the liver, producing 
ketones, which are by-products of your metabolism. These
 are then used to fuel the body in the absence of glucose.
Following the Ketogenic Diet
There are several 
types of keto, but essentially, to achieve a state of 
ketosis, you have to severely reduce the amount of carbs you eat. (You can use 
a ketogenic calculator to create a custom food plan.)
Data suggest the average American man age 20 or older consumes 46.4 percent of his daily calories from carbs, and the average American woman older than 20 consumes 48.2 percent of her daily calories from carbs.
But in the classic ketogenic diet, which was originally used to manage seizure disorders, 80 to 90 percent of calories come from fat, 5 to 15 percent come from protein, and 5 to 10 percent come from carbohydrates.

A variation of the ketogenic diet that permits the more extensive ingestion of protein (20-30% of total calories) with the same restriction on carbohydrates is usually what is employed today.

The intentions of the most current form of the ketogenic diet include reducing weight, maintaining weight, and enhancing athletic capability.

Keto Diet Rules

If you are planning to experiment with the keto diet, there are a few matters to keep in mind first. Here are some of the basic keto diet rules you should know before you start:

1. Be prepared to say goodbye to carbs

It is widely claimed that the decrease in carbohydrates is the most significant component of the ketogenic diet. If you are accustomed to eating bread, pasta, and potatoes daily, then this news may be quite startling!

2. Get stocked up on the right kinds of fats

Since there won’t be any intake of carbohydrates, your body will need to depend on fats for power. It is essential to consume the proper types of fats.

Healthy fats can be obtained from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated sources such as olive oil, avocados, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, soy, and sunflower oil.

3. Be generous with non-starchy vegetables

Even though some starched veggies are not allowed, you can fill your plate with different varieties to guarantee you are receiving a lot of nutrients in your meals.

Discover which vegetables are the best to consume whilst following a ketogenic diet later in the article.

4. Make sure to eat fermented foods

When restraining your carbohydrate consumption as much as you would on a ketogenic diet, it’s likely that your dietary fiber intake will be cut as well – which could leave you feeling stopped up and sluggish on the digestion side.

You can counter this by making fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut or kimchi a part of your keto-friendly diet. They contain plenty of probiotic bacteria to nourish your microbiome and take care of your digestive system.5

5. Avoid foods with added sugar

Stay away from items with sugar contained in them since this could lead to your carbohydrate consumption increasing without you being aware of it.

6. Part ways with fruit juice

No matter what type of fruit juice it is—apple, orange, grape—they all contain such a high level of sugar that the carbohydrates in them are sky-high, so it’s best not to drink them at all.

7. Up your salt intake

Your kidneys may eliminate greater amounts of sodium during ketosis, which could be a possible cause of ketogenic influenza. Make sure to consume foods that are high in sodium in order to regulate your electrolyte levels.

8. Stay hydrated

The keto diet tends to have a diuretic influence, meaning your body is likely to get rid of a great deal of its water content. That makes it essential to be sure you’re consuming enough H2O daily to counteract this.

9. Make sure you’re getting enough protein

Since your body receives no energy from glucose on the keto diet, protein is especially important. Without it, your body may resort to breaking down your muscles for fuel, thus significantly reducing your muscle mass.

How Do You Know if You’re in Ketosis

To figure out whether you’re in a state of ketosis, check your urine for ketones. You can purchase ketone strips online or from a retail pharmacy. A strip that tests positive for ketones will indicate you have reached a state of ketosis.

A lot of people connect heightened ketone levels to ketoacidosis, a medical emergency that affects those with diabetes, but there is a wide separation between ketosis related to a ketogenic diet and diabetic ketoacidosis.

Potential Health Benefits and Risks of the Keto Diet


You May Suffer Fatigue and Other Symptoms as a Result of the Keto Flu

One of the most common side effects of starting the ketogenic diet is “
keto flu.” This term describes the often unpleasant, fatigue-inducing symptoms that occur as the body adjusts from a high-carbohydrate to a 
low-carbohydrate diet.
keto flu, the body’s stored glucose begins depleting, and the body starts adapting to producing and utilizing ketones as energy.
Symptoms of the keto flu include headache, fatigue, dizziness, sleep problems, heart palpitations, cramps, and diarrhea. These side effects usually diminish and resolve in about two weeks.
But to lessen the effects of any discomfort, simply consider slowly transitioning onto a ketogenic diet rather than rushing to change your eating habits.
By gradually lowering your carbohydrate intake and gradually increasing your intake of dietary fat, you can transition with less negative impact and potentially prevent the keto flu altogether.

You May Experience Constipation if You Don’t Eat Enough Fruits and Veggies

The removal of many grains and fruits with such a large emphasis on fats can bring about its own set of 
gastrointestinal side effects. 
Keto constipation and diarrhea aren’t uncommon.
“If not done properly — with most of your carbohydrates coming from fiber-rich vegetables — you may not be getting enough fiber, which can lead to 
constipation,” says 
Chris Mohr, RD, PhD, a sports dietitian based in Louisville, Kentucky, and the co-owner of
You Could Develop Dangerous Nutrient Deficiencies

Eliminating food groups can be problematic. Marie Spano, RD and sports performance nutritionist in Atlanta believes that without a properly planned ketogenic diet, the deficient of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and folic acid can be developed over a long period of time.

You May Experience Dangerous Low Blood Sugar if You Have Diabetes

For any individual with diabetes, discussing dietary changes — especially those as dramatic as the ones the ketogenic diet requires — with your healthcare team is essential.
Because carbohydrates are broken down into glucose in the blood, cutting carbohydrates from your diet could cause levels to crash rapidly depending on your current medication regimen.
Such a change may require significant adjustments to medication and insulin to prevent dangerous side effects such as low blood sugar, called 


You May See Improvements in Your Athletic Performance 

For athletes, research on the keto diet highlights potential improvements in athletic performance, especially when it comes to endurance activities.
An article in the
British Journal of Sports Medicine
 found that ketogenic-type diets allowed endurance athletes to rely mostly on stored fat for energy rather than having to refuel with 
simple carbohydrates during endurance training and competition, and saw improved recovery times.
That said, a review published in October 2020 in
Sports concluded that while the keto diet may help athletes reduce their weight and body fat, there is no conclusive evidence that the method of eating improves or harms health and performance.

You Could Lose Weight Fast — but Not Necessarily More Than You’d Lose on Other Diets

If you’re looking to lose weight, one benefit the ketogenic diet may offer is appetite suppression. A review of this form of eating suggests it may help decrease appetite, but how this actually happens needs to be studied further.
Very low calorie ketogenic diets may help people who are overweight or have obesity reduce their
BMI, decrease the circumference of their waist, and lower levels of
A1C, total cholesterol,
triglycerides, and blood pressure, notes a review and meta-analysis published in March 2020 in
Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders.

When it comes to shedding pounds, which is often the primary motivator for people to adhere to the ketogenic diet, there is not a lot of variance in terms of the benefits when compared to other diet plans.

Spano states that this diet does not possess the power to magically help one lose weight. A ketogenic diet may be an effective tool for shedding pounds, likely in the same way other diets work, by limiting available foods to decrease overall calorie consumption.

Mohr agrees. “Cutting so many carbohydrates is a big reduction in calories,” he says, adding that this effect will lead to a loss of 
water weight up front, “which is why people like the immediate response of weight loss that comes from this type of diet.”
That said, the calorie reduction isn’t always the case, as it can be easy to consume more calories overall if you’re eating more calorie-dense foods (namely fat).
One small study published in February 2021 in
Nature Medicine found that people ate almost 700 fewer calories per day on a plant-based low-fat diet compared with a low-carb one consisting of mostly animal fats.

You May See Better Blood Glucose Control if You Have Type 2 Diabetes

For individuals with diabetes, adapting a very low carbohydrate diet, such as the ketogenic diet, may offer some benefits when it comes to glucose management.
For instance, a previous review found that dietary restriction of carbohydrates may reduce or eliminate the need for medication in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Ketosis D
iet Plan

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