What is a keto diet? The ketogenic diet is incredibly popular nowadays — offering a low-carb, high-fat way of eating to help burn body fat and improve energy levels. While it’s very similar to many low-carb diets, the ketogenic diet specifically lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, which has a range of benefits for those following the diet. But is it safe?
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
Prior to outlining how the keto diet works, it’s important to note that there are several versions of the keto diet, including:
• Standard keto diet: This involves taking in 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbs.
• Cyclical keto diet: This involves periods of higher-carb intake days followed by prolonged ketogenic days.
• Targeted keto diet: This involves eating more carbs around workouts but maintaining a ketogenic state overall.
• High-protein keto diet: This involves taking in 60% fat, 35% protein, and only 5% carbs.
Standard and high-protein keto diets are the most popular of all types, however, cyclical and targeted keto diets are often used by athletes and bodybuilders. So how does it work? Essentially, the aim is to force your body into a metabolic state referred to as ketosis.
This happens when you restrict carbs enough that the body breaks down stored fat – creating molecules called ketones that the body uses as fuel. Originally, in the 1920s, the keto diet was developed to treat epilepsy in children. While it’s still used for epilepsy, it’s also been found to be a fantastic way to lose weight.
What Can I Eat on the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is all about maintaining a high-fat, low-carb diet. You’re able to eat the following:
• Meat (red meat, steak, ham, bacon, sausage)
• Poultry (chicken, turkey)
• Fatty Fish (salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel)
• Other full-fat dairy
• Lower-carb vegetables
It’s best to ensure you’re eating “good fats” like extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, and various other options that are better for you.
Foods to Avoid
• Grains and starches
• Beans or legumes
• Sugary foods
• Trans fats
In addition, it’s helpful to avoid low-fat or diet products as these are usually quite processed and high in carbohydrates. Keep in mind, sugar-free diet foods may appear to have low carbohydrates, but they’re usually high in sugar alcohols. These impact ketone levels for most people.
Is the Keto Diet Sustainable Long-Term?
The keto diet, although helpful for weight-loss short term, isn’t sustainable due to nutritional deficiency. When you’re omitting vegetables, fruits, and grains, you’re at a much higher risk for bone fractures, kidney stones, and potential gallbladder issues.
Plus, high-fat consumption brings an increased risk of heart disease. In addition, most keto diets contain lots of meats, which have their own negatives. This makes a keto diet even more difficult to follow for vegans and vegetarians.
After reading this post, you now have a better understanding of what is a keto diet. The keto diet, although helpful for weight-loss short term, can lead to dangerous nutritional deficiency — causing a multitude of health issues. If you’re searching for a sustainable and healthy diet that works long-term, sign up to FITin56.
Those who use the FITin56 program are granted access to a complete nutrition plan, as well as workout videos and exercise videos to help you achieve all of your fitness goals — from losing weight, to building muscle, and everything in between!