A keto diet or otherwise called ketogenic diet is a diet that is low carb (low in carbohydrates) and high in fat. It is believed to provide many health benefits. There are many studies that have found that a keto diet can help you to lose weight more effectively and faster. It can also improve your health. In many cases, it is thought that following a keto diet may have health benefits such as preventing or controlling diabetes, helping to slow tumour growth in cancer patients, reducing the effects of epilepsy and reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Following a keto diet can feel restrictive at first for some people, and it may be helpful to use a keto meal plan with home food delivery for a keto diet which will provide all the nutrients you need to keep you satisfied.
The Science behind a Keto Diet
A keto meal plan is a very low carb and high-fat diet.
The science behind a keto diet is related to the extreme reduction of carbohydrate intake and increase in fat intake. This puts your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis.
Ketosis allows your body to become very efficient at burning its fat stores as energy. It turns your fat into ketones in your liver which supply energy for your brain.
Following a keto diet will dramatically reduce your blood sugars and insulin levels which means it can be an effective way of managing diabetes.
In simple terms, a keto diet lowers blood sugar and insulin levels and shifts your body’s metabolism away from carbs and towards fat and ketones.
Types of Keto Diet
There are 2 main types of keto diet.
Standard keto diet (SKD): This diet involves consuming very low carbs, moderate protein and high fat. Usually, this means your diet will consist of 70% fat, 20% protein and only 10% carbs.
High protein keto diet: Similar to a standard keto diet but it contains more protein, it typically contains 60% fat, 35% protein and just 5% carbs.
There are also cyclical and targeted keto diets that are used by bodybuilders and athletes as part of their training program.
Ketosis is a metabolic state that helps your body to use fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. It is triggered by consuming fewer carbs and therefore limiting your body’s supply of glucose (sugar) which is the normal source of cell energy.
Following a keto diet is the best way to enter ketosis. It requires you to limit your carb intake to between 20g and 50g per day. Instead, you consume fats from meat, fish, eggs and healthy oils. Intermittent fasting can speed up the process of entering ketosis. There are different types of intermittent fasting but the most common is limiting food consumption to about 8 hours a day and fasting for the other 16 hours.
Protein consumption must also be monitored as too much protein can be converted into glucose which will slow your body’s transition into ketosis.
You can take blood, breath and urine tests to determine whether your body has entered ketosis. The tests monitor the number of ketones present in your body. Your body will display some symptoms that indicate you have entered a state of ketosis such as increased thirst, a dry mouth, frequent urination and reduced hunger.
Foods to Eat on a Keto Diet
The following foods will make up the majority of a healthy keto diet and be included in a keto meal plan:
- Meat such as red meat, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey
- Fatty Fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel
- Butter and Cream
- Nuts and Seeds
- Healthy oils such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil
- Berries such as blueberries and strawberries
- Low Carb vegetables such as green vegetables, tomatoes, onions and peppers
- Condiments such as salt, pepper, herbs and spices
Food to Avoid on a Keto Diet
There are some foods that must be reduced or eliminated from your keto diet in order to maintain ketosis as they contain too many carbs.
- Sugary foods such as fruit juices, smoothies, cakes, ice cream and other sweet foods.
- Grains (Starches) such as wheat-based products like bread, cereal and pasta
- Fruit except for berries.
- Pulses such as peas, beans, chickpeas or lentils.
- Root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots or parsnips,
- Diet Products such as low-fat foods or sugar-free foods.
- Sauces such as ketchup and BBQ
- Unhealthy fats like mayonnaise and processed vegetable oils
- Alcohol like beer, wine or spirits