Keto Diet Explained – Examples of Meals and the Benefits
Looking to lose weight and improve your health? An increasingly popular way to jump-start your fitness goals is lining your dinner table with a keto meal. In fact, a survey of the top RDNS (Registered Dietitian Nutritionists) ranks keto as the most popular diet in the US.
Whether you’ve heard this diet buzzword before, or you just stumbled on it while wandering around the internet looking for ways to lose weight, you might be wondering what exactly it means. And most importantly whether it works.
Read on for more on what is a ketogenic diet and whether (or not) it should take over your meal plan.
What is a Ketogenic Diet—and How Does it Work?
In a nutshell, a keto diet is a high-fat and low-carb meal that is touted to help users lose weight, among other health benefits. Although there are different types of keto diets, the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) is most widely practiced.
The general idea behind the diet plan is to derive most of your calories from healthful fats (70%) and some proteins (20%), rather than carbohydrates (10%). But how exactly does it work?
The effectiveness of keto meals for weight loss is hinged on a body process known as ketogenesis. When you significantly cut down your carb intake, the glucose level in your blood falls. But since the body needs glucose for fuel, it falls into the metabolic state of ketosis—whereby it burns stored fat and turns it into an energy source.
Keto Diet Benefits – Based on Scientific Research
Research backs up the adoption of a ketogenic diet in several ways beyond just weight loss as shown below:
- Promotes weight loss by reducing appetite and increasing metabolism. With the number of obesity cases tripling (around 2 billion overweight people worldwide) in the last few years, the potential weight-reduction benefits of a keto diet cannot be ignored.
- A keto diet helps lower blood sugar—making it useful for people with type 2 diabetes.
- Reduces blood triglycerides, which as unhealthy fat molecules associated with an increased risk of heart attacks.
- A ketogenic diet may significantly help reduce seizures in people with epilepsy.
- It helps maintain a healthy level of cholesterol (reduces bad cholesterol and increases the good one).
Keto Meals – Tasty Low-Carb Foods
As a general rule of thumb, a keto meal should be rich in whole foods and carb-free meals such as avocados, green veggies, grass-fed butter, seafood, eggs, unprocessed cheese, red meat, nuts/seeds, plain Greek yoghurt, and healthful oils (coconut oil, virgin olive oil etc.).
Similarly, avoid high-carb foods like legumes, root vegetables, condiments like ketchup, alcohol, sugary foods, fruits, and wheat-based products. Luckily, there are keto-friendly restaurants that take all these factors into consideration.
Ready to give the keto diet a shot? While the research is promising, please note that it’s not conclusive. The success of a keto diet largely depends on your discipline to carefully manage what you eat. And always discuss any drastic meal plans with your healthcare provider—especially if you have an existing health problem.
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