The Keto diet isn't going anywhere. It has been around for years and it is continuing to gain traction as more people give it the attention it deserves. If you don't know what it is already, the ketogenic ("keto") diet is a lifestyle change that many people choose in order to burn fat but also to be healthier.
The ketogenic diet has a few very simple rules... at least on paper.
The ketogenic diet a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet. In fact, if you can eat zero carbs in a given day (less than 50 grams.. ideally 20 grams), then the keto rulebook will tell you that you’re doing great. The whole purpose of restricting carbs is to eat more protein and fat.
Since your body won't have any carbs to use as its typical go-to energy source, your body will be forced to enter a state of Ketosis, where it relies on fat as fuel. This is how the Keto diet promotes fat burning in the body which will help you lose weight more quickly than other higher carb diets out there.
It is important to mention that sugar is a carb. Sugar is the main issues and culprit. Carb cycling while on a Keto diet is scientifically proven as necessary to be healthy. What that means is that for about 2 days per week, you switch to high-carb (health carbs) and no protein. This will allow your body to assimilate any undigested protein and waste. Healthy carbs include sweet potatoes, white rice, and squash.
Unfortunately, one of the major downfalls of the ketogenic diet is that many people do not get the right type of fats. While many people successful follow the low-to-no carb rule, it's important that you ensure you are getting good healthy fats from the right sources.
Eating unhealthy fatty foods will only work against your health in the long run, even if your body is able to burn fat initially. In fact, the lack of emphasis on healthy fats is one of the major reasons why many people have issues with the ketogenic diet.
Healthy fats can include Organic Avocados, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Butter (even better Grass-fed Organic Ghee), Organic Olive Oil... and then we have fat from meats, fish (salmon and sardines in particular), milk and cheese (raw organic)... though we recommend keeping dairy intake low in general.
Protein intake is the final piece of the puzzle for achieving a healthy lifestyle on the ketogenic diet. Without enough protein, a person will likely end up consuming too many carbs or relying heavily on fats. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies, so you need to find the right balance in your macro nutrients for the best results.
Green Veggies and Limited Fruit
To ensure it all works the most important is the veggies. Ideally, green veggies. Veggies should be the largest portion of each meal. It is where you body gets important fiber, vitamins, minerals, and roughage.
When it comes to fruit, there is still some debate about sugars in fruit vs other sugars. No doubt that nature has a monopoly on made made sugar... especially diet sugars with the exception of Stevia and Xylotol. But honestly, why add sugar to anything?
Sugar is pure poison to the body. It causes inflammation and is the leading cause for so many modern illnesses... but fruit has been around for eaons. Some fruits, especially berries, are great and others depend on your constitution.
Of course, I will hammer it home once again... organic with everything! There is no discussion if health is your goal. Pesticides and GMO's are bad, they weaken the immune system and kill you over time.
Is the Keto Diet really that Healthy?
Not if you do not follow the above guidelines. When you first go onto the ketogenic diet, you may suffer from what's called the "keto flu." This is when your body exhausts its stores of carbs and finally makes the switch to burn fat.
Many people say that, once you experience the keto flu, the transition back into keto even after stopping the diet for a while will be much easier. However, when it comes to the general health and safety of the diet, there are certain aspects to look to.
Generally, eating a low-carb, high-fat diet is considered safe, and some would say is how the human body was designed to consume food, but there are a few guidelines you must follow.
First and foremost, you must look at where your fat is coming from. You need to prioritize healthy fats. Healthy and natural fat sources will help keep the keto diet healthy and safe.
Another aspect to consider is your protein intake. You must get adequate protein intake to ensure that you're getting enough nutrients. You need to carefully balance the amount of protein and fat and eat tons of veggies.
Finally, you need to think about your sodium intake. When many people start keto, they take the wrong approach. Rather than eating healthy, they just try to limit carbs. This can lead them to over-eating meats, eating too many unhealthy fats, and consuming far too much sodium in the process. These shortcuts are where the dangers of such a diet begin to crop up.
So, if you follow the ketogenic diet, make sure you aren’t just switching to a low-carb but still unhealthy way of eating. Emphasize the consumption of vegetables, especially since this diet doesn’t allow for many fruits due to their high carb/sugar content.