When people hear the word diet, they remember to count calories. However, if you are on a ketogenic diet (or, as it is also called, keto), you don't need to devote time to this activity. Keto is a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, thanks to which the body enters a state of ketosis, that is, uses accumulated fat deposits to produce energy.
During keto (i. e. 2-3 weeks), only 20-50 g of carbohydrates can be consumed per day, but the body should get 60 to 80% of all calories from fats. Studies have shown that such a low-carb diet is effective for weight loss, type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), acne, and epilepsy. It's also useful for certain forms of cancer and Alzheimer's.
Pros and cons of the ketogenic diet
The main benefit of the ketogenic diet is that it really helps you lose weight, reduces bad cholesterol, and increases the amount of good cholesterol. When the body uses its own fat stores for energy, appetite often decreases (this process may have been established in humans during evolution to help them survive times of hunger). In addition, fat is digested much more slowly than carbohydrates and increases the feeling of fullness between meals.
But like any other diet food, keto has its drawbacks. If you follow it, you can notice the side effects: bad breath, headache, nausea and fatigue. The symptoms that appear in the early days of keto are often similar to those at the onset of the disease. Fatigue and exhaustion occur due to a sharp drop in blood sugar levels, but after 24-48 hours there is no trace of them.
You may experience gas or constipation during keto, and urination increases with ketosis. Since only certain food groups need to be consumed on a ketogenic diet, there is a risk of nutrient deficiencies that can lead to brittle hair and nails.
Many patients find that after the end of the diet course, they can easily regain the pounds they lost. This can be avoided by not eating too much carbohydrates and trying to eat low-carb foods.
What foods can you eat on keto?
The ketogenic diet can help you lose weight, control blood sugar, and address health issues. As you already understood, when choosing foods, you need to eat only fatty foods. But no, this is not about burgers and onion rings in batter - you just need healthy fats! Where can i get it? Believe it or not, with keto you can eat delicious, satisfying, and varied foods, while the low-carb foods you need to eat for the next 2-3 weeks (ketosis usually starts on the 7th day of the diet) are easyget in supermarkets. Consume the following 15 foods regularly to maximize the benefits and decrease the side effects of dietary restrictions.
fish and seafood
Fish and seafood are arguably the best sources of vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, in many seafood either the amount of carbohydrates is negligible or there are none at all (for example in the case of shrimp). If we talk about the most popular products, then 100 g of mussels contains 5 g of carbohydrates, squid and oysters - 4 g each, and squid - 3 g. By the way, frequent consumption of fish reduces the risk of developing various diseases and improves mental health. So try to eat it at least twice a week.
Vegetables are nutritious and versatile foods. The main thing is to choose those that do not contain strength. A serving of non-starchy vegetables contains an average of 1 to 8 grams of carbohydrates. Therefore, you can safely include zucchini, cabbage, celery, and cherry tomatoes in your diet.
There are hundreds of cheeses out there, and luckily, they're all low in carbohydrates and high in fat, which makes them very suitable for a ketogenic diet. Cheese is high in protein, calcium and healthy fatty acids. Also, eating cheese regularly can help reduce muscle loss in older adults.
A serving of avocado has 2 grams of net carbohydrates, plenty of fiber, and a variety of nutrients, including potassium. In addition, avocados support heart function, lower cholesterol, and act on triglycerides in the body. Whisk in a spice mixer to make a great dressing for vegetable and fish dishes.
Meat and poultry
Meat and poultry are considered staples in a ketogenic diet. They're carbohydrate-free, high in vitamins like vitamin B and minerals like potassium, selenium, and zinc. Meat and poultry are also excellent sources of high quality protein. Numerous studies have shown that they can help maintain muscle mass while on a low-carb diet.
Eggs are one of the healthiest and most versatile foods in the world. A large egg contains less than 1 g of carbohydrates and about 6 g of protein, making eggs an ideal food for keto people. In addition, egg consumption affects the production of hormones that prolong the feeling of fullness and maintain blood sugar levels, which significantly reduces the total calorie content of the foods consumed per day.
By the way, it's important to note that you need to eat the whole egg, not just the protein - the yolk is where most of the nutrients are found, including the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help maintain eye health.
Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Unlike long-chain fats, MCTs are absorbed directly by the liver, later converted to ketones or used as a source for the quick release of the required energy.
In addition, coconut oil increases metabolism, promotes weight loss, and eliminates abdominal fat deposits. It is important that it is of high quality - there are a lot of fragrances and additives in cheap products.
Unflavored Greek yogurt and cottage cheese
Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are healthy, protein-rich foods. Although they contain a certain amount of carbohydrates, they can still be included in your ketogenic diet. 150 g of regular Greek yogurt contains 5 g of carbohydrates and 11 g of protein. The same amount of cottage cheese makes 5 g of carbohydrates and 18 g of protein. By the way, studies have shown that yogurt and cottage cheese can reduce appetite and contribute to the rapid onset of bloating.
Olive oil is high in oleic acid, monounsaturated fats that have been found to reduce risk factors for heart disease, and high in antioxidants known as phenols. These compounds also protect the heart, reduce inflammation in the body, and improve arterial function. Olive oil is ideal for salad dressings, mayonnaise and cooked dishes.
Nuts and seeds
Frequent consumption of nuts reduces the risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, depression, and other chronic diseases. In addition, nuts and seeds are high in fiber. But the amount of carbohydrates in them varies. The least of these is in pecans and Brazil nuts - only 1 g per serving (30 g), in walnuts and macadamia - 2 g, in almonds and sesame seeds - 3 g, in pumpkin seeds - 4 g, in pistachios - 5 g, and in cashews- 8th.
Most of the time, fruits contain too much carbohydrates, so you will have to skip them for the duration of the ketogenic diet. Berries are a different matter. They are rich in nutrients that can reduce the risk of a wide variety of diseases. A 100g serving of berries provides 5-12g net carbohydrates. For example, in blackberries there are only 5 g, in blueberries - 12 g, in raspberries and strawberries - 6 g each.
Butter and cream
Butter and cream are low-carb foods. Research has shown that, contrary to popular belief, they have a neutral or beneficial effect on heart function when consumed in moderation.
One serving of olives (approx. 28 g) contains 2 g of carbohydrates, of which 1 g is fiber. They're high in oleuropein, an antioxidant that protects the heart. Eating olives prevents bone breakdown and lowers blood pressure.
Unsweetened coffee and tea
Unsweetened coffee and tea do not contain carbohydrates. With caffeine, they can speed up metabolism, improve physical performance, alertness, and mood. They can also lower the risk of developing diabetes. Avoid 3-in-1 coffee and tea bags. As a rule, manufacturers add powdered milk and high-carb flavors to them.
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
Yes, the ketogenic diet allows you to eat dark chocolate (at least 70%) and wash it down with cocoa. This is because these foods are excellent sources of antioxidants. Cocoa contains roughly the same amount as blueberries and acai berries. However, dark chocolate contains flavanols - biologically active substances that reduce the risk of heart disease. In 30 g of unsweetened chocolate there are only 3 g of net carbohydrates, in chocolate with sugar - 10 g.