Been wondering what the Keto diet is all about? Confused as to how eating a high-fat diet can actually help you to slim down?
Want to know all about keto? Here’s a breakdown on this trendy diet AND our newest way to detoxify and jumpstart your weight loss, the Keto Cleanse.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The Keto Diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate (low glycemic index foods) diet, based on a metabolic process called ketosis. It might seem counterintuitive to eat more fat in order to LOSE fat, but its all about shifting the way that the body metabolizes food for energy.
What does it mean to be in ketosis?
For most people, the body uses glucose from carbs as its main source of energy. The drawback of using glucose as a primary energy source is that high glycemic foods like grains and certain fruits skyrocket your blood sugar, causing an insulin response that triggers your body to store up fat.
On a Keto diet, the focus is on high-fat foods with adequate protein. When you eat this way, the body doesn’t have enough glucose to burn for energy. It instead switches to using something called ketones as a fuel source. This is what it means to be in ketosis and is the end goal of restricting one’s carbohydrate intake.
Ketosis means that the liver is producing ketones, also known as “ketone bodies,”. Ketones are byproducts of the body metabolizing fat for energy when carbohydrate intake is low. Instead of using glucose from carbs as its main energy source, the body begins using ketones for fuel. As a result, the body burns stored fats!
This process is highly individualized and can occur more quickly if you are working out more often, but after about week of restricting carbohydrate intake, the body burns through all of the carbs and begins to enter a state of ketosis.
What should you eat in order to get into a ketogenic state?
In order to achieve and sustain a state of ketosis, you should eat a high fat, low carb, adequate protein diet. Although meat and dairy are allowed on a Keto Diet, it’s best for your overall health to get a large portion of your macronutrients from plant-based fats like nuts, avocados, seeds, olive oil, and coconut. Cut out processed foods from your diet and focus on whole foods.
You should avoid carbs as much as possible, which means no grains, high glycemic fruits, or processed sugar. Some fruits are acceptable in small portions- berries, for example, are much lower in carbs and will not cause a blood sugar spike. Instead of artificial sweeteners, you can use stevia.
Aside from meat and pure fat, there are actually no zero-carb foods, and so a large portion of a Keto diet should be comprised of low glycemic vegetables. Ideally, ANY diet should be made up of low glycemic vegetables as they are the best food for promoting optimal health; they are a good source of fiber and protein to support good digestion and sustain your appetite. Some examples of the best low glycemic vegetables include kale, spinach, cucumber, and zucchini. You should avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, and legumes.