Should You Try The Keto Diet
Here are a few reasons why you might think about doing the keto diet:
- Type 2 diabetes. One study found that being on the keto diet for one year reversed diabetes for up to 60% of participants. With an average weight loss of 30 pounds, they dramatically reduced or eliminated their need for insulin and no longer needed oral hypoglycemic drugs. The keto diet is also easier to sustain than the calorie-restricted diet or the protein-sparing modified fast.
- Morbid obesity. If your body mass index is over 40 or if you have insulin resistance without type 2 diabetes the keto diet can be very helpful as well. It can be used as a short-term strategy to reset your metabolism you dont have to be on it forever.
Clearly, the ketogenic diet is the standard of care for treatment-resistant epilepsy. But were also seeing its benefits in other neurological conditions. Research suggests the keto diet can bring improvements for those with Alzheimers disease autism or brain cancers such as glioblastoma.
So the keto diet can be a powerful intervention. People with type 2 diabetes and or/morbid obesity can do phenomenally well on it.
But its vital to work with a doctor or health professional who can treat and follow you while youre on the keto diet.
Eat Fewer Processed Carbs
Instead of thinking about the total carbs youre eating, assess what those carbs provide to you. Do the majority of your carbs come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, all of which deliver loads of and health-supporting fiber and antioxidants? Fantastic. Or are you consuming them mostly in the form of added sugars or refined flour? Its fine to enjoy your favorite sweet treats and processed foods sometimes, but the bulk of your carbs should come from whole food sources.
Shirataki Noodles: The Zero
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Shirataki noodles are a unique food thats very filling yet low in calories.
These noodles are high in glucomannan, a type of fiber that has impressive health benefits. In fact, glucomannan has been shown to cause weight loss in numerous studies.
This article explains everything you need to know about shirataki noodles, including their benefits and cooking instructions.
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High In Viscous Fiber
Glucomannan is a highly viscous fiber, which is a type of soluble fiber that can absorb water to form a gel.
In fact, glucomannan can absorb up to 50 times its weight in water, as reflected in shirataki noodles extremely high water content .
These noodles move through your digestive system very slowly, which helps you feel full and delays nutrient absorption into your bloodstream .
In addition, viscous fiber functions as a prebiotic. It nourishes the bacteria living in your colon, also known as the gut flora or microbiota.
In your colon, bacteria ferment fiber into short-chain fatty acids, which can fight inflammation, boost immune function and provide other health benefits .
A recent human study estimated that fermenting glucomannan to short-chain fatty acids produces one calorie per gram of fiber .
Since a typical 4-ounce serving of shirataki noodles contains about 13 grams of glucomannan, its essentially a calorie-free, carb-free food.
Glucomannan is a viscous fiber that can hold onto water and slow down digestion. In your colon, its fermented into short-chain fatty acids that may provide several health benefits.
Shirataki noodles can be a powerful weight loss tool.
Their viscous fiber delays stomach emptying, so you stay full longer and end up eating less .
In addition, fermenting fiber into short-chain fatty acids can stimulate the release of a gut hormone that increases feelings of fullness .
But Can The Ketogenic Diet Help To Burn More Calories
There is some evidence that it can. The research is limited and conflicting here too. It may be a very small effect, and not meaningful for weight control. Thats what one study found. In it, 17 obese or overweight volunteers moved into metabolic wards for two months and had every last spoonful of food monitored. For the first month, they consumed a high-carb diet for the second, they had a ketogenic one, with both plans equal in calories.
We fed them every morsel of food that they ate, said Kevin Hall, integrative physiology section chief for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Laboratory of Biological Modeling. There were no cheat days. In the end, though the participants insulin levels did decrease while eating the bunless burger, the subjects didnt lose more fat than when they had bread. The study was limited, though, by having a small sample size, and not having a comparison group that wasnt on the back-to-back regimens.
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Three Rules For A Ketogenic Meal Plan
Here are 3 simple examples of keto meals you should plan to eat to kickstart your Keto journey in week 1:
How Does The Keto Diet Work
Here are the basics of keto: The diet aims to force your body into using a different type of fuel. Instead of relying on sugar that comes from carbohydrates , the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat.
Burning fat seems like an ideal way to lose pounds. But getting the liver to make ketone bodies is tricky:
- It requires that you deprive yourself of carbohydrates, fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day .
- It typically takes a few days to reach a state of ketosis.
- Eating too much protein can interfere with ketosis.
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What If You Have A Cheat Day
Cheat days are not recommended on the ketogenic diet.
They can easily kick you out of ketosis and make it tough for you to get back into ketosis. That means less fat-burning and fewer benefits from all your hard work. It could also mean a repeat of the keto flu every time you get back into ketosis.
Over time, youll get used to knowing which foods you can eat a little of and which ones you should avoid completely.
Bottom line: Whether your goal with the keto diet is weight loss or preventing a disease, the stricter you are in avoiding these foods, the better your chances are of seeing results.
If you do slip, heres a handy guide that will help you get back into keto: Cheating on Keto: Heres What Happens & How to Get Back In.
Packaged And Processed Foods To Avoid
Not only are the oils mentioned above found in unhealthy processed products, but manufacturers stuff packaged products with extra sugar, trans fats, preservatives, and other junk even if theyre marketed as low-carb or keto.
If youre in need of an easy, portable snack, choose nuts and seeds instead: Brazil nuts, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds. Avoid packaged and processed non-ketogenic foods like:
Again, beware of packaged foods labeled as low-carb or zero-carb . They might be low in carb content per serving, but there are several serving sizes per package.
Most packaged foods are also high in gluten or artificial additives and flavors, which can add to your inflammatory load. Focus on whole food ketogenic foods instead.
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What Is The Ketogenic Diet
Its all the rage. The internet is filled with stories of how everyone from movie stars to ordinary people have shed stubborn pounds with the ketogenic diet. Some suggest that this eating pattern also may be helpful for managing diabetes and warding off Alzheimers disease. So, is it a miracle diet or just the latest fad?
How the Keto Diet Works
The ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate eating pattern, which differs from general, healthful eating recommendations. Many nutrient-rich foods are sources of carbohydrates, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk and yogurt. On a keto diet, carbs from all sources are severely restricted. With the goal of keeping carbs below 50 grams per day, keto dieters often consume no breads, grains or cereals. And, even fruits and vegetables are limited because they, too, contain carbs. For most people, the keto diet requires making big shifts in how they usually eat.
Why does the Keto diet restrict carbs?
Carbs are the main source of energy for our body. Without enough carbs for energy, the body breaks down fat into ketones. The ketones then become the primary source of fuel for the body. Ketones provide energy for the heart, kidneys and other muscles. The body also uses ketones as an alternative energy source for the brain. Hence, the name for this eating pattern.
Is the Keto Diet Safe?
This eating pattern is not recommended for individuals with:
What the Science Tell Us About the Keto Diet
Side Effects Of A Keto Diet
Keto diet proponents tout the benefits of ketosis-fueled fat burning as a way to rid the body of excess stored fat. However, shifting fuel sources from glucose to fat can cause various unpleasant symptoms. According to Majumdar, ketosis symptoms, which are sometimes referred to as the keto flu, may include:
- Brain fog
- Trouble sleeping
These symptoms usually subside after your body adjusts to being in ketosis. But if you go out of ketosis, you may experience those symptoms again when you go back into ketosis, Majumdar says.
Pro tip: A benefit of the keto diet is that it can help reduce your added sugar intake. But you dont have to follow a keto diet to accomplish this feat, Majumdar says. Cut back on the sweet stuff by reading food labels and limiting or avoiding foods with added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to no more than 36 grams per day for men and 25 grams for women.
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All About Keto Cycling: What It Is How To Do It And If Itll Help You Meet Your Weight Loss Goals With The Ketogenic Diet
Its important to remember that the goal of any dietary change is to promote a healthy lifestyle, so make sure to select a meal plan you can envision yourself following long term. If you know you will not be able to comply with such stringent carbohydrate restrictions for years to come, the ketogenic diet is most likely not the right choice for you.
Complete Keto Diet Food List: What You Can And Cannot Eat If You’re On A Ketogenic Diet
Make eating keto a lot easier with this comprehensive keto diet food listplus learn if it’s the right diet for you.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein and very low-carbohydrate diet. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy, but on a strict ketogenic diet, less than 5 percent of energy intake is from carbohydrates . The reduction of carbohydrates puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis. Ketosis is when the body starts breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies to use for energy, in the absence of circulating blood sugar from food. Once the body reaches ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until you start eating carbohydrates again.
Traditionally, the ketogenic diet was only used in clinical settings to reduce seizures in children with epilepsy. “Now there is a lot of interest in the diet’s effectiveness in helping with other neurological conditions, cancer, diabetes, PCOS , obesity, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease,” says Emily Stone, M.S., R.D. People also eat keto to lose weight .
Even if you know that you need to eat a very low-carb, high-fat, moderate protein dietit can be confusing to know which foods to eat. Here’s our guide to foods you can eat, foods you should avoid and foods you can sometimes have when you’re following a ketogenic diet.
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Calorie Depletion And Nutrient Deficiency
Because the keto diet is so restricted, youre not receiving the nutrients vitamins, minerals, fibers that you get from fresh fruits, legumes, vegetables and whole grains, says Dr. Ring.
Due to these deficiencies, people also report feeling foggy and tired. These symptoms have been dubbed the keto flu. Constipation is also common on the keto diet due to the lack of fiber.
Shirataki Macaroni And Cheese
For this recipe, its best to use shorter types of shirataki, such as ziti- or rice-shaped noodles.
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
Shirataki noodles can be used in place of pasta or rice in any dish.
However, they tend to work best in Asian recipes. The noodles have no flavor but will absorb the flavors of sauces and seasonings very well.
If youd like to give shirataki noodles a try, you can .
Shirataki noodles are easy to prepare and can be used in a variety of dishes. Theyre especially tasty in Asian recipes.
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Fat Foods To Avoid On Keto
Fat is an excellent food source that helps your body make important hormones and neurotransmitters. Plus, without all those carbs, your body will use more fatty acids to fuel your body and brain.
However, the source and quality of your fats are crucial. Healthy fats are the most keto-friendly food you can imagine.
What Are The Different Types Of Keto Diets
There are various modifications of the ketogenic diet. The majority of individuals following a ketogenic diet follow the so-called standard ketogenic diet plan, which provides about 10 percent of your total calories from carbohydrates.
Other forms of ketogenic diets include cyclic ketogenic diets, also known as carb cycling, and targeted ketogenic diets, which allow for adjustments to carbohydrate intake around exercise. These modifications are typically implemented by athletes looking to use the ketogenic diet to enhance performance and endurance and not by individuals specifically focused on weight loss.
Generally speaking, if you plan to follow a ketogenic diet, you should aim to consume less than 10 percent of your total calories from carbohydrates per day. The remaining calories should come from 20 to 30 percent protein and 60 to 80 percent fat. That means if you follow a daily 2,000-calorie diet, no more than 200 of your calories should come from carbs, while 400 to 600 calories should come from protein and 1,200 to 1,600 should come from fat.
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There is some evidence that keto-type diets reduce hunger, according to the 2019 Journal of Clinical Lipidology review. The effect may be due to a shift in hunger hormones, such as ghrelin and leptin, as well as insulin. The high fat content of the keto diet may also be satiating, Majumdar says.
Blood Sugar Control
Eating fewer carbohydrates can lead your pancreas to secrete less insulin and can lower your blood sugar. This response can be helpful for people with prediabetes, insulin resistance or diabetes. However, similar results have been shown with other kinds of diets that are easier to follow, Majumdar says. Whats more, simply cutting down on carbohydrates can often improve blood sugar control, too.
The keto diet may cause a drop in triglycerides, a type of fat found in your blood. High levels of triglycerides can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. However, this reduction doesnt hold up over time. A 2020 review in the journal Cureus found that while the keto diet led to decreases in triglycerides, as well as blood pressure, during the first six to 12 months after starting a keto diet, those effects disappeared after 12 months.
Healthy Ketogenic Snack Options
Snacking between meals can help moderate hunger and keep you on track while following a ketogenic diet.
Because the ketogenic diet is so filling, you may only need one or two snacks per day, depending on your activity level.
Here are some excellent, keto-friendly snack options:
- Almonds and cheddar cheese
- Greens with high-fat dressing and avocado
- Keto smoothie made with coconut milk, cocoa and avocado
- Avocado cocoa mousse
Though these keto snacks can maintain fullness between meals, they can also contribute to weight gain if youre snacking too much throughout the day.
Its important to eat the appropriate number of calories based on your activity level, weight loss goal, age and gender.
If youre unsure how many calories you should be eating, check out this article to learn how to calculate energy needs.
Keto-friendly snacks should be high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbs. Increase your fiber intake by snacking on sliced, low-carb vegetables with a high-fat dipping sauce.
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