Your likes and dislikes for food will be centered around fats, as a majority of your daily calorie intake while on a Ketogenic diet. You can add to your meals in many different ways with sauces, dressings, or simply meat with butter, as an example. The Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. It forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Norma Nazish, Forbes.com, reflects on the subject as follows:
“The Ketogenic or Keto diet has quickly become one of the most buzzed-about diet plans out there. But when there are so many people enthusiastically touting its benefits – and an equal number of critics shaking their head in disapproval – separating facts from fiction can become a little overwhelming.
In order to better understand the basics of this low-carb diet, I spoke with Angela Mavridis, an LA-based holistic nutritionist and founder of TRIBALÍ Foods.
First things first, what is the Ketogenic diet?
“The Ketogenic diet is all about minimizing your carbs and upping your fats. The goal is to get the body to metabolize fat, rather than sugar,” says Mavridis.
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“While everyone's body and needs are slightly different, that typically translates to – 60-75% of your calories from fat, 15-30% of your calories from protein, and 5-10 % of your calories from carbs,” she explains.
Most common Keto-friendly foods include low-carb vegetables (think bell pepper, cauliflower, spinach and zucchini), eggs, cheese, unprocessed and grass-fed meat and seafood.
Why should you try this diet?
The Ketogenic diet was introduced in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy. But the benefits of this low-carb diet go beyond treating seizures. It promotes weight loss, improves cardiovascular health and helps with anxiety and depression.
“The biggest benefit of a Keto diet is metabolic flexibility. When you’re able to pull energy from both glucose and Ketones that the body produces, you are metabolically flexible, which has benefits that extend throughout your entire body. Think mind, body and soul,” says Mavridis.
Also, when you eliminate sugar and high-carb foods from your daily diet, “your body is able to heal itself and detox from the accumulated inflammation that it is constantly fighting,” That means less brain fog, improved cognition and brain health. Consequently, the improved mental clarity makes it easier for you to make smart food choices, adds the nutritionist.
Moreover, following a Keto diet also reduces inflammation. “Reduced inflammation can have myriad benefits, from improving your skin to healing your gut and treating the symptoms of ailments like acid reflux disease,” she explains.
However, you must lay the groundwork before jumping on the Keto bandwagon. This means “lowering your carbs to under 20 grams for at least two to six weeks in order become Keto-adapted. Once you've done that, you can go in and out of Ketosis and reap the benefits of not being glucose-dependent,” says Mavridis.
The three biggest mistakes people on Keto diet make (that you should totally avoid):
* Loading up on fat bombs and other highly fat concentrated foods to get their
macronutrient ratios in line: “Fat should be used as a satiating nutrient. People don't necessarily need to eat fat bombs and put extra fat on their food or in their coffee just to make it high-fat,” says Mavridis. While this is a good strategy for when you're transitioning from a glucose-dependent diet to a fat-fueled one, it's not necessary once you’re fat-adapted, she adds. This is where intuitive eating comes into play. Learn to pay attention to your hunger cues. “If you’re feeling hungry shortly after a meal then you probably did not have enough protein or fat. But if you’re full and satiated, there is no reason to consume excess quantities of fat,” explains the health expert.
* Chasing blood Ketones instead of focusing on hormone signals: “The higher the number means you have more Ketones circulating in your bloodstream, but that does not mean that you are better at burning fat for fuel,” Mavridis points out. “You must be in nutritional Ketosis, which is described as being between 1.5 – 3.0 mol/L on the blood Ketone meter. You will know once you are fat-adapted from hormonal signals, and not from higher Ketones on the blood meter,” she adds.
* Staying in Ketosis long-term: Chronic Ketosis can cause fatigue, muscle soreness, insomnia and nausea. “Unless you have a medical condition that requires you to stay in Ketosis for long-term, you shouldn't stay in that state for a prolonged period without any carb ups,” Mavridis suggests. And if you're a beginner, “it’s recommended that you go through the fat-adaptation phase so that your body becomes accustomed to burning both glucose and fat for fuel,” says the nutritionist.”
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