A keto or ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet, which automatically turns the body into a fat-burning machine. Keto diet has many health and weight loss benefits.
The “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that the diet causes the body to produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”. This is an alternative fuel for the body, used when glucose is in short supply.
Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs and only moderate amounts of protein since excess protein can be converted to blood sugar.
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Ketones are produced from fat in the liver, they are then used as fuel for the brain and the whole body. The brain is a hungry organ that devours lots of energy daily, and it can’t directly run on fat, but it can only run on glucose or ketones.
Your whole body switches its fuel supply on a ketogenic diet to run almost totally on fat. The fat burning increases and insulin levels become very low. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off and if you are trying to drop some pounds, then this becomes great. Other benefits includes less hunger and a steady supply of energy, keeping you active and focused.
Who should not be on ketogenic diet
A keto diet is normally very safe, but you may avoid the diet if you:
- take medication for diabetes, e.g. insulin
- take medication for high blood pressure
- are a breastfeeding mum
What to eat on a keto diet
Here are typical foods to enjoy on a ketogenic diet. The numbers are net carbs per 100 grams.
The most important thing for reaching ketosis is to avoid eating too many carbohydrates. You’ll probably need to keep carb consumption under 50 grams daily of net carbs, ideally below 20 grams. Foods to consume include;
- Fish and seafood
- Natural oils like butter and olive oil
As a basic beginner’s rule, stick to foods with fewer than 5% carbs. Drinks you can take on keto diet include;
- water and lemon
- coconut water
- Vegetable juice
- Lipton tea
What to avoid on Keto diet
Avoid these food if you must be on keto;
- Rice and white bread
- Chocolate bar and candy