A ketogenic diet is a program that restricts the body to a low carb diet thus forcing it to burn fats for energy production instead of carbohydrates. The diet involves eating lots of fats, very few carbs and moderate protein. A ketogenic diet has been found to be very useful in weight loss. The high rate of fat burning prompts the release of ketones and build up in the bloodstream. However, there are several challenges that an individual can experience when adjusting to a ketogenic diet. Studies have shown that the body cannot burn fat at a faster rate like that of carbohydrates. Therefore, it often leads to energy deficiency particularly for those who go for high-intensity exercises. Below is a complete keto diet guide for beginners.
Type of Food to Eat on a Keto Diet
Leafy and dark greens are the best vegetable options for anyone on a keto diet. Most meals should comprise vegetable and proteins and extra fat. However, it is advisable to choose vegetables that have low sugar content. Spinach and kales are the best choices for keto dieters.
Fats and Oils
Even though keto diet emphasizes on high fat intake, it is critical to consider their digestibility. Most individuals can’t tolerate high consumption of vegetable oil, olive oil or mayonnaise. Omega-6 fatty acids found in most nuts have an inflammatory effect and should be limited. Omega-3 fatty acids are great for low carb dieters. Hydrogenated fats like margarine should be avoided to reduce trans-fat intake. If one must use vegetable oils, then it is good to consider the cold-pressed varieties. Additionally, vegetable oils have high smoke points and should not be heated. Alternatively, one can use non-hydrogenated lard, coconut oil, beef tallow or olive oil when frying. The best sources of fats and oils include butter, avocado oil, almond oil, chicken fat, beef tallow, macadamia oil, olive oil, mayonnaise and duck fat.
Raw dairy products are the best for keto dieters. However, one can opt for organic dairy products in case fresh isn’t available. Casein and whey proteins can cause a rise in insulin levels. It is vital to be careful with the intake of such proteins when on a ketogenic diet. The best sources of proteins keto dieters can consider include hard and soft cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, heavy whipping cream, unsweetened yogurt and mascarpone cheese.
Dehydration is a common problem that keto dieters experience. This is because it has a natural diuretic effect and those with UTIs should prepare adequately. It is advisable to drink plenty of fluids day and night. Water, coffee, and tea should be part of the diet. Eight glasses of water per day are recommended.
Foods to Avoid
The type of food to stay away from include sweeteners and carbohydrates such as crackers, bread, potatoes, and rice. Spices are tricky and often contain carbs. Therefore, when adding them, it is good to be vigilant on their carb counts. Other forbidden foods include sweetened drinks, alcoholic drinks, refined fats, low-fat diets, and fruit juices.
Ketogenic diet comes with several benefits including weight loss, improved mental focus, blood sugar control and elevated energy levels. However, adjusting to a keto diet entirely can be very challenging. The above is a guide for those who want to adopt the diet.