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Keto, also known as the Ketogenic Diet, is a diet that focuses on reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with healthy fats and protein. Keto follows a relatively strict ratio of 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs that help put the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis.
When we start following a keto diet meal plan, our bodies begin to burn fat for energy instead of relying on carbs. This process helps turn fat into ketones in the liver, which helps provide an alternate energy supply to the body and brain.
Following a keto diet meal plan has been known to support weight loss and boost the metabolism. Keto is also known for its ability to satiate our appetite and reduce food cravings due to the high healthy fat content of the diet. Reducing our carbohydrate intake can also help decrease appetite-stimulating hormones, such as insulin, which can help promote weight loss.
Keto diets can support heart health as they help us maintain a healthy weight that can help reduce the risk and alleviate symptoms related to heart disease. The high intake of healthy fats in the Keto Diet is known to support an increase in good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol while lowering triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood that increases the risk of heart disease and strokes.
A keto diet can benefit brain function, with ketones providing neuroprotective benefits that can help protect and strengthen the brain and nerve cells. Our body typically relies on glucose from carbohydrates to provide energy to the brain. Changing to a keto diet leads to the creation of ketones in the liver, which provide the brain with an additional energy source and may assist with managing epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and mental health conditions.
Blood Sugar & Insulin Levels
The keto diet is known to help reduce blood sugar and insulin levels and is particularly beneficial for those with diabetes or insulin resistance. Insulin helps the body use and store glucose derived from carbohydrates. By limiting our carbohydrate intake and moving our bodies into a state of ketosis, we can help prevent spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.
A keto diet plan is a great option for those with specific weight loss goals. Due to the restrictive nature of Keto it is often difficult to maintain which is why having healthy keto meals delivered straight to your door is the best way to stay on track.
Keto is not suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with a history of eating disorders and those with specific health concerns. If you have a health condition or are on medication, especially medications that lower blood sugar or blood pressure, you should seek the advice of a healthcare provider when making any significant changes to your lifestyle or diet.
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What foods should I eat on a keto diet meal plan?
The keto diet typically follows a strict ratio of 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbohydrates. Healthy keto-friendly fats include olive oil, avocado oil, olives, avocados, flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, hemp hearts, coconuts, nuts, and natural and sugar-free nut butters.
Keto-friendly proteins include poultry, venison, beef, fish and seafood, pork, lamb, eggs, natural cheeses, plain, unsweetened whole milk greek yoghurt, whole milk ricotta or cottage cheese. And examples of carb keto diet foods include asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, kale, spinach, tomatoes and zucchini.
What foods should I avoid on a keto diet meal plan?
You should avoid high-carb food while following a keto diet meal plan. Foods that should be limited or avoided include processed foods, grains, bread, pasta, starchy vegetables, high-sugar fruits, sweetened yoghurt, soda and fruit juices, honey, syrup, and sugar, chips and crackers, baked goods, seed oils and sugary snacks.
What are the side effects of a keto diet?
The most common side effect when transitioning to a keto diet is often referred to as “Keto Flu”. Symptoms may include headache, foggy brain, fatigue, irritability, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and constipation; however, these typically ease within a week as your body adjusts to the keto diet.
Can I exercise when I’m on a keto diet?
Yes, you can exercise while following a ketosis diet plan. It is recommended that you stick to low to moderate-intensity exercise. During high-intensity workouts, our body typically uses glycogen stores (generated from carbs) as fuel regardless of your macronutrient intake. So, it is best to avoid high-intensity exercise while following a keto diet plan.
Will I lose muscle mass on the keto diet?
Some studies have shown that it is possible to build muscle and improve strength on a ketogenic diet plan much as you would on a traditional higher-carb diet. To maintain and build muscle, you need to consistently eat more calories than you burn, so ensuring you eat enough healthy fats and protein is essential.
What fruit can I eat on keto?
Avocados, rich in healthy fats, are a favourite on any ketogenic diet plan. Other keto-friendly fruits include watermelon, strawberries, melon, peaches, lemons, tomatoes and raspberries.