A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that is similar to the Atkins diet and other low-carb diets. The ketogenic lifestyle involves drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat, causing your body to enter a metabolic state called ketosis. When you are in ketosis, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also converts fat into ketones in your liver, which in turn supplies energy for your brain.
A ketogenic diet can drastically reduce your body’s blood sugar and insulin levels, making it ideal for those living with diabetes. It can also help you lose weight and lower risk factors for other diseases without the need to count calories. In fact, one study found that people who were on a ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those on a low-fat diet. Triglyceride and cholesterol levels also improved for those on this diet. Other studies showed that a ketogenic diet could improve a number of other health conditions such as heart disease, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and even several types of cancer.
Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid
If you want to live a ketogenic lifestyle, here are some of the foods you should be eating:
- Meat such as steak, ham, bacon, chicken, and turkey.
- Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and trout.
- Low Sodium Jerky.
- Butter and cream.
- Unprocessed cheese
- Nuts and seeds.
- Healthy oils such as olive oil or coconut oil.
- Low-carb vegetables such as green vegetables, onions, and peppers.
As for foods you should avoid, here are some examples:
- Sugary foods.
- Fruit, except for berries in small portions.
- Grains and starches.
- Beans and legumes.
- Potatoes and other root vegetables
- Unhealthy fats such as vegetable oil and mayonnaise.
You should also be avoiding sugar-free diet foods as they are too highly processed as well as high in carbohydrates. Most alcoholic beverages should also be avoided as many of them contain too many carbs and can throw your body out of ketosis.
Tips for Living a Ketogenic Lifestyle
One of the biggest benefits of following a ketogenic diet is that most restaurants serve keto-friendly foods. Order a meal with meat and fish, and replace any high-carb foods with a serving of vegetables. You can also ask for a bunless burger and replace French fries with a serving of fresh vegetables. Most good sit-down restaurants will accommodate this request, so don’t hesitate to ask.