Dieting can be quite the task, especially finding the best plan that will guarantee you the best results. Whether it is losing weight or you would like to eat healthily and take better care of your body, dieting is the perfect solution, especially when combined with exercise.
As a beginner, how then will you start the Keto diet? Here is an extensive analysis of the Keto diet for beginners.
What is the Keto Diet?
Keto, short for ketogenic, is a diet consisting of a low carbohydrate and high-fat foodstuff. Studies show that the Keto diet is an excellent way to lose weight and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
It involves reducing the number of carbs you consume and replacing them with fat. The reduction of carbohydrates puts your body into a state called ketosis. This is a metabolic state where your body produces ketone bodies from fat. These ketones are used to produce energy instead of carbohydrates.
Benefits of the Keto Diet
1. Reduction in blood sugar
A Keto diet reduces blood sugar and insulin by replacing carbs, which are converted to glucose, with high-fat food items.
2. Weight loss
Keto diets train your body to burn fat for energy instead of using regular carbs, thereby contributing to weight loss.
3. Improves type 2 diabetes
Keto diets are exceptional at helping manage and control diabetes type 2. It does this by reducing the amount of blood sugar and insulin.
4. Improves Heart Conditions such as Heart Disease
Ketogenic diets are excellent at lowering cholesterol levels and improving high-density lipoproteins (HDL)in the blood.
Keto diets may help reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative disorder that affects the brain, consequently slowing the progression of symptoms.
Keto Diet Meal Plan
The goal of a Keto diet is to get the body to go into ketosis; to do this, you have to reduce the number of carbohydrates you consume. The fewer the carbs, the more effective the diet.
Here are the recommended foods to eat for Keto diet beginners.
- Red meat such as steak, ham, and sausage
- White meat such as chicken and turkey
- Unprocessed cheese like goat cheese and mozzarella
- Nuts and seeds such as pumpkin, chia, and flaxseed.
- Green vegetables such as kale
- Healthy oils like olive and coconut oil
In case you get hungry, you can always snack on these Keto appetizers:
- Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Cauliflower Mac and cheese is low in carbs, making it the perfect Keto-friendly appetizer; simply swap out the pasta for cauliflower.
- Keto cheese stuffed mushrooms.
These stuffed mushrooms are tasty and easy to prepare. Keto cheese stuffed mushrooms are also low in carbohydrates. They are also to portion and a great appetizer for when you have guests over.
- Keto jalapeño poppers
Regular jalapeño peppers are deep-fried and coated in breadcrumbs, some of the foods you should avoid when on a Keto diet. Fortunately, there is a healthier alternative.
Wrap your peppers in bacon and stuff them with cheese, then let them cook in the oven.
- Keto Diet Meal Plan
This is a fairly easy recipe that doesn’t need a lot of kitchen experience. It’s fast and easy to prepare; it takes less than 30 minutes to make.
Tips for Keto Diet Beginners
- Avoid snacking when you aren’t hungry. It slows down ketosis, making it harder to lose weight.
- Pair your diet with exercise. Adding an exercise regime to your Keto diet helps speed up weight loss and improves type 2 diabetes, making it more manageable.
- Get regular rest and avoid stress. Increased stress levels and inadequate sleep contribute to high glucose levels, raising your blood sugar as a result.
- It is important to consult your health care provider before embarking on any diet.
- Foods to avoid while on a Keto diet:
- Sugary foods such as sodas, ice cream, and candy
- Unhealthy fats like processed vegetable oil
- Wheat-based products such as white bread
- Root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes
- Sauces such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, and teriyaki sauce.
- Plan out your meals in advance. It will save you time and help you stay committed to your diet.
- Familiarize yourself with food labels and track the amount of fat, carbs, and fiber in food items to help you identify those that are appropriate for your diet.
Is the Keto Diet Safe?
Ketogenic diets have numerous benefits. However, there are some groups of individuals who are advised against going on a Keto diet for health concerns. These include patients with conditions affecting the gallbladder, pancreas, and liver.
Keto diets also pose potential risks such as:
- Liver problems
- Nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin B and C
- Constipation from not ingesting enough fiber
- Mood swings from low blood sugar due to reduced carbohydrate intake.
Keto Diet vs Paleo Diet
A Keto diet focused on consuming high-fat foods so that your body goes into ketosis. Ketosis is a great way to lose weight since the body burns fat for energy instead of metabolizing carbs.
Paleo, short for Paleolithic diet, aims at eliminating processed foods by having you eat foods similar to what the early humans consumed during the Stone Age.
Here are some aspects to consider when weighing between a Keto diet vs. a paleo diet.
- Both diets encourage one to cut back on carbohydrates instead of lowering your calorie intake.
- Both encourage dieters to consume more wholesome and nutritious foods such as leafy greens, nuts, and seeds.
- Both diets exclude processed and unhealthy foods such as chips, crackers, and foods that contain corn syrup and white sugar.
- Both exclude foods such as grains like wheat and rice and legumes such as beans and lentils.
- A paleo diet excludes processed meats such as ham and sausage, while Keto diets allow them, as long as they do not contain sugar or carbs. A paleo diet focuses on natural and non-processed meats.
- The Paleo diet allows natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup, while Keto diets discourage the use of honey or maple syrup since they contain natural sugar and fructose.
- Keto diets discourage the consumption of fruits and limit one to low-sugar fruits such as berries while a paleo diet encourages one to consume all fruits, preferably low sugar ones such as melons and citrus fruits.
- A Keto diet allows some dairy products, those rich in fat and protein, and excludes dairy products that contain sugar, such as ice-cream. On the other hand, a paleo diet excludes all dairy products.
Keto diets consist of low-carb and high-fat foods. It poses benefits such as reduced blood sugar and insulin levels, faster weight loss, and slowing down the progression of degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
For even better results, pair your Keto diet with exercise. It will help you lose weight faster and keep your body healthy and nourished.