What Is Keto Diet And How Does It Work?
The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carbs and low to moderate protein diet.
There are several versions of the ketogenic diet but mostly people do the standard ketogenic diet, this include 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs.
It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.
Things You Need To Know About The Keto Diet
1. Bad breath: It’s common that people have bad breath every day when they are in ketosis. Most people may not even be aware of this, without their friends or family telling them but as it’s embarrassing people might not tell you.
This is caused by elevated ketone levels. The specific culprit is acetone, a ketone that exits the body in your urine and breath.
Many ketogenic dieters brush their teeth several times per day or use sugar-free gum to solve the issue. If you're using gum or other alternatives like sugar-free drinks, check the label for carbs. These may raise your blood sugar levels and reduce ketone levels.
2. Hair loss: Keto diet is good for weight loss but one of the side effects is hair loss and a change in the health of your hair.
To protect the health of your hair, you could look at some key vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your body need. Some foods that are good and fit into a keto diet are:
- Egg yolks
- Organ meats for example liver and kidneys
- Nuts for example almonds, walnuts, and peanuts
3. Urine strips: If you want to know if you’re in ketosis, urine strips are a cheap and convenient way of finding out.
They were originally developed for people with type 1 diabetes to determine if they’re at immediate risk for diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition.
You can purchase urine strip kits over-the-counter at your local pharmacy and supermarket, as well as online. They’re relatively inexpensive and can contain from 50 to several hundred strips.
The strips typically expire within three to six months after opening, so keep in mind how often you intend to use them.
If you want to check your urine ketones day-to-day, stick with a specific time, like in the morning or several hours after your last meal of the day, for best comparison.
4. Weight loss: Many people follow keto for the weight-loss benefits, which can be significant, especially if you stick with the lifestyle for a good amount of time. When you first start on keto, you may experience rapid weight loss, this is because ketosis has a diuretic effect on your body, resulting in a quick loss of water weight (for this reason, take steps to stay hydrated). As your body becomes more used to keto and converts fat to ketones for fuel, you will experience more fat loss over time.
5. Appetite Suppression: Many people report decreased hunger while following a ketogenic diet.
6. Increased Focus and Energy: Long-term ketogenic dieters often report increased focus and energy.
Food You Can And Can’t Eat on Keto
- keto-friendly foods
- Sea food like fish, salmon, sardines, mackerel and other fatty fish
- Cashew or Brazilian nuts
- Olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil
- Unsweetened Almond Milk
- Full fat unsweetened yogurt
- Food you can’t eat
What Is the Keto Flu?
The keto flu is a collection of symptoms experienced by some people when they first start the keto diet.
These symptoms are similar to the flu, they are caused by the body adapting to a new diet consisting of very little carbohydrates.
Keto Flu Symptoms
While some people may transition to a ketogenic diet without any side effects, others may experience one or more of the below symptoms, within the first few days of cutting back on carbs.
- Muscle cramps
- Poor concentration
- Stomach pain
- Muscle soreness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sugar cravings
Symptoms typically last about a week for most people, though some people may experience them for a longer period of time.