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What Is Actually the Keto Diet? The Guide for Newcomers Before Attempting

The ketogenic diet (or, for short, keto diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet which offers many health benefits. Indeed, more than 20 studies show.

What Is Actually the Keto Diet? The Guide for Newcomers Before Attempting

The ketogenic diet (or, for short, keto diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits. Indeed, more than 20 studies show that this form of diet will help you lose weight and boost your wellbeing. Ketogenic diets may also benefit from asthma, obesity, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease.

The keto diet has been the biggest and most divisive food programs out there, with athletes, dietitians, and even physicians competing over the border on all sides. Although Halle Berry, Vanessa Hudgens, and Al Roker are fans and say the diet has helped them boost their wellness, trainer Jillian Michaels claims the high-fat, low-carb diet is "terrible to your wellbeing, immunity, stamina, and anti-aging." They break down everything you need to learn about the keto diet, including certain gnarly keto diet side effects and notorious keto flu, to help you determine if the diet is correct for you.

Here's a comprehensive guide to the keto diet for beginners.

What is diet keto?

The keto diet was first introduced in the 1920s to better cure patients with epilepsy and is a high-protein, low-carb food program that promotes weight reduction by consuming protein. Through consuming high-fat diets and reducing carbs, the body will easily reach ketosis, a state in which the body utilizes fat — in the form of ketones — like power, rather than carbohydrates. Since the main type of food for your body is carbs it should still switch to the first ones. So if you consume fewer carbohydrates, the body can burn faster with them, and continue to break down fat for energy.

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that has certain parallels with the Atkins regimes and low-carb diets. This requires a dramatic decrease in the consumption of carbohydrates and its substitution with fat. This lowering of carbohydrates puts the body in a metabolic condition called ketosis. When this occurs the body is extremely energy-efficient in consuming fat. It also converts fat into ketones in the liver which can provide the brain with energy.

To maintain weight loss a rigid keto diet needs as few as 20 grams of net carbs a day. If it seems to limit, it's because it is. For comparison, 20 grams are fewer carbohydrates than what you can see in a medium-sized apple. On the keto diet, 80 percent of the food is fat, 15 percent is protein and a meager 5 percent is carbohydrate. Certain low-carb diets need 20 to 60 grams of carbs a day when the typical person's diet consists of 55% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 15% protein.

Ketogenic diets can lead to significant decreases in blood sugar and insulin levels. That, along with the increased ketones, has many benefits for health

EXCLUSIVE
The keto diet is a diet low in carbon and high in fat. It lowers levels of blood sugar and insulin and shifts the metabolism of the body away from carbs and towards fat and ketones.

Does the keto diet work?

Becky Kerkenbush, RD, a clinical dietitian at the Watertown Regional Medical Center, says the keto diet is known to help people lose a few pounds very quickly. Carbs hold onto more water than protein or fat, so your body releases all that extra water weight by making you pee more when you stop eating them. The effect might be that the scale reads a few pounds lower, and you may look a little leaner. And because you eat high-fat foods, you'll feel fuller and curb cravings for sweets for longer.

So what's Research saying? Mixed results. Research by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in October 2016 tracked 20 obese people on a low-calorie keto diet who dropped a total of 40 pounds over four months. Another tiny trial produced a related test. Throughout a six-month scientific & clinical cardiology trial of 83 obese people, participants on the keto diet gained a total of 33 pounds, thus reducing their poor cholesterol (LDL) levels and their healthy cholesterol (HDL).

But both of those trials have been very limited and not all keto diet work is as successful. One May 2006 analysis of 20 people by an American Society for Clinical Nutrition showed that those on the diet did not lose more weight than those on a non-keto diet. Yet they had fouler moods and elevated inflammatory rates, which was consistent with a number of disorders, including heart failure and cancer. Another factor to remember is that research demonstrating the effects of adopting low-carb diets do not decide whether they are as small as the keto diet.

What are the downsides to moving into the keto diet?

As we have stated, the weight-loss effects of adopting the keto diet are not confirmed by much study and science. In reality, it may be harmful to your wellbeing following a stringent low-carb diet, like keto. Research by Nutrients in February 2019 indicates that a low-carb, high-fat diet, close to keto, can disrupt the blood vessels and raise the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

In fact, The Lancet's August 2018 report, which examined more than 15,000 individuals in the U.S., showed that someone who reduced their carb consumption (less than 30 percent of their daily carbohydrate calories) will survive on an average of four years longer than those who consume a modest amount of carbs (5 to 55 percent of their daily carbohydrates). What's more, the keto diet may not be as successful as other athletes believe it is in enhancing athletic results. A study in Nutrition & Metabolism in February 2017, which followed 42 athletes, found that a restrictive ketogenic diet can actually have a negative impact on physical performance, causing more rapid exhaustion.

Various Ketogenic Diets

Several variations of the ketogenic diet exist including:
  1. The normal ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a diet that is very low in oil, mild in protein, and high in fats. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein, and just 5% carbs.
  2. The cyclic ketogenic diet ( CKD): This diet includes higher-carb refeed periods, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.
  3. The targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet enables carbs to be added around workouts.
  4. High-protein ketogenic diet: It is similar to a normal ketogenic diet except more protein is included. The proportion is often 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
However, there has been detailed research only on normal and high-protein ketogenic diets. Cyclic or tailored ketogenic diets are more sophisticated approaches that are utilized mainly for athletes or bodybuilders.

The material in this article refers primarily to the regular ketogenic diet (SKD), but several of the same guidelines refer to the other variants as well.

Keto Health Advantages

  1. In reality, the ketogenic diet began as a method for treating neurological disorders like epilepsy. Studies have now shown that the diet can support a wide range of different health conditions:
  2. Heart disease: The ketogenic diet may improve risk factors such as body fat, levels of HDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
  3. Cancer: The diet is commonly used to treat cancer of many forms and reduce the development of tumors
  4. Alzheimer's disease: The keto diet can reduce Alzheimer's disease symptoms and delay its development.
  5. Epilepsy: Work has shown that the ketogenic diet in children with epileptic seizures can cause significant decreases.
  6. Parkinson's disease: One analysis revealed that diet had helped enhance Parkinson's disease symptoms.
  7. Polycystic ovary syndrome: keto diet reduce insulin levels, which can play a key role in the syndrome of polycystic ovary.
  8. Brain injuries: One animal study found the diet is capable of reducing concussions and helping recovery after brain injury.
  9. Acne: Lower levels of insulin and fewer intakes of sugar or processed foods can help improve acne.
However, bear in mind that research into many of these areas is far from conclusive.

EXCLUSIVE
A ketogenic diet can bring many health benefits, particularly with diseases related to metabolism, neurology, or insulin.

Food to Evite

  1. Any food high in carbs should be kept to a minimum. Here is a list of foods which a ketogenic diet needs to minimize or eliminate:
  2. Sugary foods: soda, smoothies, fruit juice, cookies, ice cream, sweets, etc.
  3. Grains or starches: products made from wheat, rice, pasta, cereals, etc.
  4. Fruit: All fruits, except small portions of strawberries.
  5. Beans or legumes: peas, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.
  6. Root vegetables and tubers: potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, etc.
  7. Products with low fat or diet: These are highly processed and often high in carbs.
  8. Many condiments or sauces: sugar and unhealthy fat are frequently found in these.
  9. Limit the intake of refined vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
  10. Alcohol: Many alcoholic beverages can throw you off ketosis because of their carb content.
  11. Sugar-free diet foods: These are mostly high in sugar alcohols, which in some cases can affect ketone levels. Such foods tend to be processed heavily, too.
EXCLUSIVE
Evite carb-based foods such as grains, sugars, legumes, rice, potatoes, sweets, juice, and even most fruit.

Food for Eating

  1. Most of your meals should be centered on those foods:
  2. Meat: Red meat, beef, ham, pork, bacon, turkey, and chicken.
  3. Oily fish: Salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, etc.
  4. Eggs: Look for whole eggs, pastured, or omega-3.
  5. Butter and cream: When possible, look for grass-fed.
  6. Cheese: Cheese (cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella) not processed.
  7. Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, seeds for flax, the seed for pumpkin, the seed for chia, etc.
  8. Healthful oils: Olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil are mainly extra virgin.
  9. Lawyers: Full avocados or freshly made guacamole.
  10. Low-carb vegetables: most green vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, onions, etc.
  11. Conditions: Salt, pepper, and various beneficial herbs and spices can be used.
Most of your diet should be focused on fresh, single-ingredient foods. Below is a list of 44 low-carb balanced foods.

EXCLUSIVE
Focus much of your diet on foods like beef, fish, eggs, butter, nuts, balanced fats, avocados, and plenty of low-carb vegetables.

A Keto Review Meal Plan for 1 week
Here's a one-week sample ketogenic diet meal plan to help get you started:
  • Monday
Breakfast: Bacon, tomatoes, and the eggs.
Lunch: Chicken salad with feta cheese and olive oil.
Dinner: salmon cooked in butter, with asparagus.
  • Tuesday
Breakfast: omelet with egg, tomato, basil, and goat cheese.
Lunch: almond milk, chocolate powder, peanut butter, and stevia milkshake.
Dinner: Cheddar cheese, meatballs, and vegetables.
  • Wednesday
Breakfast: A ketogenic (try this or this) milkshake.
Lunch: Shrimp salad with avocado and olive oil.
Dinner: Parmesan cheese, pork chops, broccoli, and salad.
  • Thursday
Breakfast: Avocado omelet, salsa, chilies, onion, and spices.
Lunch: A pinch of guacamole and salsa sticks to the nuts and celery.
Dinner: Chicken stuffed with cream cheese and pesto, along with vegetables.
  • Friday
Breakfast: Sugar-free yogurt with peanut butter, stevia, and cocoa powder.
Lunch: Stir-fry beef, cooked with vegetables in coconut oil.
Dinner: Bunless burger with bacon, cheese, and beer.
  • Saturday
Breakfast: Vegetable omelet with ham and cheese.
Lunch: slices of ham and cheese, with nuts.
Dinner: Cooked in coconut oil with white cod, eggs, and spinach.
  • Sunday
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with mushrooms and bacon.
Lunch: Salsa burger with cheese and guacamole.
Dinner: Steak with a side salad, and eggs.

In the long term, always seek to rotate the vegetables and meat, as each form offers different nutrients and health benefits.

Keto dietary side effects you should worry about (way down) will actually mess with your body — at least at first. Here are all the potential side effects of keto which may occur:

Elevated hunger Carbohydrates keep moisture in your body (think of how bread soaks up liquids relative to a chicken breast), so as you cut down on the food, excess water is excreted into your urine. Which makes keeping hydrated important to those on the keto diet.

Increased chance of retinal stones Which is attributed to excessive calcium deficiency and acidic urine.

Fatigue "You may notice that you get exhausted quicker or that workout appears to be tougher than usual," says Ginger Hultin, MS, RDN, a nutritionist based in Seattle and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Cholesterol problems The keto diet may contain an abundance of saturated fat, which raises levels of dangerous LDL cholesterol and causes atherosclerosis, fat build-up, and cholesterol in the arteries, depending on how you choose your fats. When you want to go keto, get your cholesterol levels checked by a doctor regularly, and ensure you remain within a safe range.

Keto breath As we described earlier, as the body reaches ketosis, fat starts to be processed in ketone shape. It contains acetone, the same ingredients in a nail polish remover that can induce "keto breath" in your mouth, a foul, metallic flavor. Yet don't worry, it's a side effect that is going to pass when you transition to the diet.

Constipation Because you significantly reduce your carb intake, that means you eat fewer vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans. Pair that with the fact that you are losing more water weight, and you have the constipation recipe. So by consuming more fiber-rich, keto-approved foods like avocados, almonds, you can boost your digestion.

Keto diarrhea In the same vein it can cause some digestive distress whenever you change your diet drastically. Filling your plate with fat will also induce diarrhea. In fact, certain keto-friendly foods contain artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols that may disturb the digestion, so if you are susceptible to them, make sure to stop them.

The "keto flu" A series of symptoms named keto flu typically sets in a day or two after the keto diet ends, says Mancinelli, and it falls on when the body goes through carb withdrawal.


Is the food healthy for Keto and Safe?

Experts remain split on whether the keto diet is a safe strategy. On the one side, Lori Chang, a licensed dietitian, and consultant at the Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Institute for Safe Living believes the usage of a "cleaner" energy source — ketones rather than fast-burning carbohydrates — can boost morale and energy levels. If you ingest processed sugars, or even too many carbs in general, surplus sugar gets polluted in the body, Chang notes."It may lead to a blood sugar rollercoaster that affects the body and has a negative impact on energy levels and mood. Moreover, while you are in a ketosis state, ketone bodies do not need insulin to cross the blood-brain barrier that wards off unfavorable levels of blood sugar."

Some researchers claim ketones may be dangerous in the long run. "Those ketones are sources of emergency food, so we're not allowed to work on them for a long time," says Kristen Kizer, a licensed dietitian at Houston Methodist Hospital. "Ketones are molecules that are negatively charged, meaning that they are acidic. You work up acid when you build up ketone bodies in your body. Another way the body produces acid is by getting calcium out of the bones." Kizer also notes that the diet is not very safe and requires a very large intake of animal products that do not actually protect against obesity, diabetes or diabetes;

Kizer says it's necessary to check your urine with urinalysis ketone test strips to ensure your ketone levels don't get too high if you follow the diet outside of medical supervision. People with diabetes can use ketone urine check strips to decide whether they are at risk for ketoacidosis (DKA), a life-threatening condition that happens when a person loses enough insulin in his or her body. (Healthy ketosis is 0.5 to 3.0 mM of ketones in the blood)

A ketogenic diet is fantastic, just not for everyone A ketogenic diet may be perfect for those who are overweight, obese, or who are trying to boost their metabolic wellbeing. It could be less appropriate for professional athletes or anyone who choose to gain significant quantities of weight or muscle. And, as with any diet, it will only work if you are consistent over the long term and stick to it.

That said, few items about nutrition are as well known as the important advantages of a ketogenic diet about terms of wellbeing and weight loss.

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