What is keto?

What is keto?

The keto diet is a diet that limits carbohydrates to less than 50 grams a day. The remaining calories and nutrition comes from fat and protein. The purpose of shifting to a high-fat low carb-diet is to make your body shift from using carbs and glucose for energy to using fat for energy, this process is called ketosis. The types of foods that are included in the keto diet include bacon, eggs, salami, cheese, and chicken. Foods not included are fruit, cereal, bread, pasta, beans, and potatoes. These common foods are sometimes difficult to cut out of your diet which makes the keto diet hard to sustain for some people. If the keto diet is not practiced routinely, then the results that you previously had can be quickly lost.

The keto diet has proven to result in weight loss and improving cardiovascular health. Also, the high-fat and moderate-protein  can help with controlling your appetite better than traditional low-calorie and low-fat diets. However, it can be difficult to sustain the keto diet and they do not have the long term benefits of low-fat diets. Experts have advised that because it is so hard to follow and does not have long-term benefits like other diets, it is not the best option for reducing weight. Other issues that may arise from starting the keto diet include headaches, bad-breath, and constipation.

Other options to the keto diet include the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet, which focus more on the use of healthy fats and reducing sodium. However, if you want to try keto, there are newer keto meal plans that can keep carbs low and fats high with a focus on healthier alternatives. These diets offer extra virgin olive oil, salmon, nuts and seeds rather than bacon, butter, and cream. The newer keto diets also suggest eating berries, beans, and vegetables. If you are curious and want to try the keto diet, contact your doctor or dietician.

This article reviewed by Dr. Jim Liu, MD and Ms. Deb Dooley, APRN.

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