Diets have existed for as long as we can remember, ranging from extremely complex to simplistic changes. Starting a fresh new diet can be exciting and overwhelming, especially when you need to do research to follow the directions of the diet you’re starting correctly.
What exactly is this new, popular keto diet, and does it actually work? Below is a comprehensive guide to properly following a healthy keto diet for significant results.
The Keto Diet Explained
The ketogenic (commonly shortened to keto) diet consists of eliminating carbohydrates from your meals and focusing on training your body to burn lean proteins and healthy fats for energy instead of carbs.
Healthy carbs from vegetables provide the body with vitamins and nutrients, so the body receives everything it needs to function properly when you follow a healthy keto diet. Once your body has reached a state of ketosis, the body stops looking for carbohydrates for energy and begins to burn fat.
Ketosis can only be achieved when insulin levels are low in the bloodstream, so the goal is to reduce blood glucose levels by restricting sugar intake. This combination of low carb and sugar and high fat works well because it provides sustenance to your body while offering a process to reduce fatty tissue naturally.
What Are the Benefits of the Keto Diet?
With a lifestyle change to abstain from carbs on the keto diet, many people have accomplished significant weight loss, improved mental clarity, increased energy levels, and enhanced gut health. This diet requires strict adherence to maintain ketosis, which is much easier with professional guidance and some practice.
Cristy Thomas DNP, FNP-BC, APRN at the Vitality Medical Wellness Center can provide information and support for the keto diet and offers vitamins and other products to help you sustain a healthy keto lifestyle.
What Can I Eat?
Fat has nearly no effect on the blood glucose or insulin levels, so they are broken down by the body’s natural process and used as an energy source. The best choices for a keto diet include the following items:
- Coconut milk, yogurt, and cream (full-fat)
- Dairy, such as cheeses, yogurts, and cottage cheese
- Low sugar fruits, such as avocados, blackberries, blueberries, coconuts, lemons, limes, raspberries, strawberries, and tomatoes
- Low carbohydrate vegetables, such as artichokes, arugula, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplants, fennel, green beans, kale, lettuce and leafy greens, mushrooms, pumpkins, spinach, and zucchinis
- Nut and seed butter, such as sunflower butter
- Olives, green or black
- Seafood, such as fatty fish (salmon)
- Seeds and nuts, such as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chia and hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and flaxseed
- SlimFast® Keto bars and shakes, or other keto drinks, in moderation
- Tofu and tempeh
- Water, coffee, and tea
Some people are following their versions of the keto diet, based on their dietary needs and concerns, such as vegetarian and vegan alternatives. The keto diet can be flexible, as long as you follow the main principle of cutting out carbohydrates and consuming plenty of fats every day and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
What About the Negative Side Effects?
Some patients have reported a strange odor emitting from their breath and private parts. When fat is broken down in the body and burned off, it can create ketones (natural, organic compounds in the body). When ketones accumulate, it can cause a foul smell for some people, which some refer to as keto breath or keto crotch.
Most keto dieters report that these smells lessen with time as your body gets used to the keto diet. If you notice a strange odor or discharge, contact your primary physician to discuss these concerns.
It is also recommended that patients avoid using Keto Burn Xtreme or Keto BHB pills as these may not work as well as following a proper keto diet.
Making these dietary changes in your daily menu can improve your gut health and help you lose weight and keep it off, especially with our professional advice and care.