The popularity of the ketogenic diet, keto for short, has reached fever pitch, especially with dieters lured with promises of weight loss and potential health benefits. It is a specialized high fat, low carbohydrate diet that requires careful attention to protein intake, calories and fluids. The goal is to put the body into ketosis, a natural process in which ketones are produced to help breakdown fats in the liver. Confused yet? You’re not alone.
While more American’s are interested in the keto diet than ever, even the 50% of Americans who consider themselves knowledgeable about nutrition say it’s hard to know if you are following the diet correctly.* The diet is often confusing for many people because it recommends intake of macro nutrients that is counterintuitive: Fat at 70%, protein at 25%, and carbs at 5%. Reducing carbohydrate intake boosts the body’s metabolic state and instead of using glucose from carbohydrates for its daily fuel, the body is forced to burn fat.
The keto diet is increasingly linked to health benefits beyond weight loss, including blood sugar maintenance, mental focus, and increased energy. The trick is to understand what foods you can eat on the keto diet. It may sound too good to be true. It includes lean meats (think fish, beef, and poultry); nuts and seeds—macadamias, walnuts and sunflowers seeds are some of the best; fats, such as coconut oil and even saturated fats; high fat dairy, like hard cheeses and cream; healthy carbs such as spinach; and fruits like avocado and berries. Even treats sweetened with natural alternative sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit and erythritol are allowed.
Pass the keto ice cream please!
*Mintel Insights September 2016 & Diet Trends U.S. September 2016.
**Please consult with your physician before starting any new diet.