The ketogenic or keto diet has grown to become one of the most popular diets today. It’s a high-fat, low-carb, and moderate protein program that has been utilized for weight loss, improved cognitive performance, and better hormonal health. But as with any diet, there are some critical dos and don’ts that you need to understand.
What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that emphasizes healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil and excludes high-carb foods like grains, sugar, and most fruits. When you follow the keto diet, you’re aiming to enter a state of ketosis, where your body shifts from using glucose (sugar) as its primary source of energy to using ketones (fat) instead.
The Dos of the Keto Diet
Do Eat More Healthy Fats
Fats are a critical component of the keto diet. Healthy sources of fat like nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil are essential for providing your body with the energy it needs to burn fat and stay in ketosis. Be sure to incorporate healthy fats into every meal and snack.
Do Focus on Low-Carb Vegetables
Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale are low in carbs and high in fiber. They’re also packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can enjoy a variety of low-carb vegetables to help you feel full and satisfied while on the keto diet.
Do Stay Hydrated
One of the side effects of entering ketosis is increased water loss. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. You can also consider drinking herbal teas or including electrolyte supplements to help replace minerals that are lost through sweating.
Do Plan Your Meals
Planning your meals is one of the keys to success on the keto diet. Make a list of keto-friendly meals and snacks for the week. This can help you avoid spontaneous choices that may put you out of ketosis. Planning your meals can also help ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
The Don’ts of the Keto Diet
Don’t Overdo It on Protein
While protein is an essential macronutrient, too much of it can put your body out of ketosis. The keto diet is not a high-protein diet. Instead, it’s a high-fat diet with moderate protein intake. Be sure to track your protein intake to stay within the recommended range.
Don’t Overlook Your Micronutrients
The keto diet doesn’t mean that you should ignore your micronutrient intake. Even though you’re eating fewer carbs, you still need vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Be sure to incorporate low-carb sources of vitamins and minerals like leafy greens, avocado, and nuts into your diet.
Don’t Eat Too Many Carbs
The keto diet is a low-carb diet, so it’s essential to restrict your carb intake to stay in ketosis. Aim for no more than 20-50 grams of net carbs per day, depending on your individual needs and goals. Avoid high-carb foods like grains, sugar, and starchy vegetables.
Don’t Skimp on Healthy Fats
Not all fats are created equal, but healthy fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are essential for maintaining ketosis. Be sure to prioritize high-fat foods like avocados, nuts, and olive oil to meet your recommended fat intake.
Keto Diet FAQs
Q. Is the keto diet safe?
A. The keto diet is generally safe for most people, but it’s essential to talk to your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise program.
Q. Can I eat carbs on the keto diet?
A. You can eat carbs on the keto diet, but it’s essential to limit your carb intake to stay in ketosis. Aim for no more than 20-50 grams of net carbs per day.
Q. Can I have coffee on the keto diet?
A. Yes, you can have coffee on the keto diet. But limit your intake of high-carb coffee additives like milk and sugar. Instead, try adding healthy fats like coconut oil or butter to your coffee.
Q. Will the keto diet help me lose weight?
A. The keto diet can help you lose weight, but it’s essential to work with a healthcare professional to develop a plan that works for your unique needs and goals.
Q. How long should I stay on the keto diet?
A. The length of time you should stay on the keto diet depends on your individual goals and needs. Some people follow the keto diet long-term, while others may use it as a short-term weight loss strategy.
The keto diet is a popular and effective diet that can help you lose weight, improve cognitive function, and achieve better hormonal health. By understanding the dos and don’ts of the keto diet, you can create a healthy and sustainable plan that works for your unique needs and goals.