Keto Diet has grown in popularity over the years because it's a regimen that doesn't require fasting, or avoiding most food that ordinary folks love to eat. Also known as Ketogenic Diet or KD, it's a regimen of eating foods low in carbohydrates but high in healthy fats and a modicum of protein-rich food. The diet isn't hard to follow because it simply requires limiting one's intake of carbohydrates and/or sugar-rich fares to less than 30 to 50 grams on a daily basis.
The main goal of Keto is to deprive the body of calories that produce glucose, which if not burned as energy for the day will be stored in fat cells. As an alternative, the body will focus its calorie-burning process on converting stored fats into ketones. Ketones are actually a type of chemical produced by the liver to break down fats. Its occurrence is usually when the body is in a fasting mode, or when unintentionally experiencing long periods of carb-deprivation.
A Keto Diet plan will therefore force a body to be constantly in such a situation but without the need to fast or skip important meals. What is well-liked about the Keto Diet is that it does not prohibit fat intake derived from various types of food, while training the body to whittle down appetite and at the same time get used to low caloric subsistence.
Origins of the Keto Diet Program
Keto Diet actually originated as an eating program developed in 1921 for pediatric patients, to manage refractory seizures. Fats instead of carbohydrates provide caloric supplements to children under medical supervision. In the 1990s, when it became apparent that obesity was becoming prevalent in the country, nutrition experts leaned on the principles of the Ketogenic diet, in seeking ways to help overweight and obese people reduce and manage their excessive weight problem.
Popular Examples of Food Eaten While on a Keto Diet
While the general description of a Keto Diet is about eating foods high in good fat and protein, the best way to illustrate the composition of ketogenic meals is to provide examples of low carb, high fat, and protein-rich foods:
Meat and Poultry
Fresh meat, preferably derived from grass-fed animals and from poultry, does not contain carbohydrates: making them staple components of a keto diet plan. This type of food is also rich in important minerals and an excellent source of B vitamins. In a low-carb diet, meat provides high-quality protein that helps in preserving muscle mass.
Preference for grass-fed meat stems from the fact that they contain more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fats when compared to meat derived from grain-fed animals.
Fresh fish and shellfish are not only carbohydrate-free but also rich in Vitamin B complexes and minerals like potassium and selenium. However, calorie counting for shellfish foods is not as straightforward as with other keto-friendly, carb-free seafood. Mainly because shellfish species have varying calorie measurements. Still, it's great that one can eat seafood types like shrimp and crabs as they don't have any calorie content at all.
Additionally, keto or not, regular fish intake is highly recommended because not only are fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel are rich in good fat — they also have high omega-3 content.
Eggs are extremely popular as part of keto diets since everyone loves to have them as part of a hearty breakfast. While a large egg has less than one (1) gram of carbohydrates, it comes with about 6 grams of protein. Moreover, in order to get the full health benefits of eating eggs, one should eat both the egg white and the egg yolk because a greater concentration of its nutrients is found in the yolk.
Like eggs, cheese is a great fit for keto diets because all types of cheese are rich in good fat and at the same very low in carbohydrates. Studies show that even if high in saturated fat, eating cheese does not increase the risk of developing heart diseases; instead, may even protect the heart against potential disorders. Moreover, cheese has ample conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fatty acid that impedes fat production as well as fat storage.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables like lettuce, collard greens, bok choy, spinach, and kale are very low in carbohydrate content but are excellent sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The darker the green color of the leaves, the higher the iron and vitamin K content, which are nutrients essential to the body's blood-clotting system.