Keto for Dummies (and a Lowdown on the Best Ketogenic Diet Foods)

Welcome to Keto for Dummies – the Fit, Healthy & Happy Guide to Eating Keto! I just recently enrolled in a local ketogenic diet program and wanted to share with you all some thoughts and research on the diet. Hope this’ll add value to your daily meal plan… and your body!

What Is the Keto Diet?

A ketogenic diet can be thought of as training your body only to use fats as energy by reducing your consumption of carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet is low in carbohydrates, adequate in protein, and high in fat, and sometimes partially restricted in calories. When you eat foods high in carbohydrates, your body produces glucose, which is typically the first place the body goes for energy. When you are on a ketogenic diet, your body burns up fat in order to use it for energy, by way of a process known as ketosis. Because the ketogenic diet restricts carbohydrates, the body is forced to burn fat, which it converts to fatty acids and ketone bodies. In the absence of glucose, which is normally used by cells as a quick source of energy, the body starts to burn fat and produces ketones instead.

An equal portion of peanut butter has two extra grams of carbs and not as much healthy monounsaturated fat. The yogurt had 14 grams of fat, 15 grams of carbohydrate, and 9 grams of protein. Coconut oil is more stable, but both should be extra virgin and cold pressed for the highest quality, and most nutrients. You need to have the right mindset, you need to focus on the right foods, and structure your environment so that you are not tempted to backslide and abandon the Diet after a few days. The easiest way to categorize foods on the Keto Diet is to think of them in terms of green, red, and yellow light foods. With an impressive profile of satisfying and metabolism boosting saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, incorporate it into almost any keto meal.

Food Recommendations for a Ketogenic Diet

  • You’ll have to avoid a good part of the grocery store if you really want to stick with keto. A lot of “diet” products are going to be highly processed which will put a bunch of chemicals in your body that you do not need.
  • All meat and seafood are included on the keto diet, as long as it is not breaded or fried. Always choose the highest quality meat you can afford, whether that means grass-fed or organic.
  • Keto dieters are often encouraged to eliminate nightshade vegetables (i.e. tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes) – studies have shown benefits to this. (Source:
  • Eggs and high-fat dairy will be a significant component of most of your keto meals.
  • Although nuts are low in carbs when eaten in moderation, it is easy to go overboard if you snack on them regularly.

A keto diet will change your body from a sugar burner to a fat burner. You’re going to have daily goals of how much fat, protein, and carbs you should eat, and if you do not reach them, you will not see any results. A cyclical ketogenic diet is where you follow a standard ketogenic diet from Monday to Friday, incorporating three workouts into your week, and then on weekends you load up on carbs and do not exercise. Contrary to popular rhetoric, a ketogenic, low carb diet is NOT a high protein diet. Weight lost in a high carb, calorie-restricted diet will often come both from muscle and fat, whereas with keto, you can burn fat without sacrificing muscle.

High Fat, Moderate Protein and Low Carbs: A Happy Medium

A moderate protein diet is recommended on the ketogenic diet in order to weaken cancer cells. In a traditional ketogenic diet, you eat 80 percent of your daily calories from fat. When you follow a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet, glucose levels remain steady, and insulin does not surge. You may eat a higher amount of protein than you usually do, but a Ketogenic diet is usually a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. Labeled the hyperketogenic diet, the regimen gave patients 90 percent of their daily calories from fat to help prevent seizures.

A ketogenic diet is a type of very low carbohydrate diet designed to force your body to burn fat instead of glucose for energy. A ketogenic diet is not a high protein diet, which as it happens, can also stimulate insulin. The ketogenic diet replicates the effects of fasting by providing a high fat, low carbohydrate but normal protein diet.

Unlike a low calorie or low fat diet, there is a science behind how the Low Carb Diet works. Both the heart and the brain run at least 25% more efficiently on ketones than on blood sugar. High blood sugar is interpreted as TOXIC by your body, so the insulin cleanses it by dispersing excess blood glucose, which causes you to feel hungry all over again.

The hunger control may be part of the reason the ketogenic diet is effective at helping people lose weight. Ketogenic metabolism most closely resembles starvation, though, of course, with the important difference that it is nutritionally complete and there is no reason to believe it would be unhealthy indefinitely.

Understanding the Keto Diet

Certain people should not go on the ketogenic diet, because it can lead to further health issues. If you are looking for a permanent change to your diet, lifestyle and health, then think long-term. A ketogenic diet maintains the body in a state of ketosis, which is characterized by an elevation of D-b-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate. People have all types of reasons to lose weight, and when their mind is made up, a low carb or keto diet is typically preferred.

The initial switch to a ketogenic diet can be one of the biggest issues for new dieters.

The most important component of the Ketogenic diet is to understand the breakdown of the foods you eat. Recall that a ketogenic diet is typified by a high fat content, a very low carbohydrate content, and a moderate protein content. For many, the increased fat content in a ketogenic diet plan seems contrary to losing weight. However, fats can be roughly divided into two categories – healthy and unhealthy – and the ketogenic diet pivots around sources of healthy fat such as butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, and macadamia nuts. Consider this: if a person who meets ketogenic diet goals ends up reintroducing carbohydrates into their diet, they may or may not regain some weight. In this case, the fats are beneficial, and introducing carbohydrates can negate the intended effects of the keto diet.

The best part of ketosis is the body is able to sustain itself even when no food is involved. There’s no diet in which you can eat poor, low quality food and expect perfect health. In addition, a ketogenic diet spares muscle loss, where a carb-based diet does not. Ironically, many workout programs have you consuming a large number of carbs to fuel your workouts.

The exact amount you should eat to get into ketosis will differ from person to person. The general recommendation is to avoid too much Omega-6, and aim for saturated or monounsaturated fats, plus some Omega-3.

A low calorie diet is difficult to maintain, and very often you end up being hungry, which makes it tempting to overeat. A ketogenic diet is an eating plan designed to induce a state called ketosis, where the body switches from using carbohydrate to using fat, including the fat stored in your body, as its primary fuel source. A low-fat diet is high in carbs, so when you eat more carbs than your body needs it stores them as fat. The process of fueling the entire body with fat, including the production of ketones, is called ketosis. A person on the keto diet gets most of their energy from fat, with very little of the diet coming from carbohydrates.

How Does Ketogenic Eating Help Weight Loss and Other Health Challenges?

The ketogenic diet was first developed by researchers to help treat seizures in children who suffered from epilepsy. In recent years, it has become one of the most studied strategies for weight loss. Studies suggest the low-carb, high-fat diet may promote weight loss, improve focus, and stave off age-related diseases. Multiple studies on low-carbohydrate diet also show improved blood pressure and more improvements than on other diets. A ketogenic diet is having a minor resurgence as of late, surpassing low carb diets for fat loss. The low-carbohydrate diet was more effective for weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor reduction than the low-fat diet. Postprandial lipemia was significantly reduced when the men consumed both diets compared with baseline, but the reduction was significantly greater after intake of the very low-carbohydrate diet.

During normal health and with a normal diet, the body generally does not make or need to make ketones. The body requires zero grams of carbohydrate, so removing carbohydrate from your diet will not harm you. The ketogenic diet requires you to enter the stage of ketosis, and that generally does not occur unless you are consuming about 20 grams of carbohydrates per day.

As the body and brain can easily be fueled 24-7 by your powerful fat stores, the ketogenic diet can keep you going and going forever – just like the Energizer Bunny.

“Eating Keto Keeps You Going and Going…”

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