What is the keto diet
If you’re considering giving this way of eating a try, whether it’s to gain a little more muscle in the gym or to get rid of that pesky, stubborn belly fat, it’s best to know how the keto diet works.
Getting to know the keto diet
Broadly speaking, we can say that the keto diet or ketogenic diet (keto is short for ketogenic) is not a diet like any other. Most diets, especially those aimed at weight loss, tend to be low-calorie in order to make the body use up stored fat reserves.
However, the keto dietalthough it also helps to lose weight, is not so much concerned with calories, but rather focuses on the low carbohydrate intake. Not consuming enough to provide all the energy the body needs, the body is forced to find another source of energy: fats.
This is why in the ketogenic diet much more importance is given to protein and fat intake than to carbohydrate intake. And it is also the key to avoiding the hunger pangs that most people shy away from on this diet. This diet is a good alternative to say goodbye to the fat accumulated in the body thanks to the state of ketosis.
You can’t talk about a ketogenic diet or keto diet without knowing what state makes it so effective, the state of ketosis. By not consuming carbohydrates, by lowering your blood sugar levels or by depleting glycogen stores in your muscles and liver, your metabolism enters this state which allows your cells to get the energy they need.
The liver is the main player in this process, as it is responsible for converting these fats into ketone bodies (molecules of beta-hydroxybutyric acid and acetoacetic acid) so that they can be rapidly assimilated by the cells as a source of energy. As a result of this process we obtain a progressive reduction of the fat accumulated in the body.
Keto diet benefits
The progressive reduction of body fat is not the only benefit that the keto diet can bring to your life. Studies have shown that following this diet can contribute to a noticeable improvement in some health problems due to the following benefits:
- Helps to lose weight. Thanks to its low carbohydrate content, it reduces calorie intake and promotes the burning of fat in the body for energy. In addition, its high fibre content has a satiating effect that helps to reduce caloric intake and, consequently, helps to reduce weight.
- Helps to increase muscle mass. As it is a superprotein diet, it favours recovery, maintenance and increase of muscle mass.
- Prevents premature ageing. Thanks to its low sugar content, it promotes the production of collagen fibres, which bind the body’s connective tissues together.
- Improves digestion and absorption of nutrients through reduced sugar intake and high fibre content.
- Maintenance of cholesterol and blood sugar due to high fibre content.
Ketosis yes, but with company
Or rather, with supervision. As with other diets, going it alone without good advice can put you at unnecessary risk. By sensitively reducing carbohydrate intake, without the help of a nutritionist or doctor, you may run the risk of developing a nutritional imbalance without realising it.
Whatever your motivation for choosing the keto diet, remember to always keep this in mind so that you can enjoy its benefits in the best of health.
What can I eat on the keto diet?
To get the benefits of this type of diet, we must base our diet on quality proteins and fats, so we have a great list of foods that have a green light in the keto diet:
- Meat, poultry and meat substitutes for vegetarian or vegan diets.
- Fish and seafood. Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna or mackerel, are ideal.
- Vegetables. The most recommended are the green leafy ones.
- Milk products. Avoid low-fat or flavoured dairy products, as they are high in sugar.
- Fats and oils. Use quality fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado, animal fat or organic butter.
- Fruits. Acidic fruits with low sugar content, such as berries, lime or lemon, can be eaten.
- Nuts and seeds. Always raw or roasted. Nuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds or sesame seeds are ideal.
But if that’s not enough, you can supplement your diet with different keto products that adapt to the needs of this diet without missing any food from your usual diet, such as cookies, muffins or keto bread.