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Best and Worst Foods to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet

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As a society, Westernized people are increasingly conscious of the types of food we consume and the effect they have on weight and health. More and more people are following diet plans to manage their weight.

The ketogenic or keto diet is one commonly followed plan which shares some features with other well-known diets such as Atkins and low-carb diets. Like all diets, it provides guidance on what can and cannot be consumed.

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet is characterized by the consumption of low-carb, high-fat foods. As a consequence of eating such foods, many experience weight loss which can be extremely beneficial for those aiming to manage their weight.

This occurs as a result of the dramatic reduction in carbohydrate intake, to be replaced by fats instead, because of which the body goes into ketosis, which is a natural metabolic state. As a result, the body becomes more efficient in burning fat for energy, and it is also thought to convert ketones within the liver into energy which can be used to power the brain.

Healthy eating concept. Keto food pyramid. Image Credit: Mountain Brothers / Shutterstock

How Does Ketosis Burn Fat?

In a state of ketosis, the body’s glucose reserves become too low for normal fat oxidation and are unable to supply glucose to the central nervous system (CNS).

The CNS cannot use fatty acids as a source of energy since free fatty acids cannot cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). After 3 to 4 days of abstinence of carbohydrates, the CNS has to find alternative energy sources.

One such source is ketone bodies (KBs), specifically, acetoacetate, β-hydroxybutyrate and acetone, which are produced primarily through ketogenesis which occurs in the liver, within the mitochondrial matrix.

Ketone bodies are a vital source of energy when the body is fasting or if there is a shortage of carbohydrates.

Best Foods to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet

Followers of the ketogenic diet are limited to 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day which is roughly equivalent to one large potato and half a kilogram of vegetables.

To remain within this allowance, there are particular foods that are recommended which are lower in carbohydrates. However, it is still down to the individual to avoid the overconsumption of any food, whether they are recommended or not, as too many carbohydrates may interfere with the development of ketosis.

Fish and Seafood

Most fish and seafood is allowed on the ketogenic diet. Apart from being rich in B vitamins and potassium, these foods are also quite low in carbohydrates.

Vegetables

Overconsumption of starchy vegetables should be avoided on the ketogenic diet. However, non-starchy vegetables are recommended, especially greens such as spinach, Brussels sprouts and kale.

Research also suggests that eating such foods is associated with a reduction in the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.

Low-carb vegetables can be a good substitution for other high-carb foods, for example, rice can be substituted with cauliflower rice.

Avocados

The popularity of avocados has increased over recent years with many considering it a superfood alongside kale. In addition to containing several vital vitamins, avocados also contain potassium. It is thought that the consumption of foods rich in potassium may assist in the body’s transition into ketosis.

Worst Foods to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet

Certain foods are not recommended on the ketogenic diet as they are too high in carbohydrates.

Fruit

Despite the many health benefits of fruit, there is an issue with some fruits on the keto diet. Grapes and bananas, for instance, contain high quantities of carbs. 1 cup of grapes has approximately 26 grams and a medium banana, 24 grams of carbohydrate.

As a rule, these fruits should be avoided. However, a cup of strawberries contains 8 grams and a medium orange 12 grams of carbohydrates. Therefore these are permissible in moderate amounts on the diet.

Grains and Starches

Grains and starches should also be avoided on the ketogenic diet because of their considerably high carbohydrate content. Consumption of such foods may take the individual over the 50-gram daily carbohydrate intake.

Processed Foods

The adverse health consequences of consuming processed foods have been well documented. ON the keto diet, processed foods and trans fats should be avoided as they are high in carbohydrates.

While the ketogenic diet might be useful to those wanting to manage their weight or diabetes, some argue that there is a lack of longitudinal studies investigating the long-term impact of adopting this type of diet. Furthermore, it is suggested that individuals seek medical advice as the diet is not suitable for pregnant women and people at risk of hypoglycemia.

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Diet Plans

Lisa Riley weight loss: Emmerdale star shed a staggering 12st with this diet plan – Express

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Lisa Riley is an actress and presenter who played the role of Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale between 1995 and 2001, and again in 2019.  She has also appeared on television as a panelist on the ITV show, Loose Women.  Recently, fans have noticed Lisa go through a huge weight loss transformation where she has lost a remarkable 12st.  Lisa has also slimmed down by seven dress sizes, but how did she lose the weight?

The actress revealed she slimmed down waistline and opened up to share tips on how others can do the same.

Speaking to the Mirror, Lisa explained how slimmers can stay on top of their goals and get back on track after a set back.

She said: “Everyone is bound to have little blips along the way, but don’t see that as failure and a signal to give up – just draw a line under it and move on.”

Lisa revealed she likes to start her day with a cup of hot water and lemon and binned all junk food from her cupboards when trying to lose weight.

She also used portion control to help her slim down from a size 28 to a trim size 12.

Lisa told the Mirror: “I had made myself fat by gorging on bread, crisps, crumpets and red wine.

“Once I accepted responsibility for my health, weight and lifestyle it made it easier to take control. You don’t have to have starter, main and pudding.

“If you are doing that you are eating too much.”

The soap star has also used her Instagram profile to give fans an insight into how she has stayed in shape.

Posting a picture of her before and after losing weight on Instagram, she revealed cutting out alcohol also helped her achieve her slim figure.

She posted: “Making this my lifestyle at least five days a week.

“I watch what I eat day in day out, STILL not a drop of alcohol in nearly four years. THIS IS CHANGE OF LIFE…..not a diet.”

The star also uses her Instagram account to post pictures of her healthy meals to give fans a glimpse of what she eats day-to-day.

Lisa revealed she exercises for a minimum of 30-minutes every day and has started eating meals out of a bowl to help with portion control.

The Emmerdale star released her diet book, Honesty Diet, and one woman recently lost 1st 6lb following the plan for 28-days.

Slimmer Claire documented her weight loss on ITV’s Save Money: Lose Weight and showed how Lisa’s plan helped her slim down from 18st 8lb to 17st 2lb in just four weeks. 

For those hoping to slim down, picking up this book could be a good place to start, and there are also other diet plans available.

Dieters can lose up to 10lb in one week by following the low-carb high-fat ketogenic diet plan. 

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The Optavia Diet Ranked High for Fast Weight Loss—Here's What You Need to Know About It – Health.com

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What Is the Optavia Diet, and Can It Help You Lose Weight? – Health

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The Keto Diet Has Swept Social Media And That's A Good Thing – Forbes

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Ketogenic diet.

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Social media has become a prime avenue for healthcare content and advice, especially among millennials. Dieting and nutrition, in particular, are among the top trending subjects. In fact, a recent survey of 1300 dietitians conducted by the Pollock Communications Network and Today’s Dietitian showed that the keto diet is now the most popular among consumers. This should come as no surprise considering the level of buzz around it online. It’s been adopted and promoted by celebrities including LeBron James, Tim Tebow, Halle Berry and Kourtney Kardashian. Keto diet is on the rise among the rest of us as well.

So is it as healthy and beneficial as most of us think? Below is a deep dive on the matter.

What is keto?

Keto or the ketogenic diet emphasizes an abundance of healthy fats, a proper amount of protein and low carbs, according to Dr. Eric Berg, a renowned keto expert. It was initially created to help people with epilepsy control their symptoms. Keto has also been determined to be a great option for people with type 2 diabetes. Today, many people use the diet for weight loss and as part of their overall fitness plans.

“Keto works by helping dieters move their bodies into a state of ketosis. This is a natural, metabolic process that occurs when the body doesn’t have glucose to burn for energy. Instead, it consumes its own fat stores,” said Dr. Berg.

What are the benefits of keto?

The keto diet is popular for good reason. People who follow it are often very pleasantly surprised by the results they get. This includes:

  • Better skin: Studies have shown that keto stabilizes blood sugar and improves gut bacteria. This can reduce acne and other skin problems.
  • Improved heart health: Diets in healthy fats are high in the fatty acids needed for improved heart health.
  • Seizure reduction: People who have epilepsy are often instructed to follow this high fat diet. By maintaining a state of ketosis, they can reduce the frequency of their seizures.
  • Weight loss: This is probably the key reason for keto’s popularity. Simply put, your body works harder to burn fat as fuel than glucose. This leads to faster weight loss for many.
  • Satiety: Because the keto diet emphasizes fats and proteins, it’s a very satisfying diet. Followers feel fuller longer and many of the foods that fall within the diet’s guidelines are quite tasty and indulgent.
  • Reduced cancer risk: A recent study indicates that the ketogenic diet can complement traditional cancer treatments to help patients obtain better end results.
  • Better cognitive function: This is an area where more study is required, but it appears as if the keto diet may have beneficial or preventative effects on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It may also lead to improved cognitive function and better alertness.
  • Blood sugar regulation: This high fat, low carb diet has proven time and time again to benefit people with type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Berg adds that “When used correctly, the ketogenic diet can be used as a tool for people who want to optimize their health. I’ve witnessed patients lose weight, enjoy higher energy levels and eliminate many health problems. Combined with exercise and healthy eating patterns, keto is truly life changing.”

Most recently, the keto diet also gained the attention of health officials in the United States. They will be updating national dietary guidelines in 2020 to include low carb diets like keto.

Are there any drawbacks that stay behind the scenes?

There are potential issues with any diet or lifestyle that are less popularized on social media. Keto can cause some complications in people who have type 1 diabetes. It’s also not recommended for individuals with eating disorders, unless advised by their Doctor. However, the Keto Diet can benefit women with Hormonal issues, including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

With keto, the primary concern is one of education. “Before they take on this diet, it’s imperative that people understand exactly how keto works,” said Dr. Berg. “They must learn how to maintain a healthy diet within the plan that meets their nutritional needs. Any healthy diet plan will include exercise, eating the right amount of food and making other lifestyle changes. Many of the negative outcomes people attribute to keto are actually a result of misunderstanding the principles of the diet itself.”

The ketogenic diet represents a shift from decades of traditional dietary advice. So many people are regaining their health, maintaining healthy weight and getting relief from chronic health problems. It’s clear that this is no longer a fad diet and it’s finally getting the attention it deserves.

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