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A Beginner's Guide to the Keto Diet

Here is all that you need to know about the keto diet before you try it.
Mia Morales Jan 13, 2020
One of the latest buzz words in the health and fitness world is ketogenic, and it’s used in relation to the keto diet – the hottest new diet right now. The goal of the keto diet is to put your body into a state of ketosis, which is when it produces chemicals called ketones.
When there isn’t enough glucose in the blood, ketones break down fats to be used as an alternative source of energy. People who follow keto diet lose significant amounts of weight. If you’re considering starting the keto diet, here is a beginner’s guide to everything you should know.

What is the Keto Diet?

The keto diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. You drastically reduce the volume of carbs you eat to just 5% of your daily calories, with lean protein making up 20-25% and the remaining 70-75% coming from high-quality fats.
The idea is to create a situation where you don’t have enough sugar to use as fuel for energy. When this happens, your body has to find something else it can use as its fuel source: fat.

What is the Food Pyramid?

You might remember seeing a food pyramid in your home economics classes. It’s used as a visual representation, showing what proportion of certain food types you should eat each day for healthy diet.
Foods are categorized into groups of “foods like each other,” and the categories are, from top to bottom: foods and drinks high in fat, salt and sugar; fats, spreads and oils; meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts; milk, yogurt and cheese; wholemeal cereals and breads, potatoes, pasta and rice; vegetables, salads and fruit.
The higher up the pyramid, the less of it you should eat, whereas you can eat much more of those at the bottom.

How Does Keto Food Pyramid Help You Lose Weight

The keto food pyramid takes the concept of the traditional food pyramid and replaces the tiers with keto guidelines. This is how it looks broken down into layers.

Fats

Eating healthy fats is fundamental to the keto diet, and so, unsurprisingly, fats form the base of your keto pyramid. You need to make up the calories you’re losing out on by reducing your carbohydrates. So prepare to add lots of oils, seeds, dairy, and fatty meat and fish.
Coconut oil, olive oil, and grass-fed butter or ghee are not only excellent for cooking; they taste delicious drizzled over a salad too. Macadamia nuts and pumpkin seeds are great for snacking on the go, and fatty fish like salmon and mackerel pack a powerful punch of omega-3 while still being low in calories.

Protein

The middle tier is protein. If you’re used to following a high-protein diet, it can be hard to restrict the volume you have to eat daily on the keto diet, but no more than 25% of your daily calories must come from protein sources.
Stick with lean protein for more efficient calorie consumption – chicken, eggs, shrimp and halibut are tasty ways to mix up your protein intake.

Carbohydrates

Finally, top of the triangle is carbs. Your carb intake should be made up of vegetables; avoid pasta and rice. The best thing about eating vegetables is that they are low in calories, which means that, although carbs make up just 5% of your daily calorie allowance, you can consume a lot of vegetables within that number.
You should incorporate vegetables into every meal, and you can make them go further by sticking with low-carb, leafy greens, such as spinach and kale. Root vegetables, like carrots, potatoes and parsnips, are still good for you but are much higher in carbohydrates.
Anybody can follow the keto diet. It’s most advantageous if you have blood sugar problems, if you have diabetes, or if you’re overweight. However, everyone will benefit from improved cognitive function, reduced inflammation, and increased energy.