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What is Keto diet?

If you started this year with a resolution to lose weight (and are still sticking to it), you must have thought about dieting too. You might even have heard the term “Keto diet” – it is quite popular. But aren’t you sure what it is?

Keto or ketogenic diet means a diet which forces your body to do ketosis or burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.

When you start the diet, your body will enter a state of ketosis in one to three days. The major portion of calories that you consume will come from fats, some proteins and a miniscule quantity of carbohydrates. Ketosis also happens when you consume a very low calorie diet – about 600-800 calories a day. However, you should follow a low calorie diet only if a nutritionist or dietician recommends it to you.


Benefits and Risks of Keto Diet

Before you start your diet, you must take into account the benefits and risks this diet entails.

Keto Diet is known to control type 2 diabetes. It is also used as a part of epilepsy treatment and for weight loss. Ketogenic diet is shown to improve glycemic control. This in turn reduces A1C, a key component for testing diabetes to measure a person’s average blood sugar levels over two to three months.

But if you have diabetes, you will be eating a lot of fats in keto, which is really not recommended. Also, people with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and such high levels of fat can put you in serious danger. Consult your doctor once before you start a ketogenic diet if you have type 2 diabetes.

How to decide your ketogenic meal plan?

If you have decided to continue with keto diet, you will need to stick to your meal plan. About 60-80% of your calories will be derived from fats. You will need to consume meats, fats and oils and a limited amount of nonstarchy vegetables. You should also have a little bit of protein – approximately 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. You must also have carbs – about 20-50 gms of carbs per day.

You must follow your meal plan very carefully indeed. Even if you eat a single potato one day, your body will immediately get back to burning carbohydrates for energy.


Keto Diet Food Guide

Let’s see what fits into a keto diet and what does not. It is important to make a note of what all you can eat so that you do not mistakenly consume something which you cannot.

  • Protein You can consume all these in moderation, as keto diet recommends less protein
    • Beef
    • Fatty fish like salmon
    • Dark meat chicken
    • Bacon
    • Skinless chicken breast
    • Shrimp
    • Egg
  • Fats
    • Olive oil
    • Coconut oil
    • Avocado oil
    • Butter
    • Heavy cream
    • Canola oil
    • Sunflower oil (occasionally)
    • Safflower oil (occasionally)
    • Corn oil (occasionally)
  • Fruits and veggies
    • Avocado
    • Spinach and other leafy greens
    • Celery
    • Asparagus
    • Leeks
    • Brinjal
  • Nuts and seeds
    • Walnuts
    • Almonds
    • Flaxseed
    • Chia seeds
    • Unsweetened nut butters
    • Cashews
    • Pistachios
  • Dairy products
    • Cheddar cheese
    • Blue cheese
    • Feta cheese
    • Full fat cottage cheese
    • Full fat plain Greek yogurt
  • Sauces
    • Guacamole
    • Raw garlic
    • Tomato sauce without any added sugar
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • No sugar mayonnaise
  • Drinks
    • Water
    • Almond milk
    • Plain tea
    • Broth
    • Black coffee
    • Unsweetened carbonated water
    • Zero calorie drinks


Things you must avoid

  • Fish or chicken nuggets
  • Margarine
  • Trans fats
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Raisins
  • Sweetened nut butters
  • Trail mixes
  • Chocolate covered nuts or fruits
  • Milk
  • Sweetened yougurt
  • Ice cream
  • Condensed milk
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • White or brown sugar
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Soda
  • Fruit juice
  • Lemonade


Seems like quite a list, doesn’t it? Don’t be intimidated by it – you will get into routine pretty soon.

Here’s a small video guide for you –

Have you undertaken this diet? Do share your experiences with us.

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