You may have heard lots of people raving about the keto diet and how great it is for losing weight. So what exactly is involved in following this special diet that's grown so popular recently? And what foods are considered 'keto friendly'?
What is Keto?
Keto - short for ketogenic - is a way of losing weight without experiencing the hunger that usually accompanies going on a diet.
This is achieved by bringing the body to a state of 'ketosis', where it stops using glucose to produce energy for the body and starts using something called 'ketones' instead. The liver produces ketones from fat, which is why this kind of diet is useful for weight loss.
So how do you get your body to 'ketosis?'
You need to cut down on the amount of carbs you consume - by a LOT! In fact, keto experts suggest that only 5% of your calories each day should come from carbs! The rest should come from a mixture of protein and - to a lesser degree - nutritious fats.
So can I just cut out bread and pasta and be 'keto'?
Unfortunately not! Carbs are contained by many, many more foods than you may realize! And whereas many diets encourage you to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, keto doesn't because some produce is very high in carbohydrates!
So what foods can I eat on a keto diet?
Fortunately, there are still plenty of tasty foods you can enjoy when trying to reach the state of 'ketosis' and start losing weight. The aim is to find foods that offer the most nutrients with the least carbs.
Here are some suggestions:
- pak choi (or bok choy)
- arugula (or rocket)
- swiss chard
- bell peppers
Notice that you won't find any of your favorite root vegetables on this list! Unfortunately, that's because they tend to contain the most carbohydrates.
- berries (like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries)
Other keto-friendly foods
- oily fish like sardines, salmon and mackerel
- dark chocolate
- butter and cream (yay!)
- cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
Here are some tasty recipes to try that keep within the keto-friendly or low-carb guidelines...
Remember that eating 'keto' means cutting out a food group that you are probably used to eating on a regular basis, so it can cause digestive troubles or other health issues. It's a good idea to speak to a medical professional before started a ketogenic diet.