What is Keto

This is a guest post by Louise Hendon, co-host of The Keto Summit and author of The Essential Keto Cookbook .

The right diet is a key part of taking care of your health -and the keto diet has been receiving a lot of attention recently.

But what is keto? And could it be right for you?

We’ll explain exactly what keto is, a few of the health benefits it could bring you, who keto is (and isn’t) right for, and how to get started on keto.


What is Keto?

 

Here’s a quick Keto 101:

  • The main aim of the keto diet is to put your body in a fat burning mode called ketosis by changing what you eat. In this metabolic state, your body switches away from using mainly carbohydrates/sugar for fuel. Instead, it breaks down fat into ketones and uses those for energy instead.
  • What can you eat on keto? Focus on eating moderate quantities of protein, plenty of healthy fats and very few carbohydrates.
    • -       Enjoy leafy greens, low-carb veggies like cauliflower, meats, organ meats, seafoods, herbs, spices, avocados, olives. Plus good fats like coconut oil and ghee.
    • -       Steer clear of hydrogenated vegetable oils, soy and soy-derived products,and diet sodas.

 If you’d like more detail on which foods you can/can’t eat on keto, have a read through our complete keto diet food list.

 

5 Health Benefits of Keto

A quick disclaimer - I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, so everything in this article is based on my own research and as with starting any diet, you should always consult a medical professional first.

 

And now that you’re clear on what Keto is, here are a few of the health benefits you could see on Keto:

1 - Keto could help with weight loss

A study comparing a low-carb diet and a low-fat diet found that participants on the low-carb diet lost significantly more weight.

2 - Keto could help you beat your sugar cravings

A lot of the time, we crave sweet things when our blood sugar levels crash. And what causes these crashes? Eating lots of carbohydrates and sugary foods…

Keto helps you escape this cycle by switching your source of energy to fats instead, which keeps your blood sugar steady.

3 - Keto could reduce your appetite

A study showed that participants on a low-carb keto diet naturally lowered their food intake even though they could eat as much as they wanted.  And this could be one of the reasons why Keto is so good for helping people lose weight. 

4 -  Keto could potentially help with other diseases but more research is needed

The keto diet may protect against Alzheimer's, help to prevent cancer and could potentially help with health problems like PCOS, acne and some neurological diseases. 

5 - Keto may improve your focus and concentration according to many keto dieters

Plenty of people report feeling more focused, alert and energetic when they start following a keto diet.

And if you need a quick-fix to help you focus? Try using one of the herbs mentioned in this guide.

 

Who is Keto for? Who shouldn’t try Keto?

 

Have a read through this section and see which statements apply to you:

 

Keto could be right for you if…

  • Your main aim is weight loss - Folks who’ve struggled with stubborn weight may find that following the keto diet for a period can help them shift it. 
  • You struggle with a sweet tooth and sugar cravings - The keto diet is cold turkey when it comes to sugary processed foods, so trying keto for a month could be just what you need to kick your sugar addiction.
  • You’ve got a big project coming up - The keto diet could help improve your mental clarity and ability to focus.
  • You’re experimenting with diet as a way to treat epilepsy. Many epilepsy sufferers find keto an effective way to manage their condition, but you’ll need to consult a doctor first!

 

Keto may not be right for you if…

  • You have a pre-existing health condition (e.g. an autoimmune condition) - You’ll want to work on healing that first as that way you’ll benefit more from a keto diet.
  • You’re taking insulin for diabetes - The keto diet can lower your blood sugar levels which will affect how much insulin you need to take, so you’ll need to talk to a medical professional about trying keto.
  • Your regular diet is high-carb and full of highly processed foods - Keto is going to be a big change to make! You’ll find it easier to switch to a Paleo diet first and then try Keto.

 

4 Tips for getting started on Keto

And if keto is right for you? Here are a few practical tips to help you get started…

1 - Clear non-keto foods out of your kitchen and restock your cupboards with keto-approved foods instead. It’ll be a lot easier to stick to your diet if you don’t have any unhealthy foods to tempt you!

2 - Boost your ketone levels every morning by stirring half a teaspoon of MCT oil into your morning coffee or adding it to a green juice or smoothie.

3 - Pick one meal per day to skip which is actually easier than it sounds, especially as keto will reduce your appetite. Why do this? One reason is because eating keto is a whole lot easier if you only have to think about two meals, not three! Check out the Keto Breakfast Cook Book or 3-2-1 Keto Meal Plans.

4 - Start off by eating unlimited protein/fat and just focus on keeping carbohydrates under 25g per day. Then, after you’re more comfortable with eating low carb, you can refine the amount of protein/fat you eat.

 

Conclusion

The keto diet is a powerful tool you can use to improve your health - So if you’re looking to lose weight, improve your ability to concentrate or boost your energy levels, then you should learn more about a Keto diet to see if it can be a useful tool for optimizing your health.

Check out the Keto Summit for more information.