TO KETO OR NOT TO KETO DIET?

A new diet fad seems to pop up by the minute and disappear even quicker. Obesity has become one of the world's biggest health problems. So it comes as no surprise that many new diets emerge to try to combat this, including the ever so popular ketogenic diet. 

The keto diet has been garnering a lot of attention and it seems like it’s here to stay for a while. Some love it. Some hate it. Before you decide to give it a go, there are some important things for you to know.

Karina Heinrich_Cookbooks 1 2018.jpg

Keto Who?

The keto diet is very low-carb, high in fat, and moderate in protein. (Sorry, pasta lovers!) It involves drastically reducing your carbs and replacing them with fats. With so few carbs, you put your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes super efficient at burning fat instead of carbs for energy.

Will My Scale Like It?

The keto diet can be an effective weight loss diet because it’s super filling and usually doesn’t require lots of calorie counting. But getting rid of your carbs and sticking to it is not an easy feat for most. Research shows that the keto diet is far superior to the recommended low-fat diet. People on a keto diet can lose 2.2 times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet. Those pounds can be a significant difference to most.

Hello, Bacon!

Okay, so here are the top food examples you are allowed to eat on the keto diet. (Make sure to put that bagel in your hands down while you read this list.).

  • Eggs: Whole eggs (Yup, eat the whole delicious egg.)

  • Meat: Chicken, ham, red meat, sausage, turkey.

  • Fatty fish: Salmon, trout, tuna.

  • Butter and cream: Enough said.

  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds.

  • Unprocessed cheese: Mozzarella, cheddar, goat.

  • Healthy oils: Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil.

  • Avocados: Whole avocados.

  • Low-carb veggies: Most all green veggies, tomatoes, peppers, etc.

 

Adios, Carbs!

In short, nearly all carb sources are a big fat (no pun intended) “no-no.”

Here are a few examples of foods that need to be highly reduced or eliminated while on the keto diet:

  • Fruit: All fruit, except tiny portions of berries (blueberries, blackberries and strawberries.)

  • Grains or starches: Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereals (and everything made from these products.)

  • Beans/legumes: Chickpeas, peas, kidney beans, lentils.

  • Root vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots.

  • Alcohol: Many alcoholic beverages can throw you out of ketosis due to its high carb content.

  • Sugary everything: Desserts (ice cream, cakes, cookies, candies), soda, fruit juices.

 

The Nasty Side Effects!

Now, let’s chat the cons and potential negative health effects of the keto diet:

  • Keto breath: Gross – keto breath is a real thing and it’s definitely not a plus.

  • Foggy, headaches, bad moods:  Because carbs are a major energy source to the brain, when we deprive ourselves we risk fatigue, moodiness, and even anxiety.

  • Weak bones: When ketones are your main source of energy, a buildup may occur, depleting calcium and leading to a decrease in bone density and increasing the risk of a broken bone. Ouch!

  • Metabolism halt: The keto diet can mimic starvation, and your body clings to every calorie you come close to.

  • Yo-Yo: Once you go back to your normal diet. It’s very easy to regain your weight lost back and balloon up.

Don’t Leave The Vegetarians Out!

Eggs, dairy and plant-based meats will be key for a vegetarian curious about the keto diet. The ratios will always remain the same: 75-80% fats, 15% proteins and the rest as low carb vegetables and fruits.

*A Few Vegetarian Food Options: Eggs, dairy, tempeh, tofu, and seitan, and plant-based protein powders, avocados, nuts, non-starchy vegetables (i.e. leafy greens, green beans, mushrooms, peppers and cauliflower)

 

To Keto or Not To Keto?

Bottom Line:

If you’re extremely curious about the keto diet and love the food plan, then give it a try. But my recommendation is to stick to this eating-style for the short-term, around two weeks. I personally love fruits too much to completely cut them from my day-to-day diet. Plus, good old-fashioned clean eating, exercising and calorie management are all less oxidative stress, which is so much better for our bodies in the long-term, especially for aging.

Okay, you can pick your bagel back up now...

Go to www.karinaheinrich.com to learn more about The Karina Method and how you can put yourself and your health first today.

Karina Heinrich