Every day we are exposed to new ways of eating or diets that can help us achieve our goals, among these diets there is the Keto diet which has become really popular among people that are trying to achieve their healthy lifestyles.
Over the past years, there has been a rising concern about our health and eating habits, a healthy lifestyle began to be “popular” and all that came along with it.
What is the Keto Diet?
A ketogenic diet (or Keto Diet for short) is an extremely low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat diet. Some people compare the effects of the Keto Diet with Fasting but this is wrong.
Fasting uses the hormonal effect to maximize periods of fat burning by increasing the level of hormones that stimulate metabolism, thanks to the extension of low insulin levels (which naturally passes during sleep and we simply lengthen the do not eat).
The Keto diet, on the other hand, also has extremely “low ” insulin levels (never low in the body, if not stable) for very long periods of time, which promote the formation and maintenance of ketone bodies, and these comply various functions of purification and cleaning in the body, although mainly they are responsible for using fat as the primary energy of the body since there are no carbohydrates.
There is no mimicry at all between fasting and keto, while one uses hormones, the other creates ketone bodies. All diets use fat as a mechanism to burn fat. the main goal of the Keto diet is that the body begins to utilize fat as a main source of fuel, instead of using the energy produced by carbohydrates that produce glucose in our bodies; By doing this we aim to enter a state of “Ketosis”.
What is Ketosis?
As we previously explained, the main goal of the Keto diet is to achieve a state of Ketosis which means that After approximately 48 hours of not receiving more than 50 grams of carbohydrates.
The body is forced to create ketone bodies (ketones), which are the most efficient cells that transform triglycerides (“fat”) into energy and sufficient glucose to maintain stable blood sugar levels. That fat can be directly derived from the food we eat or from accumulated body fat.
When followed correctly, this low-carb, high-fat diet will raise blood ketone levels on blood and it will provide a new fuel source for your cells and cause most of the unique health benefits of this diet.
The body undergoes multiple metabolic changes on a ketogenic diet, the origin of this is the drop in insulin. When this happens, your liver starts producing high numbers of ketones.
Ketones become then the main and most efficient source of energy for mostly all muscles and organs in the body.
What happens when you enter a state of Ketosis?
Once you enter a state of Ketosis your body may go through a series of changes because of all the ketones your liver is producing, among the effects of Ketosis on your body we can find good side effects as well as bad ones. The bad side effects can be:
Once you reach full ketosis you might experience some bad breath, this a common side effect. This happens because the ketone acetone is partly expelled via your breath, which can cause bad or fruity-smelling breath on a keto diet.
Short Term Fatigue
The initial switch to a keto diet can be one of the biggest issues for new dieters. One of the most aggressive side effects can include weakness and fatigue.
These often cause people to quit their diet before they get full ketosis and reap many of the long-term benefits.
The side effects are natural. After several decades of running on a carbohydrate fuel system, your body is forced to adapt to another system.
Headaches can be a common side effect of switching to a ketogenic diet. They may occur as a result of consuming fewer carbohydrates, especially sugar. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can also cause headaches.
The good side effects of this diet are:
You might also experience some weight loss in the short-term and the long-term while doing the Keto diet. Fast weight loss commonly occurs when you start a keto diet and severely restrict carbohydrates.
Hunger reduction may be part of the Keto diet as a side effect due to an increased fat and vegetable intake, along with alterations to your body’s hunger hormones. The ketones themselves may also affect your brain to reduce appetite .
Increased Focus and Energy
When you start a low-carb diet (Keto Diet), your body needs to adjust to burning more fuel fat instead of carbs. When you get into ketosis, a large part of your brain starts consuming ketones instead of glucose, which is a more efficient way of getting energy.
It may take a few days or weeks to start working properly since Ketones are an extremely powerful source of fuel for your brain.
Besides all these side effects, the Keto diet can be used to treat cancer patients, epilepsy, obesity, and diabetes. This diet is designed for clinical use as a nutritional treatment of these serious diseases.
Is it safe to be on a state of Ketosis?
Many people tend to confuse Ketosis with Ketoacidosis which is a serious condition caused by this diet in people with diabetes.
In a state of ketosis in non-diabetic people, the levels of ketone bodies in blood fulfill their normal function but in diabetic people, the body begins to create ketone bodies although it is still eating normally because the cells are not able to use the glucose that is still being eaten and accumulate in the blood.
These ketone bodies end up reacting in the blood along with the glucose that is maintained, creating a toxicity that in most cases, that may be dangerous for the person.
Ketosis, on the other hand, is just a natural metabolic state. As a matter of fact, there are five variations of the Ketogenic Diet which have been published in medical literature as effective treatments for diseases that have an underlying metabolic dysregulation, such as epilepsy, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
Doing the Keto Diet is very difficult, what can I eat?
If you are thinking that the Keto diet is difficult because you can’t eat carbohydrates, it is probably true, many people can’t keep doing this diet in the long run because of the food restrictions it presents.
Here is a list of food you can eat during this diet because you have many options to choose from while setting aside the most common carbohydrates like Pasta, potatoes, bread or rice.
There are so many options for those who decide to start doing the Keto diet like:
Most forms of seafood are free of carbohydrates or low in carbohydrates. Fish and shellfish are also a good source of vitamins, minerals, and omega-3s.
In addition, frequent fish intake has been linked to a decreased risk of disease and improved mental health.
Low Carb Veggies
Low-carb vegetables make great substitutes for high-carb foods. For example, cauliflower can be used to mimic rice or mashed potatoes, “zoodles” can be made from zucchini and spaghetti squash is a natural substitute for spaghetti.
Besides the net carbs in non-starchy vegetables range from 1–8 grams per cup. Vegetables are nutritious, versatile and may help reduce the risk of disease.
Cheese is rich in protein, calcium and beneficial fatty acids, yet contains a minimal amount of carbs. In fact, eating cheese on a regular basis can help to reduce the loss of muscle mass and strength associated with aging.
Yes, you can have as many avocados as you want. Avocados produce 2 grams of net carbs per meal, high in fiber and several nutrients, including potassium.
Meat & Eggs
Meat does not contain carbs and is rich in high-quality protein and several nutrients. Grass-fed meat is the healthiest choice.
Eggs, on the other hand, are one of the healthiest and most versatile foods on the planet. They contain less than 1 gram of carbs each and can help keep you full for hours. They’re also high in several nutrients and may help protect eye and heart health.
These are just some examples of the food types you can eat, fatty foods and protein are always allowed on a Keto Diet so you have a lot of options to make it happen.
How can I make a Keto Diet in Barcelona?
If you are having trouble following a Keto Diet you can contact our nutrition coach at The Healthiest Choice to help you reach your goals. We also offer a Keto option in all our menu for people interested in this diet. Contact us and we will get back as soon as possible