The Ketogenic Diet: What Beginners Need to Know

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ketogenic diet

Many people have significantly benefited from following the ketogenic diet. Perhaps, this is the main reason why you are considering giving this diet a try as well. But before doing that, it’s best to equip yourself with the facts to make sure that you will truly enjoy its positive impact on your health.

Read further to learn some valuable ketogenic diet facts.

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

The term “keto” comes from the word “ketones,” which is your body’s alternative fuel if there is a shortage of glucose in your system. This is produced when you eat few carbohydrates and a moderate amount of protein. Thus, the ketogenic or keto diet is otherwise known as a low-carb diet.

By lowering your carb intake, your body will be induced into “ketosis,” which is a natural process that your body undergoes so you can survive whenever your food intake is low. By limiting carbohydrates and overloading on fats, your body will begin to burn ketones as its primary source of energy. When you achieve the proper ketone level, you will enjoy plenty of health benefits.

What to Eat and Avoid During Ketogenic Diet

What you eat will greatly depend on how fast you want to reach the state of ketosis. The fewer carbohydrates you eat, the faster you will get into the ketogenic state.

Do Eat:
• Meat, which includes red meat, white meat like turkey and chicken, and pork products like ham, bacon, and sausage

• Fish that is high in fat, such as salmon and tuna

• Dairy products, such as eggs, cheese, and butter (those that come from free-range animals are your best option)

• Green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach

• Oils and dressings, such as ranch, Greek and aioli

• Avocado and low glycemic berries like blackberries and raspberries

• Low-carb sweeteners like stevia

If you find it too difficult to get enough fat as you make the shift from your usual diet to keto, the Brain Octane Oil can help you. This is a flavorless oil that will stimulate your body to yield ketones. You just have to add it to your cooked vegetables and salads.

Also, you can add one teaspoon of this to your one cup of freshly brewed coffee to make your Bulletproof Coffee, along with one tablespoon of grass-fed butter.

Don’t Eat:

• Grains, which include corn, rice, cereal, and wheat

• Sweet items like honey, maple syrup, and agave. This will also include ice cream, cookies, and cake, along with sugary drinks like juices, soda, and smoothies.

• Fruits high in sugar, such as oranges, apples, and bananas

• Starches like sweet potatoes, bread, potatoes, and pasta

• Diet foods, as they are heavily processed and contain lots of sugar

Always bear in mind that the ketogenic diet is high in fat (70%) but moderate in protein (25%) and low in carbs (5%).

7 Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet

1. Weight Loss

Since your body will make use of your body fat as its primary energy source, you will significantly lose weight. Once your insulin level drops, your body will become a fat burning machine.

2. Boosted Energy Levels

Naturally, fats are more satisfying, making you feel satiated for a longer period of time. So if you give your body enough amount of fat, you will be energized all day.

3. Controlled Glucose Level

Because of the food you eat, your body’s sugar levels will significantly be lowered. Studies have shown that the ketogenic diet is an excellent way of managing and even preventing diabetes as opposed to low-calorie diets.

4. Increased Mental Focus

Ketones are some of the best sources of fuel for your brain. By lowering your intake of carbs, your blood sugar level won’t rise, resulting in improved concentration and focus. In fact, an increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids has been found out to enhance cognitive processes in human beings.

5. Enhanced Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels

A low-carb diet can improve your blood pressure. This is because you tend to lose weight when you are on the ketogenic diet.

Also, it improves your cholesterol levels, thus preventing arterial buildup. The ketogenic diet boosts your HDL levels (good cholesterol) and decreases your LDL levels (bad cholesterol).

6. Controlled Seizures in Epilepsy

Studies have shown that the ketogenic diet helps control seizures in patients with epilepsy. In fact, this is one of the recognized therapies for those with uncontrolled epilepsy and those who don’t respond to medications.

7. Acne Treatment

Acne can be minimized or avoided with a reduced dairy intake and a tried-and-tested skin cleansing regimen. But the ketogenic diet can also help. A study has shown that switching to a low-carb diet helps with skin inflammation.

Important Things to Consider

As with most other diets, not everyone can significantly benefit from the ketogenic diet. Special consideration is required when you are breastfeeding and taking medications, especially those for high blood pressure and diabetes.

So as a precaution, it is highly recommended that before starting on the ketogenic diet, you must check with your doctor. This is the best way to avoid the potential issues of the ketogenic diet and ketoacidosis, which happens when your body produces excessive amounts of ketones.

One of the biggest concerns involved in starting the ketogenic diet is Keto flu, or the temporary groggy feeling you will experience for the first couple of days. Expect to feel a bit of discomfort in the form of nausea, headache, and fatigue.

Common side effects will include cramps, constipation, reduced physical performance, and even heart palpitations. These issues are related to a lack of micronutrients or dehydration. So make sure to increase your water intake and consume foods with great sources of vitamins and other micronutrients.

Following the ketogenic diet will have a huge impact on your health. Switching from your usual diet to a low-carb diet can be a bit tough, but this can be made easier and more successful if you know what to expect, apart from what you must and must not eat. Most importantly, make sure to consult your physician before making this change.

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Dave Asprey is the creator of the widely popular Bulletproof Coffee, host of the #1 health podcast, Bulletproof Radio, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, "The Bulletproof Diet." Through his work, the Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur provides information, techniques and keys to taking control of and improving your biochemistry, your body and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you'd expect, without burning out, getting sick, or allowing stress to control your decisions.

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