Nowadays, it seems like a new diet or health trend is popping up every few weeks. With the diets, workout regimens, weight loss stories, and “too good to be true” results that are everywhere, it’s hard to know what to try and what to avoid.
To help with some of that confusion, we decided to break down one of our favorites, the Keto diet. This diet can be a great way to work towards healthier eating and a better understanding of your body’s daily needs.
Keep reading for a look into what makes up the Keto diet and what you should consider if you’re thinking about starting it.
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What Is Keto?
At its simplest, the Ketogenic diet (keto for short) is a low-carb, high-fat diet, which primarily focuses on what your body uses as fuel throughout the day. Typically, carbohydrates are the primary producer of energy for your cells. However, by drastically reducing the number of carbs you eat, your body will begin to use fat and protein as fuel sources.
When this occurs, your body undergoes a process called ketosis! When you are in ketosis, your body becomes very efficient at burning fat for energy.
Keeping your body in ketosis is the end goal of the diet and can only happen with a carefully balanced and maintained plan. So how do you know what to eat, and more importantly, what not to eat?
A Quick Breakdown
Like most diets, the keto diet focuses on cutting down unhealthy sources of sugar and carbs in your diet. In general, it’s recommended to shoot for between 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day. Unfortunately, this means no more candy or alcohol, as well as most types of bread and fruit!
At first, adjusting to the keto diet carb limit can be difficult, but there are tons of plans, recipes, and food guides out there to help you figure out the best foods for you. Thankfully, lots of your favorite healthy foods are still on the menu! Most meats and seafood are encouraged, and full-fat dairy products make up a significant portion of your daily intake.
Before you start, make sure you take the time to plan out your keto menu and research any concerns you might have. While the diet can be beneficial for many people, check with a registered physician or dietician to make sure you’re able to make the switch.
Pros and Cons of Keto Diets
Like most diets, changing to a keto diet can take a lot of effort and discipline. Before you make that decision, here are some pros and cons to consider.
- People who do well with highly structured diets can find this easy to follow.
- The foods in a keto diet can potentially help to reduce your blood sugar levels.
- In some cases, changing to a keto diet can reduce acne.
- Adapting to the lower carb intake amounts can be difficult and can sometimes result in a few days of side effects, such as tiredness and lower motivation, called the “keto flu.”
- The keto flu is often a result of dehydration from the change in diet and is helped by drinking more water and electrolytes daily.
- With a higher focus on fats, there may be an increase in saturated fats in your diet.
- These fats can be harmful in excess, but a balanced, well-planned keto diet takes this into account.
- Because of the drastic change in some diets, the keto diet can be hard to sustain in the long term.
- Changing your diet can be very difficult, but you can make it easier by having a reliable support system around you and staying informed on how you can keep it up.
Some Questions Answered
Beyond the foods and general process of the diet, here are some frequently asked questions that can help you decide if keto is right for you.
Is the Keto Diet the same as the Paleo Diet?
The paleo diet vs. keto diet is a classic debate, and for a good reason. Both diets try to reduce the amount of processed, sugary foods in your life to promote weight loss and general health. The two diets share some similarities, but the keto and paleo diets are focused on two different goals and are not the same.
The Paleolithic (paleo) diet focuses on only eating foods that humans would have eaten in the Paleolithic era, better known as the Stone Age. Though some of the food choices are the same, the keto diet focuses on the food contents rather than the food itself.
How long does it take to get into ketosis?
Reaching ketosis is the end goal of the keto diet, and it makes sense to try and figure out the most effective way to achieve this. However, reaching ketosis isn’t an exact science, and it can differ based on you and how many carbs per day on the keto diet you reach.
Once you’ve begun your new low-carb diet, ketosis can happen in as soon as 2-4 days but can take up to a week or longer for others. Getting to ketosis fast isn’t the goal of the diet, however, and figuring out how to get into ketosis is much more critical.
What are “net carbs,” and how are they different?
There is some debate on how to measure your carb intake on the keto diet, which comes down to the argument of net carbs and total carbs.
Total carbs are reasonably self-explanatory because this is the total amount of carbs you eat in a day. On the other hand, net carbs are the total grams of carbohydrates in a food, minus the fiber and sugar alcohols in that food.
The difference between the two is small, but it can help if you are struggling with the low-carb aspect of the diet. Focusing on net carbs instead of total carbs can broaden the types of food you can eat while keeping the effects of the diet the same.
Making Change Transpire
MCT was founded on similar principles to the keto diet, and we’re committed to making healthy lifestyles easier to achieve. Our MCTBars are keto-friendly superfood snacks made with only 3g Net carbs to provide a healthy, all-natural snack to get you through the day. With all-natural, wholesome ingredients that are high in fat (like MCT oil, the bigger, better version of coconut oil), our bars are a great way to combat hunger at any point of the day.
With our wide selections of flavors for breakfast, snacks, and even desserts, MCT can help you make a positive change to your life. Try one of our bars today, and see how you can begin to fit healthy choices into your everyday life.