The Keto Diet is Perfect for Bacon Lovers
While not new, the ketogenic diet is gaining popularity as a means of burning fat, helping many people to better manage their weight. It achieves this by severely limiting the daily intake of carbohydrates, generally allowing individuals to have just 50 grams of carbs per day. This is equivalent to one plain bagel or a cup of white rice. The fascination with the keto diet is in what it does allow. If you love bacon, butter, and avocados, this may be the diet for you.
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
Beginning with the basics, most people are curious to know just how the keto diet works, especially once they learn that they can continue eating foods high in saturated fats. Essentially, this diet rearranges the blocks in the food pyramid. As previously mentioned, carbs are cut down to 50 grams per day, though that number may be even lower for diabetics or others with a troubled medical history. Replacing those carbs are healthy fats, making up 80% of the person’s diet, and protein, comprising the remaining 20% of food intake.
Normally, an average American eats 50% carbs, 30% fat, and 15% protein.
Under usual circumstances, the body breaks carbohydrates down into glucose, which is then either burned for energy or stored as glycogen. In the keto diet, those carbs are missing, forcing the body to use fat, which is transformed into fatty acids. Those acids are sent to the liver, where they undergo another change, becoming ketones. The body and brain feed on ketones, during a process called ketosis, fueling the fat-burning cycle.
What Exactly Can You Eat on the Keto Diet?
It can be confusing to know what foods you can eat and which ones you should avoid, so many experts have put together comprehensive lists. Essentially, you want to look at the level of carbohydrates in any given substance and avoid those which have more than 5% carbs per serving. While this means potatoes, pasta, and bread are off limits, the keto diet also excludes beer, soda, and juice consumption, as well as fruits, donuts, and chocolate bars.
What does that leave? Below is a general ketogenic diet food list to get you started:
- Natural fats, such as olive oil and butter
- Fish and other types of seafood
- Red meats
- Vegetables that grow above ground
As with any diet, there are restrictions to what foods can be enjoyed. For instance, processed red meats should be avoided and, generally, red meat should be eaten moderately. While carbs are the enemy of the keto diet, fats are your friend, because they help the body convert more fats during the ketosis process.
What Can the Ketogenic Diet do for You?
Because the ketogenic diet uses fat cells as a source of energy, the primary benefit is weight loss. This means insulin levels will drop and your body will stop storing the fat you take in. Research has found that this makes the keto diet much more effective in weight management than traditional low-fat, high carb diets usually recommended by nutritionists.
Additionally, the keto diet can help diabetics control their blood sugar and can be effective in preventing the onset of diabetes altogether. The foods incorporated in the keto diet cause glucose levels to drop, giving individuals better control over their blood sugar levels. Many diabetics reported being able to better manage their condition with the keto diet.
By avoiding spikes in blood sugar, the brain is better regulated, improving concentration and memory. Recent research has indicated that a higher intake of fatty acids contributes to greater mental focus. In the long term, this may mean decreased degeneration of mental functioning, as we age.
While the keto diet may not appeal to everyone, there’s no denying that it offers a wealth of benefits. By keeping the body in a constant state of ketosis, this diet turns the body into a fat-burning machine, which can affect conditions like diabetes, heart health, and blood pressure. Most people who have tried the keto diet report feeling happier and healthier.