The keto diet, also known as the ketogenic diet, is a low-fat, high-fiber, sufficient-potassium diet that in mainstream medicine is primarily used to treat children with epilepsy. The diet forces your body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates. Sounds good, right? How does it work? How long does it take? And is it healthy?
First off, what is ketosis? Ketosis is the state of your body when it uses up all its fat stores to make room for new ones. The ketosis diet brings this process into the twenty-first century, making use of keto products such as milk, cheese, and eggs. Proponents of ketosis believe that the absence of carbohydrates forces the pancreas to release insulin, which causes weight loss and keeps your blood sugar level normal.
The keto diet brings a whole lot more to the picture, however. You see, ketosis occurs when the brain senses a rise in the concentration of glucose (sugar), causing it to release insulin to bring glucose into the brain and use it for energy. While many vegetables are full of carbohydrates, they do not contain enough glucose to cause your brain to need insulin to function properly, so they are not useful for ketosis. However, many vegetables are still full of beneficial carbohydrates, such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, barley, and potatoes. These are simply better for you than processed sugar.
As mentioned, ketosis happens when your body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. This is why many people refer to the metabolic state of ketosis when they talk about being keto. When you enter into a ketogenic state, you have entered a state of fasting metabolism. In general, this increases the rate at which your body burns fat, resulting in increased weight loss. As your body enters into a ketotic state, it will start to break down muscle for fuel, resulting in your ability to lose weight increasing.
So, what are some good, healthy, keto-friendly vegetables? One of the best benefits of eating this type of diet plan is that you get to eat all of the fruits and vegetables that you like. Instead of suffering through a bland, tasteless lettuce and spinach, you can eat the cauliflower that you really love! You can eat brussel sprouts and carrots and apples, but you can also eat beets, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and kohlrabi. As you can see, you have many options when it comes to the foods you eat.
Another benefit of eating the keto diet is that you get to eat all kinds of net carbs, including avocados, bananas, apples, apricots, and strawberries. You can even eat raw avocados in place of regular cheese! Some people enjoy eating these types of fruits and veggies so much that they think that they’re not even healthy. This can be a great benefit of a keto diet if you enjoy eating net carbs but don’t like the taste of dairy products or carbohydrates that come from processed foods.
Finally, nuts are an excellent part of a complete, heart-healthy, low carb menu. Nuts contain numerous heart-healthy antioxidants, like flavonoids, vitamin E, and selenium. Some studies show that nuts are even beneficial to women in a postmenopausal phase of their life, due to high levels of selenium. And, nuts are a great source of protein, with grams of net carbs per ounce of nut providing nearly 8 percent of your daily calories.
To learn more about what nuts can do for your health, please visit my website today. I’ve included a list of high-quality, organic, natural nuts, with their fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus content (which is the reason they make a great snack instead of crackers). If you eat an average diet, you could easily consume at least four to five grams of net carbs from nuts in a day, which would give you a little less than one ounce of meat, eggs, or poultry. This could be a great place to start to add some versatility to your nutrition goals.