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All about keto diets and a healthy lifestyle

keto

What is a ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a low carb, high fat diet that offers many health benefits.

It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.

When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.

Ketogenic diets can cause significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has some health benefits.

Types of Keto Diets

There are a few types of the ketogenic diet:

Standard ketogenic diet (SKD)

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Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD)

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Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD)

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High protein ketogenic diet

This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
keto

Ketosis - What is This?

Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs.

It occurs when you significantly reduce your consumption of carbohydrates, limiting your body’s supply of glucose (sugar), which is the main source of energy for the cells.

Following a ketogenic diet is the most effective way to enter ketosis. Generally, this involves limiting carb consumption to around 20 to 50 grams per day and filling up on fats, such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and healthy oils.

It’s also important to moderate your protein consumption. This is because protein can be converted into glucose if consumed in high amounts, which may slow your transition into ketosis.

Health Benefits of Keto Diets

Diet can have benefits for a wide variety of different health conditions:

1

Heart Disease

The ketogenic diet can help improve risk factors like body fat, HDL (good) cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
2

Cancer

The diet is currently being explored as an additional treatment for cancer, because it may help slow tumor growth.
3

Alzheimer’s Disease

The keto diet may help reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and slow its progression.
4

Epilepsy

Research has shown that the ketogenic diet can cause significant reductions in seizures in epileptic children.
5

Parkinson’s Disease

Although more research is needed, one study found that the diet helped improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
6

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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7

Brain Injuries

Some research suggests that the diet could improve outcomes of traumatic brain injuries. 

Foods to Eat

You should base the majority of your meals around these foods:

  • meat: red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken, and turkey
  • fatty fish: salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
  • eggs: pastured or omega-3 whole eggs
  • butter and cream: grass-fed butter and heavy cream
  • cheese: unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella
  • nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
  • healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
  • avocados: whole avocados or freshly made guacamole
  • low carb veggies: green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
  • condiments: salt, pepper, herbs, and spices
fish

Foods to Avoid

Any food that’s high in carbs should be limited. Here’s a list of foods that need to be reduced or eliminated on a ketogenic diet:

  • sugary foods: soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
  • grains or starches: wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
  • fruit: all fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries
  • beans or legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
  • root vegetables and tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
  • low fat or diet products: low fat mayonnaise, salad dressings, and condiments
  • some condiments or sauces: barbecue sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, etc.
  • unhealthy fats: processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
  • alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks
  • sugar-free diet foods: sugar-free candies, syrups, puddings, sweeteners, desserts, etc.
sugar

Keto Tips and Tricks

Start by familiarizing yourself with food labels and checking the grams of fat, carbs, and fiber to determine how your favorite foods can fit into your diet.

Planning out your meals in advance may also be beneficial and can help you save extra time throughout the week.

Many websites, food blogs, apps, and cookbooks also offer keto-friendly recipes and meal ideas that you can use to build your own custom menu.

Alternatively, some meal delivery services even offer keto-friendly options for a quick and convenient way to enjoy keto meals at home.

Look into healthy frozen keto meals when you’re short on time.

When going to social gatherings or visiting family and friends, you may also want to consider bringing your own food, which can make it much easier to curb cravings and stick to your meal plan.


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