What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The keto diet, also known as a low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diet, has become increasingly popular in recent years. It involves consuming large amounts of healthy fats and moderate protein while limiting carbohydrate intake to promote fat burning and weight loss. The goal of this diet is to induce a state called “ketosis,” where your body burns stored fat for energy instead of relying on glucose from carbs.
How does it work? When you consume fewer carbs than your body needs, it starts breaking down stored glycogen in muscles and liver cells until there’s none left. At that point, your body turns to using fat stores for fuel, which leads to ketone production. These ketones are then used by organs like the brain, heart, and kidneys for energy.
Health Benefits of a Keto Diet:
1. Weight Loss – One of the main benefits of following a keto diet plan is weight loss. By reducing carb consumption, your body will start burning more fat, leading to quicker results compared to traditional calorie restriction methods.
3. Reduced Inflammation – Chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and autoimmune disorders. Studies have shown that a keto diet may reduce systemic inflammation.
4. Lower Risk of Heart Disease – High cholesterol and triglyceride levels increase the risk of heart disease. Research suggests that a keto diet can improve these markers, lowering the risk of heart problems.
5. Enhanced Cognitive Function – Some studies suggest that a keto diet may enhance cognitive function, particularly memory and focus. This could be due to increased ketone production, which provides an alternative source of energy for the brain.
How to Follow a Keto Diet Plan:
To follow a keto diet successfully, you need to track your macronutrient ratios carefully. Here’s what they should look like:
Fat: 70%-80% of total daily calories
Protein: 15%-25% of total daily calories
Carbs: less than 50 grams per day
Here are some examples of keto-friendly recipes:
1. Baked Salmon with Avocado Salsa – Cook salmon fillets in the oven with lemon juice and herbs. Serve with avocado salsa made from diced tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno pepper, lime juice, cilantro, and salt.
2. Zucchini Noodles with Meatballs – Use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles instead of pasta. Mix ground turkey or beef with Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, egg, and breadcrumbs before forming into meatballs. Brown them in a skillet with garlic and onion before serving over the zoodles.
3. Cauliflower Fried Rice – Steam cauliflower florets until tender, then pulse in a food processor with soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Stir-fry with eggs, peas, carrots, and green onions.