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What is the Keto Diet?

The keto diet, or ketogenic diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet that forces your body to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. It does this by drastically reducing your intake of carbohydrates and replacing them with fat. This puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis, where your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose.

The keto diet has been shown to have a number of benefits, including:

  • Weight loss: The keto diet can help you lose weight quickly and effectively.

  • Improved blood sugar control: The keto diet can help improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes or prediabetes.

  • Reduced risk of heart disease: The keto diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

  • Improved brain function: The keto diet can help improve brain function in people with Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disorders.

  • Cancer prevention: The keto diet may help prevent cancer by starving cancer cells of glucose.

However, the keto diet also has some potential dangers, including:

  • The keto flu: The keto flu is a set of symptoms that can occur when you first start the keto diet. It can include fatigue, headache, nausea, and constipation.

  • Kidney stones: The keto diet can increase your risk of kidney stones.

  • Dehydration: The keto diet can cause dehydration because it can make you lose fluids through urination. Drink plenty of water, if your urine is yellow you need to drink more water.

  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies: The keto diet can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies if you don't eat a balanced diet.

The keto diet is not right for everyone. It is important to talk to your doctor before starting the keto diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

The recommended percentages of protein, fat, and carbs for the keto diet are:

  • Protein: 25-30% of your total calories

  • Fat: 70-80% of your total calories

  • Carbs: 5-10% of your total calories

Good carbs to eat on the keto diet include:

  • Non-starchy vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, zucchini, turnip greens, etc.

  • Berries: raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.

  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, etc.

  • High-fat dairy: cheese, cream, butter, etc.

Bad carbs to eat on the keto diet include:

  • Grains: bread, pasta, rice, food made with flour, etc.

  • Starchy vegetables: potatoes, corn, peas, etc.

  • Sugary foods: candy, cake, cookies, soda, juice, dried fruit, etc.

To count carbs for the keto diet, you can use a carb counting app or website. You can also subtract the fiber from the total carbs to get the net carbs. Net carbs are the carbs that your body can actually absorb. If you have Type 2 diabetes you might not be able to subtract the fiber from the total amount of carbs, always check your blood sugar before you eat and 2 hours after you eat. Blood sugar level should be 140 mg/dL or less after eating. Always wash your hands with soap and water, and dry with a clean towel before testing blood sugar levels.

Here are some meal examples for the keto diet:

  • Breakfast: Eggs with avocado, bacon, and spinach

  • Lunch: Salad with grilled chicken or fish, nuts, and seeds

  • Dinner: Steak with roasted vegetables

  • Snacks: Nuts, seeds, cheese, or berries

It is important to note that these are just a few examples, and there are many other ways to follow the keto diet. You can find more keto diet meal plans and recipes online.

If you are considering starting the keto diet, it is important to talk to your doctor first. The keto diet is not right for everyone, and it is important to make sure that it is safe for you

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