The term “keto” — which refers to the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet — looks to be one that will stick around in the diet world. The diet claims you can eat as much fat as you want and you will never feel hungry again. And it will even improve your athletic ability.
But what precisely is the ketogenic diet and is the weight loss programme suited for you?
The ketogenic diet is founded on the idea that by starving the body of carbs, which are its main source of energy, you can compel the body to burn fat for fuel, maximising weight loss, as explained by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in their research.
When you eat carbs, your body turns them into blood sugar, also known as glucose, which you can then use as energy.
Since glucose is the body’s most simple source of energy, it is always consumed before your body turns to stored fat for fuel.
The objective of a ketogenic diet is to limit carbohydrate consumption so that the body must burn fat for energy. Ketones are metabolic waste products that are created when fat is broken down in the liver. The body then uses these ketones as fuel in place of glucose.
Following the keto diet necessitates consuming fat at every meal because of its high fat demand. According to “WebMD”, that would look like 165 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrates, and 75 grams of protein in a daily 2,000-calorie diet.
The precise ratio, though, will rely on your unique requirements.
Several beneficial unsaturated fats are permitted on the ketogenic diet, including nuts (almonds, walnuts), seeds, avocados, tofu, and olive oil, according to research from the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
However, it is recommended to consume large amounts of saturated fats from oils (palm, coconut), lard, butter, and cocoa butter.
The keto diet includes protein but it usually doesn’t distinguish between sources of lean protein and those that are heavy in saturated fat, such as beef and bacon.
Fruits and vegetables are another matter. All fruits contain a lot of carbohydrates, although you can have some (often berries) in moderation. Only leafy greens (such as kale, Swiss chard, and spinach), cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, cucumber, celery and summer squashes are considered vegetables (which are also high in carbohydrates).
“Everyday Health” estimates that a cup of chopped broccoli has roughly six carbohydrates.
According to the official website for the low-carb Atkins diet, if you’ve determined that the ketogenic diet is a good fit for your wellness objectives and you want to include fruit in your meal plan, pick fruits with the fewest net carbs, which are the total amount of carbohydrate content in a fruit minus its fibre content (since the body cannot digest fibre).
The healthy lifestyle website “Ruled.me” estimates that the keto diet permits roughly 25g of net carbohydrates per day.
Nutritionists advise choosing the fruit listed below:
According to BBC Food, this red-stalked fruit is rarely seen outside of its spring through mid-summer growing period, despite the fact that it can be frozen or pickled.
The FDA’s findings show that one diced cup of this tart fruit has more than 2g of fibre for only 26 calories.
Protein, potassium, and vitamins C and A are added bonuses. You can savour the fruit’s tangy flavour raw, roasted or puréed in a little, low-carb smoothie.
Just keep in mind to remove the leaves before eating them, as oxalic acid, according to MedlinePlus, can make them toxic when consumed in big quantities.
A research analysis from 2021 found that these berries include flavonoids, potent antioxidants that can lower blood pressure and encourage healthy arteries, lessening your risk of heart disease.
Fresh raspberries provide 64 calories per cup but an incredible 8g of fibre. According to information compiled by “Healthline”, one portion has less than 7g of net carbs and a little over 5g of sugar.
They taste fantastic as a snack or as a garnish for yoghurt or muesli.
Although some individuals mistakenly classify tomatoes as vegetables, they are truly fruits. Relatively recent FDA data show that a cup of cherry tomatoes has about 4g of net carbohydrates and less than 30 calories, making them suitable for a ketogenic diet.
Due to their high water content, tomatoes have less calories than other foods, but study has shown that they also contain a number of antioxidants, such as beta carotene, vitamin C, and lycopene.
“Everyday Health” reports that a 2021 study discovered that lycopene, a plant-based pigment, has anticancer characteristics and may help prevent heart disease.
Star fruit, also known as carambola, is a native of Asia and is more prevalent there than in South Africa, as per Harvard Health. It tastes sour and sweet and is named from the shape it resembles when cut into slices.
And if you’re following a ketogenic diet and want to mix up your meals, this fruit is worth a try.
According to the FDA, a cup of cubed star fruit has roughly 4g of fibre and 5g of net carbs. Additionally, it has only about 40 calories per cup, potassium, and vitamin C.
Blackberries are a terrific addition to your keto diet, whether you use them in a recipe or just nibble on a few as a healthy snack. According to the FDA, a 1-cup portion has just 3g of net carbohydrates and practically no fat (less than half a gramme).
Almost 4g of fibre (13 percent of your DV) and 3.5g of sugar are both present in the same-sized meal. In addition, 117mg of potassium, 15mg of vitamin C, and 14mg of vitamin K are all present in blackberries.
With only 31 calories in a half cup, this fruit is a fantastic weight reduction snack.
According to Everyday Health, a 1/2 cup of sliced avocado contains over 11g of fat and less than 3g of net carbohydrates.
While the fat level makes them nutritionally rich (a 12-cup portion includes 117 calories), a little goes a long way as a sandwich spread, salad topper, or dip. You’ll also receive a good amount of fibre (17.5 percent DV) and potassium (354mg, or 7.5 percent DV).
According to research from the FDA, the high water content of spanspek, like that of most melons, makes it hydrating and helps to keep calories low—around 54 per cubed cup.
Despite having less than 2g of fibre per cup and close to 13g of sugar, spanspek has a manageable amount of carbohydrates per serving, making it suitable for most keto diets. Spanspek, like other fresh fruits, is a rich source of vitamins and nutrients such beta carotene, potassium, and vitamins C and A.
Try having a slice as a light snack or include some in your next salad.
Many low-carb fruits can be used in the diet, despite the fact that fruits are frequently seen as off-limits on the ketogenic diet.
In addition to being low in net carbohydrates and high in fibre, many of these fruits contain a variety of other key vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote general health.
As part of a balanced ketogenic diet, take pleasure in these fruits occasionally together with a selection of other low-carb foods.