We're only one month into 2020, so there's still plenty of time to get on the diet train and commit to lasting change. One option that's grown increasingly popular recently is the low-carb regimen known as the ketogenic diet.
Those "keto-friendly" labels at the store and the chatter from your friends about being in ketosis are all related to this diet that has been around since the 1920s. So what does it mean to achieve ketosis, and how do you get started on the keto diet?
When your body is in ketosis, your body produces ketones as you cut carbohydrates from your diet. Removing carbs and adding healthy, natural fats to your plate will force your body to start using fat as its primary source of energy. In ketosis, you'll feel less hungry as your body runs off of the ketones in your bloodstream and the fats you're consuming. Optimal ketone levels can increase your energy as well as improve brain health, gut function, and hormone balance.
When you're striving to achieve ketosis or are working to maintain it, these foods will be your best friends.
- High-fiber and low-carb foods, which include almonds, flax seeds, blackberries, raspberries, cauliflower, and cabbage
- Vegetables and greens, such as kale, arugula, bell peppers, broccoli, celery, asparagus
- Heart-healthy fats, such as avocado, fatty fish, coconut oil, and olive oil
- High-quality proteins like meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs should represent 15 to 20% of your daily calories when you're on the keto diet.
You can enter ketosis in only two to four days if you reduce your net carbohydrate total to 20 to 50 carbs per day. Your net carb total equals your total carbs minus your fiber intake, which shows you why fiber is so important in this diet.
In addition to high-carb foods, you'll want to stay away from these items in the grocery store, too.
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and corn
- Many fruits, including oranges, apples, mangoes, pineapples, and bananas
- Sugary items, like syrup, honey, and anything containing high-fructose corn syrup
- Milk and low-fat dairy
During the switch to ketosis, you may experience symptoms of the keto flu as your body transitions from using sugar as its main energy source. Nausea, headaches, low energy, and cravings for carbs and sugar are all part of that transition period. These are simply withdrawal effects that will pale in comparison to how you feel in ketosis.
Are you ready to go keto?
Nature's Market is located on Kent's East Hill and has been in business for more than 40 years. It offers a wide selection of organic and natural foods, supplements, and body care products. You'll also find keto, gluten-free, vegan, and paleo options there.
Stop in today or visit them online. This week, they are offering 25% off Ancient Nutrition by Dr. Josh Axe, and 30% off of Solaray Supplements.