What is the Keto Diet?

Over-consumption of food is one of the primary reasons for significant weight gain. It is on this premise that the ketogenic diet, popularly known as the keto diet, was born.

The keto diet, simply put, is a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carbohydrate diet that is proven effective to burn fats faster. Plus, you get to eat your delicious omega-3 salmon and tender steak.

How does it work?

The whole idea of the keto diet is to obtain more calories from fats and proteins than from carbs. The bodies of keto dieters then learn to use ketones (the byproducts of fatty acids when disintegrated) than glucose from carbohydrates for energy conversion. This state is called ketosis.

When you alter your diet such that you consume less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, your fuel, which is glucose, runs out. This forces your body to break down proteins and fats for alternative sources of energy. Normally, the switching of energy resource happens less than a week.

How long should you be on keto diet?

Any form of restrictive dieting for the purpose of shedding fats only should be short term. When done for a prolonged period of time, it potentially causes nutritional deficiencies and decreased productivity, along with other unwanted side effects.

A period of 3 to 6 months is enough to achieve a significant weight loss. This short period is justifiable, given that it requires more calories to convert fats into energy. Anything longer than 6 months should be consulted with your Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

What is the typical keto diet plan?

When undertaking the keto diet, it’s best to do a weekly meal plan so you won’t end up lost in the process, not knowing the right foods to eat and ending up cheating.

Your food choices must include a generous amount of proteins. Eat meat, such as grass-fed beef, seafood high in omega 3 (salmon, mackerel, oysters, seaweed, sardines, etc.), and dark-meat chicken. However, avoid cold cuts and processed meat products, particularly those coated with sugary sauces. Go organic whenever possible.

Load up on oils and fats. Food sources include avocado, coconut oil, butter, olive oil, walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds. Also, don’t forget your green leafy vegetables and less-starchy fruits to fill your system with nutrients.

Stay away from food with high trans fat, sugar, and preservatives, lest you beat the purpose of being on a diet program. Your goal is to take in more good fats, not bad fats. As to how much sugar can you have on keto diet, it depends on your body needs since each person is different from the other. So consulting with your nutritionist is helpful.

Experts say that generally an average person on a keto diet must consume less than 50 grams of total carbohydrates daily, and this count already includes your sugar intake.

What are the benefits of keto diet?

While many people intentionally put themselves in a keto diet program for the purpose of shedding off fats, some are compelled to engage in restrictive dieting because of health reasons.

Patients who have prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes are recommended for medical nutritional therapy which restricts their intake of carbohydrates and sugar. This low-carb diet allows dietitians to manage their patients sugar spikes or generally the insulin production.

Cancer cells are believed to thrive in sugar. With low-carbohydrate diets like the keto diet, the production of insulin, the hormone accountable for storing and converting sugar, is lowered.

Likewise, the level of bad cholesterol in the body also decreases along with decreased insulin production. This means a healthier heart and less risk of cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, stroke, and hardened arteries.

Some other medical disorders that the keto diet has helped are the following: polycystic ovary syndrome, epileptic seizures, and brain-related disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s).

Does the keto diet benefit the skin?

The answer is an astounding yes. Carbohydrates have been associated with skin problems like the dreaded acne. The development of acne is linked to insulin. Nonetheless, further studies are needed to validate this claim.

Are there known side effects of keto diet?

Commonly, the side effects are temporary and not severe such as constipation and low glucose levels. In some other cases, more serious side effects occur like keto rash, kidney stones, keto flu, and acidosis.

Hence, it’s highly important that before embarking on any diet program, you must consult with your registered dietitian nutritionist.

What You Need To Know About the Low Carb Way of Eating

The low carb way of eating has been around for decades. While it did have a shaky and controversial beginning, it has already gained mainstream acceptance. And if you are unfamiliar with this kind of lifestyle, then this article is for you. Here are the things that you need to know about this kind of diet, including the types of low carb diets.

The Basic Principles of a Low Carb Way of Eating

Like all types of diets, the low carb way of eating relies on a set of principles to help guide those who wish to observe such a lifestyle.

Low Carbs, Moderate Proteins, High Fat

As a matter of rule, the diet should have low amounts of carbohydrates, moderate amounts of proteins, and high levels of fats. As to the exact number of grams or ounces that one has to adhere to, everything depends on the type that one will use.

Fats for Carbs

One principle in low-carb diets is to substitute carbohydrate-rich foods for food items that are rich in healthy fats. For example, one can include eggs, meats, seafood, and cheese in the diet instead of bread, candies, juices, pasta, and rice.

Types of Low Carb Diets

The low carb way of eating focuses on reducing the amount of carbohydrates consumed. The next most logical question will be, how low can you go when it comes to carbohydrate intake? Unfortunately, the amount of carbs you can take depends on the type of diet that you are going to observe.

Low Carb Diet

The maximum amount of carbohydrates that you can consume in a typical low carb diet is 150 grams. Most diet practitioners categorize this diet plan into three groups.

The first group aims for 100-150 grams of carbohydrates per day. It is ideal for the maintenance of ideal body weight. It also works for people who engage in high intensity exercises.

The second group targets to consume anywhere between 50 and 100 grams of carbs per day. This is ideal for maintaining weight or for a more gradual loss of weight.

The third group are those who will consume less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. This is for those who need to lose weight fast.

Ketogenic Diet

The main goal of this low carb diet is to induce a metabolic process called ketosis. As such, in addition to low carbohydrate intake, one has to consume larger amounts of both protein and fat. In strict ketotic diets, the individual does not consume more than 20 grams of carbs per day. On the average, however, carbs are limited to about 50 grams per day.

LCHF (Low Carb, High Fat)

The focus here is on whole and unprocessed foods. These can include lean meats, healthy fats, nuts, berries, eggs, seafood, dairy products, and vegetables. The calories consumed per day can be as low as 20 grams or as high as 100 grams.

Atkins Diet

One of the most popular types of low carb diets is the Atkins diet. It is a 4-phase diet plan that starts with a 2-week consumption of less than 20 grams of carbs per day. As you progress with the diet, you begin introducing other carbs. Upon reaching the weight goal, additional carbs are added to slow down the weight loss process.


Very few people observe the Zero-Carb diet, if any. This means the complete elimination of all food items that contains carbohydrates. Since most of these foods are vegetables and fruits, this type of low carb diet can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Is Low Carb Diet for Everyone?

People with diabetes, kidney disease, or high blood pressure should never go on a low-carb diet. Too much fat can complicate heart and blood vessel diseases. Excessive proteins can overburden the kidneys. Low-carb diets can also lead to ketosis and produce keto breath. For those with gout, too much protein can lead to flare-ups.

Observing a low-carb diet can be a great way to lose weight. It can also help address a few other health problems. But this is a way of eating that is not for everyone. It is best to talk to your physician if going on a low carb diet is going to be good for you or not.