What is the Ketogenic (Keto) Diet?

Does the ketogenic diet work, or is it just another fad? Here is our simple guide to understanding the keto diet and finding out if it is right for you and your lifestyle. You might be surprised with what foods you can eat!

As you look to lose weight or live a healthier life, you might think that turning to the keto diet is right for you. This low-carb lifestyle has become a favourite among everyone looking to boost health. Before switching your lifestyle completely, you want to do your research and make sure that the ketogenic diet is right for you.  You need to know what foods you should avoid and which ones to add.

We’ve got the tips and guidance you need to make an informed choice.

man and woman making salad in kitchen

What is the ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet continues to grow in popularity. Studies find that this low-carb, high-fat way of eating enables people to lose weight while relieving symptoms of chronic illnesses such as epilepsy and diabetes.

It’s natural to assume that this way of life is new and a trend that will go away. That is simply not true. In fact, fasting and similar regimens have treated chronic illness since as early as 500 BC. The ketogenic diet was used for epilepsy back in the 1920s. It continued to be a popular treatment for two decades until anti-epileptic drugs hit the scene. During the past 15 years, there’s been more of an interest in this lifestyle, used by ordinary people.

Blue plate with green salad

Typically, the keto diet limits daily carb intake from 20 to 50 grams each day. This can help take the body into a metabolic state called ketosis, where it uses ketones broken down from fats consumed to fuel the body. These might seem challenging to some, but there are plenty of foods that fit into this lifestyle. If this standard format doesn’t work for you, there are some other variations to the plan. You can opt for the MCT ketogenic diet, cyclical diet or a high protein option instead.

salad bowl with fork and greens

What type of foods should you avoid while eating keto?

You want to avoid anything with sugar or carbs when you eat keto. This includes candy, soda, juice, most fruits, pasta, beer, bread and rice. You also want to avoid root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, beets and turnips. Aside from sugar, you will also want to cut out other sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, corn syrup and agave nectar.

While the list quickly feels restrictive, there are plenty of foods that you can enjoy while eating keto.

jar of honey and honey on table

What foods are typically known as keto friendly?

The possibilities regarding what you can eat are endless. Fill your diet with unprocessed meat, fish, eggs, high-fat dairy, nuts and berries. There are also many vegetables to incorporate. Consider adding anything that grows above ground to your recipes for a nutrient boost. These include cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini, broccoli and avocados. 

You must also be careful with what drinks you choose on the keto diet. Consider increasing your water intake because this is the healthiest drink option available. Aside from that, you can also have coffee with no sugar, unsweetened tea or bone broth.

toast with avocado and boiled eggs

Before changing your diet, you should always consult a dietitian.

Before changing your macronutrients, it’s advised you consult a health care provider, such as a dietician. Pop in your location below, and we’ll show you a list of local dietitians near you.

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      Brit McDowell

      Lifestyle Specialist & Subject Matter Expert

      Brit McDowell is a Product Specialist at Localsearch with a background in marketing, business and tourism management. Aside from her specialisation in technical processes, Brit is known for her green thumb and growing succulent collection, love of dogs (especially Dalmatians), eye for home interior and fervour for travel. Brit is also a Lifestyle Specialist on the Localsearch Blog and enjoys sharing her research and knowledge in home and gardening services, food, beauty and general lifestyle tips and tricks.