The keto diet is a very low-carb, moderate protein and higher-fat diet. While you take a small number of carbohydrates on a keto diet, you maintain moderate levels of protein and fulfil your energy needs by increasing your fat intake. The increase in fat and the reduction in carb intake puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis. In ketosis, fat from your diet and from your body is turned into small fuel molecules called ketones, which are burned to release energy.
Why we need ketones to fulfil the brain’s energy needs?
On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its energy supply to run mostly on fat but the brain can’t run on fat directly, it can only utilize glucose – or ketones. So, in the liver fats are breakdown into small ketones. These ketones are directly used by the brain for energy.
What to eat on a keto diet?
Here are the foods that you can intake on a keto diet:
Fish and Seafood
They are a rich source of fats and all good for keto-diet, especially fatty fish like salmon. Try eating more of the smaller fish like sardines, mackerel, and herring if you have concerns about toxins.
Use eggs in any of its cooking forms, i.e. boiled, fried in butter, scrambled or as omelets, etc.
Unprocessed meats are keto-friendly. One thing you should keep in mind that keto is a higher-fat diet, with moderate proteins, so you don’t need huge amounts of meat.
Use butter, cheese and heavy cream for cooking. They are all good and keto-friendly. Avoid drinking milk directly as it contains high carb (one glass = 15 grams of carbs), but you can use it sparingly in your coffee.
Nuts should be taken in a moderate amount and also be aware that cashews are relatively high carb, choose macadamia or pecan nuts instead.
Berries are the most favoured choice for people watching their carb intake. A moderate amount of berries are good on keto.
Choose leafy and green vegetables that are grown above the ground. Fresh or frozen – either is fine.
As a basic beginner, you should stick to foods with fewer than 5% carbs. In short, take real low-carb foods like meat, fish, eggs, vegetables and natural fats like butter or olive oil.