The Keto diet is not healthy, that’s something we’ve been hearing since the diet gained momentum! However, the rapid weight loss this brings leaves keto enthusiasts wanting more. But what if we told you there was a way to make your favorite keto diet healthy?
If you’re jumping for joy just like we did when we discovered this, read on to discover the secret to making the keto diet wholesome and healthy. For those of you about to start your Keto journey, here’s what it’s all about. The ketogenic diet, commonly known as the keto diet, is a dietary approach characterized by low carbohydrate intake, moderate protein consumption, and high fat intake. Like most diets, there are side effects of keto, but here’s how it can work well for you!
How does the keto diet work?
Well, you only have to get into ketosis once to realize the impact the keto diet can have on your fitness goals. “When carbohydrate intake is significantly reduced, the body begins to burn fat for fuel. This process produces ketones in the liver, which serve as an alternative energy source for the brain and other organs,” explains dietitian Garima Goyal.
“The macronutrients are distributed so that 70-75% of daily calories come from fat, 20-25% from protein and only 5-10% from carbohydrates. Restricting carbohydrates forces the body to break down fats into ketones, leading to a shift in energy expenditure,” she adds.
Also Read: Avoid Making These Keto Diet Mistakes That Are Keeping You From Losing Weight
How do you make a keto diet healthy?
The ketogenic diet can be made healthy by focusing on nutritious, whole foods and taking a balanced approach. Goyal gives us some useful tips to ensure a healthy keto diet.
1. Choose healthy fats
Avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil are perfect keto foods. These fats provide essential nutrients and are healthy for the heart.
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2. Add vegetables
Despite the low-carb nature of the keto diet, prioritize non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers. There are also some fruits you can eat. Click here to know everything about fruit on the keto diet.
3. Quality protein
Select high-quality protein sources such as lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Avoid processed meat and choose organic, grass-fed or wild-caught options whenever possible.
4. View your macros
Pay attention to the proportions of your macronutrients. While high fat content is an important component, it is essential to have the right balance of protein and fat.
5. Stay hydrated
Adequate hydration is crucial. Drink plenty of water and consider incorporating electrolyte-rich foods or supplements, especially during the initial stages of keto adaptation.
6. Variety is key
Aim for a variety of foods to ensure you get a broad spectrum of nutrients. Relying on a variety of whole foods will contribute to overall health.
Keep this in mind if you are following a keto diet
Adapting to ketosis can lead to a phenomenon known as the ‘keto flu’, characterized by fatigue, headaches and irritability. So don’t think that it is an easy diet and take it easy.
The most important thing is to stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes balanced. “Due to the reduced carbohydrate intake, electrolytes may be low. Consider including sodium-, potassium-, and magnesium-rich foods in your diet, or take supplements as needed,” says Goyal. Another relevant factor is monitoring protein intake. “While protein is essential, don’t overdo it as it can disrupt ketosis. Make sure your protein intake is moderate and suits your specific needs,” says Goyal.
In addition, non-starchy vegetables provide essential fiber, which aids digestion. So make sure you include a variety of vegetables to maintain a balanced nutritional profile. Also focus on quality fats like avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil. Balance your fat sources for a varied nutrient intake.
In addition, thoughtful meal planning ensures that you meet your nutritional needs and avoid potential nutrient deficiencies.
“Some foods may contain hidden carbohydrates. Be aware of condiments, sauces and processed foods that can contribute to carbohydrate intake. Also check your health and well-being regularly. If you experience side effects or have pre-existing health conditions, consult a healthcare professional. Not everyone can do keto. Individual responses to the diet may vary, so consider your unique health needs and consult a healthcare provider or registered dietitian for personalized advice,” says Goyal.
Example of a healthy keto diet plan
- Scrambled eggs cooked in butter or olive oil or scrambled eggs cooked with spinach and cherry tomatoes in olive oil
- Slices of avocado
- Spinach fried in olive oil
- Bulletproof coffee (coffee blended with grass-fed butter and MCT oil)
- Grilled chicken fillet or salmon or cauliflower rice stir-fried with mixed vegetables
- Broccoli or cauliflower florets with cheese sauce
- Mixed green salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing.
Handful of nuts or almonds
- Zucchini noodles with pesto sauce and grilled shrimp
- Asparagus roasted in olive oil
- Caesar salad with bacon and Parmesan cheese
Berries such as strawberries or raspberries) with whipped cream or chia seed pudding made with unsweetened almond milk and topped with a few crushed nuts.
- Water with lemon throughout the day
- Herbal tea or black coffee, if desired