The keto diet can be made healthy by making sure you hydrate well and eat right. Here is a diet menu for keto lovers.
The keto diet isn’t healthy, that’s what we’ve been hearing ever since the diet gained momentum. However, the rapid weight loss that results is what keeps keto-lovers going for 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 find out what the secret to making the keto diet work and stay healthy. For those of you about to start your keto journey, here’s what the frenzy is 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 to keto, but here’s how it can work well for you.
How does the keto diet work?
Well, you only need to enter ketosis once to understand 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 source of energy for the brain and other organs,” explains nutritionist Garima Goyal.
“Macronutrients are split so that 70-75% of daily calories come from fat, 20-25% from protein and only 5-10% from carbohydrates. By restricting carbohydrates, the body is forced to break down fat into ketones, leading to a change in energy use,” he adds.
Read also: Avoid These Keto Diet Mistakes That Keep You From Losing Weight
How to get healthy on the keto diet?
A ketogenic diet can be made healthy by focusing on nutrient-dense, whole foods and maintaining a balanced approach. Goyal gives us some helpful 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 heart-healthy.
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2. Include 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 fruits that you can eat. To learn all about fruits on the keto diet, click here.
3. Quality protein
Choose high-quality protein sources such as lean meats, poultry, fish and eggs. Avoid processed meats and choose organic, grass-fed or wild-caught options whenever possible.
4. Watch your macros
Pay attention to your macronutrient ratios. Although a high amount of fat is the main ingredient, it is necessary to have an appropriate balance of protein and fat.
Adequate hydration is important. Drink plenty of water and consider including electrolyte-rich foods or supplements, especially in the early stages of keto adaptation.
6. Diversity is key
Aim for a wide variety of foods to ensure you’re getting a wide spectrum of nutrients. Relying on a variety of whole foods will promote overall health.
Beware of this when on the keto diet
Adapting to ketosis can lead to a phenomenon known as the “keto flu,” which is characterized by fatigue, headaches, and irritability. So don’t think it’s an easy diet and take it slow.
The most important thing is to stay hydrated and balance electrolytes. “Electrolytes may be low due to reduced carbohydrate intake. Consider including foods rich in sodium, potassium and magnesium in your diet, or take supplements if needed,” says Goyal. Another important factor is monitoring protein intake. “While protein is important, don’t overdo it because it can interfere with ketosis. Make sure your protein intake is moderate and meets your specific needs,” says Goyal.
In addition, non-starchy vegetables provide essential fiber to promote digestive health. So be sure to include a variety of vegetables to maintain a balanced nutrient profile. Also, focus on quality fats like avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil. Balance your fat sources for a varied nutrient intake.
In addition, careful meal planning helps ensure 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, monitor your health and well-being regularly. If you experience any adverse effects or have pre-existing health conditions, consult a healthcare practitioner. Not everyone can do keto. Individual responses to the diet may vary, so consider your unique health needs and consult a health care provider or registered dietitian for individualized advice,” says Goyal.
Example of a healthy keto diet plan
- Eggs poached in butter or olive oil or tofu with spinach and cherry tomatoes poached in olive oil
- Avocado slices
- Sauteed spinach in olive oil
- Bulletproof Coffee (coffee blended with grass-fed butter and MCT oil)
- Grilled chicken breast or salmon or cauliflower rice with stir-fried mixed vegetables
- Broccoli or cauliflower florets with cheese sauce
- Mixed green salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing.
A handful of walnuts or almonds
- Zucchini noodles with pesto sauce and grilled shrimp
- Asparagus spears roasted in olive oil
- Caesar salad with bacon and parmesan cheese
Berries like strawberries or raspberries) with whipped cream or chia seed pudding made with unsweetened almond milk and topped with a few chopped nuts.
- Water with lemon throughout the day
- Herbal tea or black coffee optional
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