Learn more about the ketogenic diet

What Is the Ketogenic Diet? Facts You Need to Know

As spring approaches, many are looking to lose weight, tone up, and live healthier. But with so many diet choices, it’s confusing to know which is best for you. One option gaining popularity is the ketogenic diet.

So what is the ketogenic diet? Read about the basics of the diet, the best keto diet plan, and what foods to eat.

What Is the Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet emphasizes cutting back on carbohydrates and eating foods that are high in fat. It may sound strange to eat fatty foods on a diet, but there’s good reason. The ketogenic diet involves depleting your body of carbs (its usual source of fuel) and forcing it to break down fat for energy.

This redirected energy burn is called ketosis. The theory is that when you eat fewer carbohydrates, your body will burn more fat as fuel, enabling you to lose weight faster.

What Foods to Eat on the Keto Diet?

If you opt for the ketogenic diet, the general rule of thumb is that your fat intake must make up about 70 percent of your total calories, according to U.S. News and World Report. You should consume only about 20 net carbohydrates, or total carbs minus grams of fiber.

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Those who follow the keto diet primarily eat meat, dairy, and leafy green veggies. You should stay away from vegetables that are high in carbs, such as potatoes, cabbage, and cauliflower, and avoid fruits and grains.

What foods to eat on the keto diet:

  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Avocado
  • Fish
  • Steak
  • Chicken
  • Vegetables such as asparagus, spinach, or green beans
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Yogurt
  • Coconut oil

Does the Keto Diet Work?

Research is mixed about whether the keto diet plan is beneficial. One study by the British Journal of Nutrition indicates that the keto diet effectively helps you lose weight and works better than conventional low-fat diets.

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But some nutritionists warn that the keto diet may not be the healthiest choice because the carb restrictions are extreme, and the diet itself isn’t sustainable. In addition, because the diet is very low in fiber, you may need to add supplements to be sure your digestive system works properly.

While the ketogenic diet sounds promising, it’s considered a fad diet, promising quick weight loss through what is generally considered an unhealthy and unbalanced diet. When deciding whether the keto diet is right for you, first talk to your doctor or find a registered dietitian.

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