What Is Keto Diet?
If you keep up with dietary news at all, you’ll have heard of the latest low-carb diet that has many celebrities singing its praises. You guessed right; it’s the keto diet. Throughout this dietary plan, you eat foods that cause your body to use its fat stores instead of sugar for energy. Ketones are the by-products of the energy-producing fat, and a body that continuously uses ketones for energy is said to be in ketosis. On the keto diet, you can expect your daily meals to contain 10 per cent carbohydrates, 20 per cent protein and 70 per cent fat. Similar diets in the past have included the Atkins Diet Revolution and the South Beach Diet.
As a fitness enthusiast, you’ll likely want to know the impacts of a ketogenic diet on muscle development and strength training. You have to realise that muscles store a substance that is called glycogen in its tissues. When you power through your last set of tricep extensions, you’re using carbohydrate-based glycogen. During the keto diet, your body uses up its glycogen stores and is forced to break down protein for muscle function. When this happens, you’ll lose fat during your workouts, but you can also lose a portion of lean muscle. Since the diet only calls for 20 per cent protein, you may be unable to replace the protein that your muscles need to rebuild and repair after workouts. In this scenario, the keto diet may be a good, short-term solution for those who need to lose high amounts of fat. However, it doesn’t appear to be a viable, long-term solution for overall fitness, nutrition and good health.
The keto diet is extremely restrictive, and practitioners typically rely on the consumption of animal products to keep themselves burning fat as fuel. These meats, eggs and dairy products are known to cause a host of health problems when they are eaten in large quantities. Studies consistently link the consumption of animal products with ailments such as cancer, Type 2 diabetes, gout, rheumatoid arthritis and dementia. For those who want to try the fast, fat loss benefits of the keto diet without the downsides of eating meat, there is a way to do a plant-based version of the keto diet.
Meal plans for the vegan keto diet include an abundance of nuts, seeds, plant oils, leafy greens, sea vegetables, vegetables that grow above the ground, low-sugar berries and natural sugar-free sweeteners such as stevia and xylitol. Foods that you should avoid include starchy root vegetables, high-sugar fruits, grains and legumes. Eliminating healthy, delicious foods such as baked sweet potatoes and mango fruit smoothies from your diet seems like only a short-term, fat loss solution at best. At worst, the conventional, low-fibre keto diet is linked to increases in kidney, liver and gastrointestinal issues.