Keto diet is not healthy is something that we have been hearing even since the diet gained momentum! However, the rapid weight loss it leads it is what keeps keto-lovers going for more. But what if we told you that there was a way to make your favourite keto diet healthy?
If you are jumping with joy, just the way we did when we discovered this, read on know the secret to make keto diet wholesome and healthy. For those of you who are about to initiate their keto journey, here is 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 of keto too, but here is how it can work well for you!
How does keto diet work?
Well, you only need to enter the state of ketosis once to realise the impact 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 divided as such that 70-75% of daily calories are from from fat, 20-25% from protein, and only 5-10% from carbohydrates. By restricting carbohydrates, the body is forced to break down fats into ketones, leading to a shift in energy utilization,” she adds.
Also Read: Avoid making these Keto diet mistakes that aren’t letting you lose weight
How to make keto diet healthy?
The ketogenic diet can be made healthy by focusing on nutrient-dense, whole foods and maintaining a well-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 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 some fruits also that you can eat. Click here to know all about fruits during keto diet.
3. Quality protein
Select high-quality protein sources such as lean meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. Avoid processed meats and opt for organic, grass-fed, or wild-caught options when possible.
4. Watch your macros
Pay attention to your macronutrient ratios. While high fat is a key component, it is essential to have an appropriate balance of protein and fats.
5. Stay hydrated
Adequate hydration is crucial. Drink plenty of water and consider including electrolyte-rich foods or supplements, especially during the initial stages of keto adaptation.
6. Variety is key
Aim for a diverse range of foods to ensure you’re getting a broad spectrum of nutrients. Relying on a variety of whole foods will contribute to overall health.
Beware of this when on 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 it is an easy diet and go slow with it.
The most important thing is to stay hydrated and balance your electrolytes. “Due to reduced carbohydrate intake, electrolytes can be low. Consider including sodium, potassium, and magnesium-rich foods in your diet, or use supplements if necessary,” says Goyal. Another pertinent factor is to monitor protein intake. “While protein is essential, don’t go overboard as this may interfere with ketosis. Ensure your protein intake is moderate and aligns with your specific needs,” says Goyal.
Besides this, non-starchy vegetables provide essential fibre, promoting digestive health. So, make 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 diverse nutrient intake.
Besides this, thoughtful meal planning helps ensure you meet your nutritional needs and avoid potential nutrient deficiencies.
“Some foods may contain hidden carbohydrates. Be mindful of condiments, sauces, and processed foods that might contribute to carb intake. Also, regularly monitor your health and well-being. If you experience any adverse effects or have pre-existing health conditions, consult with a healthcare professional. Everyone cannot do keto. Individual responses to the diet can vary, so consider your unique health needs and consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice,” says Goyal.
Sample healthy keto diet plan
- Scrambled eggs cooked in butter or olive oil or Scrambled tofu cooked with spinach and cherry tomatoes in olive oil
- Avocado slices
- Spinach sautéed in olive oil
- Bulletproof coffee (coffee blended with grass-fed butter and MCT oil)
- Grilled chicken breast 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 spears 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