The keto diet – no to carbs, yes to fat
Despite its high-fat approach, the keto diet is rumoured to leave excess pounds melting away. Although it sounds like a contradiction, it’s actually an effective way to lose weight.
Your cries of “not another faddy diet” can be heard from here, but under closer inspection the keto diet is just a different take on other low-carb plans. The idea is to replace carbohydrates with fats and protein-rich foods. When starved of carbs, the body enters into a metabolic state known as “ketosis”. And once this happens, the body becomes highly efficient at burning fat for energy.
The keto nutrition pyramid
A ketogenic diet consists of some 70% fat, 25% protein and only 5% carbs, meaning it centres around foods such as meat, fish, avocado, butter and nuts. Low-carb veggies like spinach, courgettes, cucumber, lettuce, asparagus and aubergine are also allowed, plus eggs, tomatoes, berries, onions and broccoli.
Eagle-eyed foodies will have already noticed a distinct lack of fruit in the list above. The reason? Most fruit contains high levels of fructose which counts towards your carb intake, meaning there’s no place for fruit in the keto plan. The same applies to bread, cakes, cereals, potatoes, rice, pasta, chocolate, biscuits and other desserts.
Treats to keep you going
But it’s not all bad news for those of you with a sweet tooth. There are a few so-called keto “fat bombs” guaranteed to leave your mouth watering. We’re talking brownie fudge, chocolate cake with peanut butter and peanut butter cups. Because although the diet excludes sugar it gives the green light to fat.
The ketogenic diet is geared at lowering blood sugar levels and aiding weight loss. It’s not a long-term solution though, and you should always seek advice from a doctor before starting any kind of weight loss program. Remember, there are loads of other ways to burn fat if keto doesn’t appeal to you. Most of them involved getting active, either in a gym or the great outdoors.
Have you tried the keto diet?