How to Prepare for a Keto Diet
By Rachel Carver
The verdict is still out on the overall effectiveness of the keto diet. Some swear by it and credit the low carb, high fat lifestyle for their weight loss. Some medical experts say this diet should only be taken on by type 2 diabetics and that it will not help you maintain your weight loss.
It is important to talk with your doctor and do your research before you make any major diet change. Here are some things to keep in mind before you make the leap into keto.
You Will Not Eat Many Carbs
On the keto diet, only between 5 and 10 percent of your daily calorie intake will come from carbs. This is drastically lower than the average calorie to carb ratio; most people get at least half of their calories from carbs. To achieve this carb reduction, you will need to eliminate most fruit, starchy vegetables, and sugar.
You'll Need to Watch Your Protein
The diet suggests protein should be about 20 percent of your total daily calories. This might work for some people but not for everyone. You'll want to meet with a registered dietitian before starting keto.
You Could Harm Your Body With Too Much Fat
The keto diet is high in saturated fat, and this could increase your heart disease risk. Fat keeps you full longer, but too much fat may not result in weight loss.
You'll Need Supplements
Pure fats such as butter, olive oil, and coconut oil will not give you the vitamins and minerals you need. Your body uses these nutrients constantly, but this diet does not replace them. You'll want to ask your dietitian about supplements so you do not miss important vitamins and minerals. Fruit and root vegetables -- not part of the keto diet -- are also high in antioxidants, which decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Your Gut Might Miss Good Bacteria
The keto diet eliminates foods such as bananas, oats, and onions, all of which contain prebiotics. Prebiotics promote the growth of good bacteria, which help with gut and overall body health. You'll also want to add prebiotics to the list of topics to discuss with your dietitian.
You'll Need to Cook Your Food
Eating out on a keto diet can be very tricky. This diet eliminates foods such as bread, pasta, most salad dressings, and rice. Almost anything that is packaged or processed will not be allowed while following a keto diet. You'll need to set aside time to prepare your food at home. You will also need to carefully read food labels while shopping to stick with low carb items.
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