National Keto Day: Will It Work For Me?
If you’ve taken the decision to try a new dietary regime this year, it is likely that you have come across the ketogenic diet. We discuss the benefits and drawbacks, assessing how it can be undertaken to contribute to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
What is it?
Put simply, the keto diet involves consuming very low amounts of carbohydrates, replacing them with high amounts of fat instead. Typically, providing you eat less than 50 grams of carbs per day, your body will enter a metabolic state of ketosis within 2-4 days. However, some may require fewer carbs and more days in order to reach ketosis and these figures are dependent on factors like physical activity level, metabolism, age, and intake levels of other nutrients.
Ketosis begins when your body starts to burn fat as the main source of its energy through the use of ketone bodies which fuel your brain and muscles.
Is it good for me?
People who partake in the keto diet report a number of positive benefits. For instance, a reduction in hunger, something that is very important when weight loss is the goal. Weight loss itself tends to be faster on a low-carb diet. This is due to lower insulin levels caused by excess water being flushed. Keto has also been linked to a drastic reduction in visceral fat which is usually lodged around organs, as well as lower levels of triglycerides (fat molecules which circulate in the bloodstream), blood sugar, and blood pressure. There have also been links to lower numbers of seizures in epilepsy sufferers, offering hope that keto may be able to reduce the severity of a number of other brain conditions.
Image: Some carbs have earned their right to stay.
Whilst technically you could still consume a small number of carbs whilst in a state of ketosis, there are a number of delicious staples that you would have to get used to going without. It is for this reason that the diet can be extremely tough for an individual to stick to after years of consuming carbohydrates. Further, skipping beans, whole grains, fruit and a number of vegetables can result in nutrient deficiencies which bring about a number of adverse short-term side effects such as headaches, constipation, fatigue and severe muscle cramping. Long-term effects have also been observed, with osteoporosis, liver issues and kidney stones all prevalent in some cases. It can also be tricky to choose healthy options and instead opt for processed foods which are high in unhealthy saturated fats, known to contribute to heart disease.
What foods should I prioritise?
There are ways in which you can ensure that your keto journey runs as smoothly and as effectively as possible. Meats are of course an important source of protein and are fairly essential whilst partaking in keto. Our fillets, ribeyes, sirloins and rumps are all packed with essential healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Our livestock are all reared slowly on organic pastures, ensuring a healthy, happy animal and a nutritious product. You can afford to opt for fattier cuts of meat also, so keep our skin-on chicken breast, chicken thighs and drumsticks, and pork and lamb cuts, including belly, ribs and chops. Luckily for you, we’ve done the leg work and pre-prepared our favourite keto-friendly cuts in our popular keto box. Complete with a jar of rich beef fat, this has all you need for a tasty carb-conscious feast.
Image: Living off our steaks sounds like a dream!
In terms of dairy, prioritise organic butter, free range eggs and unhomogenised milk which all contain higher levels of omega-3 as you are likely to be consuming higher amounts of dairy to bulk out your diet in the absence of carbs. Other heart-helping fats are found in nuts, seeds, avocados and omega-6-rich sunflower oils.
So, now you’ve got the information, will you be giving keto a try this year?