Keto-Friendly Foods – Benefits & Importance

The ketogenic diet refers to eating foods containing less carbohydrates but rich in healthy fats and proteins.

This knowledge has instilled the need to identify foods categorized as keto-friendly. Arguments in favor of and against diets/food rich in keto will be covered here to determine the safety and effectiveness of including keto-rich foods in one’s diet regime. 

The keto-rich or ketogenic diet has been understood to comprise foods that are high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrate content.

The term “keto foods” originates from the mechanism, ‘Ketosis”, which refers to the process of burning or metabolizing stored fat to derive energy.

Understanding the Keto-Rich Diet

It also strictly limits carbohydrate intake, otherwise considered to be a significant source of energy. When one adopts a keto diet, this means that one should drastically restrict carbohydrate intake to 5-10% to induce that metabolic state or ketosis as stated above.

Benefits of Keto-Friendly Foods

While traditionally, the keto diets were prescribed to treat conditions, such as epilepsy or seizures in children from a clinical setup, these have rapidly gained interest for their effectiveness in addressing various neurologic issues apart from seizures, diseases like cancer, diabetes, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and cardiovascular disease.

In light of these facts, it is no wonder for dieticians to recommend keto diets for those who are overweight and are having a hard time metabolizing/converting fat into energy.

Understanding what a keto diet exactly includes will, therefore, help alleviate the confusion surrounding the foods to be included there.

Keto-Rich Foods

The following have been identified as ketogenic foods, in other words, those assisting with ketosis.

Keto-Friendly Foods Based On Different Food Categories
Meat, Fish, And Eggs (Proteins)Chicken, Turkey, and EggsAlbacore Tuna, Sardines, and SalmonPork and Beef
Fruits And VegetablesBell Peppers, Broccoli, Cauliflower, green beans, Spinach, and ZucchiniAvocado and Berries
DairyCocoa Powder, Chocolate (dark)Alternative flours (Almond, Oats, Flaxseed meals, etc.)Nuts and seedsOlive oilUnsweetened coffee and tea, Unsweetened plant-based milk products
Miscellaneous Food ItemsCocoa Powder, Chocolate (dark)Alternative flours (Almond, Oats, Flaxseed meals, etc.)Nuts and seedsOlive oilUnsweetened coffee and tea,Unsweetened plant-based milk products

Importance and Benefits of Consuming a Keto Diet

The keto-rich diet/foods have been known to highly benefit people with the following issues:

  • Weight gain
  • Visceral adiposity
  • Uncontrolled appetite

Importance

The keto diet has been well associated with improving one’s lipid profile, which can be achieved through taking foods rich in high-fat content. Doing so further helps in lowering the low-density lipoproteins or LDL, thereby increasing HDL (high-density lipoproteins) in the process.

Of note, if one’s triglyceride levels are high, eating adequate amounts of the diet will also assist in reducing them to the level considered normal.

Risks of Adopting the Keto Diet

People who have adopted the keto diet generally tend to miss out on so many important things! This tendency is likely to place them at risk for developing various health-related complications as listed above.

When being placed on (or have adopted) a keto diet regime, one should be careful enough to follow the same per an expert dietician’s recommendations.

A Keto diet cannot be recommended for those with underlying disease conditions, such as pancreas, gallbladder, thyroid, and liver.

One can also experience “Keto Flu” when being on the diet for the first time. Symptoms, including upset stomach, decreased energy, dizziness, and mood swings can be generally seen in this case.

Is It Safe to Adopt a Keto Diet?

Unfortunately, due to the limited advantages existing within the keto diet, most dieticians opt against recommending the same. Additionally, it excludes fresh fruits and vegetables, which otherwise assist with long-term weight loss.

These specifications render the keto diet to be rather unrealistic and non-sustainable. Nevertheless, if one still intends to adopt a keto diet, this should precede evaluating the benefits and side effects of the same.

It is, however, safe to consult with an expert dietician regarding whether or not to follow a keto diet.

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Conclusion

Following a briefing on the benefits, importance, and risks of adopting a keto diet, it could be concluded that not everyone can benefit from the same.

As stated above, it is generally recommended for obese patients and those having difficulty controlling their cholesterol levels.

Moreover, there is the risk for one to become nutrient-deficient and hypoglycemic when adopting the keto diet. Life-threatening complications are highly common for these patients, who may be already deficient in essential nutrients and micronutrients. 

About the Author

Nicole Carter is a dedicated and passionate nutritionist, committed to helping individuals achieve their health and wellness goals through the power of proper nutrition. With a Bachelor's degree in Nutritional Science and years of practical experience.

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