What is the keto diet?
You can't ignore the trend of the Keto diet these days. Almost every magazine is talking about it. But what exactly is a Keto diet? Filling your hungry stomach with fatty foods while the kilos fly off?
The keto diet - or ketogenic diet - is a low-carb diet in which 70 to 80 per cent of your total calorie intake consists of fats, about 10 to 20 per cent of proteins and about 5 to 10 per cent of carbohydrates. It puts your body into 'ketosis' because you eliminate the natural fuel source carbohydrates. This is mostly phrased as: you burn fat.
Losing weight with the keto diet: ketosis
Ketosis is achieved through a physical process called ketogenesis. Because you eat extremely few carbohydrates, you deprive your brain of glucose as its main food. Your body still needs fuel to function, so it increases the concentration of ketones in your blood by breaking down fatty acids. Think of it as a hybrid car whose petrol runs out and it continues running on electricity.
What are ketones?
But what are ketones then? To live and move, a body needs energy. Everything you eat is converted to glucose, a body's fuel, in the stomach and intestines. Insulin allows cells to convert the glucose into energy. When there is not enough insulin to convert glucose, the body starts using fats. This is when ketones are released. Ketones are waste products released when fats are broken down.
Fat contains more calories per gram than carbohydrates and proteins. When you eat more calories than your body needs, it can eventually lead to weight gain. But it is possible to lose weight with a diet focused on fat, as long as you stick carefully to the programme. Initially, you lose weight because your body loses fluid in response to the drastically reduced intake of carbohydrates. Because you have to omit a lot of foods from your normal diet (in this case carbohydrates), you may also start eating less, which makes you lose even more weight.
There is some evidence that you can lose fat if a large proportion of your calories come from fat. This works as follows: The cells in your body normally prefer to get their energy from glucose (sugars that come from the carbohydrates you ingest). If you follow a diet with very few carbohydrates and lots of fats, your body switches from burning sugar to burning fat. This process takes place in the liver, releasing as a by-product so-called Ketones, which are an alternative source of energy.
Keto diet: what can you eat?
With a normal diet of 2,000 calories a day, this equates to:
- 165 gram fat
- 75 gram protein
- 20 tot 30 gram carbohydrates (with a maximum of 50g)
Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn and pumpkin have too high a carbohydrate content for a ketogenic diet. The same goes for many fruits. Milk, beans, rice, pasta, bread: forget it. Even a carbohydrate-filled 'cheatmeal' is out of the question. The diet is labelled extreme for a reason.
So what can you eat? Fortunately, Damhert has a nice range of products that are completely keto proof.
Our Keto products are mainly all oils, nuts, seeds and spices. Of course, we also have biscuits in our range that are completely Ketoproof (less than 5 grams per serving) and among the meat substitutes, you also have a nice range of keto veggies (less than 6 grams per serving). You can recognise the Keto products by the Keto logo or the Low Carb claim. You can find all our Keto products under the Keto range in our webshop.
Why is it that some products are Keto but still have a high carbohydrate value?
Pay close attention to the calculation! You have to subtract the value of the polyols from the carbohydrate value.
Polyols are sweeteners that taste very similar to sugar, without having a nasty aftertaste like many other sweeteners. They also occur in nature, for example in trees, plants, fruits and mushrooms. The best-known types are xylitol, maltitol, erythritol and isomalt. Polyols are not absorbed by the body. They therefore leave the body through the faeces. As a result, they provide much less energy to the body than, say, sugar. This is of course beneficial if you are on a diet but still have sweet cravings from time to time.
With Damhert products, polyols do not need to be included in your daily carbohydrate intake. We will clarify this with an example. Say your favourite biscuit contains 14 grams of carbohydrates, of which 10 grams are polyols. You then only need to count 4 grams of carbohydrates for this biscuit instead of 14 grams.
1. Avoid empty carbohydrates: By this we mean certain types of food that are high in calories and low in nutrition. Some examples include: breakfast cereals, soft drinks, crisps, coffee drinks, sweets, sweetened tea drinks, juices, applesauce, snack bars, frozen yoghurt, ...
2. Don't fear fat: Trying to survive on protein and low-carb vegetables very quickly results in fatigue, lack of energy and overall malaise that ultimately makes the diet impossible to sustain. So it is important to consume enough fats and provide the body with the necessary energy, obviously without overdoing it because you can also do the opposite and eat too much fat.
3. Go for green: when choosing low-carbohydrate vegetables, choose green such as spinach, cucumber, Brussels sprouts, green onion, green pepper, courgette, broccoli, celery, lettuce, etc.
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