Keto. Your mom’s on it. Your co-worker’s on it. Even your partner is on it. Yes, it’s arguably the buzziest low-carb, high-fat diet of the moment. And for good reason; it helps people improve tone relatively quickly, has been known to increase energy and mental clarity, and because of the low sugar and carb intake which reduces blood sugar and insulin levels, is touted by people with type 2 diabetes.
This is how keto works. Followers of the diet get about 80 per cent of their daily calorie intake from fat, 25 per cent from protein, and five per cent from carbs. If you’re downing 2,000 calories/day you’ll need about 165 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, and 75 grams of protein. Keto dieters should eat no more than 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day (which can be quite the challenge considering a banana has approximately 27 grams of carbs).
After a few days, the body will enter a state of ketosis, where it is using ketone bodies (a.k.a. fuel produced by the liver from stored fat instead of sugar, or glucose.
But not all keto diets are created equal. Followers of Clean keto, or what is considered the “traditional” keto diet, focus on eating whole, unprocessed ingredients (think low-starch vegetables, fats like avocados and nuts, and proteins).
Dirty keto, on the other hand, is a modified version of keto that allows “junk” food and meals that are high in sugar and sodium. If you’re a dirty keto dieter you might nosh on a cheeseburger (without the bun) or sodium-packed faux meat.
Dirty keto doesn’t have as many health benefits as clean keto since consuming lower-quality foods can result in reduced intake of micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, folic acid, as well as vitamins C, D, and K. Also, the added sugars in dirty keto foods can prevent people from reaching the coveted ketosis state.
With so much (often conflicting) information out there, it’s hard to know what to believe about keto. Here, we bust some of the top 6 most written-about keto myths.
MYTH 1 You Can’t Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Keto is at its core, a low-carb diet, and yes, many fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of carbs are not allowed. But keto dieters can eat berries (in small portions), along with a number of vegetables. If you’re following keto, go ahead and load up on leafy greens like kale, spinach, and swiss chard as well as summer squashes, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, garlic, and mushrooms.
MYTH 2 Weight Loss is the Only Benefit
Although the keto diet is most commonly associated with weight loss, it actually has a number of other health-related benefits. Keto dieters may experience clearer skin, improved brain function, and even a reduced risk of certain cancers. The Epilepsy Foundation has even suggested that the keto diet has helped some people control seizures.
MYTH 3 You’ll Always Feel Tired
When you first start the keto diet there may be an adjustment period when your body starts learning to burn fat, instead of sugar, for energy. During that time you may feel a bit lethargic. But once you become accustomed to your new meal plan you’ll likely have even more energy than before!
MYTH 4 Keto is a Meat-Lovers Diet
Not necessarily. Keto is completely doable for a vegetarian or even a vegan person. Avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, and nuts provide the fats you need while tempeh, tofu, and seitan are excellent keto-friendly plant proteins.
MYTH 5 Exercise is Not Allowed/Encouraged on Keto
Far from true! Initially, as your body adjusts to the new diet, it’s best to avoid any super-strenuous activity or starting a new workout routine. But after this “onboarding” period you’ll likely notice that you have even more energy for workouts because the body can use fat very efficiently for fuel. Just make sure you’re getting plenty of calories each day, including the required amount of fat.
MYTH 6 You Can’t Enjoy Sweet Treats and Snacks on Keto
With the popularity of the keto lifestyle in recent years comes a slew of new keto products. Case in point: our new Keto Cereal and Ketola Crunch Granola, which have all the crunch and taste you crave minus the added sugar and high carb count. Sweetened with natural ingredients such as monk fruit, our Keto Cereal contains just three grams of net carbs per serving and has 2.5 grams of fat. It’s also vegan, 100 percent organic, gluten-free, trans-fat-free, and cholesterol-free. Available in Cinnamon Toast and Dark Chocolate flavor.