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A ketogenic, or keto, diet is an eating plan that focuses on healthful fats, adequate amounts of protein, and low amounts of carbohydrates. Potential benefits may include weight loss. When following a keto diet, some people may find it difficult to determine which food products are suitable.
The strict macronutrient ratios of the keto diet can make it difficult to know which foods are suitable. Understanding what keto foods are and how they fit into the diet may help satisfy cravings and allow people to adhere to a keto diet plan.
This article will discuss the keto diet in more detail, including its potential benefits and risks, and suggest some products that people may wish to consider trying.
The keto diet is one variant of a high fat, adequate protein, low carb intake diet. The diet is increasingly popular, as the combination of low carb and high fat intake may help with some markers of health.
The basis of the keto diet is to put the body into a state called ketosis. During ketosis, the body stops using carbs and sugar for energy and starts breaking down fat for energy instead.
To achieve ketosis, a person must drastically cut down on their carb intake. At the same time, they must supply the body with healthful fats to use as a fuel source instead.
Due to the increasing popularity of the diet, there are now many keto products on the market. For a product to be keto friendly, the product should be very low in net carbs.
Keto diets are popular for weight loss and may be more effective than other programs in the short-term. A 2020 review notes that keto diets were more effective at reducing body weight in people with overweight or obesity than low fat diets, for example.
These effects may also be more pronounced in people with metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes. A 2016 study notes that for short-term weight loss, keto diets were most effective at reducing weight and helped improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes, compared with simply restricting calories.
The Epilepsy Foundation suggest that ketosis may also reduce seizures in people with epilepsy. A 2019 review also supports the notion that a keto diet may support people with epilepsy. However, more research is necessary to understand how effective this is.
The diet may also play a role in some neurological conditions, though it is uncertain to what degree. One 2020 review notes that research has reported varying levels of success when using the diet to control factors of:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- autism spectrum disorder
- major depressive disorder
- bipolar disorder
It appears that the diet helps reduce markers of oxidative damage and inflammation in the brain, which may help control markers of the conditions.
That said, more research will need to explore each of these conditions before making any broad claims about the diet’s effects. Additionally, the long-term effects of the diet still require further research.
The keto diet may not be right for everyone. Side effects of the keto diet are common, especially when starting out.
As the body adjusts to the low carb state, it may experience a series of symptoms known collectively as the keto flu.
These symptoms typically include:
These symptoms tend to fade as the body becomes accustomed to the state of ketosis.
Other symptoms are possible and may include:
- diarrhea, constipation, or other gastrointestinal problems
- sugar cravings
- difficulty concentrating
- bad breath
- general fatigue
- decreased bone density
- issues with sleep
Ketosis may also adjust the effectiveness of some medications or have other risks for people with underlying conditions.
Anyone considering the keto diet should talk to their doctor or nutritionist beforehand to evaluate their risk.
Many keto products are available to buy. Below, we list eight products that people may wish to try to help with weight loss.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried any of these products. All product information is purely research-based.
My Protein Impact Whey Isolate Protein Powder
Simple keto friendly protein powders may help increase feelings of fullness and prevent oversnacking on carbs.
Whey protein supplements typically come in either concentrate or isolate formats. Whey protein isolates generally have the highest percentage of pure protein and the lowest amount of carbs per serving of any whey protein.
For example, one 25 gram (g) scoop of this product contains 1 g of carbs and 22 g of protein.
Primal Kitchen Mayo With Avocado Oil
Healthful oils and fats are staples in the keto diet. As the body shifts to using fats for energy, it is important to eat healthful fats wherever possible.
Primal Kitchen Mayo contains avocado oil and organic, cage-free eggs. It is also free from added sugars and artificial ingredients. According to the manufacturers, it is suitable for both keto and paleo diets.
Just The Cheese Bars
A number of keto products can help replace the need for carb-rich alternatives.
These cheddar bars may taste similar to other popular cheese-based snacks. They only use real, aged cheddar, and because the product only contains cheese, it is naturally keto friendly, low carb, and high protein.
Mama Lupe Low Carb Tortillas
If a person wants to make recipes with tortillas, there are many keto friendly tortillas available.
For example, Mama Lupe low carb tortillas are a high fiber, low net carb alternative that people following a keto diet can enjoy.
Miracle Noodle Ziti
The manufacturers of this product use the konjac plant to make their ziti-style noodles. They contain 5 calories and 0 g of carbs per serving.
The manufacturers suggest that the noodles are a good alternative in a number of Italian dishes.
OA Food Palmini Linguine
Palmini offers a different take on low carb noodles, utilizing a natural plant known as hearts of palm in the noodles.
The noodles contain 4 g of carbs per serving and come in familiar shapes, such as linguini and lasagna. The manufacturers note that the product is bisphenol A-free, non-genetically modified organism, and vegan.
This product may make for a good pasta substitute.
A number of keto products may also help ease a sweet craving or deliver the same feeling as a favorite dessert.
The manufacturers offer zero-calorie soda alternatives containing no sugars or artificial ingredients. They also offer a wide variety of familiar flavors, including classic cola.
Quest Nutrition Chocolate Chip Cookies
The manufacturers state that these keto friendly protein cookies contain 15 g of protein and only 4 g of net carbs per serving.
Quest Nutrition also suggest that people can conveniently keep them in their purse, car, or gym bag to eat on the go.
Keto products include keto friendly alternatives to common comfort foods, as well as staple foods and snacks for the keto diet. The keto diet may help people lose weight or improve markers of health.
The diet is not for everyone, and side effects are common. As with any diet, it is important to talk to a doctor before making drastic changes to the diet.