If you’ve ever wondered: What is Keto? Well, wonder no more! Let me break it down for you!
Hi Bold Bakers!
As Bigger Bolder Baking’s resident alternative baker, I pride myself on being your go-to source for recipes and info that make baking sweet treats not only approachable and delicious but nutritious as well! A lot of you Bold Bakers might be experimenting with baking and cooking things that lend themselves to a Paleo, Vegan, or even Ketogenic diet, but you might not really know which dietary style is best for you or even what they actually entail.
The info below is all about the ketogenic — or Keto Diet — style of eating. This high-fat, high-protein, and low-carb low-sugar lifestyle — when done correctly — has a number of benefits for your waistline, but more importantly for your brain! While I personally do not subscribe to one diet or lifestyle, as I enjoy trying new things and changing it up often, I do think there are many perks to “going keto” at least for a short period of time.
What Is Keto?
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. When we eat foods that are high in carbohydrates, the body tends to utilize this energy source the most as it is the easiest for it to access. When carbohydrates are removed along with sugars, which ultimately turn into carbs in the body, the body switches from burning carbs as energy to burning fat. This is what makes this small change so effective.
When your body has used up its reserve of carbs and is burning fat, the body produces what is called ketone bodies. These send the message to the body to use stored fat as its principal energy source, putting you in a metabolic state called “ketosis,” hence the name, “keto diet.”
How to “Go Keto”
As mentioned above, in order to get the body into ketosis it needs to have used up all of its stored carbs. This can take up to 4 days depending on your personal body. Once in ketosis, the keto diet is in no way about limiting your calorie intake, but managing what the calories are comprised of.
Once in ketosis, in order to stay in that metabolic state, you want to feed your body lots of high-quality fat, protein, and vegetables. Sweets are not excluded from a ketogenic diet, as there are so many sugar-free alternatives out there. To learn what my favorite sugar substitutes are, click here.
What are the Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet?
Aside from being able to eat lots of satiating high-fat foods and avoiding deprivation, the ketogenic diet has become very popular as it actually can do wonders for your mental state. Many people who give the keto diet a try report feeling increased clarity, concentration, and even memory. This style of eating can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels which mean you are left feeling a lot more stable and nourished allowing you to focus without really having to think about your food.
How do I Know Something is Keto?
I know it can sound daunting to cut out all sources of carbs and sugar, but the best way to look at it is to think of all the whole, unprocessed delicious foods you CAN have. Again in no way is the keto diet about deprivation, and by eating all the lovely foods that do assist your body in producing ketones you will naturally cut out a lot of chemicals, preservatives, and hormones in the foods that you really don’t want to be putting in your body anyway.
Foods that are high in healthy fat are a cornerstone of the keto diet. Things like coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, eggs, nuts, cheese, grass-fed beef, and fatty fish are all great sources. Almost all non-starchy vegetables are of equal importance to this lifestyle. Most fruits are not a part of a keto diet, as they are naturally high in sugar, but things like berries and green apples are great in moderation. The most important things to avoid when on a keto diet are grain-based, carb-heavy foods and processed sugar. So yes, that means things like oatmeal, bread, pasta, rice, cake, ice cream, and candy will throw your body out of ketosis, causing it to burn those as its source of energy as opposed to fat.
The good news about all this is I have created a wide variety of sweet treats — and even bread — that are all a part of a keto diet. From my Keto Bread loaf to my Keto Fudge Brownies, you can still have your cake and eat it too when going keto!
Is Keto Good for Diabetes?
While going keto does not solve the overall complications associated with diabetes, it will help to reduce insulin levels and lower the blood sugar. IF you or a loved one does suffer from diabetes they can most-likely benefit by giving the ketogenic lifestyle a try — but always, always consult your doctor before making major dietary changes if it will have an impact on your health.
How Long Should I Do Keto?
Just like any other style of eating, the keto diet is not one I would do forever. I personally like to do the keto diet in cycles, allowing my body to be in a state of ketosis for no longer than a few weeks at a time then returning to eating foods that are healthy sources of carbohydrates, — like starchy vegetable and whole grains along with my favorite fruits. The moral of the story with any dietary changes I make is to find balance. As I mentioned, I like to try lots of different things to make sure I don’t get tired of any one style of eating. While the keto diet is something I think has lots of benefits, I encourage all of you to listen to your body and get in touch with what makes you feel like your most vibrant self.
Try These Keto Recipes
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Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!
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