The low carbohydrate ketogenic diet, or keto diet, includes mainly proteins and fats. It limits carbohydrates (carbs) to a small portion of your daily calories (roughly 5% to 10%).
How the Keto Diet Works
When you consume mainly protein and fat, the main fuel source for your body is fat (fatty acids and ketones). If even a small amount of carbs is consumed, your body burns these carbs before burning fat. When carbs are no longer the main part of your diet, your body starts burning fat for energy automatically. This fat-burning process is called nutritional ketosis and involves the production of an energy molecule called ketones. Studies show the increase in ketones appears to suppress your appetite so you feel less hungry and feel full sooner. As you eat less, you begin to lose weight.
Sample Foods You Can Eat
The foods you can eat on a keto diet are readily available in grocery stores and restaurants. Accepted foods include beef, chicken, pork, bacon, fish, eggs, salad greens, and fiber-rich vegetables. Oils and artificial sweeteners are also allowed.
Sample Foods to Avoid
Simple and complex carbohydrate foods are not allowed. They include all types of sugar (white, brown, honey, and molasses), milk-based products (including yogurt and cheese), fruit juice, fruit, grains (including white flour and whole grains), foods made with flour (bread, pasta, and crackers), and starchy vegetables, such as carrots, slow-cooked beans, corns, peas, and potatoes.