So, you've decided to hope on board with the new keto diet craze, but you don't know where to start. You might be asking yourself what you should be eating, or even what the diet even entails.  Here are a few tips as to how to get started with the keto diet. 

So, What Exactly Is The Keto Diet?

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The ketogenic diet - more commonly known as the keto diet - is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It involves greatly reducing the amount of carbs that you eat (unfortunately, this includes things such as pasta and bread) and replacing those things with fats (like butter and cheese).  Since the diet cuts out carbs, the body needs to use other resources for energy, so it ultimately turns to the burning of stored up fat - this phase is called ketosis.

A keto meal would not include rice/pasta/other foods heavy in carbs, but would have meat, fish, and non-starchy vegetables. And it does all of this while putting a limit on the amount of sugar one consumes. 

Unfortunately, because it's a relatively new diet, it's a little hard to figure out what foods qualify as keto (especially while shopping in the grocery store).  Many different foods are labeled as gluten-free, vegan, and organic, but manufacturers are only now starting to label foods that are keto friendly.

Like many other types of diet plans, there are multiple subtypes within the keto diet.

The Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): It is the version that would be most recognizable to the person who doesn't know anything about the Keto diet itself.  SKD is low in carbs, moderate in protein and high in fats. With this version of the diet, carbs are almost completely cut out. The primary sources of carbs for this version of the keto diet are low-carb vegetables, nuts, seeds, and dairy products.

The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): This version of the Keto diet features a combo of carb loading and the SKD discussed above. It is mainly used for those who follow a more intense exercise routine, such as bodybuilders. 

The Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): This version of the diet works to target carbs at a specified time (mostly around workouts). For this diet, you eat some carbs about 30-60 mins before your workout; outside of your workouts, you stick to the SKD.

And finally, the High-Protein Ketogenic Diet: This one is pretty much what it sounds like, high in protein! It is a little higher in protein than the SKD. 

While the Keto diet was mainly started as a way to help treat neurological diseases, such as epilepsy, later research proved that it also benefited those with heart disease, acne, cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases

Even with all the benefits, the diet isn't for everyone. Evenwith all the added benefits, like many other diets, there are things to be aware of about the keto diet. For example, ketosis can actually be very dangerous if too many ketones build up in the body. Too many ketones cause a condition called ketoacidosis, which changes the acidity of your blood and can be fatal if untreated. However, as long as the keto diet is practiced safely and correctly, this should not be a problem. 

In addition, being that the diet is very high in fat, it may not be the best choice for athletes trying to gain muscle. For people trying to improve their weight, prevent diabetes, and even those just working on their overall health, it can be a really great diet - as long as it's done properly.

In short, the future of dieting is keto. 

Want to know more? Maybe hop on the keto diet craze yourself? Check out this website, which has a list of everything you can eat to be successful on the keto diet.