Pitfalls to Avoid on a Keto Diet
The keto diet has been getting a lot of media coverage, and for a good reason, unlike fad diets, there is actual scientific research supporting the benefits of following a keto diet.
While the diet concept seems straightforward, eat fewer carbs and more fats and protein, finding the exact balance is not as easy as it sounds. Yet the truth is, there are many ways an unsupervised keto diet can go wrong, which is why so many people fail to achieve long-term success.
Here are some of the top pitfalls to avoid if you are considering going keto.
Not Tracking Macros
If you want to achieve success with a keto lifestyle, you need to keep track of your daily macros.
These are the ideal macros for a Keto diet:
- 60-70 percent of daily calories need to be from fat
- 20-30 percent of your calories should come from protein
- Less than 10 percent of calories should be from carbohydrates
When you keep your macronutrients (macros) within these ratios, your cells go into ketosis, burning fat instead of carbohydrates.
Eating the Wrong Fats
The majority of your calories on a keto diet will be from fat, but you need to be mindful of the type and quality of fats you are consuming.
Choose monounsaturated fats by eating foods like avocados, fish, and nuts. Cooking with olive oil and coconut oil is best, but avoid overheating the oils while cooking.
Fats to Avoid
- Trans Fats: Luckily, this type of harmful fat is not much of a concern these days, thanks to a ban from the FDA back in 2015, but make sure you read the labels to avoid products that may contain them.
- Red Meat: Red meat is allowed on the keto diet, but you need mindful of how much you eat and how you prepare it. Cooking meat at high temperatures produces harmful compounds that may increase your risk for certain types of cancer.
- Vegetable Oils: Avoid cooking with the following oils, soybean, peanut, sunflower, and safflower, as these can quickly oxidize at high temperatures releasing harmful free radicals.
Not Eating Enough Fiber
As you begin your keto journey, you may notice changes in your digestive tract. Many dieters report experiencing constipation and diarrhea.
The reason behind these digestive changes is often an inadequate fiber intake. Dietary fiber is essential to healthy digestion. Not only does it help keep us regular, but it’s also a food source for our gut bacteria.
Keto restricts starchy vegetables, which is where most of us get our dietary fiber. However, broccoli, kale, spinach, asparagus, celery, and lettuce are all great sources of dietary fiber, so make sure to include them in your meals.
Eating the Wrong Kind Of Dairy Products
Dairy is generally a keto-friendly food. However, many store-bought dairy products contain high amounts of hidden sugars. For this reason, you always read the labels before you buy the product.
Not Getting Enough Electrolytes
Most people following a keto lifestyle don’t get enough electrolytes like sodium and potassium for two main reasons:
- Whole foods naturally contain less sodium and potassium
- A reduced carbohydrate diet lowers insulin levels which can increase urination; as a result, you may lose extra sodium through urine
A sodium deficiency causes headaches, cramps, low energy levels, and insomnia. To prevent a deficit, you may need to take sodium, potassium, and magnesium supplements.
Starting Keto Without A Plan
Starting a keto diet on your own can be confusing and overwhelming. Without the proper knowledge, it’s easy to miscalculate your macros and end up eating too much or too little, which can cause severe harm to your body.
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