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Wellness Wednesday

Considering Keto? 5 Things to Know

Keto word made from keto diet food

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The keto diet doesn’t seem to be losing steam any time soon. In fact, one budget-friendly grocery chain recently released its own ketogenic-friendly bread—and customers can’t get enough. It’s so popular and hard to find that people have even been selling it online! While we don’t tell members what to eat at TOPS, we support finding whatever meal plan works best for you, as long as it’s safe.

If you’re curious about keto, make sure you have the facts (and check with your doctor!) before you dive in. Here’s a few important facts to consider:

  1. While the term “keto” is thrown around loosely across social media, recipes, etc., there are actually five variations of the ketogenic diet. “Classic keto,” which is the most strict, allows only 4-5% of calories from carbohydrates. While it’s easy to only think of bread and other grains when it comes to carbs, you’ll also find them in fruits, vegetables and milk products.
  2. Allowable foods on this type of diet include nuts and seeds, unprocessed meat and poultry, coconut and olive oil, and full-fat dairy. Prohibited foods include beans and legumes, root vegetables like potatoes and grains, and starches. Following this type of plan is not free reign to enjoy unlimited bacon.
  3. Following a ketogenic diet may lead to constipation due to the lack of fiber.
  4. There are three methods of testing for ketosis: blood, breath and urine. While urine strips, available at local pharmacies, are the most affordable option, their results can vary widely based on hydration levels.
  5. You don’t have to resort to extreme options like the classic keto diet to achieve weight-loss success. As registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator Lori Lehnert mentioned in a previous keto blog, there is limited research on this diet for the sole purpose of weight loss. And its strict limitations may prove it to be an unsustainable long-term option for many.

Any popular diet comes with its share of pros and cons. And if it’s something that inspires you to try new recipes, sample new foods or fall in love with cooking and prepping meals, I think that’s great. Just be sure to do your homework, check with a licensed healthcare professional and avoid the temptation of being swayed by a well-meaning friend or social media influencer. Following a variation of the keto diet can work for your healthy weight-loss goals, but it’s not for everyone … and you don’t need to buy special bread online.

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