Like all diets, the keto diet is not without controversy. Is it safe? Does it work? Can it do more harm than good? Well, you won’t be surprised to hear that there are pros and cons…
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The keto diet, or the ketogenic diet to give it its full name, hit the headlines recently thanks to its popularity with celebs. But like all diets, keto has its pros and cons, and its suitability depends very much on you – your goals, your lifestyle, your genetic make-up.
But what is it? Essentially, the keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. The ideal keto diet aims for a balance of 75% of calories from fat, 20% from protein and only 5% coming from carbs.
The aim is to reach ketosis, where the body’s main source of fuel, carbs, are drastically cut, forcing your body into a fat-burning state. But getting only 5% of calories from carbs puts keto at the extreme end of low-carb diets, and like all things ‘extreme’, should be approached with caution.
For starters, the keto diet can be incredibly hard to stick to and requires a lot of meal planning and prep. It can impact your digestive health, since restrictions on carbs can leave you lacking in fibre, and you could come down with a rather debilitating case of the ‘ketosis flu’.
Plenty of research has been done on the pros and cons of keto, so read up before you travel down that road, starting with this excellent blog post by Noom Health Coach Manager Amanda Cofer.
But low-carb ketogenic diets can see great weight loss results, which is why they keep popping up on celebs’ Instagram feeds. The key is to get good support from a health professional, so if you do want to try it, check out the Noom app.
Noom is not a diet app, it’s a health app. This clever little piece of tech is like a having a weight-loss expert inside your phone, nudging you towards your goals via small behaviour changes and recipes that are so delicious you won’t feel like you’re missing out.
Noom takes a holistic approach to weight loss, so if you want to pursue a low-carb diet, you can do so in a sustainable, balanced way that will not only be better for your body, but also your mindset.
LOW-CARB KETO RECIPES
Sign up and you’ll find plenty of options through Noom’s #EatingStyleSpotlight collections which, as well as the keto style of eating, include the Mediterranean diet, paleo, the DASH diet and family friendly recipes. Check out these balanced keto diet recipes put together by Noom health coaches…
Coconut pancakes: Mix three tablespoons of coconut flour, three large egg whites, one tablespoon of applesauce/pumpkin/banana, half a cup of dairy/non-dairy milk and baking powder. Add your sweetener of choice if you feel it needs it and cook as you would normal pancakes.
Muffin omelettes: Mix six eggs, your veggies of choice, diced lean meats (optional) and a quarter cup cheddar or your preferred cheese. Fill six muffin tin cups with the egg mixture and bake at 190º for 15-20 minutes or until set.
California club wraps: Take chopped cooked chicken, chopped bacon, cheese, avocado and low-carb veggies of choice and simply wrap up in a lettuce leaf. Meal prep comes in a dream here – prep your cooked meats the night before and lunch will be quick as you like.
Taco bowls: Combine the ground meat of your choice with salsa, avocado, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, cheese and chopped lettuce, then tuck in!
Asian lettuce wraps: Mix cooked ground beef or ground turkey, cooked veggies of your choice (try spring onion, bell pepper, broccoli and mushrooms) with soy sauce and sesame seeds. Serve in lettuce leaves.
Steak & faux-tatoes: Grill 3-4 ounces of steak and top with grass-fed butter. For the faux-tatoes, break cauliflower into florets, mix in a bowl with butter and cream, microwave until soft, then blend with half a cup of cheese, garlic, herbs of choice, and blend into a smooth mashed-potato substitute. Serve with cooked veggies.
Cheeseburgers: Yep, burgers are on the keto diet – just forgo the bun! Grill your burger, add bacon, cheese and any combination of avocado, tomato, lettuce and onion you fancy, add mayo and serve on sliced roasted aubergine or roasted Portobello mushrooms.
How to Join Noom
Head to the Noom website, complete a brief survey and you’ll be presented with a personalised package. After a 14-day trial you’ll be introduced to your Goal Specialist and billed for the programme, which starts from as little as £13 per month.