The keto diet, also known as the ketogenic diet, is a way of eating that encourages a very low intake of carbohydrates and a high intake of fat. It’s very similar to the Atkins diet that favours meat and other animal products over bread, pasta and carbohydrate-rich, starchy vegetables.
Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are collectively known as the macronutrients, or macros. They provide calories and energy, unlike the micronutrients – the vitamins and minerals – that provide zero calories nor energy.
We need to consume a wide variety of micronutrients on a daily basis for various essential reasons, and equally, we also need to consume macronutrients to fuel our bodies and brains. But unlike the micronutrients that have very specific roles within the body, we can choose which of the macronutrients we get the majority of our energy from.
The keto diet changes the proportions of the macronutrients we consume, so that we’re relying mainly on fats for energy, minimising protein and avoiding almost all carbs.
Despite this reliance on dietary fat, studies suggest that following a keto diet could help us lose weight. So, is this true? If so, how do we follow a keto diet, what keto foods should we eat and which foods should we avoid…?