What Is Keto?

It seems like all of a sudden, I’m hearing a lot of I can’t eat that. I’m on keto. I try to stay on top of health and fitness trends, but apparently that one slipped by me. Now, my world is consumed with people who are not eating this or that because of this diet trend. I had to find out more. I had to learn What is keto?


Keto is short for ketogenic diet. It’s a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. In diets where there is a low amount of carbohydrate and high amount of fat, there tends to be a good deal of protein. The same is true here.

What Does It Do

According to Wikipedia, the keto diet is used medically to treat epilepsy in children, but adults who are wanting to lose weight or control their blood sugars are also giving it a try.

“The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain-function. However, if there is little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures.”

The Food

In my opinion, the most important part of any diet is the foods that you do or don’t get to eat. Here’s a breakdown of what’s on the keto diet and what isn’t.

Do Eat This

keto diet food pyramid

Thanks to Beach Baby Bob for the image.

According to ketodash.com, you should eat:

  • “Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, egg
  • Leafy Greens – spinach, kale
  • Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower
  • High fat dairy – hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter
  • Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds
  • Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries
  • Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners
  • Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.”

My friends on Facebook recommend bacon–lots and lots of bacon. In fact, when I asked about the diet, a majority of my friends wrote about how much they love eating bacon. Just make sure your bacon isn’t prepared with any of the ingredients on the don’t list (like sugar).

Don’t Eat This

Sometimes on a diet, the items you can’t eat are a little more obvious that what you can. When you’re on keto, you can’t eat:

  • grains of any kind like wheat or rice;
  • most fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas;
  • sugar and other sweeteners like agave and maple syrup;
  • alcohol;
  • potatoes; and
  • any miscellaneous junk food.

This means no more junk foods, processed foods, pasta, rice, beer, sodas, juice, or fruits. All of those sugary snacks won’t work for what you’re wanting to accomplish.

While the removal of all of these items may not seem like too big of a deal, your body might disagree. In fact, it’s very common for people to experience “The Keto Flu” in their first week on the diet.

The Flu

Having the keto flu will feel like having the regular flu that you may have gotten during cold and flu season. Its symptoms include headache, fatigue, nausea, and cramps. Much like the real flu, the keto flu should just stick around for a few days. However, if you aren’t proactive against it, it could last for longer.

The best ways to avoid the keto flu is to stay hydrated and replenish your electrolytes. Specifically, you want to keep your potassium, magnesium, and sodium levels up. This means that you could take supplements, add an electrolyte booster to your water (as long as it doesn’t contain carbs), or add extra salt to your food to help your electrolyte levels.

If you’re looking for a home remedy for your keto flu, my sister-in-law recommends coconut water with fresh berries and heavy cream. Other friends highly emphasize the importance of keeping your sodium levels up.


If you’re thinking about trying the keto diet, I highly recommend checking out these websites for more information:

Have you tried the keto diet? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi! I'm Sarah, and I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. When I'm not working with clients, I'm researching the best ways to get rid of pain. Do you want to learn how to practice yoga and Pilates safely in your own home? Or, do you want to know all my tips and tricks for pain relief? Join my mailing list and receive free goodies to help you.


  1. Jess Gould on August 28, 2018 at 6:24 am

    In addition to epilepsy, the Ketogenic diet was prescribed after my concussion— I participated in a clinical trial at KU to measure the effects of Keto diet and post-concussive functioning. My personal results had a positive correlation.

    It’s also one of the only things that has demonstrated a REVERSAL of some Alzheimer’s symptoms (this was the starting point for the diet relating to concussion therapy). Not just a plateau of symptoms— a repair of neurological function.

    As a person who has struggled with “hangry” low-blood sugar my entire life, I feel the best on Keto and it’s been the easiest lifestyle change to successfully regulate weight, mood, and general health. My cholesterol levels even went down after starting the diet, despite increasing fat intake.

    It is hard to stick to it if your friends and family are still carbing it up, though. Now that the former vegetarian husband is also on the diet, it’s a lot easier to grocery shop and cook!

    Keto & concussions: http://www.getfit4yourbrain.com/treating-concussions-with-ketones/

    • Sarah Stockett on August 28, 2018 at 7:45 am

      Thank you, Jess! This is such great additional information. I had completely forgot that this was the diet you were following post-concussion.