From weight loss to increased energy, a modified keto diet has many benefits. Find out more about this type of ketogenic diet and how it can help you be healthier!
RELATED: Use Good Dietary Fats (MCTs) to Build Muscle and Lose Weight
Modified Keto Diet for Beginners
Evolution of the Ketogenic Diet
You’ve probably heard of the keto diet as a great way to lose weight, but surprisingly, it was actually developed in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy. Fast forward a hundred years and the keto diet is an extremely popular diet to lose weight.
However, once researchers developed antiepileptic drugs, fasting to treat the illness slowly faded away. It was not until 15 years ago when the interest grew again for the scientific and dietary aspect of this diet plan.
Traditional vs Modified Ketogenic Diet
The traditional keto diet focuses on eating more food that produces ketone bodies and eliminating or limiting ketone-reducing ones. Doing this prompts the body to burn fat for energy.
What is a ketone? This naturally-occurring chemical comes from the breakdown of fatty acids in the body to be used for energy.
A modified keto diet follows similar principles to the traditional ketogenic diet but with the inclusion of more healthy carbohydrates. By still eating some good carbs, you can get a wealth of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and of course, plenty of naturally occurring fiber.
Five benefits of following a modified keto diet:
- Promotes weight loss
- Improves appetite control
- Decreases triglycerides levels
- Increases levels of “Good” HDL cholesterol
- Increases energy levels
What Is the Modified Keto Diet?
Where a traditional keto diet consists of 75% of calories from fat, 20% from protein and only 5% from carbohydrates, the modified keto looks a little different. Instead, up to 20% of calories come from carbs, 50% from fat, and the remainder comes from protein.
The standard keto diet can be restrictive, but this modified version is a healthier way to lose weight and much more sustainable to manage.
A low-carb diet can be effective in weight loss, blood sugar control, and reduced heart disease risk factors.
A study involving obese teens and children found that participants following a keto diet lost significantly more fat mass and weight compared to those on a low-calorie diet.
The goal of any keto diet is to get your body into a state of ketosis, essentially processing fat into ketones and using it as fuel.
You can leave your body in a state of ketosis by maintaining a high-fat diet with low carbohydrates.
The ketogenic diet has been highly debated amongst experts, so it’s no wonder people are getting confused about whether it’s safe or not.
Related: Is The Keto Diet Healthy Or Dangerous
For healthy weight loss, aim to lose about a pound a week. Anything over this might lead to a loss in muscle mass.
There’s no need to rush into the diet, you can ease your body into it slowly. When your body is adjusting to carb withdrawal, you can enter a low-energy time known as the keto flu.
What is the keto flu? People who are not used to the state of ketosis experience flu-like symptoms when they follow a keto diet with very little carbohydrate intake. Some of the symptoms are dizziness, nausea, headache, sugar cravings, and fatigue.
The modified keto diet doesn’t remove carbs completely from your diet; fat and protein are still the main focus. You can follow a plant-based vegan and modified keto diet at the same time.
All your fat and protein intake comes from plant-based foods. With a little information, you can learn the best foods to eat and what to watch out for.
Not all carbohydrates are created equal, and they vary greatly in their health effects.
Focus on making up your carb intake with whole, unprocessed foods rich in fiber. Try to avoid heavily processed carbs which have the natural fiber completely stripped out such as white bread, white flour, cereal, and chips.
Healthy foods to eat on a modified keto diet include:
- Oils: olive oil, nut oil, and coconut oil
- Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, hemp seeds, and chia seeds
- Leafy greens
- Tofu and tempeh
- Fruit: berries, apples, oranges, and pears
- Nut and seed butter: almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter
RELATED: Plant-Based Benefits and Protein Sources
What Are the Benefits of a Modified Keto Diet?
1. Promotes Weight Loss and Targets Specific Fats
If you’re trying to lose weight and eat more healthy to achieve a more sustainable body weight, then making long-term healthy lifestyle changes is crucial.
Having said that, experts tend to agree that the ketogenic diet has great results with increased initial weight loss. But when it comes to keeping the weight off and maintaining a healthy body size in the long run, adding in a few healthy carbs to your diet can be very beneficial.
Although low-carb diets can result in weight loss, it can be hard to stick to long term. Complex carbs can actually provide you with sustainable energy and won’t result in weight gain if eaten in moderation.
Complex carbs to eat on the modified keto diet include starchy vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
One study found that the ketogenic diet alone, without exercise, can help reduce and control metabolic factors that could lead to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Several studies have reached a similar conclusion with another one comparing a low-carb and low-fat diet. People who restricted their carbs sometimes lost two to three times as much weight.
Low-carb diets such as the modified ketogenic diet not only promote faster weight loss but also target specific fat. Not all the fat in your body is equal and where the fat is stored can have an impact on your health.
Low-carb diets have been shown to be effective at reducing abdominal visceral fat, which is the fat around your organs and is often associated with insulin resistance and inflammation.
2. Improves Appetite Control and Avoid Binge-Eating
One of the most frustrating side effects of dieting tends to be hunger. It’s one of the reasons that could lead to you giving up as no one likes to feel hungry. However, it’s been found that low-carb eating can lead to an automatic reduction in appetite.
This has been shown time and time again that eating fewer carbs and more protein and fat leads to eating fewer calories.
The modified keto diet brings in healthy carbs to keep you feeling full and satisfied. It lessens the possibilities of binge eating when you feel uncontrollable hunger.
Try out these avocado fat bombs, the perfect snack. Filled with healthy fats and oils, it gives you the energy boost you need to sustain you throughout the day.
Instead of processed fats, use unsaturated, healthy fats from avocados. Get even more nutrients by adding keto-friendly Sunwarrior Clean Keto chocolate protein powder to it.
Enjoy a delicious dessert snack to keep you feeling full in between meals. With the healthy carbs and fats in this recipe, you won’t end up breaking your keto diet with a donut or other high-sugar food.
Related: Keto Vegan Berry Pudding
3. Decreases Triglycerides Levels for Improved Heart Health
The levels of high triglycerides in the blood after an overnight fast are commonly associated with a strong risk factor for heart disease.
Triglycerides are fat molecules that circulate through the bloodstream. One of the main drivers behind high levels of triglycerides in sedentary people is carb consumption.
Studies have shown that when people cut carbohydrates from their diet, they tend to experience a dramatic drop in blood triglycerides. Low-carb diets such as the modified keto diet naturally include fewer carbohydrates.
Related: 14 Ways to Naturally Prevent Heart Disease and Boost Heart Health
4. Increases Levels of “Good” HDL Cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is commonly referred to as “good” cholesterol. The higher your levels of HDL to the “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the lower your risk of heart disease.
Studies show that one of the best ways to increase HDL is to eat fat, and low-carb diets tend to include a lot of fat like the modified keto diet.
It’s not surprising that HDL levels tend to increase significantly on healthy, low-carb diets. Whereas they only tend to increase slightly or sometimes even decline in low-fat diets.
Whether you’re following a modified keto diet or watching your sugar intake, try this delicious and filling mocha chia nut smoothie bowl to keep you satisfied.
You don’t need to eat green salads with no dressing every single meal. You just need to be a bit creative with your keto diet recipes.
Here’s how to make the mocha chia nut smoothie bowl:
- Blend together warm coconut milk, almond butter, a drop of food-grade peppermint oil, Sunwarrior keto-friendly Warrior Blend mocha protein powder, and Lankanto Monk fruit sweetener.
- After blending, pour the mixture into a bowl, add cacao nibs, nuts and seeds, and Kefir or yogurt for a delicious breakfast!
With keto recipes like this, you’ll be able to enjoy your meals without worrying about increasing your LDL.
By using natural sweeteners in this recipe, you also won’t have to worry about spiking your blood glucose levels with processed sugar.
Related: Lower your Cholesterol and Blood Sugar Naturally, Effectively, and Easily
5. Higher Energy Levels You Can Sustain
In the first few days of a traditional keto diet, it’s not uncommon to feel tired as your body is making the switch from using glucose for energy to burning fat — the process of ketosis.
This switch can leave you a little depleted for a day or two while your body adjusts.
With the modified keto diet, you’re still consuming healthy carbs but in moderation. Meaning your body won’t have to go through such an adjustment period, making it much easier to sustain.
Carbohydrates can help fuel an intense workout, and when you train seriously, carbs can help you push through the final set of reps and really perform.
By getting more calories from your carbs and eating the right kind of healthy foods, the modified keto diet may be a much more sustainable way of losing weight and keeping it off.
Related: Macadamia Coconut Crunch & Cashew Chia Energy Bars
Find out what nature's rules for health are in this video from Sunwarrior with Dr. Weston:
Whether you choose to follow the standard ketogenic diet or explore a modified keto diet plan, you need to be determined to reach your health goals.
Once you commit to bringing your body to nutritional ketosis and stick to it, you will not only be able to lose weight, but you will also be healthier!
Do you want to know more about the modified keto diet? Share your questions and thoughts in the comments section below!
- Vegan and Keto, Should You Consider It?
- Keto Diet and Brain Health: Why Fat is Your Friend
- Benefits of Ketosis
- Is Carb Cutting Healthy or Dangerous?
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 19, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.