Keto Diet: A Complete List of What to Eat and Avoid, Plus a 7-Day Sample Menu

On the keto diet, you’ll need to drastically cut your carbs, prioritizing protein, nonstarchy veggies, and healthy fats instead.

If you’re looking to get a jump start on your health and fitness goals this year, you may be thinking about trying the ketogenic diet. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase before — it’s a huge diet buzzword — but aren’t sure what it means. Here’s a primer: The ketogenic diet is an eating plan that drives your body into ketosis, a state where the body uses fat as a primary fuel source (instead of carbohydrates), says Stacey Mattinson, RDN, who is based in Austin, Texas.

When you’re eating the foods that get you there (more on that in a minute), your body can enter a state of ketosis in one to three days, she adds. During the diet, the majority of calories you consume come from fat, with a little protein and very little carbohydrates. Ketosis also happens if you eat a very low-calorie diet — think doctor-supervised, only when medically recommended diets of 600 to 800 total calories.

Benefits and Risks of the Diet That Beginners Need to Know

Before you dive in, it’s key to know the possible benefits and risks of keto.

There are three instances where there’s research to back up a ketogenic diet, including to help control type 2 diabetes, as part of epilepsy treatment, or for weight loss, says Mattinson. “In terms of diabetes, there is some promising research showing that the ketogenic diet may improve glycemic control. It may cause a reduction in A1C — a key test for diabetes that measures a person’s average blood sugar control over two to three months — something that may help you reduce medication use,” she says.

But for people with diabetes, one big concern is you’re eating a lot of fat on keto, and that fat may be saturated, which is unhealthy when eaten in excess. (The much higher total fat intake is also a challenge among keto beginners.)

Because people with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, there’s a specific concern that the saturated fat in the diet may drive up LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels, and further increase the odds of heart problems. If you have type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor before attempting a ketogenic diet. They may recommend a different weight-loss diet for you, like a reduced-calorie diet, to manage diabetes. Those with epilepsy should also consult their doctor before using this as part of their treatment plan.

In terms of weight loss, you may be interested in trying the ketogenic diet because you’ve heard that it can make a big impact right away. And that’s true. “Ketogenic diets will cause you to lose weight within the first week,” says Mattinson. She explains that your body will first use up all of its glycogen stores (the storage form of carbohydrate). With depleted glycogen, you’ll drop water weight. While it can be motivating to see the number on the scale go down (often dramatically), do keep in mind that most of this is water loss initially.

But the keto diet can be effective over time. One review suggested the keto diet can spur fat loss in obese people when used for a couple of weeks and up to one year. (1) A meta-analysis noted that one reason for weight loss is likely that keto diets suppress hunger. (2)

One downside to a ketogenic diet for weight loss is the difficulty maintaining it. “Studies show that weight loss results from being on a low-carb diet for more than 12 months tend to be the same as being on a normal, healthy diet,” says Mattinson. While you may be eating more satiating fats (like peanut butter, regular butter, or avocado), you’re also way more limited in what’s allowed on the diet, which can make everyday situations, like eating dinner with family or going out with friends, far more difficult. Because people often find it tough to sustain, it’s easy to rely on it as a short-term diet rather than a long-term lifestyle.

Before starting, ask yourself what is really realistic for you, Mattinson suggests. Then get your doctor’s okay. You may also work with a local registered dietitian nutritionist to limit potential nutrient deficiencies and talk about vitamin supplementation, as you won’t be eating whole grains, dairy, or fruit, and will eliminate many veggies. “A diet that eliminates entire food groups is a red flag to me. This isn’t something to take lightly or dive into headfirst with no medical supervision,” she says.

Keto Diet: A Complete List of What to Eat and Avoid, Plus a 7-Day Sample Menu

On the keto diet, you’ll need to drastically cut your carbs, prioritizing protein, nonstarchy veggies, and healthy fats instead.

If you’re looking to get a jump start on your health and fitness goals this year, you may be thinking about trying the ketogenic diet. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase before — it’s a huge diet buzzword — but aren’t sure what it means. Here’s a primer: The ketogenic diet is an eating plan that drives your body into ketosis, a state where the body uses fat as a primary fuel source (instead of carbohydrates), says Stacey Mattinson, RDN, who is based in Austin, Texas.

When you’re eating the foods that get you there (more on that in a minute), your body can enter a state of ketosis in one to three days, she adds. During the diet, the majority of calories you consume come from fat, with a little protein and very little carbohydrates. Ketosis also happens if you eat a very low-calorie diet — think doctor-supervised, only when medically recommended diets of 600 to 800 total calories.

Benefits and Risks of the Diet That Beginners Need to Know

Before you dive in, it’s key to know the possible benefits and risks of keto.

There are three instances where there’s research to back up a ketogenic diet, including to help control type 2 diabetes, as part of epilepsy treatment, or for weight loss, says Mattinson. “In terms of diabetes, there is some promising research showing that the ketogenic diet may improve glycemic control. It may cause a reduction in A1C — a key test for diabetes that measures a person’s average blood sugar control over two to three months — something that may help you reduce medication use,” she says.

But for people with diabetes, one big concern is you’re eating a lot of fat on keto, and that fat may be saturated, which is unhealthy when eaten in excess. (The much higher total fat intake is also a challenge among keto beginners.)

Because people with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, there’s a specific concern that the saturated fat in the diet may drive up LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels, and further increase the odds of heart problems. If you have type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor before attempting a ketogenic diet. They may recommend a different weight-loss diet for you, like a reduced-calorie diet, to manage diabetes. Those with epilepsy should also consult their doctor before using this as part of their treatment plan.

In terms of weight loss, you may be interested in trying the ketogenic diet because you’ve heard that it can make a big impact right away. And that’s true. “Ketogenic diets will cause you to lose weight within the first week,” says Mattinson. She explains that your body will first use up all of its glycogen stores (the storage form of carbohydrate). With depleted glycogen, you’ll drop water weight. While it can be motivating to see the number on the scale go down (often dramatically), do keep in mind that most of this is water loss initially.

But the keto diet can be effective over time. One review suggested the keto diet can spur fat loss in obese people when used for a couple of weeks and up to one year. (1) A meta-analysis noted that one reason for weight loss is likely that keto diets suppress hunger. (2)

One downside to a ketogenic diet for weight loss is the difficulty maintaining it. “Studies show that weight loss results from being on a low-carb diet for more than 12 months tend to be the same as being on a normal, healthy diet,” says Mattinson. While you may be eating more satiating fats (like peanut butter, regular butter, or avocado), you’re also way more limited in what’s allowed on the diet, which can make everyday situations, like eating dinner with family or going out with friends, far more difficult. Because people often find it tough to sustain, it’s easy to rely on it as a short-term diet rather than a long-term lifestyle.

Before starting, ask yourself what is really realistic for you, Mattinson suggests. Then get your doctor’s okay. You may also work with a local registered dietitian nutritionist to limit potential nutrient deficiencies and talk about vitamin supplementation, as you won’t be eating whole grains, dairy, or fruit, and will eliminate many veggies. “A diet that eliminates entire food groups is a red flag to me. This isn’t something to take lightly or dive into headfirst with no medical supervision,” she says.

CBD for cancer: Everything you need to know

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant gaining popularity in the world of natural medicine because it appears to offer the body many benefits. While there is some debate around the topic, some people suggest using CBD in the treatment of cancer.

Although it is too early to make any claims about CBD for cancer treatment, this compound may help manage symptoms that occur due to this disease or its treatment.

It is important to note that CBD is not the same as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is an active cannabinoid in cannabis that causes a “high” when a person smokes or ingests it. Researchers are also looking at the possibility of using CBD for treating anxiety and chronic pain.

While the initial results from small studies on cancer cells and CBD are promising, they are not conclusive.

In this article, learn about the effects of CBD on cancer and how it may help ease the side effects of cancer treatments.

CBD as a complementary therapy

The majority of the evidence available suggests that CBD and cannabis therapies may complement cancer treatment. CBD may help people with cancer by:

Stimulating appetite

CBD oil may help relieve pain and stimulate appetite.

Many people who are going through cancer treatment experience nausea and loss of appetite.

These symptoms can make it difficult for them to maintain a healthy weight.

Ingested cannabis that delivers THC and other cannabinoids to the bloodstream may help stimulate the appetite, but there is no evidence that CBD alone can have this effect.

Pain relief
Both cancer and its treatment can lead to pain. Cancer often causes pain due to inflammation, pressure on internal organs, or nerve injury. When the pain is severe, it can even become resistant to opioids, which are powerful pain relievers.

CBD indirectly acts on the CB2 receptors, which may help with widespread pain relief by reducing inflammation.

THC acts on the CB1 receptors, which may be helpful for pain resulting from nerve damage.

Nausea
Cannabis and cannabinoids such as CBD may also be helpful for people with cancer who experience regular nausea and vomiting, especially when this is due to chemotherapy.

However, the antinausea effect appears to come from THC in cannabis, rather than from CBD. People looking to try cannabis to reduce nausea should prepare themselves for the potential psychoactive effects of THC in prescribed cannabis products and discuss them with a doctor.

Many people find relief from low doses of THC. Prescription versions of synthetic THC that have fewer side effects are available.

CBD for cancer prevention

Some people wonder about using cannabis or CBD to prevent cancer. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reviewed numerous studies regarding the link between cannabis and cancer and found that the research has mixed results.

An older study of 64,855 men from the United States found that cannabis use did not increase the risk of tobacco-related cancers. However, this same study also found that male cannabis users who never smoked tobacco had an increased risk of prostate cancer.

On the other hand, the authors of a 2015 study found a promising relationship between cannabis and bladder cancer. After adjusting for several factors, they found that that cannabis users had a 45-percent lower risk of developing bladder cancer.

While research has shown that cannabis smoke still produces carcinogens, the link between inhaled marijuana and cancer remains inconclusive.

However, ingesting CBD extract does not expose the body to the same carcinogens as smoking marijuana. More long-term studies in humans are necessary to determine what role, if any, CBD has to play in the prevention of cancer.

Can CBD treat cancer?

There are currently no large clinical trials that are investigating the use of cannabis or cannabinoids as a cancer treatment. Small pilot studies exist, but the research is still in its early stages.

In 2016, researchers noted that the use of cannabinoids shows promise in the fight against cancer. The authors found that cannabinoids seem to inhibit the growth of many different types of tumor cell in both test tubes and animal models.

However, they also noted that some dosages or types of cannabinoid might suppress the immune system, allowing tumors to grow unchecked.

Much more research is necessary to discover the possible therapeutic uses of cannabinoids in cancer treatment.

Side effects of CBD

If a person stops taking CBD, they may experience insomnia.

The cannabinoid receptors in the brain do not act the same way as many other drug receptors.

For this reason, there may be a lower risk of side effects.

Unlike traditional medications for pain management, there are no apparent lethal doses of CBD. This is because the drug does not affect the central nervous system in the way that opiates do.

However, the cannabinoid receptors are widespread in the body, so CBD affects not only the brain, but also many other organs and tissues.

Small-scale studies have found that people generally tolerate CBD well, but some individuals may experience mild side effects.

These include:

fatigue
diarrhea
changes in appetite
changes in weight
CBD can also interact with a range of medications and cause liver damage. These medications include:

antibiotics
antidepressants
anti-anxiety medications
anti-seizure medications
blood thinners
chemotherapy drugs
muscle relaxers
sedatives, or sleep aids
It may be necessary to speak to a doctor about using CBD products, as they can also interact with some over-the-counter aids and supplements. People should exercise caution when taking CBD alongside prescription medications that warn about possible interactions with grapefruit.

Increased liver toxicity is a possible side effect of CBD. In one 2019 study in the journal Molecules, researchers administered varying doses of CBD to mice. The mice that received higher doses experienced liver damage within 1 day.

Clinical trials of Epidiolex — the brand name of the CBD medication that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved to treat epilepsy — did not find any indications of physical dependence.

However, the manufacturers of Epidiolex also warn of its potential to cause liver problems in the product’s safety information.

As the NCI note, CBD inhibits specific enzymes that may be important for cancer therapies. Cancer treatments that rely on these enzymes could be less effective if a person takes CBD.

Takeaway

While CBD does indeed appear to be a beneficial compound for many cancer symptoms, no scientific research suggests that CBD can be an effective cancer treatment.

Cannabinoids and cannabis itself may have their place as a complementary treatment in some cases, for example, for people who need help managing chronic pain and nausea.

People should always talk to a doctor before using CBD or any other compound during cancer treatment to ensure that it will not react with any of the medications that they are taking.

Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.

The Results of Keto Diet

Learn everything you need to know to get the keto diet results you want with helpful tips and a handy weight loss calculator.

Weight loss is one of the most common goals of the ketogenic diet. If you’re using keto to drop pounds, you’re probably wondering how quickly you can expect to see keto diet results.

Since everyone is different, it’s hard to get an exact answer, but this article will cover the average weight loss rate for most keto dieters, tips for successfully losing weight on keto, and how to avoid common weight loss mistakes.

Weight Loss on Keto: Everyone Is Different

Everyone’s body is different, which means the weight loss rate for each person is different too. Your individual keto diet results can vary depending on four main factors.

Your Health Situation

Are you overweight? What’s your energy level? Do you have thyroid problems? Do you have insulin resistance or other blood sugar issues? What is your metabolic state?

Your overall health determines how fast you lose weight. For instance, if you have any hormonal or metabolic issues, the process might be slower than expected. That’s OK.

Your Body Composition

How much body fat do you have to lose? What’s your muscle mass? What’s your BMI (body weight to height ratio)? If you have a lot of excess weight you’ll likely experience more and faster weight loss in the beginning.

Your Daily Habits

Your exercise and eating habits make or break your weight loss efforts. What does your keto meal plan look like? Are you eating clean keto foods like coconut oil, avocado, and MCT oil, or do you choose high-fat junk foods like processed meats? Are you watching out for hidden carbs? Are you exercising? The energy you spend on a daily basis and your way of eating impact how efficiently your body burns fat.

Your Individual Fat Adaptation Period

Your body needs time to become fat-adapted, and the time it takes to get there depends on your metabolism. For instance, if you’re coming off a standard American diet (SAD), and your adult body has never run on ketones before, your adaptation period might take a little longer. You’ll lose weight when your body is in a state of ketosis.

The key to keto diet results is consistency. That means eating keto-friendly foods including healthy fats, veggies, and quality meats. Treat the keto diet as what it is — not simply a diet plan, but a lifestyle and metabolic shift in your health.

Set Yourself Up for Weight Loss Success

Before you embark on your keto weight loss journey, it’s important to get the basics right.

Some people think shifting from the high-carb standard American diet into a paleo or low-carb diet is enough to enter ketosis. But this isn’t always the case. It’s important to make sure you’re running on ketones instead of carbs. Otherwise, you’re not going to burn fat or lose weight.

Figure Out Your Keto Macros

Use the keto calculator to get your personal keto macros. Having a nutritional target based on your body composition will make it a lot easier to enter and remain in ketosis (and lose weight). It might seem like a lot of work to track your macros, but once you get an idea of how many grams of carbs, proteins, and fats are in the foods you eat most often, it will start to become second nature.

5 Secrets From Women Who Look Way Younger Than They Are

Yes, many women can thank their genes for that youthful glow (and there’s Harvard data to prove it). But gliding into your 40s, 50s, and even 60s with smooth, dewy, seemingly ageless skin is not quite that simple—and not quite that hopeless for those of us who aren’t genetically blessed. There are certain lifestyle hacks and habits that can help halt the clock, ranging from the expected—eat your fruits and veggies and drink loads of water—to somewhat more unusual tricks. (Did you know you can rejuvenate your skin by getting your hormones in check? Try Prevention’s The Hormone Fix.) Here’s the proof: the following five women, who’ve revealed their secrets, plus the photographic evidence.

They grease themselves up.

“I smear Vaseline all over my face at night—my cheeks, eyelids, under my eyes, my neck, everywhere. It locks in moisture and keeps my face looking smooth and supple. I know I should be using an expensive over-the-counter or prescription retinol product, but they make my eyes itchy. I’ve always wondered about those reports claiming Vaseline is actually toxic, but as a physician, I figure if it hasn’t killed me yet, and I’ve been doing it for over 20 years, it probably won’t. I also sleep with the windows open at night, even when it’s extremely hot or extremely cold. I think it’s good to get some fresh air on my skin while I sleep.”
–Carey August, MD, 59

They exfoliate like crazy.

“I use a nail brush—yeah, I know, brutal, but my loofah just wasn’t doing the trick—to scrub my entire body every day. I’ve been doing this since my early 30s after having kids. Since my skin was so loose, stretched, and dry, I thought exfoliating would be a good way to refresh the skin, get some blood flowing, and maybe, possibly, hide some cellulite. And it totally works. As a bonus, when I apply self-tanning moisturizer, it goes on really evenly.”
–Renata Bregstone, 43

Skin & Beauty: Anti-Aging Tips & Secrets to Look Younger

Use Primer First

Skin thins and dries with age, so lines and wrinkles start to appear. Applying primer before you put on your makeup helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and pores by filling them in. This way your skin is a smooth blank canvas for you to apply your makeup. Skin primer does not get rid of fine lines and large pores, but it can help both appear less visible. Silicone is a common ingredient in skin primer that works well for the purpose.

Skip Thick Foundation

Foundation is great for making your skin tone appear even and smooth. It can hide imperfections like freckles, age spots, scars, and other problem skin issues — but, if you apply foundation too thick or too heavy handed, it can actually make you look older because it sinks into lines and wrinkles, making them appear worse. Here is the right way to apply foundation. First, clean and dry your face. Next, apply moisturizer appropriate for your skin type. Then, apply primer. Now you are ready to apply foundation. Use a light touch and a sponge applicator to dab the product over your entire face. Blend color carefully on the edges of your face and at the jawline so you avoid having a severe line between skin areas with and without foundation. Apply foundation sparingly. A little goes a long way.

Make Sure You Can See

Eyesight tends to decline with age. Most people need glasses after the age of 40. Your inability to see well may affect your ability to be precise when applying makeup. No one wants to look like a clown! Invest in a good magnifying mirror and use it when applying makeup, especially eyeliner, eye shadow, and mascara. A magnifying mirror is also a very useful tool to have on hand when you are grooming or filling in eyebrows. See your ophthalmologist for regular eye exams to make sure you have an adequate prescription for your eyeglasses or contact lenses so you can see clearly.

Make Your Eyes Pop

Eyelids get droopy as we age, and eyelashes and eyebrows may become more sparse. Draw attention to your best features. Apply eyeliner in a color that makes your eyes pop. Apply a thin line of eyeliner along your upper and lower lash lines. This will make your eye lashes appear thicker. Use a complementary color of eye shadow on your upper lid. Use softer shades of eye shadow as you get older, and apply minimal product. Heavy, caked-on eye makeup makes you look older.

Fill in Sparse Eyebrows

Eyebrows tend to become thinner and gray as we age. Since eyebrows frame the face, their appearance impacts how youthful you look. Fill in and darken aging eyebrows. Use an eyebrow pencil that approximates your hair color to fill in sparse areas. Use eyebrow powder over penciled in areas to help the color set. Avoid using colors that are much darker than your hair color. Eyebrows that are too dark will look unnatural and will age you.

Do Not Let Lipstick Bleed

It is normal to develop lines around the mouth as you age, but lipstick that bleeds into these lines will only accentuate their appearance. You can keep lipstick in place by using a few tried and true tips. First, apply moisturizer to your lips. Next, apply a light coat of foundation to them using a light touch and a sponge applicator. Line lips with a lip liner that is the same shade of color as your lips. Lastly, apply lipstick in a flattering shade. You can then dust a bit of powder over your lips to set the color and help prevent bleeding.

Plump Up Your Pout

Lips tend to thin and lose volume as you age, but you can use some tricks to make them appear younger and fuller. After moisturizing and applying foundation to lips, use a lip-colored lip pencil to line them. Make sure to use a color that blends in with your natural lip color. Lining lips with a color much darker than your natural lip color will look unnatural and could make you look older. Stick to colors that are light or neutral, which will make you look younger. You can even try a lip-plumping lipstick or lip gloss. The effect may be modest, but it may help your lips look a little fuller.

Keep Lips Hydrated

Chapped, flaky lips are a common problem. You can combat dry lips by moisturizing them often. Apply lip balm containing petroleum jelly, vitamin E, shea butter, or a combination of these, often. Get a product that also contains sunscreen to protect delicate lips from the UV rays of the sun. Sun exposure can damage skin, including the skin of the lips, especially if you burn. You can also use a mild lip exfoliating product to remove dry flakes. If you use long-wearing lipstick, make sure the product dries completely before you apply lip balm over it.

Get Teeth Whitened

Coffee, tea, cola, and wine are just a few beverages that can stain tooth enamel. Smoking also stains teeth. Having stained teeth can make you look older. Combat stains by using an over-the-counter whitening toothpaste. For more intense results, use over-the-counter whitening strips or gels. These products work by bleaching tooth enamel. If you need more help, talk to your dentist. In-office treatments are available that can make teeth look much whiter. Some types of treatments require multiple visits to achieve the best results.

Tend to Delicate Eyes

The eyes are a central feature of the face. Their appearance can make you look older or younger depending on several factors. Eye puffiness and dark circles may make you appear older than your actual age. Minimize dark circles by getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep triggers dark circles. If you have allergies, treat them, as allergies can make you get dark circles around your eyes. Salt makes you retain water, so minimize sodium in your diet to reduce the risk of undereye puffiness. Place cucumber slices or moist tea bags under your eyes to combat puffiness.

Prevent Dark Circles

Getting adequate sleep may help you avoid dark circles under your eyes. Some people have skin pigmentation that makes the skin under the eyes appear darker than the surrounding facial skin. If you have this problem, products containing hydroquinone, retinol, vitamin C, and green tea may make dark circles appear lighter. Dab undereye concealer on the delicate skin under the eyes to conceal dark circles. The concealer should be slightly lighter than your actual skin tone. Choose a concealer with a yellowish tinge to conceal dark circles.

Remove Dead Skin Cells

Skin cells do not turn over as rapidly as they once did as you age. The result is that surface skin may appear rough, uneven, and blotchy. Make regular exfoliation part of your anti-aging skin care routine. Use a soft washcloth and an exfoliating cleanser to gently remove dead skin cells from your face and body. This reduces the appearance of dull, flaky skin. Use a gentle hand. Exfoliating too aggressively may irritate your skin, leaving it red and splotchy.

Use Retinoids to Fight Wrinkles

Retinoids are compounds that are similar to vitamin A. Regular use of retinoids helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This promotes healthy, younger-looking skin. The strongest creams containing retinoids are available with a prescription from your doctor. Tretinoin, adapalene, and tarazotene are a few types of prescription retinoids. A milder version of these products, called retinol, is available over the counter (OTC). You will get the best results from retinoid products if you use them regularly. You will see improvements within several weeks to months of use. Start slowly if you are using retinoid products for the first time. They may cause redness, peeling, redness, and increased sensitivity. Apply the product less frequently or switch to a reduced strength retinoid if you experience these side effects.