The keto diet is designed to cause ketoacidosis, and many people wonder if the keto diet is practical for college students. College students who live off-campus may have more choices when it comes to what they eat and how they eat it. Those who live in dorms and use the campus cafeterias may find it more challenging to stick with a low-carb diet.
Foods Allowed in the Keto Diet
It takes about three days to induce ketoacidosis. The keto diet has a heavy emphasis on saturated fats. Participants are encouraged to eat big doses of butter and oils. They are also encouraged to eat fatty animal products such as bacon, salmon filets, steak, cheese, and hamburger. Some unsaturated fats are allowed in the keto diet. Participants can eat some nuts, avocado, and seeds. A small amount of vegetables is allowed. These must be low-carb vegetables such as asparagus or onion. In a college cafeteria, steaks, bacon, and related foods are not often served.
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Disallowed Foods in the Keto Diet
The keto diet has a long list of foods that are disallowed. Bread, rice, noodles, and oats are not allowed on the diet. Most fruits, including apples, bananas, oranges, and grapes are not allowed. Candy and treats such as cookies, sugary coffee drinks, ice cream, and sugary breakfast cereals are not allowed. Juice, soda/pop, and alcoholic beverages are banned on the keto diet. For busy college students on a small budget, buying a lot of eggs, cheese, red meat, and fatty fish could be cost-prohibitive. Students who need fast energy may also have a difficult time on the diet. On the other hand, hard boiling an egg only takes a few minutes, and nuts and seeds are highly portable for students on the go.
Health Effects of the Keto Diet
A sudden and drastic decrease in carbohydrates causes the body to burn stored fat for faster energy. Many people experience rapid loss of weight by doing this, explains Harvard University. However, the body may be deprived of vitamins and micro-nutrients that are in plants such as fruit and whole-grains. The liver and kidneys may not be able to cope with the fat in this diet. Fuzzy thinking, constipation and mood swings are some common side effects of the keto diet.
Fitting Keto Into the College Schedule
College students who live in an apartment and have easy access to a full-service grocery store may have an easier time fitting the keto diet into their schedules. For example, a student could boil a dozen eggs in just a few minutes. Those eggs would be easy breakfasts that would not take much time to peel and eat. Lunches could be a hamburger without the patty in the campus cafeteria. Dinners could consist of salmon or steak on an indoor smokeless grill or a stir-fry with chicken or pork, onions, and peppers.
Before trying a keto diet or any other type of restrictive eating plan, a person should check with their doctor. Evidence has shown that the keto diet may not be safe for a person who already has heart disease or other medical conditions. It is worth consulting with a physician in order to find out whether or not the keto diet is practical for college students.