The ketogenic diet (or in short the keto diet) is a low-carbohydrate and low-fat diet that has many benefits for the body.
In fact, many studies show that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve your health.
The ketogenic diet may even be beneficial in the treatment of diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer's.
Here is a comprehensive beginner's guide to keto diet.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is a very low carb diet that has many similarities to Atkins and a low carb diet.
It involves a dramatic reduction in carbohydrate intake and replacement with fat. This reduction in carbohydrates puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis.
When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also converts fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply the brain with energy.
A ketogenic diet can cause significant drops in blood sugar and insulin levels. This together with the increased ketone content provides certain health benefits.
Output: The keto diet is a low carb, high fat diet. It lowers blood sugar and insulin levels and shifts the body's metabolism from carbohydrates to fats and ketones.
Different ketogenic diets
There are several options for the ketogenic diet, including:
- Standard ketogenic diet. This is a diet with very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat content. It usually contains 70% fat, 20% protein and only 10% carbohydrates.
- Cyclic ketogenic dietsa. This diet includes periods of eating more high carb, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high carb days.
- Targeted ketogenic diet. This diet allows you to add carbohydrates during your workout.
- High protein ketogenic diet. It is similar to the standard ketogenic diet but contains more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbohydrates.
However, only the standard ketogenic diet and the high protein ketogenic diet have been thoroughly studied. Cyclic or targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced methods used primarily by bodybuilders or athletes.
The information in this article relates mostly to the standard ketogenic diet, although many of the same principles apply to other versions.
Output: There are several options for keto diet. The standard version is the most researched and most recommended.
What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic condition in which your body uses fat as an energy source instead of carbohydrates.
This happens when you significantly reduce your carbohydrate intake by limiting your intake of glucose (sugar), which is the main source of energy for your cells.
Following a ketogenic diet is the most effective way to get into ketosis. To achieve ketosis, you typically need to limit your carbohydrate intake to approx. 20-50 grams a day and include fatty foods such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts and healthy oils in your diet.
It is also important to reduce your protein intake. This is because protein can be converted to glucose when ingested in large amounts, which can slow down your transition to ketosis.
Intermittent fasting exercise can also help you get into ketosis faster. There are many different types of intermittent fasting, but the most common method is to limit food intake to approx. 8 hours a day and fast for the remaining 16 hours.
To determine if you are in a state of ketosis, you can use special blood, urine, and breath tests that measure the amount of ketones your body produces.
Certain symptoms may also indicate that you are on ketosis, including increased thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination and decreased hunger or appetite.
Output: Ketosis is a metabolic condition in which your body uses fat as an energy source instead of carbohydrates. Dietary changes and intermittent fasting can help you get into ketosis faster. Certain tests and symptoms can also help determine if you are in ketosis.
The ketogenic diet can help you lose weight
The ketogenic diet is an effective way to lose weight and reduce disease risk factors.
In fact, research shows that a ketogenic diet can be just as effective for weight loss as a low-fat diet.
What's more, the diet is so satisfying that you can lose weight without counting calories or tracking your food intake.
A review of 13 studies showed that a ketogenic diet with very low carbohydrate content was slightly more effective for long-term weight loss than a low-fat diet. People on the keto diet lost an average of 0. 9 kg more than low-fat diets.
In addition, it also resulted in lower diastolic blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
Another study in 34 older adults showed that those who followed the ketogenic diet for 8 weeks lost almost five times more fat than those who followed the low-fat diet.
Elevated ketones, lower blood sugar and increased insulin sensitivity may also play a key role.
Output: A ketogenic diet can help you lose a little more weight than a low-fat diet. This makes you feel fuller all day long.
The ketogenic diet for diabetes and prediabetes
Diabetes mellitus is characterized by metabolic changes, high blood sugar and decreased insulin function.
The ketogenic diet can help you shed excess fat, which is closely linked to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and metabolic syndrome.
A previous study showed that a ketogenic diet improved insulin sensitivity by as much as 75%.
A small study in women with type 2 diabetes also showed that after a ketogenic diet for 90 days, hemoglobin A1C was significantly reduced, which is an indicator of prolonged blood glucose control.
Another study of 349 people with type 2 diabetes showed that people on a ketogenic diet lost an average of 11. 9 kg over a 2-year period. This is an important benefit when looking at the link between weight and type 2 diabetes.
In addition, they also experienced improved blood glucose control, and the use of certain blood glucose lowering drugs decreased among the participants throughout the study.
Output: A ketogenic diet can increase insulin sensitivity and induce fat reduction, which will provide significant health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
Other benefits of the ketogenic diet
The ketogenic diet actually emerged as a tool for the treatment of neurological diseases such as epilepsy.
Studies have shown that diet is beneficial in a wide range of conditions:
- Heart disease. A ketogenic diet can help improve risk factors such as body fat, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.
- Cancer. Diet is currently seen as a complementary cancer treatment because it can help slow tumor growth.
- Alzheimer's disease. The keto diet can help reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer's and slow its progression.
- Epilepsy. Research has shown that a ketogenic diet can cause significant reductions in seizures in children with epilepsy.
- Parkinson's disease. While more research is needed, a study found diet to relieve symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome. A ketogenic diet can help lower insulin levels, which may play a key role in polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Brain Injury. Some studies show that diet can improve the outcome of traumatic brain injury.
Keep in mind, however, that research in many of these areas is far from crucial.
Output: A ketogenic diet can provide many health benefits, especially for metabolic, neurological or insulin-related diseases.
Foods to Avoid
Limit foods high in carbohydrates.
Here is a list of foods to cut or remove on a ketogenic diet:
- Sweet food: sodas, fruit juices, smoothies, cakes, ice cream, sweets, etc.
- Cereals or starch: wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereals, etc.
- Fruit: All fruits except small portions of berries such as strawberries
- Beans or legumes: peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
- Roots and tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
- Low fat or diet food: low fat mayonnaise, salad dressings and spices
- Some spices or sauces: BBQ sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, etc.
- Unhealthy fats: refined vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
- Alcohol: beer, wine, spirits, mixed drinks
- Sugar-free diet foods: sweets, syrups, pudding, sweeteners and sugar-free desserts, etc.
Output: Avoid carbohydrate-based foods like grains, sugars, legumes, rice, potatoes, sweets, juices and even most fruits.
What foods to eat
You should base most of your meals on the following foods:
- Meat: red meat, ham, sausages, bacon, chicken, turkey
- Fat fish: mackerel, herring, anchovies, trout, salmon, tuna
- Eggs: Chicken and quail eggs
- Butter and Cream: Organic Butter and Heavy Cream
- Cheese: Unprocessed healthy cheeses such as cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Healthy oils: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil
- Avocados: Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole
- Low Carb Vegetables: Green Vegetables, Tomatoes, Onions, Peppers, etc.
- Spices: salt, pepper, herbs and spices
It is best to base your diet on whole foods with a single ingredient.
Output: Base most of your diet on foods like meat, fish, eggs, butter, nuts, healthy oils, avocados, and lots of low-carb vegetables.
1-week sample menu
To help you get started, here's an example of a week's ketogenic diet plan:
- Breakfast: vegetable and egg muffins with tomatoes
- Breakfast: Chicken salad with olive oil, feta cheese, olives and accessories
- Dinner: salmon with asparagus in butter
- Breakfast: Eggs, Tomatoes, Basil and Spinach Tomato
- Lunch: Almond milk, peanut butter, spinach, cocoa powder and milkshake with strawberry chunks and stevia
- Dinner: taco with cheese and salsa
- Breakfast: nut milk and chia pudding sprinkled with coconut and blackberries
- Breakfast: Avocado Shrimp Salad
- DinnerParmesan pork chops, broccoli and salad
- Breakfast: Omelette with avocado, salsa, pepper, onion and spices
- Lunch: a handful of nuts and celery sticks with guacamole and salsa
- Dinner: chicken stuffed with pesto and cream cheese and grilled zucchini garnish
- Breakfast: Sugar-free Greek yogurt, whole milk yogurt with peanut butter, cocoa powder and berries
- Breakfast: Tacos with salad and minced beef with chopped peppers
- Dinner: Cauliflower cooked with cheese and ham and vegetable mixture
- Breakfast: cheesecakes (without flour) with blueberries and grilled mushroom garnish
- Lunch: courgette and beetroot salad
- Dinner: white fish cooked in coconut oil with cabbage and roasted pine nuts
- Breakfast: scrambled eggs with mushrooms
- Breakfast: chicken with sesame seeds and broccoli
- Dinner: Pumpkin spaghetti with bolognese
Always try to switch between vegetables and meat over a long period of time, as each type provides different nutrients and health benefits.
Output: On a ketogenic diet, you can eat a wide variety of delicious and nutritious meals. You do not have to eat meat and fat alone. Vegetables are an important part of the diet.
Healthy keto snacks
If you are hungry between meals, there are some healthy snacks that are approved for the ketogenic diet:
- fatty meat or fish
- a handful of nuts or seeds
- keto sushi
- one or two eggs, hard boiled or stuffed
- keto-friendly bars
- 90% dark chocolate
- full-fat Greek yogurt mixed with nut butter and cocoa powder
- peppers and guacamole
- strawberries and plain curd
- celery with salsa and guacamole
- beef jerky
- smaller portions of leftover food
Output: Great snacks for the keto diet are lumps of meat, cheese, olives, boiled eggs, nuts, raw vegetables and dark chocolate.
Side effects and how to minimize them
While the ketogenic diet is generally safe for most healthy people, some initial side effects may occur during your body's adjustment period.
There is some anecdotal evidence for these effects, often referred to as keto influenza.
Based on the reports of some people about the meal plan, it usually ends within a few days.The most common symptoms of keto influenza are diarrhea, constipation and vomiting.
Other less common symptoms include:
- low energy and reduced
- mental function
- increased hunger
- sleep problems
- reduced performance
To minimize this, try a regular low carb diet for the first few weeks. This can teach your body to burn more fat before you completely cut out carbs.
The ketogenic diet can also alter your body's water and mineral balance, so it can help add salt to your food or take mineral supplements. Talk to your doctor about your nutritional needs.
When starting a keto diet, it is important to eat until you are full and not limit your calorie intake too much. Typically, a ketogenic diet results in weight loss without consciously limiting the calories.
Output: Many of the side effects of starting a ketogenic diet can be limited. Try a regular low-carb diet and mineral supplements before keto for the first few weeks.
The Risks of the Keto Diet
Continued ketogenic diet may have some negative consequences, including the following risks:
- low blood protein
- excess liver fat
- kidney residue
- micronutrient deficiency
A type of medicine called sodium glucose cotransporter type 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors for type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition that increases blood acidity. Anyone taking this medication should avoid the keto diet.
More research is currently being conducted to determine the long-term safety of the keto diet. Tell your doctor about your meal plan so he can make the right choices.
Output: The keto diet has some side effects that you should talk to your doctor about if you plan to stay on the diet for a long time.