The ketogenic diet or keto diet is a low carb, high fat diet that offers many health benefits.
In fact, many studies show that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve your health. Ketogenic diets may even have benefits against diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Here is a detailed beginner’s guide to the keto diet.
2. What is a ketogenic diet?
“Ketogenic” is a term for a low-carb diet (like the Atkins diet). The idea is for you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. You cut back most on the carbs that are easy to digest, like sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread.
The keto diet is a low carb, high fat diet and adequate-protein. It lowers blood sugar and insulin levels and shifts the body’s metabolism away from carbs and toward fat and ketones. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders can be control with the ketogenic diet.
The theory behind the high-fat, low carbohydrate ratio is that the body will rely on fat for energy instead of on carbohydrates, and therefore the body will become more lean as a result of having less fat stored in the body. Ideally, the Keto Diet will allow the body to go into ketosis, or a metabolic state where ketones - which are fats - are burned for energy instead of glucose - the carbohydrates.
Those that follow the Keto Diet also consume just the right amount of protein that the body needs on a daily basis. Contrary to some of the other diets that are in existence, the Keto Diet does not focus on counting calories. The focus is instead centered on the fat, carbohydrate, and protein make-up of the food as well as on the weight of the portions.
Many people who suffer from epilepsy and other illnesses have reported a noticeable decrease in their symptoms after going on this diet. This practice dates back to Ancient Greece when doctors
would change their patients' diets and even have them fast to force their body into starvation mode. The Ketogenic Diet is a much easier means of getting the body to go into the fasting mode without actually depriving the body of food. To this day, however, no one knows exactly why the Ketogenic Diet is so effective in helping those that suffer from epilepsy, autism, and other known illnesses.
The high-fat component on this diet usually comes from the ingredients which go into making the food; this could include heavy cream, butter, or buttermilk, and also might feature creamy dressings such
3. Keto basics
The ketogenic diet is a very low carb, high fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins diet and low carb diets.
It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.
Ketogenic diets can cause significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels.Along with the increased ketones, has some health benefits.
4. Different types of ketogenic diets
There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:
Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high carb days.
Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.
Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low carb, moderate protein and high fat diet. It typically contains 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbs.
High protein ketogenic diet(HPK): This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
However, only the standard and high protein ketogenic diets have been studied extensively. Cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced methods and primarily used by bodybuilders or athletes. The information in this article mostly applies to the standard ketogenic diet (SKD), although many of the same principles also apply to the other versions.
The standard (SKD) version is the most researched and most recommended.
5.What is ketosis?
ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs .It occurs when you significantly reduce your consumption of carbohydrates, limiting your body’s supply of glucose (sugar), which is the main source of energy for the cells. Physiological ketosis is a normal response to low glucose availability, such as low-carbohydrate diets or fasting, that provides an additional energy source for the brain in the form of ketones
Following a ketogenic diet is the most effective way to enter ketosis. Generally, this involves limiting carb consumption to around 20 to 50 grams per day and filling up on fats, such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and healthy oils. It’s also important to moderate your protein consumption. This is because protein can be converted into glucose if consumed in high amounts, which may slow your transition into ketosis.
Ketosis is a state where the body produces molecules called ketones which are created by the liver. Designed to give energy to the cells and organs, it can replace glucose as an alternate fuel source. In our traditional carbohydrate-rich diet, we get most of our energy from glucose, which is
converted from the carbs that we eat during meals. Glucose is a quick source of energy, where insulin is required as a sort of messenger that tells the cells to open up and allow glucose to flow in such that it can be used as fuel for the mitochondria, otherwise known as the energy factories in our cells.
Practicing intermittent fasting could also help you enter ketosis faster. There are many different forms of intermittent fasting, but the most common method involves limiting food intake to around 8 hours per day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
Blood, urine, and breath tests are available, which can help determine whether you’ve entered ketosis by measuring the amount of ketones produced by your body. Certain symptoms may also indicate that you’ve entered ketosis, including increased thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, and decreased hunger or appetite.
There may be side effects when changing over from glucose metabolism to fat metabolism. These may include headache, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, difficulty in exercise tolerance, constipation, and nausea, especially in the first days and weeks after starting a ketogenic diet.
The more carbs we ingest, the more glucose will be present in our blood, which then means the pancreas needs to produce more insulin in order to facilitate energy production from the available blood sugar. In a body where the metabolic function is still normal, the insulin produced from the pancreas is readily accepted by the cells, which then leads to an efficient usage of blood sugar as energy. The problem is that our cells can actually become insulin desensitized, leading to a situation where the pancreas is forced to pump more and more insulin into the body just to clear and normalize the blood sugar levels
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs. Modifying your diet and intermittent fasting can help you enter ketosis faster. Tests and symptoms can also help determine whether you’ve entered ketosis.
6.Is Ketogenic diets is helpful to lose weight?
A ketogenic diet is an effective way to lose weight and lower risk factors for disease. Research shows that the ketogenic diet may be as effective for weight loss as a low fat diet. The diet is so filling that you can lose weight without counting calories.
13 studies found that following a very low-carbohydrate diets , ketogenic diet was slightly more effective for long-term weight loss than a low fat diet. People who followed the keto diet lost an average of 2 pounds (0.9 kg) more than the group that followed a low fat diet. It also helps in the reductions of diastolic blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
A study in 34 older adults found that those who followed a ketogenic diet for 8 weeks lost nearly five times as much total body fat as those who followed a low fat diet. For more details on the weight loss effects of a ketogenic diet, read this article.
A ketogenic diet can help you lose more weight than a low fat diet. This often happens with less hunger.
7.Keto diets for diabetes and prediabetes
Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by a high blood sugar level (hyperglycemia) over a prolonged period of time. Symptoms often include frequent urination, increased thirst and increased appetite. If left untreated, diabetes can cause many health complications. The ketogenic diet can help you lose excess fat, which is closely linked to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome. One older study found that the ketogenic diet improved insulin sensitivity by 75%.
A small study in women with type 2 diabetes also found that following a ketogenic diet for 90 days significantly reduced levels of hemoglobin A1C, which is a measure of long-term blood sugar management. Another study in 349 people with type 2 diabetes found that those who followed a ketogenic diet lost an average of 26.2 pounds (11.9 kg) over a 2-year period. This is an important benefit when considering the link between weight and type 2 diabetes.
For more information, check out this article on the benefits of low carb diets for people with diabetes.
The ketogenic diet can boost insulin sensitivity and cause fat loss, leading to significant health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
8.Other health benefits of keto Diet
The ketogenic diet actually originated as a tool for treating neurological diseases such as Epilepsy. Studies have now shown that the diet can have benefits for a wide variety of different health conditions:
Polycystic ovary syndrome. The ketogenic diet can help reduce insulin levels, which may play a key role in polycystic ovary syndrome.
Brain injuries. Some research suggests that the diet could improve outcomes of traumatic brain injuries.
Heart disease. The ketogenic diet can help improve risk factors like body fat, HDL (good) cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
Cancer. The diet is currently being explored as an additional treatment for cancer, because it may help slow tumor growth.
Alzheimer’s disease. The keto diet may help reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and slow its progression.
Epilepsy. Research has shown that the ketogenic diet can cause significant reductions in seizures in epileptic children.Cholesterol. A Keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup.
Weight Loss. As your body is burning fat as the main source of energy, you will essentially be using your fat stores as an energy source while in a fasting state.
Blood Sugar. Many studies show the decrease of LDL cholesterol over time and have shown to eliminate ailments such as type 2 diabetes.
Energy. By giving your body a better and more reliable energy source, you will feel more energized during the day. Fats are shown to be the most effective molecule to burn as fuel.
Hunger. Fat is naturally more satisfying and ends up leaving us in a satiated (“full”) state for longer.
Acne. Recent studies have shown a drop in acne lesions and skin inflammation over 12 weeks.
A ketogenic diet may provide many health benefits, especially with metabolic, neurological, or insulin-related diseases.
9. Foods to avoid
Food that is high in carbs should be limited. Here’s a list of foods that need to be reduced or eliminated on a ketogenic diet:
Unhealthy fats: processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
Alcohol: beer, wine, mixed drinks
Sugar-free diet foods: sugar-free candies, syrups, sweeteners, desserts, etc.
Sugary foods: fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
Grains or starches: wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
Fruit: all fruit, except like strawberries
Beans or legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
root vegetables and tubers potatoes ,carrots, parsnips, etc.
Low fat or diet products: low fat mayonnaise, salad dressings, and condiments
some condiments or sauces: barbecue sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, etc.
Avoid carb-based foods like grains, sugars, legumes, rice, potatoes, candy, juice, and even most fruits.
10.Foods to eat
You should base the majority of your meals around these foods:
Meat: red meat, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken, and turkey
Fatty fish: salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
Healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil
Avocados: whole avocados or freshly made guacamole
Eggs: pastured or omega-3 whole eggs
Butter and cream: grass-fed butter and heavy cream
Cheese: unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, cream, blue, or mozzarella
Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, etc.
Low carb veggies: green veggies, tomatoes, onions, etc.
Condiments: salt, pepper, herbs, and spices
Base the majority of your diet on foods such as meat, fish, eggs, butter, nuts, healthy oils, avocados, low carb veggies etc.
11.Healthy keto Snacks
In case you get hungry between meals, here are some healthy, keto-approved snacks :
Fatty meat or fish, Nut butters, Olives, Nuts and seeds, Avocados, Boiled eggs, Cheese, Green bell peppers, Carrots etc.
Keto sushi bites
Keto-friendly snack bars
90% dark chocolate
Full-fat Greek yogurt mixed with nut butter and cocoa powder
Strawberries and plain cottage cheese
Selery with salsa and guacamole
Great snacks for a keto diet include pieces of meat, cheese, olives, boiled eggs, nuts, raw veggies, and dark chocolate.
12.Keto tips and tricks
Although getting started on the ketogenic diet can be challenging, there are several tips and tricks that you can use to make it easier.
1.Start by checking the grams of fat, carbs, and fiber to determine how your favorite foods can fit into your diet.
2.Some meal delivery services even offer keto-friendly options for a quick and convenient way to enjoy keto meals at home.
3.Plan your meals in advance may also be beneficial and can help you save extra time throughout the week.
4.Many websites, food blogs, apps, and our cookbooks also offer keto-friendly recipes and meal ideas that you can use to build your own custom menu.
5.When going to social gatherings or visiting family and friends, you may also want to consider bringing your own food, which can make it much easier to curb cravings and stick to your meal plan.
Reading food labels, planning your meals ahead, and bringing your own foods when visiting family and friends can make it much easier to stick to the ketogenic diet.
13.Risks of the keto diet
Staying on the keto diet in the long term may have some negative effects,which are following:
1.Low protein in the blood.
4.Extra fat in the liver.
5.Research is being done to determine the safety of the keto diet in the long term. Keep your doctor informed of your eating plan to guide your choices.
There are some side effects to the keto diet about which you should speak to your doctor if you plan to stay on the diet long term.
14.Why Choose the Ketogenic Diet?
Over the years, researchers have found that there are many benefits to choosing the Ketogenic Diet. There was initial speculation that the diet would cause a cholesterol build-up in the body, therefore leading to heart disease due to the high-fat content of the foods that people on the diet could consume.
However, as more and more experts have looked into the diet, they have found that there are inherent advantages for beginning this type of diet. For one, the body is able to utilize fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. The body will therefore not rely on carbohydrates since there is such a low amount entering the body, and will thus be able to store ketones - the fats - for later energy use.
Another benefit is the fact that the body will not be as hungry, and people on the Keto Diet therefore are at a lower risk of falling off their regiment by snacking. Because the Keto Diet encourages the consumption of various protein-rich foods which work to curb hunger. The body goes into the state of ketosis - which is common among those who fast regularly - and therefore does not require a lot of food to keep it going. What better than to be on a healthy diet
and not have constant hunger pangs?
People who follow the Keto Diet completely eliminate starchy carbohydrates, such as breads and pastas, and substitute them with non-starch vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, carrots, and many others. These kinds of vegetables are packed with vitamins and nutrients that support a healthy body, and are also much lower in calories. The Keto Diet, in addition to aiding those who suffer from illnesses such as epilepsy, is also recommended for cancer patients.
As research has shown, cancer cells flourish in areas of the body where there is a lot of glucose, which is what carbohydrates become. If the body consumes less carbohydrates, there will therefore be less glucose, and subsequently the cancer cells will not be able to grow and thrive.
A ketogenic diet can be great for people who:
3.Are looking to improve their metabolic health
It may be less suitable for elite athletes or those wishing to add large amounts of muscle or weight.
It may also not be sustainable for some people’s lifestyles and preferences. Speak with your doctor about your eating plan and goals to decide if a keto eating plan right for you.