The Ketogenic or keto diet is a low carb, high-fat diet that is believed to deliver umpteen health benefits. Several studies have disclosed that this diet pattern can help one lose weight and uplift overall health. The ketogenic diet may even help diabetic, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s patients to manage their condition.
Ketogenic Diet Basis
The keto diet is a very low carb, high-fat diet that is quite similar to Atkins and low carb diets. This diet basically emphasises reducing carbohydrate intake majorly and substituting it with a healthy fat. Thus, reduction in carbs puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis. This makes the body become potentially efficient at burning fat for energy and converting fat into ketones in the liver, which delivers energy for the brain to function.
A ketogenic diet can cause a remarkable decrease in blood sugar and insulin levels. And this, together with high ketones are known to confer some health incentives.
Types Of Keto Diet
There are different types of the ketogenic diet, including:
Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): It is a very low carb, moderate protein and high-fat diet that comprises 70% fat, 20% protein and only 10% carbs.
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): This diet type encompasses periods of high carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high carb days.
Targeted Ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet pattern lets you add carbs while working out.
High Protein Ketogenic Diet: It is like a standard ketogenic diet but adds more protein. The proportion is mostly 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.
Although only the standard and high protein ketogenic diets have been researched largely for their efficacy. Cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets are advanced versions and are mainly used by bodybuilders.
Health Benefits Of Ketogenic Diet
- The ketogenic diet may help to shed more weight than a low-fat diet. As a person may have very less appetite and feels satiated by following this diet
- The ketogenic diet was mainly designed for treating neurological diseases like epilepsy and have shown remarkable reductions in seizures in epileptic children
- The ketogenic diet can improve risk factors associated with heart diseases such as body fat, HDL cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar
- It is also beneficial in slowing down the growth of tumours.
- The keto diet may ease symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and slow its progression
- This diet may improve insulin sensitivity that plays a vital in regulating polycystic ovary syndrome
Foods To Be Avoided or Reduced
Here’s a list of foods that need to be reduced or eliminated on a ketogenic diet:
Cake, ice cream, candy, fruit juices and beverages
Wheat-based products, cereals, rice, pasta etc.
Chickpeas, peas, kidney beans, lentils etc.
Root and Tubers:
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips etc,
Processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
Sugar-free diet Foods:
Sugar-free candies, syrups, puddings, sweeteners, desserts etc.
Foods To Include:
The major portion of your meals should be around these foods:
Red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken, and turkey
salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
Butter and cream:
Grass-fed butter and heavy cream
Unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella
Nuts and seeds:
Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
Extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil
Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole
Low Carb Veggies:
All green leafy veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
Salt, pepper, herbs, and spices
Here are the answers to some of the common questions about the ketogenic diet.
1. Can I Ever Add Carbs Again?
Yes, you can, but it’s essential to remarkably restrict carb intake initially. After one to three months of following a ketogenic diet, one can add healthy sources of carbohydrates occasionally and should quickly return to the normal keto diet as advised.
2. Will I Lose Muscle Mass?
Generally, there’s a risk of losing some amount of muscle mass when following any diet. Although, intake of quality protein and high ketone levels may support lessening muscle loss, particularly for a person doing heavy workouts such as lifting weights.
3. How Much Protein Can I Eat?
Protein intake should be moderate, as high protein intake can surge insulin levels and reduce ketones. About 35% of total calorie intake is the upper limit of protein in a well-planned keto diet.