What is Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet, keto diet, or ketosis for short is a high fat, moderate protein and extremely low carbs diet that offers many health benefits.
In the Keto diet, you should restrict your carbs intake to allow our body to start utilizing fats as a fuel source.
When your body burns fat as a primary source of fuel, your body becomes more efficient in burning body fat for energy.
Due to eating very fewer carbs can cause a massive reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels in the body.
According to over 20 Studies, the ketogenic diet can help you lose weight and improve your health.
This diet may also benefit in diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease, reducing inflammation in the body, improves fat burning and cognitive brain functions.
Types Of Ketogenic Diet
1. The standard ketogenic diet (SKD)
It is a very low carb diet( less than 50 grams per day). Majority of the calories come from fat, 20% from protein, 5% from carbs.
A typical standard ketogenic diet would look like this:
- 20grams to 50grams of carbohydrates.
- 40grams to 60grams of protein.
- No set limits for fats.
A healthy ketogenic diet should include vegetables ( Particularly non-starchy) because they are very low in carbohydrates.
2. The cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD)
It is also known as carbs backloading. This diet involves a period of eating high fat and high carbs. Such as ( 5 days high fats(ketogenic) and 2 days high carbs).
3. The targeted ketogenic diet (TKD)
In this diet, you can set a time frame for eating high fat and high carbs (especially around your workout).
Between all these methods ( Standard ketogenic Diet ) is the most extensively studied and tested method. Cyclical and Targeted methods are less studied and only be performed by athletes and bodybuilders.
Ketogenic Diet Can Helps You Weight Loss
Several studies show that the ketogenic diet is very effective in fat burning.
The ketogenic diet helps you lose weight by putting your body into ketosis. When you eat minimal carbs, your body produces ketones for energy.
Ketones are made in your liver from fatty acids found in food or your body fat. Therefore, your liver burns fat to make ketones. Ketones are used for energy in place of carbs.
Belly or visceral fat comes from a combination of genes and a diet high in refined carbs and sugar.
This fat can easily become inflamed, making it incredibly stubborn to lose and dangerous to surrounding blood vessels.
A well-formulated ketogenic regimen has strong anti-inflammatory effects, making it easier to drop stubborn belly fat.
Many studies have compared the traditional low carb diet and the ketogenic diet for weight loss. Results show that the ketogenic diet is more superior.
In one study, people who are on the ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those who are on a low carb diet.
A different study compared a low-carb diet to the Diabetes UK’s dietary guidelines. It found the high-fat group lost 15.2 lbs (6.9 kg), while the high-carb group lost only 4.6 lbs (2.1 kg). In 3 months, the low-carb diet caused 3 times more weight loss.
Health Benefits of Keto Diet
Now studies have shown that this diet can have benefits for a wide variety of different health conditions.
1. Treat Epilepsy
The Ketogenic Diet is a treatment option for children or adults with epilepsy whose seizures are not controlled with AEDs. Diet can help reduce the number or severity of epilepsy and have other positive effects.
The first high-quality study on the ketogenic diet was not published until 1998.
In this study, researchers recruited 150 children, and nearly all of them had more than two seizures per week, despite having at least twice as much mood swings. – Reducing medication.
These children were provided with a ketogenic diet for one year of testing, and After three months, about 34% of the children, or slightly over 1/3rd, had over a 90% decrease in seizures.
Six months later, 71% of children remained on the ketogenic diet, and 32% had a 90% decrease in seizures. After a full year, 55% are on a diet, and 27% have at least 90% reduced seizures.
2. Improves Blood Pressure
According to the WHO(World Health Organization), high blood pressure is estimated to cause 12.8% of all deaths. Fortunately, according to a 2007 study, the ketogenic diet may be the solution.
Researchers compared the effect of three other diets on a low-carbohydrate diet and other measures of blood pressure and cardiovascular fitness in women.
After the 12-month trial, all subjects who successfully completed the respective diet experienced significant reductions in body mass, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol. Those in the low carbohydrate diet group had the best results.
These participants reduced their systolic blood pressure by an average of 7.6 mm Hg – twice as much as the other groups. Their diastolic pressure decreased from 75 mm Hg to 72.8 mm Hg by 2.93%.
3. Improves Alzheimer’s Disease
The ketogenic diet prevents the neuronal loss, preserve neuron function, protect brain cell against multiple types of injury.
Recent studies on the ketogenic or keto diet provide evidence that Alzheimer’s disease can be reversed.
Experiments on ketone replacement have specifically found ketone body, β-hydroxybutyrate, improved memory performance in Alzheimer’s patients.
Scientists confirmed this finding and tested their memory by giving MCT oil to Alzheimer’s patients. They found that memory recall of Alzheimer’s patients was directly related to blood levels of ketone bodies.
4. Reverse Type 2 diabetes
Carbohydrates food such as bread, rice, pasta, milk, and fruit are the primary fuel source for many physiological processes.
Insulin helps the body to transfer glucose from the blood to cells for energy.
However, in a person with diabetes, there is a lack of insulin or poor functioning. It disrupts the body’s ability to use carbohydrates effectively and thereby increases blood sugar levels.
If a person eats a high carb meal, this can lead to an increase in blood glucose, especially in a person with diabetes. Diet is an important factor for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
The central concept of the keto diet is to limit the intake of carbohydrates.
5. Improve Heart Health
The ketogenic diet is high in saturated fat (usually thought to increase cholesterol), which has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
In a recent meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers investigated the effects of a very low carbohydrate ketogenic diet (VLCD) on key measures of cardiovascular health, including HDL cholesterol. The authors define VLCKD as a carbohydrate diet of less than 50 grams.
After examining 12 studies, including 1257 patients, researchers found that VLCCD increases HDL in low-fat dieters with an average doubled increase in HDL.
As a result, the authors conclude that carbohydrate-restricted foods provide cardiovascular benefits as they improve levels of HDL in the body.
Food to Avoid
Foods that are high in carbs should be limited.
Here is a list of foods that should be reduced or eliminated in the Ketogenic Diet.
- Beans and Legumes:- Lentils, Kidney beans, Chickpeas, Peas, etc.
- Sugary Foods:- Cake, Ice cream, Candy, Soda, Smoothies, Fruit juice, etc.
- Grains and Starches:- Wheat-based products, Pasta, Rice, Oats, Cereals, Corn, Barley, Quinoa, etc.
- Fruits:- Tangerines, Oranges, Pineapples, Bananas, Apples, Pears, Grapes, Fruit Juices, Mango, Nectarines, Peaches, Dried fruits such as raisins, dates, and dried mango, etc.
- Vegetables:- Potatoes, Sweet potatoes, Baked potatoes, Yams, Peas, Corn, Artichoke, Parsnips, Cassava (Yuca), etc.
- Dairy:- Milk, Condensed Milk, Creamed cottage cheese, Low fat Yogurt, etc.
- Beverages:- Colas, Hot chocolate, Grape soda, Mocha, Frappuccino, Non-light bear, Root bear, Lemonade, Cocktails such as margaritas, screw drivers, etc.
- Unhealthy Fats:- Limit the intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc
Food to Eat
- Seafood – Wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, shrimp, crab, tuna, mussels, cod (1).
- Low-carb vegetables – Arugula, spinach, eggplant, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, bell peppers, fennel, cabbage, celery, Brussels sprouts, kale.
- Low-sugar fruits – Tomatoes, avocado, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, coconut, lemon, and limes.
- Meat, poultry, and eggs – Chicken, turkey, beef, venison, pork, lamb.
- Nuts and seeds – Macadamia nuts, flaxseed, Brazil nuts, chia seeds, walnuts, pecans, hemp seeds, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds.
- Dairy products – Cheese, cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt, cream, butter.
- Oils – Extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, nut oils, coconut butter, MCT oil.
- Keto-approved condiments – Olive oil mayonnaise, mustard, unsweetened ketchup, oil-based salad dressings.
- Coffee and tea – Unsweetened tea, unsweetened coffee.