The ketogenic diet can provide interesting health and weight benefits if done properly.
As explained in a publication in the Indian Journal of Medical Research , the ketogenic diet is one that reduces or completely eliminates carbohydrates to force the body to enter ketosis. This produces weight loss by using fat as an energy source.
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body is deprived of carbohydrates as a primary source of glucose for energy. Therefore, it is forced to obtain energy from fat metabolism.
What is Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet dates back 100 years when it was first applied to children with difficult-to-control epilepsy. In fact, today it is the main non-pharmacological option against this disease. However, it has also become a trend as an ally for losing weight , since many celebrities have promoted it.
What does it consist of? It is considered an unconventional diet, since the main source of energy is fats and proteins instead of carbohydrates. For this reason, sometimes planning your menus is tedious.
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How does a ketogenic diet work?
To understand a little better what happens with the ketogenic diet – also known as the keto diet – we must start from the fact that conventional diets use carbohydrates as the main source of energy. Meanwhile, in the ketogenic diet these are reduced to a minimum of 50 or 60 grams per day, while fats are increased.
According to experts , this puts the body into a metabolic state, known as “ketosis.” Since you cannot process energy from carbohydrates, you are forced to burn stored fat. In this process, ketones are generated, which are used as fuel. Hence its effectiveness in losing weight.
That said, the keto diet prioritizes protein and fatty foods, such as the following:
- Meats without visible fatty tissue.
Benefits of Keto Diet
The Keto Diet has its own set of rules: low carbs (think fewer bread and pasta), moderate protein (chicken and fish, please), and high healthy fats (hello, avocados and nuts!). This combo is like the secret code that helps your body switch from using carbs to burning fat for energy.
The ketogenic diet works differently:
- Consumption of Few Carbohydrates: The keto diet limits your daily carbohydrate intake to 20-50 grams of net carbohydrates. By subtracting dietary fiber from total carbohydrates, net carbs are computed.
- Protein: Protein intake on the keto diet is minimal. It’s critical to get enough protein to maintain muscle mass and overall health, but too much protein can interfere with ketosis.
- High Fat Consumption: The keto diet’s major goal is to consume a lot of dietary fat. Healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty cuts of meat provide 70-80% of your daily caloric intake.
- Ketosis: Your body’s glycogen stores are depleted when you drastically limit your carbohydrate intake. As a result, your body begins breaking down lipids in the liver into chemicals called ketones. These ketones then become your body’s and brain’s principal source of energy, putting you in a state called ketosis.
- Weight Loss: Due to the change in metabolism and decreased hunger, the keto diet can result in quick weight loss.
- Improved Blood Sugar Control: The keto diet has been shown to assist some persons with type 2 diabetes regulate their blood sugar levels.
- Increased HDL (Good) Cholesterol: Dietary changes may result in improved cholesterol profiles, including increased HDL cholesterol levels.
- Management of Epilepsy: The ketogenic diet was first developed as a treatment for epilepsy, particularly in drug-resistant instances.
- Improved Focus and Mental Clarity: While in ketosis, several people experience increased mental clarity and focus.
Demerits of Keto Diet
- Keto Flu: Some people experience “keto flu” symptoms after shifting into ketosis, such as lethargy, headaches, and irritability.
- Deficits in vital Nutrients: If not well-balanced, a rigorous keto diet can lead to deficits in vital nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
- Digestive Problems: A high-fat diet might induce digestive discomfort.
- Scalability: Because of its stringent nature, some people find it difficult to stick to the keto diet long term.
6. “Keto” vs. “Ketogenic”: Same or Different
The phrases “keto” and “ketogenic” are sometimes used interchangeably, however, they fundamentally refer to the same sort of diet. Both phrases refer to a nutritional approach that focuses on creating and maintaining a state of ketosis in the body. However, there is no substantial difference between the two phrases; they are variations on the same concept:
- Ketogenic Diet: This is the diet’s formal and complete name. The term “ketogenic” refers to the process of ketosis, in which the body switches from mostly using carbs for energy to predominantly using fats and ketones.
- Keto Diet: This is an informal and abbreviated term for the ketogenic diet. “Keto” is short for “ketogenic.”
In practice, “keto” is commonly used for brevity and simplicity. When someone refers to themselves as being on a “keto diet,” they are referring to a ketogenic diet. Both words refer to the same dietary strategy: a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet intended to induce and sustain ketosis.
How long is it safe to follow keto diet?
Sometimes the Keto Diet might bring along some unwelcome side effects, but don’t worry! They’re not a big deal for everyone. When deciding the duration of a keto diet, several aspects should be taken into account:
- Goals for Health: The ketogenic diet is frequently utilized to achieve specific short-term goals, such as weight loss or improved blood sugar control. In such circumstances, individuals may stick to the diet until they obtain their desired results and then switch to a different nutritional plan.
- Underlying Medical Conditions: Some people with specific medical disorders, such as epilepsy, may benefit from a ketogenic diet as a long-term treatment. In such circumstances, the length of the diet may be dictated by the continuous management of the ailment.
- Individual Response: People react differently to the ketogenic diet. Some may find it sustainable and comfortable in the long run, while others may have side effects or obstacles that make it less appealing.
- Considerations for Nutrients: Adherence to a strict ketogenic diet for an extended period of time may result in nutrient deficits, especially if it is not well-balanced. To overcome these risks, careful planning and supplementation may be required.
- Lifestyle and Social Considerations: Lifestyle and social factors play a role in the long-term viability of the diet. The keto diet’s strictness can have an impact on social contacts including dining out, which may impair an individual’s willingness to continue.
- Monitoring and direction: Regular monitoring of health markers (e.g., blood lipids, blood sugar levels) and consultation with a healthcare practitioner or trained dietitian are required for anyone contemplating long-term ketogenic diet adherence. Based on specific health signs, these professionals can assist determine whether the diet is still appropriate and safe.
Is keto good for diabetes?
For different types of Diabetes patients there are benefits and some take-in consideration:
Type 1 Diabetes:
- Potential Benefits: By lowering the requirement for insulin, the keto diet may help some people with type 1 diabetes achieve better blood sugar control. When carbs are restricted, it can lead to fewer and less dramatic blood sugar increases.
- Considerations: Managing type 1 diabetes on a keto diet is a difficult process that involves frequent monitoring of blood sugar levels, careful insulin adjustment, and contact with a healthcare expert. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is a serious problem that must be addressed.
Type 2 Diabetes:
- Potential Benefits: The keto diet may help some people with type 2 diabetes improve their blood sugar management. Lowering carbohydrate intake can result in lower blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
- Considerations: The keto diet may not be appropriate for all people with type 2 diabetes, and it is critical to check with a healthcare practitioner before embarking on it. As blood sugar levels drop dramatically on the diet, medication adjustments may be required. Long-term adherence can be difficult.
- Considerations: The keto diet is typically not suggested for pregnant women, particularly those with gestational diabetes, because it may not supply essential nutrition for fetal development. Diabetes pregnant women should follow the advice of their healthcare providers.
- Potential Benefits: The keto diet may help some people with pre-diabetes lower their blood sugar levels and minimize their chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Considerations: As with other types of diabetes, frequent monitoring and contact with a healthcare expert are required.
- Nutrient Balance: It’s critical to emphasize nutrient-dense foods when following a keto diet to avoid vitamin and mineral shortages.
- Long-Term Sustainability: The keto diet’s rigorous nature can make it difficult to stick to in the long run. After achieving their initial health goals, many people make the shift to a more balanced and sustainable eating plan.
How much weight can I lose on keto?
Weight Loss through Keto can depend from person to person. So, here are some considerations that you should take into account:
- Start to Gain Weight: Individuals with a higher initial body weight may see more significant initial weight loss than those with less weight to lose.
- Caloric Intake: Weight loss on the keto diet is primarily caused by a reduction in calorie intake as a result of limited carbohydrate consumption. However, maintaining a calorie deficit is vital for long-term weight loss.
- Adherence: Strict adherence to the keto diet is essential for reaching and maintaining ketosis, the metabolic state that promotes fat burning. Deviating from the diet might impede or halt weight loss efforts.
- Duration: Throughout the diet, the rate of weight reduction often varies. Many people lose a lot of weight in the first few weeks, which is due to water weight loss. Fat loss is often more gradual over time.
- Muscle Mass: Ketogenic diets can aid in the preservation of muscle mass while also increasing fat reduction, both of which are important for overall health and metabolism. The pace of muscle loss, on the other hand, might vary based on factors such as protein consumption and activity.
- Metabolic issues: Some people may have metabolic issues that influence their weight reduction pace, such as insulin resistance or thyroid problems. These variables can have an impact on how the body reacts to the food.
Seven Day menu plan for ketogenic diet
Below we share a 7-day menu to implement the ketogenic diet. However, it is important to consider that this is just an example. The best way to follow this eating model is under the supervision of a nutritionist.
- Breakfast : omelet with mozarella cheese and basil. The cheese can be replaced by feta, goat cheese, Edam, gouda, among others.
- Morning snack: meat dumplings.
- Food : chicken and avocado salad + a handful of blueberries.
- Afternoon snack : smoothie with milk, almond butter and whey protein powder.
- Dinner : meatballs with zucchini noodles bathed in milk cream sauce.
- Breakfast : baked eggs served on a bed of avocado + black or decaffeinated coffee, if that is your preference.
- Morning snack : whole wheat toast with cheese and salmon .
- Lunch : sautéed clams, prawns and mushrooms + half a fresh orange.
- Afternoon snack : Celery sticks topped with almond butter.
- Dinner : Grilled pork skewers with peppers, cauliflower, and sautéed broccoli.
- Breakfast : green tea + lemon water + whole milk yogurt with coconut and hazelnuts.
- Morning snack : cottage cheese with raspberries or any other red fruit, such as blackberries or strawberries.
- Lunch : cauliflower risotto with bacon + sautéed spinach and chard with butter + a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds.
- Afternoon snack : coconut milk smoothie with strawberries or blackberries.
- Dinner: tomato salad + salmon and mushroom omelette + Greek yogurt with blueberries.
- Breakfast : green tea + lemon water + avocado stuffed with cream cheese and almonds.
- Morning snack : handful of walnuts with 1/4 cup of red fruits
- Lunch : fish and pumpkin gratin + sautéed Brussels sprouts with cream cheese.
- Afternoon snack : slices of grilled cheese with pepper strips.
- Dinner: beef carpaccio with hazelnut and parmesan oil + roasted vegetables + a handful of sautéed almonds.
- Breakfast: peanut butter pancakes + green tea.
- Morning snack : two hard-boiled eggs.
- Food : Chicken curry with coconut milk and yellow peppers.
- Afternoon snack : tuna, tomato and mayonnaise salad.
- Dinner: breaded tofu with sesame + mushrooms sautéed in olive oil + a handful of walnuts.
- Breakfast: coffee with coconut pancakes.
- Morning snack : zucchini chips with bread tempura and beaten egg.
- Lunch : chicken fillet with almond flour + bed of vegetables with cucumber and goat cheese.
- Afternoon snack : steamed mussels.
- Dinner: shrimp au gratin with fresh cream and grated emmental cheese + mini blueberry muffins .
- Breakfast: eggplants stuffed with boiled egg and gratin with goat cheese + green tea.
- Morning snack : nonfat Greek yogurt with crushed walnuts.
- Lunch : veal chop with cream and mushrooms + zucchini noodles added walnut oil.
- Afternoon snack : strips of celery and peppers dipped in guacamole.
- Dinner: pork chop with cauliflower puree and cabbage salad.
Effects and Recommendations
To follow the ketogenic diet, it is important to maintain regular controls of ketogenic bodies in blood and urine. Likewise, height and weight must be monitored.
Initially, this type of diet can cause secondary flu-like symptoms. Some of the most frequent are the following:
- Digestive discomfort.
- Decreased energy, mental capacity and poor performance.
It can also modify the body’s water and mineral balance. Therefore, it is recommended to take between 3000 and 4000 milligrams of sodium, 1000 milligrams of potassium and 300 milligrams of magnesium.