What is Keto Diet [Benefits, Menu, Tips]
What is Keto Diet?
The Ketogenic diet, colloquially known as the keto diet, is a popular diet that is high in dietary fat, high in protein, and low in carbohydrates. It is also known as the low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet and the low-carbohydrate diet. Keto diet is not so old concept. Keto diet has it’s own Benefits, Menu and Tips. Check this all in this blog.
Originally, in the 1920s, a ketogenic diet was designed for patients with epilepsy to help reduce their seizures. The keto diet also tended to have positive effects on those patients’ body fat, blood sugar, cholesterol, and hunger levels.
It has not been studied widely in terms of nutritional science. But, after doing my own research, I do believe that what I’ve learned is worth sharing because it’s pretty fascinating.
How does Keto Diet Works?
Ketogenic diets are essentially supposed to induce a state of ketosis in the body. When the amount of glucose in the body gets too low, the body switches to fat as an alternative source of energy.
The body has two main sources of fuel:
- Free fatty acids (FFA) and, to a lesser extent, ketones from FFA.
Fat deposits are stored in the form of triglycerides. They are usually broken down into long chain fatty acids and glycerin. By removing the glycerine from the triglyceride molecule, the release of the three free fatty acid molecules (FFA) into the bloodstream can be used as energy.
The glycerin molecule gets into the liver, where three molecules combine to form one glucose molecule. Therefore, when your body burns fat, it also produces glucose as a by-product. This glucose can be used to supply parts of the brain as well as other parts of the body that cannot be powered by FFA.
While glucose can travel through the bloodstream on its own, cholesterol and triglycerides need a carrier to move around the bloodstream. Cholesterol and triglycerides are packaged in a carrier called low density lipoprotein, or LDL. The larger the LDL particle, the more triglycerides it contains.
The entire process of burning fat deposits for energy creates carbon dioxide, water, and compounds called ketones.
The body cannot store ketones and so must either be used or excreted. The body excretes them either through the breath as acetone or through the urine as acetoacetate.
Ketones can be used as an energy source by body cells. Also, the brain can use ketones to produce around 70-75% of its energy needs.
Like alcohol, ketones take precedence over carbohydrates as a fuel source. This means that if they are in the blood, they must first be burned before glucose can be used as fuel.
Also Read Keto Diet Details and Plan for Beginners
Best Keto Diet Tips To keeping rocking
A friend recently wondered about the Ketogenic Diet and how to get started. After doing this for a year and a half, I learned a few things along the way. So I thought I’d answer his question by checking the basics, followed by best tips to help you get fit.
In its purest form, it is a simple diet. Don’t eat carbohydrates. And you don’t have to cut them out completely. The technical calorie distribution should be around 10% or less carbohydrates, 20-30% protein and 60-70% fat.
Why its work is also simple:
Your body burns carbohydrates first, fat only when it has to. So, if you limit yourself to carbohydrates, you are forcing your body to burn fat, including some of your own, if you don’t overeat.
It’s also important to note that in addition to weight loss, diet has two other great benefits:
- Your clarity of thinking will improve significantly.
- You have reduced inflammation in the body.
Both are due to the fact that your system does not have large fluctuations in blood sugar. There is also evidence that diet may have some cancer-fighting effects, as cancer cells like sugar and ketosis are unable to get them and either lie dormant or starve.
KETO DIET IS LIKE MARRIAGE.
IT DOES NOT WORK IF YOU CHEAT.
TIPS TO HELP YOU ROCK WITH KETO DIET
1) Don’t undereat – especially when you’re starting out.
It’s easy to believe that if you’re used to having some yogurt, piece of fruit, and some toast for breakfast, you can replace it with two eggs and some nuts or avocados that are keto-friendly.
Not right. Think four eggs and avocado, or four eggs and two or three slices of bacon, or a couple of spoons of almond butter.
Why? Because if you eat too little you will get very hungry and it will be very easy to eat one of the donuts that your colleagues who are trying to get all the fats to work bring.
2) Food preparation
It’s the name of the game for the same reason that you’ll get hungry – especially when you’re first starting out. So take some hard-boiled eggs in the fridge at work, or some cheese, or a jar of nuts, or an extra chicken thigh, or even vegetables sautéed in butter or coconut oil.
3) Cheat day
Treat yourself to the occasional scam day. It shouldn’t be more than once a week, but it won’t kill you – in some ways, it’s really good because it keeps your body on its toes and you get some nutrients when you eat carbohydrates that you may not be getting, while on keto.
4) Remember: it’s low in carbohydrates – not carbohydrate free
Do you want to know a little secret? You can eat a piece of fruit every day with keto and get probably 95% of the same benefit as if you hadn’t – especially if it’s in the morning.
And something like fruit, eaten with some fat and protein, probably won’t raise your blood sugar like bread or white rice or anything with processed sugar.
Occasionally, I have a sweet potato with a lot of fat because my body likes sweet potatoes and so does my mouth.
5) You don’t have to be perfect
In fact, you don’t even have to be full of keto to apply the general principle – the less carbohydrates you eat, the more your blood sugar stabilizes, the better you feel, the more weight you lose.
However, when you’re in full swing, the real key is staying in ketosis for extended periods of time, say at least three to four days.
6) Eggs are your friend
Eggs are delicious and one of the most nutritious things you can eat. I eat an average of four a day and if you are wondering, my blood count is phenomenal: low cholesterol, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, healthy heart rate.
The other thing is that eggs are relatively cheap, can be cooked in a number of different ways, and go well with a lot of other ingredients, especially things that are keto-friendly.
I love scrambled eggs with any combination of the following ingredients: avocado, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, asparagus, bell pepper, onion.
7) Keep it healthy
Not because of the fat content, but because of the processing. Things with a lot of strong salt, nitrates, preservatives, etc. are just not good for our bodies, and there is evidence that a diet high in these foods can increase the risk of cancer.
Plus, it’s still possible to overeat keto. If you are consuming more calories than you are burning, it doesn’t matter that you are out of carbohydrates.
I also try to mix up the types of fat I eat because each has its own benefits. Butter, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, etc.
In a nutshell, nuts are almost the perfect keto meal, have a ton of nutritional benefits, and are widely available even when you find yourself in dire straits at a gas station in the middle of nowhere.
My favorites are pistachios and almonds, but whatever you like, eat these – and don’t forget the nut butters! A spoon or two will quickly cure a hungry tummy.
9) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and make sure there is enough potassium and salt.
People on a ketogenic diet often experience muscle spasms and this is simply because
a) We urinate more on ketosis (IDK why, but you just do) and
b) Potassium, although it’s common in various fruits and grains , not that common is ketogenic foods.
Tip: Avocados are high in potassium and avocados are keto meal – super fat, super tasty and super healthy.
If I do get cramps, I can quickly eat a whole avocado with salt and then drink a few liters of water. Always do the trick.
Also Check out Top and Best Keto-Friendly Drinks
Foods You Can Eat On The Ketogenic Diet
Here is a list of all the low-carb foods that are safe to eat while following keto Diet.
- Fish and seafood
- Low-carbohydrate vegetables
- Meat and Poultry
- Nuts, seeds and healthy oils
- Unsweetened coffee and tea
- Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
Choose heart-healthy fats like avocados, which are high in monounsaturated fat and potassium, a mineral many Americans lack.Half of a medium-sized avocado has 9 grams of total carbohydrates, of which 7 grams is fiber. Replacing animal fats with vegetable fats like avocados can help improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Eggs are high in protein, B vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Two eggs contain no carbohydrates and 12 grams of protein. Eggs have been shown to release hormones that increase feelings of fullness and keep blood sugar levels stable.
They also contain antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect eye health.
Fish and Seafood
Fish is rich in B vitamins, potassium and selenium. It’s also high in protein and carbohydrate free.Salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, and other fatty fish are high in omega-3 fats, which have been found to lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
Frequent fish ingestion has been linked to reduced risk of chronic disease and improved mental health. Try to consume at least two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish per week.
Starchless vegetables are low in calories and carbohydrates but high in nutrients, including vitamin C and various minerals. They also contain antioxidants that protect against cell-damaging free radicals.
Net carbohydrates are total carbohydrates minus fiber. Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peppers, zucchini, and spinach are just the ticket.
Meat and Poultry
Meat is a source of lean protein and is considered a staple of the ketogenic diet. Fresh meat and poultry are free from carbohydrates and are high in B vitamins and various minerals, including potassium, selenium, and zinc.
Choose chicken, fish, and beef more often and limit the processed meats. While processed meats like bacon and sausage are allowed on keto, eating too much is not best for your heart and can increase your risk of certain cancers.
Cheese has no carbohydrates and is high in fat, which makes it great for the ketogenic diet. It’s also high in protein and calcium. However, a 1-ounce slice of cheese provides about 30 percent of the daily value for saturated fat.
So if you are worried about heart disease, consider servings while nosing on cheese.
Nuts, Seeds and healthy oils
Nuts and seeds are full of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, fiber, and proteins. They are also very low in net carbohydrates.
Olive oil and coconut oil are the two recommended oils in the keto diet.
Olive oil is high in Oleic acid and has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Coconut oil is high in saturated fat but contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that can increase ketone production.
MCTs can increase metabolism and also promote weight and belly fat loss. Measure the portion sizes when consuming healthy fat.
Carb counts for 1 ounce. (28 g) nuts and seeds (net carbohydrate equals total carbohydrates minus fiber):
- Pistachios: 5 g net carbohydrates (8 g total carbohydrates)
- Cashew nuts: 8 g net carbohydrates (9 g total carbohydrates)
- Macadamia nuts: 2 g net carbohydrates (4 g total carbohydrates)
- Walnuts: 2 g net carbohydrates (4 g total carbohydrates)
- Pumpkin seeds: 2 g net carbohydrates (4 g total carbohydrates)
- Chia seeds: 2 g net carbohydrates (12 g total carbohydrates)
- Flaxseed: 0 g net carbohydrates (8 g total carbohydrates)
- Almonds: 3 g net carbohydrates (6 g total carbohydrates)
- Brazil nuts: 1 g net carbohydrates (3 g total carbohydrates)
- Pecans: 1 g net carbohydrates (4 g total carbohydrates)
You may be interested in What is difference Between Keto Diet and Atkins Diet.
Unsweetened Coffee and Tea
Plain coffee and tea contain zero grams of carbohydrates, fat, or protein, so they’re OK on the keto diet. Studies show that coffee lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.Tea is high in antioxidants and contains less caffeine than coffee. Drinking tea can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, help with weight loss, and strengthen the immune system.
Dark chocolate and Cocoa powder
Check the label on these, as the amount of carbohydrates depends on the type and consumption. Cocoa has been called a “superfruit” because it is rich in antioxidants and dark chocolate contains flavanols, which can reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and keeping arteries healthy.
List Of Foods You Can’t Eat On The Keto Diet:
- Starchy vegetables and high-sugar fruits
- Sweetened yogurt
- Honey, syrup and sugar in any form
- Chips and crackers
- Baked goods, including gluten-free baked goods
Cereals, crackers, rice, pasta, bread, and beer are high in carbohydrates. Even whole wheat pasta and the new bean-based pasta are high in carbohydrates. Consider alternatives like spiralized vegetables or shirataki noodles, which are healthier, low-carb options.
Sugary breakfast cereals and wholesome whole grains are also high in carbohydrates and should be avoided or minimized.
Beer can be enjoyed in moderation on a low-carb diet. Dry wine and spirits are better options, but any alcohol should be very limited.
Starchy vegetables and high-sugar fruits
Starchy vegetables contain more digestible carbohydrates than fiber and should be limited to the Ketogenic diet. These include corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets.
Also, limit high-sugar fruits, which make your blood sugar rise faster than berries and contain more carbohydrates (a full list of low-carb fruits can be found from lowest to highest).
Carbohydrates count for high-sugar fruits:
- Banana (1 medium): 24 g net carbohydrates (27 g total carbohydrates)
- Raisins (28 g): 21 g net carbohydrates, 22 g total carbohydrates)
- Mango (1 cup, sliced): 22g net carbohydrates (25g total carbohydrates)
- Pear (1 medium): 21 g net carbohydrates (27 g total carbohydrates)
Carbohydrates count for starchy vegetables:
- Corn (1 cup): 32g net carbs (36g total carbohydrates)
- Potato (1 medium): 33 g net carbohydrates (37 g total carbohydrates)
- Beets (1 cup, cooked): 14g net carbohydrates (17g total carbohydrates)
Stick to plain yogurt to limit the addition of sugars (also known as carbohydrates). Greek yogurt contains more protein and fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt.
Fruit juice – natural or not – is high in quickly digestible carbohydrates that make your blood sugar soar. Stick to the water.Honey, syrup and sugar in any form
Avoid sugar, honey, maple syrup, and other sugars that are high in carbohydrates and poor in nutrients.
Chips and Crackers
Avoid chips, crackers, and other processed, grain-based snacks that are high in carbohydrates and low in fiber.
Gluten-free baked goods
Gluten-free is not always carbohydrate-free. In fact, many gluten-free breads and muffins are as high in carbohydrates as traditional baked goods. They also usually lack fiber.
Keto Diet Possible Benefits
Epilepsy: The Ketogenic diet was first used clinically to treat seizures. It has been used to successfully reduce seizures for many years, with research outweighing the benefits that outweigh the disadvantages.
Weight Loss: There are some large metabolic changes on this diet initially. In an article by Antonio Paoli, he states that the health parameters associated with being overweight are improving, such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
It is true that fat oxidation increases as the body adapts to the higher dietary fat intake.
However, fat oxidation and loss of body fat are two different processes. If the fat oxidation is higher, it does not necessarily mean that the body fat is being reduced. Total caloric intake and calorie burn are the main determinants of fat loss.
Type 2 diabetes: Carbohydrate restriction can have a direct impact on glucose levels and lower them over time. It can be a straightforward way to get your diabetes under control.
Before using this strategy, however, you should consult a registered dietitian.
Cancer: This is a growing research area for the ketogenic diet. The Warburg effect has shown that tumor cells can break down glucose much faster (especially 200 times faster) compared to typical cells.
The theory is that by “starving” glucose tumor cells, you can inhibit their growth and help prevent cancer.
Also check out Health Benefits of Ketogenic Diet
Some negative side effects of a long-term ketogenic diet were suggested in a review of the diet by the Harvard School of Public Health, including an increased risk of kidney stones and osteoporosis, and increased levels of uric acid in the blood (a risk factor for gout).
Other possible problem areas are listed below:
Nutritional Deficiencies: With entire food groups excluded, nutrients normally found in foods such as whole grains and fruits that are excluded from the diet can become deficient, especially if the diet is followed incorrectly or without proper guidance.
It is important to eat a wide variety of foods while eating this much fat. Each food group offers different essential nutrition. Focus on meat, seafood, vegetables, some legumes, and fruits to make sure you’re getting fiber, B vitamins, and minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc.
It is best to consult a registered dietitian to reduce the possibility of deficiencies.
Keto flu: Unpleasant side effects can occur during diet changes when carbohydrates are significantly reduced, sometimes referred to as “keto flu“. Hunger, headaches, nausea, fatigue, irritability, constipation, and brain fog can last for days. Sleep and hydration help, but it may not be a comfortable transition into diet.
Gut Health: Using the toilet can be difficult as removing whole grains and fruits will greatly reduce your fiber intake. Not good for gut health.
In terms of fat loss, someone can try something extreme temporarily and when it works they can reap the physical benefits associated with losing body fat.
Once the diet is complete, there may be a more complex transition or return to normal eating. Or if it’s used long-term, there aren’t any studies yet to see how this affects our health.
What we do know is that an overall nutritious, vitamin-rich diet (or way of eating) should include quality foods, variety, and the ability to follow the diet, whether it is fat loss, muscle gain, or general maintenance.
The ketogenic diet lacks some essential food groups and therefore important nutrients.
It is best to consult a nutritionist and doctor to ensure that you are not only monitoring the scales or your feelings, but also what is going on internally in your body, under proper guidance.
As with all dietary recommendations, they are individual in terms of a person’s medical history, preferences, goals, activity level, and specific health needs.
What works for one may not work for another.
And what we know now may change in the future.