Ketogenic diet has become a trend and has surpassed several popular diets over the past few years. With people becoming more aware of their carbohydrate intake, the ketogenic diet is a good start to change their eating habits.
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb and high-fat diet that drastically reduces the intake of carbohydrates and replaces it with fat. The body uses up the fat taken in place of the carbs to obtain energy, thereby lowering blood sugar and insulin levels.
What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a process that occurs when the body runs out of carbs and instead, uses the fat for energy production. The low-carb diet increases the ketone levels in the body, triggering ketosis. It generally takes 2-4 days for the body to enter this state.
Types of keto diet
There are several types of keto diet based on the level of biomolecules (carbohydrates, fat and protein) included in the diet. Some of the important types are:
|Standard ketogenic diet||10%||70%||20%||People intending to lose weight|
|Cyclical ketogenic diet||1 – 5%||65 – 90%||10 – 30%||Everyone, especially athletes|
|Targeted ketogenic diet||10%||60%||30%||Athletes|
|High protein ketogenic diet||5%||60%||35%||Bodybuilders|
Keto diet benefits
The ketogenic diet provides a healthy amount of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, making the diet an efficient eating plan. Some of the key keto diet benefits are:
- Weight loss – Keto diet meals are designed to increase metabolism while reducing appetite. With a reduced appetite, a person can lose up to two pounds more compared to other diets.
- Improves heart health – Keto diet meals contain foods with healthy fats, reducing the cholesterol level in the body. Cholesterol is a compound that causes cardiovascular diseases when present at high levels in humans. Low cholesterol levels reduce the risk of any heart-related conditions.
- Improves brain function – The ketones obtained from the ketogenic diet improve brain functioning and prevent or manage diseases like Alzheimer’s and autism. The ketones provide neuroprotective benefits, protecting the brain and nerve cells.
- Increase in HDL cholesterol – The body requires High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol to lower the risk of heart diseases.
- Reduced blood sugar and blood pressure levels – One of the main purposes to follow a keto diet is to reduce the intake of carbs.
How do I get started on keto?
A keto diet can be tough to start, but once the body gets used to the nutrient intake, the benefits of following a high-fat diet kick in. Before starting a keto diet, one must know which fat-containing food would benefit them. Getting into a high-fat diet might result in side effects if the body fails to get accustomed to the change in nutrient intake.
It is important to start slow on a keto diet. Gradually increase your fat intake while decreasing the carbs. It helps the body to get familiar with the new eating practice.
Keto diet foods to avoid
The ketogenic diet requires meticulous planning and careful consideration of the type of food consumed to maintain the metabolic ketosis state. However, some foods might be an obstacle for the body to acquire ketosis due to their nutrient composition. Some of the common foods to avoid on a keto diet are:
- Refined carbohydrates like pasta, rice, and bread
- Beer and other alcoholic beverages
- Beverages like sodas and juice
- Low-fat margarine
- Sugar-added condiments like ketchup, barbeque sauce
- Low diet fat foods
- Sweetened dairy products
- Starch containing vegetables
- Beans, legumes, and grains
The keto diet contains high fat, moderate protein, and low carbs. The diet puts the body in a ketogenic state, where the fats are used as fuel instead of carbs, resulting in weight loss and several other benefits. Hope this blog gives a good idea about the ketogenic diet.