The Ketogenic Diet
Called just keto diet for short, Ketogenic diet is basically a high in fat, low in carbs diet which offers a lot of health benefits. More than 20 studies now have shown that this particular diet will very much help you to not only lose weight but also improve your health overall. So, let us now look into the keto diet in its entirety, with detailed guide catered to beginners.
The ketogenic diet is very similar to other popular diets like low-carb and Atlkins diets and like mentioned above, entails a high-fat, low-carb food routine. This diet, at its core, aims to reduce intake of carbohydrates overall and then replace it with fat. The body is made rid of carbs just so it can go into Ketosis, which is a metabolic state. As this happens, the body becomes highly efficient when it comes to burning of fat and therefore resulting in more energy production. Because of this, in the liver, it turns the fat into ketones. The brain is supplied energy from this. With ketogenic diets, it can also be witnessed that they can cause a lot of reductions in both insulin and blood sugar levels. And hence, it has a number of health benefits.
There are Many Types and Different Versions When it Comes to Ketogenic Diets.
SKD(Standard Ketogenic diet) is the basic low in carbs, high in fat and moderate consumption of protein diet. It usually consists of just 5 per cent carbs, 75 per cent fat and moderate 20 per cent protein.
High(Protein ketogenic diet) This diet is very much similar to the standard ketogenic diet. But the only difference is that it includes more protein. The ratio of the diet typically is 5 per cent carbs, 60 per cent fat and 30 per cent protein.
CKD (Cyclical ketogenic diet) is the diet that has periods of refeeds of higher carb.
TKD(Targeted ketogenic diet) is the one that lets you modify the diet a little bit by being able to add carbs around the time of workouts. Presently only the high protein and standard ketogenic diets are deeply studied. Whereas, Targeted or Cyclical Ketogenic diets are mostly practised by bodybuilders and athletes, as these diets are more advanced in their methods.
One of many studies which focus on this particular diet says that the weight loss by following this diet is 2.2 times more than when compared with other popular diets like a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet. And to add to this, both HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels are also improved. There’s another study that shows that people on this diet lost weight three times more than the people who went with the diet that Diabetes UK recommended.
A ketogenic diet also helps out with prediabetes and diabetes. The characterization of diabetes is the change in metabolism which leads to impairment in insulin function and also high blood sugar. It’s a known fact that excess fat is very closely linked to metabolic syndrome, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. The ketogenic diet will help the body lose this excess fat, therefore eliminating chances of diabetes as much as possible. There’s also this other study that says that a ketogenic diet improves sensitivity towards insulin up to as much as 75 per cent. And further studies also proved that there are many cases where people were either able to stop or just reduce diabetic medications, which is a huge benefit in itself. Another interesting thing to be noted about this diet is that it actually started out as a tool to treat neurological disorders like epilepsy.
And the many health benefits of the ketogenic diet don’t stop just here, there are still a lot more health conditions that can be benefited from this diet. Some of them are given below.
Acne – Consuming less sugar and also lower levels of insulin or foods that are processed may help reduce Acne by a considerable amount.
Parkinson’s disease – There is a study that shows that a ketogenic diet helps improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
Alzheimer’s disease – The keto diet may also help reduce Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and even slow down its progression.
Cancer – The diet is also used in the treatment methods for many types of cancer and slow growth of a tumour.
Epilepsy – There is research that proves that the keto diet can lead to huge seizure reductions among epileptic children.
Brain injuries – There’s also an animal study that was able to find out that keto diet can help in the recovery process after brain injury and reduce concussions.
But it should be kept in mind that most of these studies aren’t entirely conclusive.
Now let’s talk about foods that need to be avoided or eliminated when on this diet.
- Limitation of foods that are high-carbs is a must.
- Foods that are sugary like fruit juice, cakes, candies, ice-cream, smoothie etc
- Starches or Grains like rice, cereal, pasta, products based on wheat etc
- Almost all fruits except small portions of strawberry-like berries.
- Legumes or beans like kidney beans, chickpeas, peas, lentils etc
- Tubers and root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, potatoes etc
- Highly processed low-fat products which are usually high in carbs.
- Sauces and few condiments that contain an unhealthy amount of fat and a lot of sugar.
- Fats that are unhealthy like highly processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise etc
- Many alcoholic beverages, because of their carb content. These beverages will throw the body out of ketosis.
- Diets that are sugar-free most often than not are high in sugar alcohols and also tend to be highly processed.
Foods that You Should Consume and Base Your Meal Plans Around –
- Meats like ham, red meat, steaks, chicken, sausage, bacon and turkey.
- Fish that are Fatty like trout, mackerel, salmon and tuna
- Eggs that are pastured or whole eggs (omega 3)
- Grass-fed cream and butter
- Cheese that’s unprocessed like blue, cheddar, cream, mozzarella or goat.
- Seeds and nuts like flax seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds
- Oils that are healthy like coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oil
- Guacamole that’s freshly made or whole avocados.
- Veggies that are low in carb like tomatoes, peppers, onions, most green veggies.
- Condiments like salt, healthy herbs, pepper and spices can be used.