What is a ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is a very low carb, high fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low carb diets.
It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones within the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.
Ketogenic diets can cause significant reductions in blood glucose and insulin levels. This, along side the increased ketones, has some health benefits
Different types of ketogenic diets
There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:
Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): this is often a really low carb, moderate protein and high fat diet. It typically contains 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbs
Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher carb refeeds, like 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high carb days.
Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.
High protein ketogenic diet: this is often almost like a typical ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is usually 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
However, only the standard and high protein ketogenic diets are studied extensively. Cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced methods and primarily utilized by bodybuilders or athletes.
The information during this article mostly applies to the standard ketogenic diet (SKD), although many of an equivalent principles also apply to the other versions
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What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state during which your body uses fat for fuel rather than carbs.
It occurs once you significantly reduce your consumption of carbohydrates, limiting your body’s supply of glucose (sugar), which is the main source of energy for the cells.
Following a ketogenic diet is the best way to enter ketosis. Generally, this involves limiting carb consumption to around 20 to 50 grams per day and filling up on fats, like meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and healthy oils
It’s also important to moderate your protein consumption. this is often”> this is often because protein can be converted into glucose if consumed in high amounts, which can slow your transition into ketosis
Practicing intermittent fasting could also assist you enter ketosis faster. There are many various sorts of intermittent fasting, but the foremost common method involves limiting food intake to around 8 hours per day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
Blood, urine, and breath tests are available, which may help determine whether you’ve entered ketosis by measuring the quantity of ketones produced by your body.
Certain symptoms can also indicate that you’ve entered ketosis, including increased thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, and decreased hunger or appetite
Can ketogenic diets can assist you lose weight?
A ketogenic diet is an efficient way to slim down and lower risk factors for disease
In fact, research shows that the ketogenic diet could also be as effective for weight loss as a low fat diet
What’s more, the diet is so filling that you simply can lose weight without counting calories or tracking your food intake
One review of 13 studies found that following a really low carb, ketogenic diet was slightly simpler for long-term weight loss than a low fat diet. people that followed the keto diet lost a mean of two pounds (0.9 kg) more than the group that followed a coffee fat diet
What’s more, it also led to reductions in diastolic blood pressure and triglyceride levels
Another study in 34 older adults found that those that followed a ketogenic diet for 8 weeks lost nearly five times as much total body fat as those that followed a low fat diet.
The increased ketones, lower blood glucose levels, and improved insulin sensitivity can also play a key role.
For more details on the weight loss effects of a ketogenic diet, read this text.
Ketogenic diets for diabetes and prediabetes
Diabetes is characterized by changes in metabolism, high blood glucose , and impaired insulin function.
The ketogenic diet can assist you lose excess fat, which is closely linked to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
One older study found that the ketogenic diet improved insulin sensitivity by a whopping 75%
For more information, explore this article on the advantages of low carb diets for people with diabetes.
The ketogenic diet actually originated as a tool for treating neurological diseases like epilepsy.
Studies have now shown that the diet can have benefits for a good sort of different health conditions:
Heart disease. The ketogenic diet can help improve risk factors like body fat, HDL (good) cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
Cancer. The diet is currently being explored as an extra treatment for cancer, because it may help slow tumor growth.
Alzheimer’s disease. The keto diet may help reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and slow its progression.
Epilepsy. Research has shown that the ketogenic diet can cause significant reductions in seizures in epileptic children.
Parkinson’s disease. Although more research is required , one study found that the diet helped improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Polycystic ovary syndrome. The ketogenic diet can help reduce insulin levels, which can play a key role in polycystic ovary syndrome.
Brain injuries. Some research suggests that the diet could improve outcomes of traumatic brain injuries.
However, keep in mind that research into many of these areas is far from conclusive.
Foods to avoid
Any food that’s high in carbs should be limited.
Here’s a listing of foods that require to be reduced or eliminated on a ketogenic diet:
sugary foods: soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
grains or starches: wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
fruit: all fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries
beans or legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
root vegetables and tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
low fat or diet products: low fat mayonnaise, salad dressings, and condiments
some condiments or sauces: barbecue sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, etc.
unhealthy fats: processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks
sugar-free diet foods: sugar-free candies, syrups, puddings, sweeteners, desserts, etc.
Foods to eat
You should base the majority of your meals around these foods:
meat: white meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken, and turkey
fatty fish: salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
eggs: pastured or omega-3 whole eggs
butter and cream: grass-fed butter and cream
cheese: unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella
nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
healthy oils: extra virgin vegetable oil , coconut oil, and avocado oil
avocados: whole avocados or freshly made guacamole
low carb veggies: green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
condiments: salt, pepper, herbs, and spices
It’s best to base your diet totally on whole, single-ingredient foods. Here’s a list of 44 healthy low carb foods.
A sample keto meal plan for 1 week
To help get you started, here’s a sample ketogenic diet meal plan for one week:
breakfast: veggie and egg muffins with tomatoes
lunch: chicken salad with olive oil, feta cheese, olives, and a side salad
dinner: salmon with asparagus cooked in butter
breakfast: egg, tomato, basil, and spinach omelet
lunch: almond milk, spread , spinach, cocoa powder, and stevia milkshake (more keto smoothies here) with a side of sliced strawberries
dinner: cheese-shell tacos with salsa
breakfast: nut milk chia pudding topped with coconut and blackberries
lunch: avocado shrimp salad
dinner: pork chops with Parmesan cheese, broccoli, and salad
breakfast: omelet with avocado, salsa, peppers, onion, and spices
lunch: a couple of nuts and celery sticks with guacamole and salsa
dinner: chicken stuffed with pesto and cheese , and a side of grilled zucchini
breakfast: sugar-free Greek, milk yogurt with peanut butter, cocoa powder, and berries
lunch: hamburger lettuce wrap tacos with sliced bell peppers
dinner: loaded cauliflower and mixed veggies
breakfast: cream cheese pancakes with blueberries and a side of grilled mushrooms
lunch: Zucchini and beet “noodle” salad
dinner: white fish cooked in coconut oil with kale and toasted pine nuts
breakfast: fried eggs with and mushrooms
lunch: low carb sesame chicken and broccoli
dinner: spaghetti squash Bolognese
Always attempt to rotate the vegetables and meat over the future , as each type provides different nutrients and health benefits.
Healthy keto snacks
In case you get hungry between meals, here are some healthy, keto-approved snacks:
fatty meat or fish
a handful of nuts or seeds
keto sushi bites
one or two hard-boiled or deviled eggs
keto-friendly snack bars
90% bittersweet chocolate
full-fat Greek yogurt mixed with spread and cocoa powder
bell peppers and guacamole
strawberries and plain cottage cheese
celery with salsa and guacamole
smaller portions of leftover meals
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Although getting started on the ketogenic diet may be challenging, there are several tips and tricks that you simply can use to make it easier.
Start by familiarizing yourself with food labels and checking the grams of fat, carbs, and fiber to see how your favorite foods can fit into your diet.
Planning out your meals beforehand can also be beneficial and may assist you save extra time throughout the week.
Many websites, food blogs, apps, and cookbooks also offer keto-friendly recipes and meal ideas that you simply can use to create your own custom menu.
Alternatively, some meal delivery services even offer keto-friendly options for a fast and convenient thanks to enjoy keto meals reception .
Look into healthy frozen keto meals when you’re short on time
When getting to social gatherings or visiting family and friends, you’ll also want to think about bringing your own food, which may make it much easier to curb cravings and stick with your meal plan
Tips for eating out on a ketogenic diet
Many restaurant meals may be made keto-friendly.
Most restaurants offer some quite meat or fish-based dish. Order this and replace any high carb food with extra vegetables.
Egg-based meals also are an excellent option, like an omelet or eggs and bacon.
Another favorite is bun-less burgers. you’ll also swap the fries for vegetables instead. Add extra avocado, cheese, bacon, or eggs.
At Mexican restaurants, you’ll enjoy any sort of meat with extra cheese, guacamole, salsa, and soured cream .
For dessert, ask for a mixed cheese board or berries with cream.
Side effects and the way to reduce them
Although the ketogenic diet is typically safe for many healthy people, there could also be some initial side effects while your body adapts.
There’s some anecdotal evidence of these effects often stated as the keto flu. based on reports from some on the eating plan, it’s usually over within some few days.
Reported keto flu symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting . Other less common symptoms include:
- poor energy and mental function
- increased hunger
- sleep issues
- digestive discomfort
- decreased exercise performance
- To minimize this, you’ll try a daily low carb diet for the first few weeks. this might teach your body to burn more fat before you completely eliminate carbs.
A ketogenic diet also can change the water and mineral balance of your body, so adding extra salt to your meals or taking mineral supplements may help. ask your doctor about your nutritional needs.
At least within the beginning, it’s important to eat until you’re full and avoid restricting calories an excessive amount of . Usually, a ketogenic diet causes weight loss without intentional calorie restriction.
Many of the side effects of starting a ketogenic diet can be limited. Easing into the diet and taking mineral supplements can help.
Risks of the keto diet
Staying on the keto diet in a long term may have some negative effectsTrusted Source, including risks of the following:
- low protein in the blood
- extra fat in the liver
- kidney stones
- micronutrient deficiencies
A type of medication called sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors for type 2 diabetes can increase the risk for diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition that increases blood acidity. Anyone taking this medication should avoid the keto diet.
More research is being done to work out the safety of the keto diet in the long run. Keep your doctor informed of your eating commit to guide your choices.
There are some side effects to the keto diet about which you ought to speak to your doctor if you intend to remain on the diet long term.
Supplements for a ketogenic diet
Although no supplements are required, some may be useful.
MCT oil. Added to drinks or yogurt, MCT oil provides energy and helps increase ketone levels. buy MCT oil online.
Minerals. Added salt and other minerals are often important when starting out because of shifts in water and mineral balance.
Caffeine. Caffeine can have benefits for energy, fat loss, and performance.
Exogenous ketones. This supplement may help raise the body’s ketone levels.
Creatine. Creatine provides numerous benefits for health and performance. this will help if you’re combining a ketogenic diet with exercise.
Whey. Use half a scoop of whey protein in shakes or yogurt to extend your daily protein intake. buy tasty whey products on online.
Frequently asked questions
Here are answers to a number of the foremost common questions on the ketogenic diet.
1. Am i able to ever eat carbs again?
Yes. However, it’s important to significantly reduce your carb intake initially. After the first 2 to three months, you’ll eat carbs on special occasions — just return to the diet immediately after.
2. Will I lose muscle?
There’s a risk of losing some muscle on any diet. However, protein intake and high ketone levels may help minimize muscle loss, especially if you lift weights.
3. Am i able to build muscle on a ketogenic diet?
Yes, but it’s going to not work also as on a moderate carb diet. For more details about low carb or keto diets and exercise performance, read this text .
4. What proportion protein am i able to eat?
Protein should be moderate, as a really high intake can spike insulin levels and lower ketones. Around 35% of total calorie intake is perhaps the upper limit.
5. What if i’m constantly tired, weak, or fatigued?
You may not be in full ketosis or be utilizing fats and ketones efficiently. To counter this, lower your carb intake and revisit the points above. A supplement like MCT oil or ketones can also help.
6. My urine smells fruity. Why is this?
Don’t be alarmed. this is often simply because of the excretion of by-products created during ketosis.
7. My breath smells. What am i able to do?
This is a standard side effect. Try drinking naturally flavored water or chewing sugar-free gum.
8. I heard ketosis was extremely dangerous. is that this true?
People often confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is dangerous, but the ketosis on a ketogenic diet is typically fine for healthy people. Speak to your doctor before starting any new diet.
9. I actually have digestion issues and diarrhea. What am i able to do?
This common side effect usually passes after 3 to 4 weeks. If it persists, try eating more high fiber veggies.
The bottom line
A ketogenic diet are often great for people who:
- Are overweight
- Have diabetes
- Are looking to enhance their Metabolic health
- It may be less suitable for elite athletes or those wishing to feature large amounts of muscle or weight.
It may also not be sustainable for a few people’s lifestyles and preferences. Speak together with your doctor about your eating plan and goals to make a decision if a keto eating plan right for you.