If you’ve ever, any requirements on a diet, make sure that you have all the facts. We at Live Fit First, take a close look at the ketogenic (keto) diet – what are they, what are the health requirements behind the headlines, and are they healthy?
What is a Keto or Ketogenic Diet?
“Ketogenic” is a term for a low-carb diet. The thought is for you to get more calories from protein and fat and fewer carbs. You have to cut down on the majority of the carbohydrates, they are easy to digest, like sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread.
The history of the ketogenic diet in the medical setting
In the early 19th century, the ketogenic diet is being used to combat the disease. In the 1920s, the Ketogenic diet was introduced as an effective treatment for epilepsy in children, whose treatment proved to be very inefficient. The ketogenic diet has also been tested and is being used in well-controlled settings for cancer, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease.
However, this diet has received a lot of attention as a potential weight-loss strategy behind it, low-carb diet, rush, which began in the 1970s with the Atkins Diet (very low-carb, high-protein diet, which was a commercial success and popularized low-carb diets to a new level). Today, other low-carb diets, including the Paleo Diet, South Beach, and you can, are all high in protein but moderate in fat. In contrast, the ketogenic diet, as opposed to being high in fat, is usually between 70% and 80%, though with a moderate intake of protein.
Ketogenic diet meaning
The “keto” or “ketogenic diet” is the name, because it causes the body to produce small fuel molecules called “ketones“. This is an alternative fuel source for your body, which you can use in your blood sugar (glucose) levels, when in short supply.
How does the Keto Diet work?
The goal of the ketogenic diet is for your body to enter a state of “ketosis“, with the help of a very serious and low-carb diet. If you are eating low-carb or too few calories, the liver produces ketones from fat. These ketones then serve as a source of energy for the whole body, especially the brain.
The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day, and it’s not working directly from fat. Ketones make this possible.
On a ketogenic diet, your body switches fuel reserves and working primarily in fat, and burning fat throughout the day. When insulin impairing, is very low, fat burning can increase dramatically. It will be very easy for you to be able to access your fat stores to burn them off.
It’s a good thing if you’re trying to lose weight, but other benefits may be less hunger, and a constant influx of energy without the highs and lows of sugar, which frequently occur when you use high-carb foods. This can help you stay awake and alert.
When your body produces ketones, it enters a metabolic state known as ketosis. The quickest way to achieve this is by fasting, but no one can permanently fast forever and ever.
The keto diet, on the other hand, will lead to ketosis and can be taken out for an indefinite period of time. There are many benefits of fasting-including weight loss without the need for a long-term solid.
What is Ketosis?
Under normal circumstances, our body uses glucose from carbohydrate foods for energy. The lack of glucose goes through a process known as ketosis. This is a situation in which the body burns fat instead of carbs as an energy source. If we do not eat carbohydrates, the liver breaks down the fat stores to produce energy. This energy is in the form of (creating) molecules called “ketones”.
When ketone bodies accumulate in the blood, it is known as ketosis. A healthy person naturally experiences moderate ketosis during periods of fasting (such as sleep), and a lot of intensive training. Proponents of the ketogenic diet, claims if we are careful with the diet, the level of ketone bodies in the bloodstream will not reach a harmful level (known as”ketoacidosis“), as the brain will use ketones for fuel, and healthy people tend to prepare enough insulin to prevents excessive ketones from forming.
What is ketoacidosis?
Excessive ketone bodies can lead to dangerous, toxic levels of acid in the blood, called ketoacidosis. During ketoacidosis, the kidneys begin to excrete ketone bodies along with the water, causing some fluid-related weight loss. Ketoacidosis most often occurs in individuals with type 1 diabetes, because they do not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that prevents the overproduction of ketones. It is a major concern for people who are thinking of a Ketogenic diet but having diabetes type 1(Diabetic ketoacidosis). Don’t rush to it, consult your doctor first or it might be life-threatening.
However, in some rare cases, it has been found that ketoacidosis occurs in non-diabetic patients, who were following a long-term diet that is very low in carbohydrates.
What are the different types of ketogenic diets?
There are several options on the ketogenic diet, including:
- Standard Ketogenic Diet (SCD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet. As a rule, it consists of 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbohydrate.
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): This diet incorporates periods of time to increase the higher-carb reserves, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by a 2-per-day, high-carb.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TCD): This diet allows you to add carbs after you work out.
- High-protein ketogenic diet (HKD): it is a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
But only the standard and the high-protein ketogenic diet is well-studied. Cyclic & Targeted ketogenic diet is a more advanced technique and is primarily used by bodybuilders or athletes.
The information in this article applies primarily to the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD), although many of the same principles apply to other versions as well.
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Health Benefits of Keto Diet
If you are following or thinking to follow a ketogenic diet plan, you must know about its Pros & cons. The health benefits are listed below firstly.
Supports weight loss
A ketogenic diet may help you to lose weight fast in several ways, for example, by increasing your metabolism and reducing your appetite.
A ketogenic diet is comprised of foods that, fill in as a person, and it can reduce levels of hunger-stimulating hormones. For these reasons, their keto diet, can reduce appetite, and promote weight loss.
Increases insulin sensitivity (type 2 diabetes or prediabetes)
There is a common question among us that ‘A ketogenic diet is good for diabetes or not’. Its answer varies according to the type of diabetes you are having.
Low-carb diets seem to help to keep blood sugar levels low and more predictable, than in the other diets. However, when the body is burning fat for energy, it gives to a compound, which is known as ketones. If you have diabetes, especially type 1, too many ketones in your blood, which can make you sick and increases the risk. And on the other hand, ketones might be helpful for the person having type 2 diabetes
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Reduce the risk of cancer
Scientists have been studying the effects of a ketogenic diet to help prevent or even treat some types of cancer.
Studies have shown that a ketogenic diet can be safe and suitable to be used for the treatment, along with chemotherapy and radiation therapy in people with certain types of cancer. This is because it creates more oxidative stress in cancer cells than in normal cells, causing them to die.
Improve the condition of the skin, hydrates protects color
Acne has a variety of causes that may be related to diet and blood sugar levels in some people.
A diet that is high in a lot of refined carbohydrates can alter the balance of bacteria in the stomach and intestines, and lead to a significant increase or decrease in blood sugar levels, which can negatively affect the health of the skin.
Improves heart health
When someone is following a ketogenic diet, then you should opt for healthy food. There is some evidence that foods that contain healthy fats(also known as unsaturated fats), like avocados instead of less healthy fat that pork contains, can help to improve cardiovascular disease by lowering the level of cholesterol in the blood.
Enhance mental performance
Some studies show that ketones, which are produced during the keto diet, provide neuroprotective advantages, which means that they will strengthen and protect the brain and nerve cells.
For this reason, the keto diet can help a person avoid or cope with this problem, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
However, it should be noted that more research on the effects of the keto diet is necessary before any proper conclusion.
Potentially reduces seizures
The ketogenic diet is a popular and often effective medical therapy for epilepsy that has been in use since the 1920s. Traditionally, it is used mainly for children, but over the past few years, adults are also being benefited from it.
With the help of a ketogenic diet in epilepsy may cause some people to avoid taking antiepileptic drugs, or are likely to take them on without care. This can reduce the side effects of the drug and, thus, enhance psychic abilities.
Improve PCOS symptoms
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that can cause excess male hormones, ovulatory dysfunction, and polycystic ovaries disorder. A high-carbohydrate diet can also cause negative effects in people with PCOS, like skin issues and weight gain.
Increasing physical endurance
The ketogenic diet can be, theoretically, increase your physical endurance, by improving your access to a huge amount of energy in your fat stores. The body’s supply of glycogen (stored carbohydrates) only lasts for an hour or two of intense exercise or less. But your fat stores contain enough energy to potentially last for weeks.
Very Effective for Older Adults
Keto can also be very effective to older adults i.e for people over 50, it can act like magic. After the age of 50, we observe symptoms of various diseases like diabetes, mental disorders, sleeplessness, various heart diseases, etc. But the Keto diet can one-handedly deal with all these diseases. So, having Keto over 50 can be more beneficial.
Read this article to know about the Benefits of Keto over 50: Why keto over 50 is so effective?
Potential Risks of Ketogenic Diet
A ketogenic diet can have several benefits to your health. But sticking to a ketogenic diet, for a very long period of time can be damaging to your overall health, including the risk of the following health problems:
- kidney stones
- high protein in the blood
- vitamins and minerals deficiencies
- fat coating in the liver
The keto diet can cause negative side effects to a lot of people know as keto flu. These side effects may include:
- low blood sugar
- Keto crotch
- low exercise tolerance
These symptoms are especially common at the beginning of the diet when the body adjusts to a new source of energy.
Who should not take Keto Diet?
Everyone thinks that doing a Keto diet will benefit them. But first, you need to know that weather Ketogenic diet is good for you or not, because for some people it might be very dangerous. In the following section, you will get to know, who should avoid the Ketogenic diet.
- people with diabetes who are insulin-dependent
- persons with eating disorders
- people suffering from kidney disease or pancreatitis
- a woman during pregnancy and breast-feeding
People tend to take a type of medication known as sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) for type 2 diabetes treatment and not follow a keto diet. This medicine increases the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, a hazardous condition that increases the level of acidity in the blood.
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Long term effects of Keto diet
The symptoms associated with the glycogen are often temporary and may be related to dehydration. These may include headaches, dry mouth, bad breath, fatigue, and nausea. However, it should be noted that such diets limit carbohydrates, there is usually no fiber, which can harm gut health, including the involvement of the beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. In this case, make sure that you are in very time-consuming, gut-healthy foods such as vegetables, fermented vegetables, and some oils, such as butter, which gives the butyric acid-a gut-aid, short-chain fatty acids.
Is Keto diet safe?
The Ketogenic diet plan, which probably goes against the majority of people’s concept of a healthy, balanced diet, will tend to the promotion of protein, fat, and carbohydrate intake. From an evolutionary perspective, ketosis is a normal, adaptive response, which makes it possible for humans to survive periods of famine throughout history. Today, it is natural that the physiological mechanism to make use of a low-carb diet regimen.
The diet means that you will have to replace the carbohydrates with fat and protein, and if you stick to it for a long period of time, it can harm some people. Consuming foods that are high in fat content, will probably boost your intake of saturated fat, that’s why the current BRITISH government recommended, to limit fat intake, 30 g for men and 20 for women. It is believed that a high-protein, might cause issues if you have a serious kidney-related disease. This is where a Ketogenic diet can be very dangerous. However, the majority of the ketogenic diet, providing moderate, rather than high-protein diets.
So, when you are planning a Ketogenic diet in long term, besides the benefits one should also keep in mind its dangers.
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What Kinds of foods are allowed for the Ketogenic diet & what not
People often wonder about what to eat on a keto diet. Are you also thinking so? Don’t worry! There is a lot of foods you can take while you are on the Keto diet. Even you can even eat restaurant foods by doing some adjustments. In the below section you will be knowing all that.
Foods that generally include high-fat meat, fish, butter, nuts, fatty dairy products such as cheese, low-carb vegetables like leafy greens are allowed.
Not surprisingly, the reduction in carbohydrates means cutting out bread, pasta, rice, and even the simplest pastries. However, to achieve a very low-carb diet also means avoiding legumes, root vegetables, most fruits, and starchy vegetables such as potatoes.
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Which Foods to eat on Keto diet
Most of your diets must focus on foods like meat, fish, eggs, butter, nuts, healthy oils, avocados, and plenty of low-carb vegetables. One should base the most out of these foods to continue their ketogenic diet properly.
- meat: red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken etc.
- fatty fish: salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
- eggs: pastured or omega-3 whole eggs
- butter and cream: grass-fed butter and heavy cream
- cheese: cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella
- nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
- avocados: whole avocados or freshly made guacamole
- low carb veggies: most of green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
- condiments: salt, pepper, herbs, and spices
It’s important to scale your foods mostly on whole, single-ingredient foods.
Which Foods to Avoid on Keto diet
Foods that contain high carbs should be avoided.
Here’s a list of foods that need to be avoided on a ketogenic diet:
- foods with high sugar content: 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.
In one sentence, one should avoid carb-based foods like grains, sugars, legumes, rice, potatoes, candy, juice, and even most fruits when they are in the Keto diet.
Confused? Thinking of taking a Keto Diet Plan to overcome this confusion? Then you must read the below review before purchasing any Keto diet plan. Click below to know more:
What to drink?
Water is the perfect drink. Coffee or tea is also fine. Ideally, use no sweeteners, especially sugar. A splash of milk or cream in your coffee or tea is OK, but make sure you don’t drink multiple cups in a day (and definitely avoid Caffe lattes!)because carbs can add up if you take milk/cream multiple times. You can also take a glass of wine occasionally.
What to be done before starting a Keto diet plan?
If you are interested in adopting this type of diet, you should consult with your doctor to confirm that it is appropriate and safe for you. Before starting your diet plan, focus on foods that support liver functions like garlic and onions, and simultaneously try to reduce your intake of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
How to achieve ketosis on a Ketogenic diet?
Here are the seven most important things to be done to boost your level of ketosis, and is ranked as the most to least important:
- Restrict carbohydrates to 20 digestible grams per day or less is a serious, low-carb, or keto diet. Fiber is not necessary to limit as it may also be helpful in ketosis.
- Eat enough fat to make you feel better about yourself. A keto or a low-carb diet is generally a diet with a high proportion of fat, as fat is converted into energy that you’re not getting from the carbs.
- Maintain a moderate intake of protein. The keto diet should not be high in protein. We recommend 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
- Try to avoid snacking when you are not hungry. Eat more often than you just need to eat, like eating for fun, or eating because there is food around, reduces ketosis, and slows down weight loss.
- If necessary, add intermittent fasting. For example, skipping breakfast, and eating only in the 8 hours of the daytime, and fasting for the rest 16 hours (i.e., the 16: 8 fast). This is effective in case of increasing ketone levels, as well as to speed up weight loss and improve insulin resistance.
- Add Exercises. Adding any kind of physical activity is a low-carb, which can result in a moderate increase in ketone levels. It can also help to speed up weight loss and decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. The training is not necessary to get into ketosis, but it can be useful.
- Get enough sleep and minimize stress. For most people, it’s good to get at least seven hours of sleep per day on average. And try to keep your stress under control.
How to know that you are in ketosis?
Measuring ketosis is simple. It can be done by testing urine, blood, or breath samples. But some definite symptoms require no testing:
- Dry mouth and increased thirst.
- Increased urination.
- Keto breathe. This is caused by a ketone body called acetone while escaping via our breath. It can make a person’s breath, the “fruit” of or like nail polish remover.
Other, less specific, but more positive signs include:
- Reduced hunger.
- Possibly increased energy.
Can I eat out on a Keto diet?
The advice to eat on a ketogenic diet
Many restaurant dishes can be transformed into keto-friendly dishes by adding simple things.
The majority of restaurants offer meat or fish-based dish on their menu. Order this & it is easy to replace any high-carb food with extra veggies.
Egg-based dishes are also a great option, such as omelet or eggs and bacon.
Another favorite food is burgers without the buns. You can also change the fries for vegetables instead. Add extra cheese, avocado, eggs, or bacon.
At Mexican restaurants, you can also choose any type of meat, add cheese, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.
For dessert, ask for a mixture of a cheese board, or berries with cream.
Click here to see a list of 27 Keto Restaurants, you may like to have food from.
Keto Diet Recipes
Now when you know what foods to eat on the Keto diet, here comes what dishes can we make with these Keto-friendly foods. You will also find many websites over the internet that provides recipes. Check out our Recipe page for some delicious keto-friendly recipes which will nourish your taste buds. You will get
- 100% Keto-friendly recipes
- Easy to cook Instructions
- Nutritional Values
- Wide variety of dishes
- Free of cost
You may also check out some of our popular Keto recipes:
- Keto Sausage Balls
- Ketogenic Cheese Omelet
- Keto Buffalo Chicken Salad
- BLTA Lettuce wraps(Keto Style)
- Keto Salami Egg Muffins
Click the link below for more yummy recipes:
Researches till now
The ketogenic diet has been shown to have beneficial metabolic changes in a short period of time. Along with the loss, the improvement of health in the context of obesity, which is insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and triglycerides. There is also a growing interest in the use of low-carb diets, including the ketogenic diet for type 2 diabetes. Several theories such as the ketogenic diet promote weight loss, even though they are consistently in the studies.
- The saturation effect in the reduced need for food, due to high level of fat in the diet.
- Reduced appetite-stimulating hormones, like insulin, and ghrelin when taking only a limited amount of carbs.
- The role of ketones are the major source of fuel in order to lose weight, is to directly reduce the feelings of hunger.
- The increased calorie expenditure, due to the metabolic effect of converting fats and proteins into glucose.
- To stimulate the metabolism of fat compared to lean body mass is part to reduce insulin levels.
Ketogenic Diet Controversies
Most of the side effects of the keto diet are minor, and occasional. However, there are a lot of contradictions and myths that scare people.
“I’ve heard that our brain will cease if we eat a low amount of carbs?” This is a story based on a lack of understanding of how the human body functions in glycogen (the fuel switch for the brain, ketone bodies).
Another common misunderstanding is by mixing up normal ketosis (resulting from a keto diet) with the dangerous medical emergency ketoacidosis. Don’t Panic! Both have hell & heaven differences Ketoacidosis does not happen just from eating a keto diet.
The debate on the keto diet doesn’t just end there. The controversy also continues asking, Is Keto is going to kill your kidneys or destroy your bones? Is it going to stop your thyroid from working? Can saturated fat cause heart attack? Is keto bad for the environment? Can this make you feel depressed?
The environmental effects of the keto diet depend to a large extent on how it is formulated. The short answer to most of these questions is “no”. To get all the information, data, and scientific evidence, please click on the link below.
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How much weight can I lose on the keto diet?
The results may vary. To the majority of people, losing 2-4 pounds (1-2 kg) in the first week is very easy. It is the weight of the water. After that, you will typically lose about 1 pound (0.5 kg) of excess weight per week. However, it is seen that young men reduce weight faster than women aging above 40.
What happens that after I reach health and weight goals on the keto diet?
When you do reach your goal, you can choose to either continue to eat, keto one (to maintain the effect), or to try to add a little bit more carbs. In the latter case, the effect of the keto diet is going to be somewhat slower, and you will be able to regain or retain weight.
If you are going back to your old habits, you will gradually get back to your weight and health status.
Will I ever be eating carbs again?
Yes, but in the early stages, it is important to significantly reduce your carb intake. After the first 2 to 3 months, it’s time to eat carbs all the time, just to get back to the right weight first.
Am I going to lose muscle while on a keto diet?
In any diet, there is a risk of losing some muscle mass. However, protein intake and high ketones levels can help minimize muscle loss, especially if you are lifting weights.
How can I track my carb intake?
If you use our keto recipes and keto meal plans, you’re going to stay in the 20 grams of carbs per day, and don’t have to figure them out.
With the help of keto product recommendations and visual guides, you can easily estimate how much carbs you are eating per day. If you want to have the precise measurement of carbohydrates, as it is the most popular way is through apps like MyFitnessPal, Chronometer, Senza, Carb manager, and others.
What should I do if I am constantly tired, weak, or fatigued?
You may not be in absolute ketosis or the use of fats and ketones efficiently. To counter this by reducing your carbohydrate intake, going back to the above-mentioned points. It can also help dietary supplements like MCT oil or ketones.
How much protein should I eat on a keto diet?
The protein intake should be moderate, having a very high intake can dramatically increase the levels of insulin, and lower ketone levels. About 35% of your total calorie intake is probably the upper limit.
My urine smells fruity. "Why don't you?"
“It’s Normal” It’s simply due to the emission of by-products resulted from ketosis.
I have heard that ketosis is very dangerous. What is it?
People often confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is dangerous, but the ketosis on a ketogenic diet is, in general, very good for the health of people. Must talk to your doctor before starting any new dietary restrictions.
Can I gain muscle on a ketogenic diet?
Yes, but it might not work as well.
I have stomach problems and diarrhea. What can I do?
This is the most common side effect that tends to disappear after 3-4 weeks. If it persists, please eat more high-fiber vegetables.
My breath smells bad, too. What can I do?
This is a common side-effect. Please try drinking water, or chewing sugar-free gum.
The ketogenic diet can be very useful to people, who are: Overweight, have Type 2 diabetes(must consult your doctor first), Trying to improve their metabolic health. It may not be suitable for athletes or those wishing to add a lot of muscle mass or body weight.
It can also be unstable to some people’s lifestyle and personal preferences. Talk with your doctor about your diet plan and goals to determine whether a keto meal plan is the right one for you.
I think the information I have provided you will help you a lot in starting the Keto diet & begin your Fitness Journey to help you out. If you want anything more, you can also comment to me & suggest what I can add more to help you out. So do comment. And lastly, if you like this article, please share the article on social media with your friends & family.