THE KETOGENIC DIET
Ketogenic diets are low-carb, high-fat diets. The Keto diet continues to gain popularity as more people adopt it and make some healthy lifestyle changes.
WHAT IS The Purpose Of A KETO DIET?
The principal aim of a ketogenic diet is to transition your body into ketosis and burn fats instead of carbohydrates. This diet includes a high amount of fats, adequate proteins, and low levels of carbs.
HOW DOES THE KETO DIET WORK?
Whenever you eat food that is rich in carbohydrates, your body will change the carbohydrate into glucose, increasing your blood sugar level. Insulin is a hormone whose responsibility is to carry glucose to various parts of the body. In addition to its many effects, insulin controls how the body uses carbohydrates found in certain kinds of food. So whenever your blood sugar rises, your body will be signaled to create insulin to give energy. This process is known as the “insulin spike.”
Glucose is an important energy source in living organisms. As long as you eat carbohydrates, your body will continue to turn these carbohydrates into sugar that will later be burnt for energy. If glucose is available, your body will be unable to burn off the fats present. However, on a Keto diet, your body exhausts your glycogen stores, thereby leaving you with no choice but to start burning the fats.
During ketosis, glycogen stores are completely depleted and are not replenished. The liver produces ketones from fat while it is in ketosis. These ketone bodies can be used as a source of energy. During this time, you need to make sure that you are eating enough protein. As a result, you will enter a metabolic state called ketosis after converting fatty acids into ketones.
WHAT ARE KETONES?
A body’s cells produce ketones when they don’t receive enough glucose (blood sugar). The liver converts fat into ketones during ketosis. The byproducts will later become your body’s new energy source. If you reduce the intake of carbs and calories and then replace them with healthy fats and carbs, your body will respond by becoming more efficient at burning fat.
The three primary types of ketones include:
Gluconeogenesis is the act of converting non-carbohydrate substrates like glycerol, amino acids, and lactate into glucose to keep your blood sugar level from getting low. During ketosis, your body relies on this process.
Most people experience increased mentality clarity, reduced hunger, and improved mood on keto because their brains and other organs use ketones for energy more efficiently than carbs.
The molecules in ketones also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which will help reverse and repair the cellular damage that is often caused by overeating sugar.
Ketosis will help your body function on a stored fat level whenever food is not readily available.
TYPES OF KETOGENIC DIETS
We have four major types of keto diets. Each diet takes a slightly different approach to fat and carb intake. While deciding which method will work best for you, ensure that you consider your lifestyle, goals, and fitness level.
Standard Keto Diet (SKD): This is the most recommended type of ketogenic diet. In this diet, you will stay within the range of 20-50 grams of net carbs every day. This type of ketogenic diet focuses on adequate protein intake and high-fat intake.
Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): If you are a very athletic individual who trains at high intensity, this version of the keto diet may be right for you. This type of keto diet involves eating 25-50 grams of net carbs about 30 minutes to an hour before exercise.
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): If the keto diet looks intimidating to you, this type of ketogenic diet will work best for you. In this type of keto diet, you will cycle between periods of eating low-carb diets for a week, then followed by the period of eating high-carb diets.
High-protein Ketogenic Diet (HKD): This method is identical to a standard keto diet. The slight difference is just the intake of protein. In this method, you will increase your protein intake considerably.
NOTE: The Standard Keto Diet is the most used and researched type of keto diet. So the information below pertains to this standard method of the keto diet.
WHAT PROTEIN, FAT, AND CARBS SHOULD YOU EAT ON A KETO DIET?
Fats, carbs, and protein are generally classified as macronutrients. The macronutrients breakdown for a keto diet:
Carbs within the range of 5-10% should be considered
Protein should be within the range of 20- 25%
Fat should not be more than 75-80% except for certain people
Macronutrients are the cornerstone of any keto diet. Contrary to the populace’s opinion, no macronutrient ratio works for everyone. Everyone’s needs are unique. You need to take into account a number of things when figuring out which macronutrients are appropriate for you.
Physical and mental goals, and
To figure out the macronutrient ratio, you can use the free keto calculator.
Most people take 20 grams to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day which is ideal. Some people can go as high as 100 grams each day and still stay in ketosis.
If you want to know how much protein to consume daily, you should consider your body’s composition, gender, activity level, ideal weight, and height. Protein should constitute 0.8 grams of a lean body mass. This will help to prevent muscle loss.
And you shouldn’t worry about eating too much protein since it won’t kick you out of ketosis.
After calculating the percentage rate of calories that should come from protein and carbs daily, add the two numbers, and subtract your answer from 100. Your final answer is the percentage of calories that should come from fat.
Calories counting should not be a necessity in keto. It helps to reduce overeating. So instead of counting calories, focus on your macro levels.
For further understanding, click the link to know more about micronutrients in keto.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN KETO AND LOW-CARB DIETS?
The ketogenic diet usually gets lumped in with low-carb diets. The major difference between the ketogenic diet and the low-carb diet is in the macronutrient levels. In keto variations, 45% of calories come from fats. This will help to transition your body into ketosis. Low-carb diets don’t have a specified daily intake of macronutrients.
The goals between keto and low-carb diets also vary. The keto diet aims to enter ketosis; then, you wean your body off burning glucose for fuel long-term. But you may never enter ketosis with a low-carb diet. Some diets even cut out carbs in the short term, then later add them back in.
WHAT FOOD CAN I EAT ON THE KETO DIET?
Since you now understand the basics behind the ketogenic diet, it’s now time to make your shopping list and hit the grocery store.
You will enjoy nutritious foods on the keto diet. The keto diet will also help you to disregard high-carb food.
LOW CARBOHYDRATE VEGETABLES
Vegetables help to get a healthy dose of micronutrients, thereby preventing deficiencies of nutrients on keto.
Leafy green vegetables, including spinach, kale, and arugula.
Lettuces which include iceberg, butterhead, and romaine
vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut
Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, and zucchini.
Other vegetables like mushrooms, celery, and asparagus.
LOW SUGAR FRUITS
Eat fruits with caution on keto. These contain excessive sugar and carbohydrates.
Avocado is one fruit that you can enjoy in abundance.
Berries like strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and cranberry may also be eaten.
HEALTHY FATS AND OILS
The source of healthy fats includes grass-fed butter, coconut oil, ghee, tallow, olive oil, and palm oil.
WHAT FOODS TO AVOID ON THE KETOGENIC DIET?
It’s advisable to avoid the following foods on the ketogenic diet due to the high amount of carbohydrates. Before starting keto, purge your cupboards and fridge, give away any unopened items and throw the rest away.
Grains are loaded with carbohydrates, so it’s best to stay away from any type of grains on keto. This includes wheat, pasta, grains, rice, quinoa, oats, corn, rye, and barley.
While vegetarians and vegans depend on beans for their protein content, these foods are high-carb in the keto diet. Avoid eating chickpeas, lentils, black beans, and kidney beans in a keto diet.
FRUITS WITH HIGH SUGAR CONTENT
Many fruits are usually packed with antioxidants and other micronutrients. They are also high in fructose which can easily kick one out of ketosis. Avoid fruits like apples, pineapples, and mango, except for a small number of berries.
Do not eat starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and carrots.
It is crucial to avoid desserts, like ice cream and cake. Fruit juice, smoothies, and soda should also be avoided. Condiments like barbecue sauce and ketchup are filled with sugar, so ensure that you read the label carefully before adding them to your meal plan. If you are craving something sweet, use a keto-friendly dessert recipe made with keto-friendly sweeteners like Erythritol, Sucralose, Stevia, Xylitol, Monk Fruit Sweetener, and Yacon Syrup instead.
There are some alcoholic beverages that are acceptable on the ketogenic diet. Rum, vodka, gin, tequila, and whiskey are all pure alcohol products, so they are carb-free. Additionally, light beer and wine are relatively low in carbs. If you want to lose weight for keto diets, keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum.
BENEFITS OF THE KETO DIET
The keto diet has been associated with health benefits that stretch way beyond weight loss. Here are a few ways the keto diet can help you feel better, stronger, and clear-headed.
KETO DIETS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
This is probably the main reason that made keto famous. A Keto diet will help you decrease your body weight and body mass while maintaining strong muscles.
KETO DIETS FOR ENDURANCE LEVEL
The keto diet will help you improve your endurance level as an athlete. It might take time before an athlete can adjust to burning fat instead of glucose for energy.
KETO DIETS FOR GUT HEALTH
Researchers have linked low sugar and an improvement in irritable bowel syndrome IBS symptoms. One study shows that the keto diet can help to improve abdominal pain and overall quality of life in those with IBS.
KETO DIETS FOR DIABETES
The keto diet will help you to balance blood glucose and the insulin level in your body. This diet can help people with type 2 diabetes lose weight and lower their blood sugar levels.
KETO DIETS FOR HEART HEALTH
The ketogenic diet can help to reduce risk factors for heart disease, including an improvement in HDL cholesterol, blood sugar, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
KETO DIETS FOR BRAIN HEALTH
Ketone bodies are linked to neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory benefits. The keto diet may support individuals with conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
KETO DIETS FOR EPILEPSY
The keto diet was created in the 20th century to prevent seizures that usually occur in epileptic patients, mostly in children. Ketosis is used in the treatment of individuals who have epilepsy.
KETO DIETS FOR PMS
Up to 90% of women suffer from symptoms of PMS. The ketogenic diet will help you to balance your blood sugar, boost nutrient stores, combat inflammation, and crush all kinds of cravings.
How Long Will It Take For The Body To Get Into KETOSIS?
It can often take 1-3 days to reach full ketosis. The best way to monitor your ketone level is by testing it, which can be done from home. Whenever you eat on a keto diet, excess ketones spill over into several areas of your body. This will allow you to measure your ketone levels in different ways:
1. In your urine, this can be done by using a test strip
2. In your blood, this can be done by using a glucose meter
3. Through your breath, which can be done using a breadth meter
Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. The measuring of ketones in your blood is the most effective. Urine testing is the least accurate method, though very affordable.