The Essentials Of Ketogenic (Keto) Diet: A Beginners’ Guide
If you are one of those flab people on earth who look to cut a few inches off their body or shred a few pounds, you would get to hear a lot about ‘keto diet’ or ‘ketogenic diet’.
But have you ever cared to know what the phrase actually means and what keto diet actually has in store for you? Let us help you.
Here we have brought for you a detailed guide on keto (ketogenic) diet that has turned to be a buzzword of the recent period. In this, we would deal with the following major aspects:
- What is keto or ketogenic diet?
- Why do people opt for a keto diet?
- Types of Ketogenic Diets
- What to eat on a keto diet
- What not to eat on a keto diet
- Benefits of the keto diet
- What is ketosis?
- Side-effects of a keto diet
- When to avoid a ketogenic diet
Let us see all these aspects in a bit detail:
What Is Keto Or Ketogenic Diet?
Keto or ketogenic has been derived from ‘ketones’ which are small fuel molecules in the body and they are the alternative sources of energy for the human body, used only when the body falls short of sugar.
Ketones are produced only when your carbohydrate intake is very less and even your protein consumption is less. The organ liver uses fats to produce ketones and these ketones then serve as a source of energy for the entire body, especially the brain.
When you are on a ketogenic diet, your complete body uses the stored fats as its source of energy and runs on it. Due to this, your insulin levels turn low and it helps to reduce your body weight.
Thus, the Ketogenic diet is the diet which includes a controlled intake of carbs and proteins to produce ketones and helps in reducing the body weight.
Why Do People Opt For Keto Diet?
You know exactly about the increasing overweight and obesity troubles in human beings. And also, the extent to which human beings can go in order to reduce their increased body weight.
In such a scenario, while people are not able to lead a regularized life, intake of unhealthy weight-reduction pills, powders, use of electrical massagers, and other products is quite common.
Regardless of their side-effects, people are keen to use almost any product which promises to help them decrease their weight.
At this state, if a bit of control and regularization in the diet is assistive in reducing the body weight, they ought to offer it a shot. And this is the major reason why keto or ketogenic diet has turned to be a major point of attraction.
Types of Ketogenic Diets:
Ketogenic diets can be divided into the following major types:
- Standard Ketogenic Diet: This kind of ketogenic diet is low in carbohydrates, has a medium content of proteins and is high in fats. In figures, it contains approx. 75% of fat, 20% of proteins and less than 5% of carbohydrates.
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: This is a cyclical form of diet in which a period of a low-carb diet is followed by a period of a high-carb diet. For instance, in a week, you can go for a ketogenic diet for 5 days, followed by a high-carb diet for 2 days.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet: In this, you can add carbohydrates according to your body’s requirement.
- High-Protein Ketogenic Diet: As the name indicates, it has a slightly higher percentage of proteins while the fat content get lessened as compared to a standard ketogenic diet
What To Eat On A Keto Diet?
As aforementioned, keto diet denotes avoiding carb and the fewer the number of carbs you consume, the better it is for the body.
So if you are on a keto diet or a ketogenic diet, here are some of the products which are helpful for you:
- Low-carb veggies
- Meat products & poultry
- Cottage cheese & Greek yogurt
- Coconut oil & Olive oil
- Nuts & seeds
- Cream & butter
- All kinds of berries & olives
- Tea & coffee without sugar
- Cocoa powder & dark chocolate
These are some of the foods that would enhance your efforts in a ketogenic diet. Besides, ensure to find out about some fruits and veggies before consuming them.
Potatoes, yams, and other such veggies are full of carbs and may spoil your efforts.
What Not To Eat On A Keto Diet:
If you are on a keto diet, here are some of the things that you need to avoid:
- Foods laden with sugar
- Rice and rice-based products such as pasta
- Legumes and beans
- Low-fat products
- Unhealthy fats such as vegetable oils and mayonnaise etc.
- Sugar-free diet products which could be rich in carbs
Benefits of The Keto Diet:
Did you know that the keto diet or ketogenic diet was used as a tool to treat neurological disorders such as epilepsy etc.?
And besides being used as an unparalleled method for the reduction of body weight, the diet has other hordes of benefits such as:
- Acne Reduction: Keto Diet or eating less sugar and processed food could lead to a lowering of the insulin levels and in turn improve the acne conditions.
- Alzheimer’s Disease Reduction: Ketogenic diet is also helpful in reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and even its progression.
- Parkinson’s Reduction: The diet is also helpful in improving the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
- Brain Recovery: Ketogenic diet reduces the concussions and also helps in the improvement of brain injuries.
- Epilepsy Reduction: Studies have found that the keto diet has a huge effect in reducing seizures occurring in epileptic children.
- Heart Trouble Reduction: Ketogenic diet can help to reduce some heart risk factors such as blood sugar, body fat, HDL cholesterol, and high blood pressure etc.
What Is Ketosis?
The word ‘ketosis’ appears very similar or something related to the ketogenic diet, right? Well, it actually is!
Ketosis refers to a process where the human body uses ketones as the major source of their energy instead of glucose in the normal case. The process takes place when there’s a deficiency of glucose in the body, due to which, the human body switches to an alternate source of energy.
In such a process, the fat cells provide the required energy and the extra fat in the body gets burnt at a faster rate.
Side-effects Of A Keto Diet:
At the very moment you consider keto diet to be a perfectly healthy one, you may experience some side-effects too.
Here are some of the side-effects of the keto diet that you may face during the process:
Keto Flu: Keto flu is one of the most common symptoms experienced while on a keto diet similar to the normal flu, it would bring symptoms such as:
- Light nausea
- Lack of concentration
- Lack of motivation for daily jobs
Other than keto flu, you may experience side-effects such as:
- Muscle fatigue
- Muscle cramps
- Heart palpitations etc.
Though these side-effects tend to be short term and subside with time, if they persist for long, you need to see a health specialist soon. Besides, there are ways to cure and minimize the symptoms of the ketogenic diet as well.
When To Avoid Ketogenic Diet:
Ketogenic diet needs to be avoided when:
- You take regular diabetes medications
- High blood pressure or other medications are a part of your daily regime
- You breastfeed
Besides this, a very popular question which the people generally have is whether they would ever be able to restart with the carb intake or not.
To those- Yes, you can restart the intake of your favourite carbohydrates when you think you have lost enough of your body weight or after 2 to 3 months of the keto diet.
On the bottom-line, ketogenic diet, if followed strictly, can always offer you great outcomes. But for these, you need to sacrifice your favourite carbohydrate products, unhealthy fats, and refined food products to ensure you go from flab to fab in no time.
Besides, you need to stay in regular touch with a diet expert or a doctor to ensure that your body faces no troubles in the process.