What is a Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is known to be a low carbohydrate diet, in which the body produces ketones in the liver to be used for energy.
When we eat carbohydrates, our body produces glucose and insulin. Glucose is the molecule that our body uses when it needs energy, above other molecules. Insulin is produced to process glucose in the bloodstream.
Since our body takes glucose as its primary energy, fats accumulate in case they are needed another time (when there is no glucose).
Generally, in a normal diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. But if carbohydrate intake is reduced, the body enters a state known as ketosis.
Ketosis is a natural process that the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are created from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
The ultimate goal of a keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. Our body is incredibly adaptable to what you have. When we remove carbohydrates from the diet, he will start burning ketones as the primary energy source.
How to Start Keto Diet
- You have to know what the Ketogenic Diet consists of
- You must know what foods contain carbohydrates
- You must what foods are allowed
- Know how to Mitigate Ketogenic Flu
- Plan a Simple Keto Meal plan
Foods to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet
The foods allowed on the keto diet, or keto diet, will be mostly fatty and with some protein. The list will be as follows:
- Vegetables with few carbohydrates: spinach and generally green leafy vegetables, avocado, cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, tomato, onion.
- Bluefish, rich in polyunsaturated fats: salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, trout, tuna, palometa, mackerel, bonito, swordfish.
- Meat and sausages: chicken and turkey, but you can also eat fatty meats.
- Eggs and mayonnaise.
- Fatty dairy products such as cream, butter, goat cheese, cheddar, mozzarella, or unsweetened yoghurt.
- Nuts and seeds: walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds.
- Oil: Virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
- Salt, pepper, spices, mustard.
And since in the keto diet the important thing is the type of food consumed and not so much the total calories, it is not so necessary to have examples of 30-day or 50-day ketogenic diets, which they are rigid and make compliance difficult. You can combine these foods as it is more convenient or appetizing for your menu, but yes, keeping in mind to diversify enough during the days or weeks that it takes you to practice.
Bottom line: To follow the keto diet you have to eat plenty of low carb vegetables, lots of healthy fat and some protein.
Surely knowing what to eat will be your greatest difficulty if you are starting with the keto diet. That is why we have prepared a free course where we tell you in detail, in addition to giving you many delicious recipes.
What Not To Eat On Keto Diet
The following carbohydrate-rich foods should be limited in the keto diet :
- Fruits: they contain sugars, in the form of fructose, which is a carbohydrate.
- The ones that have the most and should avoid: dates, figs, grapes, mangoes, cherries, bananas, tangerines and apples.
- The ones that have the least and can eat from time to time (from fewer carbohydrates to more): lemon, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, grapefruit and melon.
- Bread, pasta, flour, rice.
- Cereals: The ones that contain the most carbohydrates are puffed wheat, muesli, wheat bran, rice flakes, wheat and barley, Corn Flakes, and oat flakes.
- Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas, beans, beans, beans)
- Sweets and cakes, pastries.
- Soda, sugary drinks and juices.
- Processed foods and prepared meals (often with high levels of unhealthy fats and carbohydrates)
Ketogenic Diet Benefits
The Ketogenic Diet For Weight Loss
The ketogenic diet should not be considered just as a diet for weight loss, but rather a diet for metabolic re-education. In most cases, this leads to natural weight loss.
The weight loss effect has been seen in many studies to be superior to other traditional diets, but metabolic re-education has a much longer-term effect.
It is also especially effective in burning fat that accumulates in the abdomen.
The most striking effect of the ketogenic diet is seen in the feeling of satiety caused by slower digestion of fats.
The increase in ketone bodies in the blood also has an effect in decreasing the feeling of hunger, which decreases the anxiety associated with weight loss diets.
The Ketogenic Diet And Sports Performance
It has long been thought that elite athletes need to eat 4 or 5 times a day to avoid losing muscle mass and recovering well from workouts.
With the ketogenic diet and a ketosis metabolism, this is no longer necessary.
Fat metabolism is much more efficient. Therefore, eating less we get more energy.
This implies that with just 2 meals a day we can get all the energy necessary to perform and leave us time to fast, which induces greater cell regeneration.
High concentrations of ketone bodies in blood promote greater compaction of DNA, which is more protected from oxidative damage. This affects the speed of recovery after exercising.
When we enter anaerobic metabolism, not enough oxygen reaches the cell. Glucose then goes into action with anaerobic metabolism.
This metabolism change does not have to worry you, on the contrary, it is very healthy for the body to adapt to different energy needs
In summary: Training in ketosis gives us more energy, we recover faster and we need to eat less, giving the body time to regenerate better, but always within the aerobic metabolism. We use glucose in sprints to escape from lions or to hunt mammoths.
Ketogenic diet in Diabetes
The keto diet benefits diabetics (Diabetes Mellitus type 2) because:
- It lowers your blood sugar levels and stabilizes them.
- Reduces your weight and body fat.
- Improves insulin sensitivity.
- Reduces the level of glycated haemoglobin.
- Reduces your risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
In type 2 diabetes, overweight and obesity, in addition to being a drawback, are often the cause.
And blood glucose is high because it cannot be used conveniently by cells because they have insulin resistance, the resistance that improves a lot with this diet.
Ketogenic diet in Cancer
Some studies have attempted to assess whether reducing sugar in the diet could positively influence cancer control. And it seems so.
In cancer, tumour cells:
- Multiply with greater speed,
- Have accelerated energy metabolism, and
- Your glucose (carbohydrate) intake is also higher.
- And they hardly use fats or proteins to obtain the energy necessary for their growth.
As a result of the ketogenic diet:
- It would be a support measure for cancer treatment,
- It would never be a substitute for medical treatment because cancer cells can adapt to adverse metabolic conditions better than normal cells.
On the other hand, there are no studies that indicate that this diet can prevent cancer.
Ketogenic diet in Epilepsy
The cases, especially of childhood epilepsy which is a central nervous system disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behaviour, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness, in which antiepileptic drugs are not effective, are those in which the keto diet seems more convenient, as a complementary therapy, to reduce the frequency of seizures.
The influence of fasting in the treatment of epilepsy was known since ancient times, but it was around 1920 when its relationship with the keto diet was scientifically described. They observed that when a child diagnosed with epilepsy fasted, the frequency of epileptic seizures decreased, or even disappeared, which is why it was implanted as a treatment.
However, and despite the appearance of antiepileptic drugs, the use of the ketogenic diet was relegated, it was recovered mainly to treat epilepsy refractory to medical treatment.
The keto diet could be effective in approximately 60% of epileptic patients. However, the result is not uniform in all of them, in such a way that, while in some it seems to make the crises stop, in others, it manages to reduce them by half, or in others by a quarter.
And on some occasions, the benefits of the keto diet are more immediate, and on others, they take weeks to appear. However, it seems advisable to keep it for 8 to 12 weeks before considering that it is not effective. And above all, keep in mind that even if it did not reduce the number of crises, it could contribute to reducing the dose of drugs with the consequent benefit by reducing the possibility of side effects.
The exact mechanism by which the keto diet reduces seizures in epilepsy is not entirely known. However, it seems to be a consequence of the metabolic and energetic change produced in the brain by ketone bodies, which would stabilize their electrical activity.
Ketogenic diet in Alzheimer’s
The prestigious Johns Hopkins Medicine conducted a study in older adults with mild cognitive impairment that concluded that the ketogenic diet could improve brain functions and memory.
However, the results have not allowed considering that said mild cognitive impairment will not evolve into Alzheimer’s disease with the keto diet, although they were promising enough to justify carrying out more ambitious studies that allow us to assess whether changes in the diet they can moderate mild cognitive impairment in the early stages of dementia.
In addition to the diseases described, low carbohydrate diets, such as ketogenic diets, appear to also benefit people with acne, heart disease, and other disorders.
A Sample Keto Meal Plan For 1 Week
To help get you started, here is a sample ketogenic diet meal plan for one week:
- Breakfast: Egg, tomato, basil and tomatoes.
- Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil and feta cheese.
- Dinner: Chicken stuffed with pesto and cream cheese, along with vegetables.
- Breakfast: Bacon, eggs and goat cheese omelette.
- Lunch: Almond milk, peanut butter, cocoa powder and stevia milkshake.
- Dinner: Meatballs, cheddar cheese and vegetables.
- Breakfast: Omelet with avocado, salsa, peppers, onion and spices.
- Lunch: Shrimp salad with olive oil and avocado.
- Dinner: Pork chops with Parmesan cheese, broccoli and salad.
- Breakfast: Keto Low Carb Milkshake.
- Lunch: A handful of nuts and celery sticks with guacamole and salsa.
- Dinner: Salmon with asparagus cooked in butter.
- Breakfast: Healthy Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip, cocoa powder and Stevia Smoothies.
- Lunch: Ham and cheese slices with nuts.
- Dinner: Bun-less burger with bacon, egg and cheese.
- Breakfast: Ham and cheese omelette with vegetables.
- Lunch: Beef stir-fry cooked in coconut oil with vegetables.
- Dinner: Whitefish, egg and spinach cooked in coconut oil.
- Breakfast: Fried eggs with bacon and mushrooms.
- Lunch: Burger with salsa, cheese and guacamole.
- Dinner: Steak and eggs omelette with a side salad.