What is a Ketogenic (Keto) Diet?
A ketogenic dietfocuses on foods with high healthy fat and low carbs. The goal of the ketogenic diet plan is to cut carb intake and obtain more calories from fat with adequate amounts of protein.
When the carbs are reduced only to 40 to 50 g per day, the body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis. In this state, the body becomes highly efficient in burning fat and deriving energy. Even the fat in the liver turns to ketones; this energises the brain and offers several health benefits.
A keto diet for beginners should, therefore, keep the moderate consumption of protein in mind while formulating the ketogenic diet because eating a lot of it can prevent ketosis!
How does Keto Diet help to burn fat and lose weight?
The keto diet for weight loss works by taking away sugar reserves from the body which results in the breaking down of fats for more energy. This process further leads to the production of ketone molecules which are used as fuel for the body!
When the body is rapidly burning fat, the muscle mass is preserved and there is better weight loss and the chances of acquiring several diseases decrease.
Various studies conclude that foods for the keto diet give better weight loss results than low-fat diets.
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Types of Keto Diet
Standard ketogenic diet (SKD)
This is a high-fat diet with very low carbohydrates and moderate protein. It contains about 75% fat, 5-10% carbs and 20% protein.
Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD)
This ketogenic diet plan is designed to have higher carbohydrate refeeds. For instance, there will be 2 days of high carb intake after 5 days of the keto diet.
Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD)
As carbs get processed efficiently before or after strenuous physical activities, TKD allows you to consume carbs around workouts.
High-protein ketogenic diet
This diet comprises higher protein levels. The foods for this keto diet have a ratio of 35% protein, 60% fat and 5% carbs.
7 Foods to eat for a Ketogenic Diet
Meat & fatty fish
Meat provides lean protein and fish is rich in potassium, selenium and vitamin B. You can consume red meat, ham, chicken, turkey, salmon, mackerel and trout.
Eggs pack a lot of protein, minerals, antioxidants and B vitamins. For ketogenic diets, look at consuming omega-3 whole eggs or pasteurised eggs.
Butter and cream
Heavy cream and butter are high in fat and low in carbs which makes them ideal foods for a keto diet.
Nuts and seeds
Low in net carbs, nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds are loaded with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, protein and fibre.
Extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil are recommended oils for the ketogenic diet. While olive oil decreases the risk of heart diseases, coconut oil with medium-chain triglycerides ensures increased ketone production.
Only a half portion of avocado can give you 9 g of carbohydrates and 7 g of fibre - they also contain heart-healthy fats.
Green vegetables (like spinach, zucchini and broccoli), cauliflowers, tomatoes, bell peppers and onions fit the bill!
Ketogenic Plan for Vegetarians
Ketogenic Plan for the Non-Vegetarians
Foods to Avoid in Ketogenic Diet
Breakfast cereals and whole-grain cereals have high levels of carbs. Therefore, they should be avoided on a keto diet.
Fruit juices have high fast-digesting carbs that can surge the blood sugar levels.
The ketogenic diet restricts the usage of starchy veggies like corn, beets, potatoes and sweet potatoes. They have higher digestible carbohydrates.
Yoghurt with added sugars (or commonly carbs) must be avoided while on the ketogenic diet. Though keto diets for beginners can include them until they are watchful of sugar quantities.
Beans and Legumes
Foods like lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans and peas among other beans and legumes have high carb content and must be avoided in a ketogenic diet plan.
Benefits of Ketogenic Diet
Foods for the keto diet ensure that a person is full for a longer duration, thereby reducing the appetite and promoting weight loss.
The very low-carb ketogenic diet boosts the metabolism and curbs appetite; therefore, it helps in weight loss in several ways.
Improved Heart Health
The ketogenic diet keeps various heart diseases at bay. It reduces the risk factors like blood sugar, body fat, blood pressure, hypertension and high levels of cholesterol.
May Improve Brain Function
Many studies conclude that Keto diet weight loss plans are linked with preventing and managing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Reduced Blood Sugar Levels
The ketogenic diet plan has been formulated to manage the carb intake and that’s what keeps the blood sugar level in check.
May Lower Blood Pressure
A ketogenic diet is enriched with healthy fats, non-starchy veggies and fish. All of these lower blood pressure.
Reduces Belly Fat
Losing the stubborn central fat (belly fat) can be achieved easily through the well-formulated ketogenic diet that includes nutrient-dense foods, fatty acids and naturally occurring antioxidants.
Side Effects of Ketogenic Diet
Keto flu is a common and temporary side effect of the ketogenic diet. As the carb intake decreases, the feelings of nausea and fatigue tend to set in within the first few initial days that can last for a week.
Cramping of Leg Muscles
Owing to electrolyte imbalances and dehydration, the keto diet can cause leg cramps. Consuming potassium- and magnesium-rich foods help in overcoming such symptoms.
While your body is adjusting to the new ketogenic diet, you can experience constipation, diarrhoea and abdominal bloating among other gastrointestinal (GI) problems.
Elevated Heart Rate
When your body goes into a ketosis state, then you may experience heart palpitations or increased heart rate.
A ketogenic diet promises weight loss and regulated blood sugar levels, among other health goals. The diet can be helpful for people with diabetes, weight issues, or those who simply wish to boost their metabolic health.
While the keto diet for weight loss may seem difficult to maintain in the long haul, it gives enough flexibility in selecting versatile foods within the daily carbohydrate range.
Finally, before switching to the ketogenic diet, one needs to speak with their doctor about the same and work with the best dietician towards the best keto diet plan.