The Keto diet has received a lot of attention lately, but there are still many misconceptions about what it entails.
The term “keto” means that your body’s metabolism will be in a state where it produces more energy from breaking down fats than carbs like sugar or bread. While on this low-carbohydrate diet, most people eat about 25% fewer calories but still feel satisfied after meals. This is because fat contains 9 kilocalories/grams. Compared to carbohydrates which contain 4 kcal for every gram consumed.
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The Keto diet is a low-carbohydrate, high fat, and moderate protein program that can help you lose excess weight. It’s been around for decades, but its popularity has grown, with recent studies showing its benefits in lowering blood sugar levels and insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. And improving mental health outcomes like depression symptoms. The ketogenic (keto) lifestyle focuses on eating fewer carbs than your body needs while incorporating foods high in fats. They include nuts, seeds, oils like olive oil, butter. Vegetables are prosperous sources of vitamins A, C, vitamin E, Iron, potassium, iodine magnesium zinc calcium, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, choline. They should be eaten at every meal for various health benefits. If the diet is not strictly vegan eggs and cheese can be also added.
The keto diet can help lower blood sugar, increase insulin sensitivity, feel better, and lose excess weight by altering metabolism. A change in diet induces a state of ketosis, a metabolic regime in which the body receives fuel from low carb food. Ketone bodies become the primary source of energy. Acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyric acid. These are substances that are formed in the liver from the body’s fatty tissues and consumed fats. Ketone bodies nourish internal organs, muscle tissue, and the brain instead of glucose.
The process of ketosis can be triggered by fasting, but the keto diet allows you to enter this state and stick to it all the time without fasting.
Types of the keto diet
- Standard. 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates from the total calorie intake;
- Cyclic. five days on keto alternates with two days on high-carb foods;
- Target. Suitable for those who go in for sports;
- High protein content. Differs from the standard version in the ratio of elements (60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates).
Most studies and expert articles are devoted to standard and high protein regimens. Cyclic and target are less studied and are recommended for athletes and bodybuilders.
The keto diet is a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates. As a result, the body gets its energy from fats and proteins in the food instead of glucose.
The benefits of the ketogenic diet are like other low-carb, high-fat diets, but the keto diet is the most effective.
The increased energy from following these guidelines has also been reported by those who are successful with it!
The benefits are enormous! You will feel more focused because the brain usually relies on glucose from high carbohydrate intake for energy. Still, when there’s little or no food coming in, it switches over to burning whatever fats we have stored up. This gives us long-lasting mental clarity since our brains don’t get foggy after eating too many snacks at once as sugar does.
The keto diet can improve appetite control—the feeling of hunger decreases, confirmed by scientific studies. The keto diet allows you to eat less food and lose weight without much difficulty.
On a keto diet, many people only need to eat twice a day (skipping breakfast), and some even cut their meals down to once a day without discomfort.
Thus, a bonus of the keto diet can be saving time and money due to the lack of frequent snacks throughout the day.
The ketogenic diet lowers blood glucose levels. Thus, it is possible to control type 2 diabetes mellitus and preceding carbohydrate metabolic disorders (“prediabetes”).
Furthermore, against the background of a keto diet, the need for antihyperglycemic drugs is likely to decrease.
Many scientific studies show that the ketogenic diet is a non-drug treatment for several risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
It improves blood pressure control.
Besides, it lowers the “bad” cholesterol in the blood.
Some people use ketogenic diets to boost mental performance. Animal studies have shown that fasting ketosis provides benefits such as resistance to stress, injury, and disease. An explanation has been proposed. Mammals that have succeeded in surviving long periods without food have adapted to optimal brain function in a state of ketosis. As a result, the ketogenic diet leads to improved concentration and mental clarity.
The keto diet can lead to better digestion, less gas, and flatulence. In addition, more minor cramps and pain in the abdomen and relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. For some people, this becomes the most significant benefit of the diet, and it takes only a few days for this effect to develop.
Ketogenic diets increase physical stamina, opening up access to large amounts of energy from fat stores. The body’s stores of glucose, stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen, are “burned” in a couple of hours of intense exercise, while fat stores have enough energy to fuel the body for weeks.
If you’re tired of being overweight and want to drop some pounds, then listen up. The keto diet is a great way to lose weight without going hungry all the time!
The term “keto” means that your body’s metabolism will be in a state where it produces more energy from breaking down fats than carbs like sugar or bread. While on this type of low-carbohydrate diet, most people eat about 25% fewer calories. Despite this, one still feels satisfied after meals. This is because fat contains 9 kilocalories/gram versus carbohydrates which contain 4 kcal for every gram consumed. This increase in caloric intake and fewer cravings helps many individuals maintain their desired weight easier due to decreased insulin levels and regulates blood sugars.
The keto diet and intermittent fasting
According to research, combining a keto diet and intermittent fasting is very popular among losing excess weight. “The bottom line is to reduce the bursts of insulin. It, reacts to any food. especially to carbohydrates,” – says the specialist. Studies show that high and repeated bursts of insulin can lead to obesity, diabetes mellitus, the source said. “In this sense, reducing the number of meals a day (to four) and having a hunger window /the period between the last and the first meal/ – gives a positive and effective result.”
Foods to eat on the keto diet
There is a variety of tasty foods that one can eat on the keto diet. They’re all low-carb, but they also contain enough protein to keep your muscles from being depleted and ensure you have plenty of energy for exercise.
The Ketogenic Diet is an eating plan in which people cut their carb intake not to get any glucose into their bloodstreams because it’s metabolized by fat cells instead (i.e., “fat burning mode”). Thus, foods high in carbs, such as bread or pasta, aren’t allowed—only those with very little carbohydrate content like vegetables, cheese, eggs. Where possible, they are eaten without concern about ingesting too many carbs!
The main foods included in the keto diet:
- Nuts and seeds;
- Olive, coconut, and avocado oil;
- Fresh avocado and guacamole;
- Low-carb vegetables. Most green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers;
- Seasonings. Salt, pepper, spices, and herbs;
- Cheeses: cheddar, goat, cream, mozzarella, or blue cheese;
- Butter and sour cream;
Low carb foods that are suitable for the keto diet.
Almonds, coconut, avocado oil, water, coffee, tea, tomatoes, cauliflower, cucumber. Also, asparagus, mushrooms, cheese, sour cream, yogurt (including Bulgarian yogurt), eggs. Broccoli, onions, Brussels sprouts, kale, eggplant, bell peppers, green beans, avocados, olives, strawberries, grapefruit, apricot, walnuts, peanuts.
Foods not allowed on the keto diet
The keto diet is a strict low-carb, high fat, and moderate protein. Foods not allowed on the keto diet are bread, grains such as rice or pasta, starchy vegetables like potatoes or plantains; fruit with a sugar content of any kind (even if it’s occurring sugars); legumes – beans, and lentils, for example, can’t be eaten either! Unfermented cow’s milk should also be avoided because it contains lactose that breaks down into glucose in your system when digested.
The keto diet cannot be called carbohydrate-free. Тheir daily amount is 5%.
But to start and maintain a state of ketosis, you need to remove from the menu or reduce the amount of high-carb foods.
The effectiveness of losing excess weight on the keto diet
No diet alone has a long-term weight loss effect and can be harmful to your health. After a temporary weight loss, people return to their previous state, and sometimes they recover more than before the change in diet. A safe and effective way to achieve the desired weight and maintain health and good physical shape – with the help of specialists, choose the proper lifestyle and diet that you can follow all the time.
Experts confirm that a keto diet is 2.2 times more effective for excess weight loss than a low-fat diet. Weight loss occurs due to:
- Increasing the amount of protein in the diet;
- Decreased appetite;
- Changes in eating habits;
- Getting energy from fat instead of glucose;
- Fast fat burning;
- Improved metabolism due to increased insulin sensitivity.
The keto regimen does not need constant calorie counting, creates a feeling of fullness, accelerates the process of burning fats, and prevents their formation.
The keto diet for diabetes
Scientists have confirmed the benefits of a keto regimen for people with type II diabetes. In one case, 95% of the patients reduced or stopped their medication, compared with 62% of the participants who followed a high-carbohydrate diet. In another, 75% of study participants had increased insulin sensitivity.
Besides, research is underway on the potential use of ketosis to fight cancer cell formation, treat acne, childhood epilepsy, heart and brain disease, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s syndromes. But the collected scientific material is still insufficient for a substantiated conclusion.
The keto diet has been used in the treatment of type II diabetes. Otherwise, the medical benefits of low-carb diets need more research.
Is the keto diet good or bad?
“It’s all about the dose.” Yet, today, this nutritional strategy is not recognized by any global nutritional community and cannot be recommended by official medicine.
With this type of nutrition, the energy intensity of the diet is more than 80% provided by fats, and the consumption of carbohydrates is limited to 20 g per day or up to 50 g, which is more gentle and somewhat better tolerated. More often than not, the keto diet is low-carb (and hence the transition to ketosis) and often high-protein. With this diet, the body is dominated by saturated fats, including trans fats and protein.
Most adherents of the keto diet often do not have a clear understanding of what foods are acceptable in a ketogenic diet, but it is more or less clear what should be avoided. Thus, meat products are used, which has its consequences.
This can provoke a deficiency of dietary fiber, which is contained in carbohydrate food, a deficiency of water-soluble vitamins, such as C, minerals, is possible. So, such food can hardly be considered safe. And it is tough to adhere to it all your life, and after all, only this option allows you to ensure a stable weight if we talk about losing excess weight.
What are the consequences and dangers of the keto diet?
Initial weight loss can be impressive, even before the body goes into ketosis and does not begin to burn fat. This is because 1 g of carbohydrates retains four times more fluid in the body than protein, and the first thing you notice is a decrease in body volume. If there is a lot of excess weight, then the result is encouraging.
But it’s worth remembering that everything will return if the diet is the same. And not everything is so rosy. Here are some of the negative consequences.
- General weakness, fatigue during adaptation;
- Stool disorders (constipation or a tendency to diarrhea);
- Dysfunction of the pancreas and gallbladder, especially if there is a gallstone disease of any stage;
- Gastric dyspepsia;
- Kidney stones (for long-term adherence) and impairment of their function;
- Possible deterioration of the lipid profile towards atherogenic;
- The return of weight when switching to a conventional mixed meal.
- Bad breath and sweat odor (due to the plenty of meat foods);
This strategy of eating behavior associates with an increased risk of osteoporosis, deterioration of brain activity.
Several authoritative foreign studies with which cardiologists are more familiar show that when carbohydrates are replaced with fats and protein in the diet to reduce weight, the risks of cardiovascular diseases increase by about 3.5-5%. Thus, the risk of stroke and heart attack can increase if you change the type of diet.
If a person does not have the above violations, then if desired, you can try the keto diet and check the effect.
A similar strategy, but only without being introduced into ketosis, and with a significant limitation of the proportion of carbohydrates (by reducing simple carbohydrates), is advisable to use for starting in patients with impaired carbohydrate metabolism, when, for example, the rate of glucose or insulin is increased. Inspired by the first results in reducing body volume, it is always easier to continue.
When embarking on the keto lifestyle, it’s essential to consult with your doctor. The length of time you can stay on this restrictive diet depends on how much weight needs to be lost. Also, many other factors vary from person to person, like activity level, age, gender. Hence, there is no set standard amount of time for everyone who wants to try out keto. Besides any dietary change, one should always speak with the physician. This is before trying anything new.
Some people may not see immediate results when they transition from one food group (carbs) to another. This includes proteins. But over time, there will be noticeable changes in energy levels and body composition. These effects may also depend on your current starting point at the beginning of a diet.
One of the things that happen when adopting a ketogenic diet is that you experience an energy surge. You feel good instead of lethargic, and it’s easy to get more done in less time. If you’re starting on keto, here are some tips to get through the adaptation phase smoothly.
In Bulgarian: Кето диетата