Those days have gone where you have to go through a strict diet regimen in order to lose your weight. You could not have your favourite food items and that would pose more side effects than actually providing any health benefits for you. But now in order to lose your weight, you do not have to sacrifice your favourite food items for that.
Got confused? Well, let us clear up the confusions. With the help of a new diet regime known as the ketogenic diet, you can not only eat your favourite food items but can also effectively reduce your body weight. Sounds interesting? Let us know more about this diet plan then.
What is the ketogenic diet?
Keto diet or ketogenic diet is an eating plan which minimizes the intake of carbohydrates by the body and exchanges it with fat-rich foods that will provide the energy for the body.
This rapid reduction of carbohydrate intake and replacement with fats puts the body into a state known as ketosis.
Now you may ask what is ketosis and how is it beneficial for our body?
Well, ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body uses fat reserves for the generation of fuel in the system in the absence of carbohydrates. This condition occurs when the intake of carbohydrates becomes less than 50grams per day and it generally 3 to 4 days after you have started a ketogenic diet. It should be also kept in mind that during a ketogenic diet, protein intake should be in moderation as it has been seen that excess protein can be converted into glucose and slow down the process of ketosis in the long run.
Types of ketogenic diets
There are generally 4 types of ketogenic diets that are usually followed:
1.Standard ketogenic diet- Low carbs, moderate protein and high fat consumption are the characteristics of this diet. It contains 70% fat, 20% protein and only 10% carbohydrates.
2.Cyclical ketogenic diet- Alternative days of ketogenic days and high carbs days are maintained. For example, 5 days of a keto diet are followed by 2 days of high carb diet.
3.Targeted ketogenic diet- This diet allows carbohydrates to be added during workouts.
4.High protein ketogenic diet- As the name already suggests, proteins are consumed in high quantities. It is very similar to the standard ketogenic diet but the food ratios are 60% fats, 35% protein and 5% fats.
Guide to a ketogenic diet
Out of these, standard and high ketogenic diets are what followed by most of the people whereas cyclic and targeted ketogenic diets are followed by athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
It is absolutely necessary to follow some do and don’ts during a keto diet to reap the full benefits out of it.
- Foods to eat on a ketogenic diet
- All types of meat like red meat, steak, ham, sausage, chicken, bacon and turkey.
- Fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, trout and tuna.
- Pastured or Omega-3 rich eggs.
- Butter and heavy cream.
- Unprocessed cheese like cheddar, goat, blue, cream or mozzarella.
- Various types of seeds and nuts like almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds.
- Whole avocados and freshly made guacamole
- Low carb veggies like green leafy veggies, tomatoes, onions and peppers.
- Condiments like salt, herbs and spices can be used.
Food should be cooked in healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
- Foods to avoid on a ketogenic diet
Consuming food items which are rich in carbohydrates is a strict no-no during a ketogenic diet.
Therefore, some food items that should be especially avoided are
- Foods rich in sugar such as soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cakes, ice creams etc.
- Wheat-based products, rice, pasta and cereals.
- All fruits should be restricted as much as possible.
- Root vegetables, tubers, beans and legumes.
- Unhealthy fats, alcohol and sugar-free diet foods.
- Low-fat diet products should also be avoided as the intake of fats should be high during a ketogenic diet and consuming a low-fat diet product can lead to some side effects.
In addition to the food items that can be eaten during a ketogenic diet, some other keto-friendly supplements can provide you with some additional health benefits.
- MCT oil
- Exogenous ketones
Benefits of a keto diet
- According to extensive studies, a person following a ketogenic diet can effectively lose weight faster than a person who is following some other diets.
The weight loss is due to the process of ketosis. When we eat less than 50 grams of carbohydrates every day, our body runs out of fuel and then it starts breaking down fat and protein for energy. This process uses the unwanted fats from our body and in return helps in achieving our desired weight.
- Insulin is a hormone which uses sugar to store fuel. Since the body following a ketogenic diet uses the fuel for proper functioning, it causes a reduction in the level of insulin production and therefore provides a great benefit for people suffering from diabetes type 1 disease. Maintaining the proper level of insulin in the body can also lower the risk of cancer in future. Reduction in insulin level can also decrease the level of acne breakouts. However, more research needs to be conducted to properly back it.
- It helps in lessening ‘bad’ cholesterol and promotes ‘good’ cholesterol in the body. It, therefore, reduces the risk of heart-related diseases like hardening of arteries and heart failures.
- Did you know, the ketogenic diet was introduced to treat seizures effectively? Therefore, controlling the condition of seizures is one of the biggest benefits of following a ketogenic diet. Ketones and beta-hydroxybutyrate help in alleviating seizures.
Not only the above-mentioned benefits, following a ketogenic diet can help you to fight against epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and sleeping disorders. It has also been found that a keto diet can cure the condition of the polycystic ovary in women and also help in building great endurance and stamina for bodybuilders and athletes.
Side effects of a keto diet
Every diet has a fair share of pros and cons with it. We know about the health benefits of following a ketogenic diet, however, there are also some side effects attached to long term usage of the ketogenic diet that we should be aware of.
- Low protein in the blood
- Extra fat in the liver
- Kidney stones
- Micronutrient deficiencies
- A condition known as keto flu which included diarrhoea, constipation and vomiting.
Who should avoid?
Mostly considered safe for all people, however, that being said, some people should avoid it.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- People suffering from high blood pressure.
- People allergic to certain types of food items included in the ketogenic diet.
- People who are Type 2 diabetic patients.
Now there you go, everything about the ketogenic diet. Now go on, include a ketogenic diet in your health regime as the ketogenic diet has many benefits lined up on its sleeve and is definitely worth a try. However, always consult a professional before starting any diet for proper guidelines and consultation.