Ketogenic Diet: What is it?
Table of Contents
The ketogenic diet is starting to become a buzz word in the world of internet. It’s because of its numerous health benefits, and it is also being promoted as a quick way to lose some extra pounds.
Around 2 out of 3 American adults are either overweight or obese, as per the statistic published by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, so it’s obvious that anything that could help people lose some extra pounds will get huge attention.
Ketogenic diet better known for a low carb; Ketones are produced in the liver to used energy.
Also referred to other names like; Keto diet. Low carb high fat (LCHF) and much more.
When you consume anything that has a high carb, your body produces some substance, and these substances are:
- Insulin which is used by the body to process the glucose in your blood by taking it inside the tissues.
- Glucose is the most simple molecule inside your body to be broken down and used as a source of energy which the body picks over any other energy sources.
Since the glucose utilized as essential energy, fats won’t be required, so they are stored. Typically, on an ordinary, higher starch diet, the body will utilize glucose as the main form of energy. By reducing intake of carbohydrates, your body enters a state known as ketosis.
Ketosis is considered a natural procedure in which our body does it to survive when food consumption is low. Amid this state, we produce ketones that are formed from the destruction of fats in the liver.
The main objective of the keto eating regimen is to push your body into this metabolic condition. This is normally not done through starvation, but it is done when you limit your carbohydrates intake.
The idea behind consuming a low carbohydrate is to force the body to use fat for energy, instead of glucose. This leads to better production of ketones in the body. The ketone is an acid, which is produced in the process of liver breaking down fat for energy.
Ketogenic diet regimen is stacked with advantages and is recommended by nutritional specialists for the following results:
- Enhanced stability in glucose levels
- Elimination or lower danger of acid reflux
- Utilizing of naturally preserved fat as a fuel source
- Weight loss
- Natural appetite control
- Increased mental clearness
- Brought down levels of inflammation in the body system
From the effects listed above are recently a portion of the various effects that occur when a person embarks on a ketogenic diet regimen and makes it and decides to stick to it.
Ketogenic counts calories comprise of meals with low carbs, moderate proteins, and high-fat substance.
Whenever you reduce consumption of carbohydrates at a high rate, your body is forced to convert the fat and releases energy instead. After looking at the numerous benefits of the ketogenic diet, it can be said that the pros of ketogenic diet overshadow the cons of the ketogenic diet.
For the people who are desperately looking to lose weight quickly or to improve the functionality of the brain. It’s recommended for them to follow the ketogenic diet.
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Different Types of Ketogenic Diets
There are four styles of ketogenic diet that practiced, and all are relevant to weight loss.
These diet styles include:
- Standard Ketogenic Diet
- High Protein Ketogenic Diet
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet
Standard Ketogenic Diet – This type of keto diet consists of high-fat, very low-carb, and moderate protein intake. It usually has around 75% fats, 5% carbs, and 20% proteins.
A high-protein ketogenic diet type is also usually included here wherein the nutritional ratio consists of 5% carbs, 35% proteins, and 60% fats; that is to say, consumption of proteins is a little more than the standard keto diet.
High-protein ketogenic diet – This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but consists more protein. The ratio is mostly 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
Targeted Ketogenic Diet – This type diet gives People that can’t or won’t share in long carb load of a CKD(Cyclical ketogenic diet), or people that are quite beginning a workout program and are not prepared to perform the amount of exercise required to optimize a CKD diet.
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet – This kind of ketogenic diet consists of periods of ketogenic days followed by higher-carb days; for instance, five ketogenic diet days followed by two higher-carb days or it could be a full week of keto diet followed by one higher carb day.
It is important for you to know that only the standard and the high protein keto diets are the ones that have been studied, researched, and normally recommended, especially for beginners.
The other two methods are more advanced and are usually followed by athletes and bodybuilders.
Keto For Beginners – How To Start
A lot of people have wanted to get started with a Keto diet, especially after reading all about the benefits that such a diet can bring to their lives. Unfortunately, once research starts, there is an overwhelming amount of information they have to digest.
This can quickly make things seem extremely difficult, and the person finds themselves in a position where they are not sure where or how to get started.
People tend to overcomplicate things when it comes to starting a Keto diet and entering a state of Ketosis.
With just a few simple steps and some planning, of course, it is possible to enter Ketosis successfully in just a couple of weeks and start to experience the boost of energy, improved weight loss, and other benefits that this type of diet brings to the table.
In order to get started with a Keto diet, the very first thing that needs to be understood is the fact that carbohydrate intake needs to be limited like never before. This is in fact also the very first step that needs to be taken.
The specific restriction in carbohydrate intake that will need to be applied depends on a few things, such as the specific type of Keto diet that will be followed, as well as the individual’s calculated daily calorie intake.
In some cases, carb intake will need to be restricted to under 50 grams, but with most people, carb intake will be around 20 grams to 30 grams of carbs each day.
While carb intake is reduced, fat intake should be increased – and when we say fat intake, we mean the consumption of foods that contain healthy fats, not fried foods.
Examples include coconut oil, olive oil, fatty fish, and, of course, avocado.
Protein intake may also need to be increased, but also needs to be limited at the same time. Many people make the mistake of thinking that a Keto diet should be high protein when protein intake should only be moderate.
Protein will make up approximately 20% of a person’s daily calorie intake with a Keto diet.
Water intake should be significantly increased at this point. With a standard diet that focuses on carbohydrates as a source of energy, water molecules bind to glycogen – this does not happen with a Ketogenic diet. In turn, a person may become dehydrated faster and easier. Thus, people often find that doubling up on their usual daily water intake helps to keep their bodies effectively hydrated.
During the early stages of a Keto diet, a lot of fluids are lost – and this includes electrolytes. Thus, including some foods that help to boost electrolytes in the body can be useful at this point as well.
Bone broth is a good option for maintaining adequate electrolyte levels, as well as adding some pickled vegetables to a diet.
Furthermore, it is also important to note that a person should only eat on a Keto diet when they are feeling hungry.
The diet keeps a person full and helps to improve satiety, so when a craving strikes, but there is no real hunger, it could be a better idea to opt for some sparkling water.
he diet keeps a person full and helps to improve satiety, so when a craving strikes, but there is no real hunger, it could be a better idea to opt for some sparkling water.
What Does A Keto Diet Plan Look Like
The Keto diet has become very popular, and even though some do still believe that this is not the best diet for the human body, scientific studies have proven that a diet that follows these principles can be exceptionally useful for the body.
The diet has been associated with a large range of health benefits, from the ability to lose weight more effectively to improvements in the regulation of insulin and blood glucose in the body.
For those who are only getting started with the Keto diet plan, setting up a diet plan can be hard. While there is some guidance available on the internet, it can still be difficult to truly understand what should be included in a diet plan, what should be avoided, and when to eat.
In this post, we are going to take a look at how food should be broken down when following a Ketogenic diet and how a diet plan that promotes ketosis should ideally look.
The idea behind a Keto diet plan is to place the body in what is known as a state of Ketosis – when this happens, the body no longer uses glucose in carbohydrates to produce energy, but rather goes through a process where fats are broken down and then converted into Ketones in the liver.
These Ketones are then sent into the blood circulatory system and provide cells with the energy they require.
In order to achieve this, a person’s diet needs to be changed. The person needs to stop relying on a diet where carbohydrates form the main part, and rather switch the importance that carbs used to play with fats. Fats make up the majority of a Keto diet plan.
Carbs are on the lower side, and protein is consumed in moderation.
In most cases, a Keto diet plan will look like this:
- Fat intake – 75% of daily caloric requirements
- Protein intake – 20% of daily caloric requirements
- Carbohydrate intake – 5% of daily caloric requirements
In order to determine how many grams of each nutrient should be consumed, a person would first have to calculate their own ideal caloric intake requirement. This can be a little tricky.
While there is a standard formula that can be used, it is important to note that adjustments are often needed based on how active a person is, as well as what their goals are.
If a person is looking to gain weight, they will increase their calculated daily caloric intake. If, on the other hand, they would rather like to use a Keto diet to lose weight, the daily caloric intake needs to be reduced.
Even though fats make up the most in terms of nutrients in a Keto diet, it is important to take into consideration that there are different types of fats.
Good fats help to keep the blood clean and the body healthy, while bad fats will cause cholesterol to build up in the arteries and lead to many other health problems, including cardiovascular disease.
Dirty Keto Vs. Clean Keto
Even though there is a general classification for a Ketogenic diet, being that the diet should be high in fats, low in carbs, and then also include a moderate amount of protein, people have developed different varieties of this popular diet.
Today, the term Keto diet can mean different things – and two of the common terms that often arises when talking about these diets include Dirty Keto and Clean Keto.
Clean Keto generally refers to the more traditional way that the Ketogenic diet was originally developed. It includes eating a clean diet that consists of healthy and wholesome foods in order to achieve Ketosis and to benefit the body.
Dirty Keto is a newer term and is often considered to be a lazy person’s take on a Ketogenic diet. With this type of Ketogenic diet, there is no need to consider what a person is eating – as long as it is fat. What this essentially means is that when a person follows a Dirty Keto diet, they can go out to their nearest fast food restaurant, grab a burger, remove the buns, and start eating.
They can sizzle up a few pieces of bacon for breakfast and enjoy as much meat as they want to, along as the meat contains fat.
Sure, the Dirty Keto option may seem like the convenient option. In fact, by following this type of Keto diet, the body will likely still enter a state of Ketosis.
The only problem is, loading up on unhealthy fat sources is very bad for the body, and would ultimately not provide the same benefits to a person’s body as a Clean Keto diet would.
For many people, opting for a Clean Keto diet is too much trouble. They have to calculate their daily caloric requirements and then spend the time to set up an appropriate meal plan.
They have to plan out what they will be having for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They also have to determine the healthiest keto snacks that they can pack into their bags for times when they get hungry between their three main meals.
In the end, the question that should be asked is how much a person cares about their health. While a dirty keto diet may provide a way to enter ketosis and might even help a person shed some weight, cholesterol levels will increase instead of declining, and the person will ultimately be paving their way to conditions such as heart disease.
Those who do feel that setting up a clean keto meal plan for themselves is too much trouble should spend some time doing research, as there are thousands of resources all over the internet that can help them out.
Many websites offer advanced meal plans that have already been developed – these meal plans will even tell a person how many calories they are consuming so that appropriate adjustments can be made to the ingredients in the recipes provided with these meal plans to accompany the individual’s specific daily calorie requirements.
Foods To Eat On A Keto Diet
A lot of people think that a keto diet is complicated and often quit even before they get started. This is unfortunate, as all that is really needed in order to enter ketosis and to enjoy the benefits of these diets is a change in the way the person is eating.
Understanding what foods can be included in a Keto diet is one of the very first things to learn, as this will equip a person with the knowledge so that they can accurately plan out their diet program and know exactly what they will eat during each meal of the day.
Even though a keto diet may seem a little limiting, since carbs need to be restricted and fat intake needs to be increased, there are still a lot of foods that can be used to make delicious meals.
Below, we share a list of some important foods that should ideally be included in a keto diet:
- Poultry meat products like turkey and chicken.
- Nut butter products, such as cashew butter, almond butter, and, of course, natural peanut butter.
- Avocados should play a big role in a Ketogenic diet as they are high in healthy fats
- Nuts like almonds, Macadamia nuts, and peanuts.
- Seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
- Healthy types of fats, such as avocado oil, sesame oil, coconut butter, coconut oil, and olive oil.
- Cheeses that are full-fat varieties, such as mozzarella, goat cheese, cream cheese, and cheddar.
- Fatty fish varieties like herring, mackerel, and salmon.
- Pastured and organic eggs.
- Dairy products that are full-fat varieties, such as butter, cream, and yogurt.
Foods to Avoid On A Keto Diet
While there are many delicious foods that a person can greatly enjoy on a Keto diet, there are also many food options that need to be avoided – sometimes completely.
It is crucial to understand which foods need to be eliminated from a Keto diet, as the inclusion of foods that will push up a person’s daily carb intake will have the opposite effect on the body and reduce the chances of the body entering a state of Ketosis.
One of the most important types of foods that need to be avoided when following a Keto diet including bread and a lot of other baked goods. Doughnuts, rolls, cookies, and crackers should be avoided as much as possible. Bread that should be avoided includes both white bread and whole-wheat bread.
Other types of food that also need to be avoided to successfully enter Ketosis and enjoy the benefits that a Keto diet can offer include:
- Grains, such as rice, breakfast cereals, tortillas, wheat, and oats.
- Vegetables that are considered “starchy,” such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, peas, corn, butternut squash, and potatoes.
- Certain fruits, such as pineapples, bananas, grapes, and citrus fruits.
- Various types of pasta, including noodles and spaghetti.
- Sugary foods, which would include maple syrup and agave syrup, along with coconut sugar, candy, ice cream, and also standard sugar.
- Beverages that have been sweetened with either sugar or a sweetener, such as sodas and fruit juices.
- Legumes and beans should also be avoided, which include kidney beans, lentils, black beans, and chickpeas.
Best Ketogenic Diet Supplements
A Ketogenic diet requires a very specific meal plan that should consist of mostly fats, along with a small number of carbohydrates and some protein as well. This is what essentially pushes the body into Ketosis, a state that causes weight loss to occur faster, and brings about many other health benefits.
For many people, entering Ketosis can be difficult. Fortunately, there are certain supplements on the market that can provide the body with a boost in ketones, the compounds that are produced as a replacement for glucose with a Ketogenic diet, as well as a couple of supplements that can help to increase a person’s intake of healthy fats.
There are also some important supplements that should be considered, since nutritional deficiencies may become present with a Ketogenic diet, due to the restrictions that are placed on the food choices that a person can opt for.
Some of the most important supplements that can be used with a Keto diet include:
- MCT Oil: MCT oil is a very popular supplement among people following Keto diets. This supplement helps to quickly increase fat in order to help the body produce more ketones and remain in a state of Ketosis.
- Omega-3: Omega-3 (or Fish Oil) is an important type of fatty acid that plays several roles in the human body. With a Keto diet, omega-3 supplements help to keep a better balance between this particular fatty acid and omega-6.
- Exogenous Ketones: There are many supplements on the market that contain exogenous Ketones. These supplements supply the body with ketones in order to help kick the body into Ketosis faster and to ensure the body remains in Ketosis while following a Keto diet.
- Vitamin C: Add a vitamin C supplement to your diet as most keto diet plans cut out fruits which contain vitamin C.
- Chlorella: This nutrient dense food helps absorb and eliminate toxins, boosts your immune system, boosts energy and improves heart, nerve and brain health.
- Spirulina: Spirulina is an extremely potent superfood the list of what this supplement can do is enormous. Instead of going over all the benefits you should just check out this article on spirulina.
- B100: B vitamins are the building blocks for a healthy body. By taking a supplement or eating foods rich in B complex vitamins you will benefit from increased energy levels, boosted brain function and increased growth of red blood cells.
- Digestive Enzymes: Assists the body in breaking down difficult to digest proteins and sugars like gluten, casein and lactose. By taking digestive enzymes you will directly benefit nutrition absorption and prevent nutritional deficiency.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is great. Adding this to your stack will boost energy, help with sleep, improve bone heath, detox your body and help relieve stress.
- Vitamin D: The sunshine vitamin, this is an essential one for the winter months for all of us. Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin which we can only get through exposure through the sun. Vitamin D regulates the absorption of calcium from the foods we consume, boosts the immune system and plays a huge role in preventing a wide range of diseases.
- Potassium: Helps maintain optimal muscle & nerve function, improves bone health and prevents muscle cramps, boost metabolism and enhances strength and helps maintain good heart & kidney health.
- Coconut Oil: Fights inflammation, helps burn fat, supports digestion, boost immunity and is great for use as a sleep aid.
- Avocado Oil: Using avocado oil is an easy way to lower blood pressure, improves arthritis symptoms, benefits psoriasis & other skin issues, boosts hearth health & lowers cholesterol and boost nutrition absorption.
Becky believes having good health, listening to your body and being happy is one of the most beautiful gifts. True health and cheerfulness naturally beget each other.