What Is Ketogenic Diets?
Ketogenic diets are the diet that are characterized by a marked reduction in carbohydrates (usually to <50 g/day) along with related increase in the proportions of protein and fat .
Types Of Ketogenic Diets
The standard ketogenic diet (SKD):
This is a very low-carbohydrate with moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It contains 70 percent fat, 20 percent protein and only 10 percent carbohydrates.
Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD):
This diet involves periods of higher-carbohydrates in between the ketogenic diet cycles, for example, five ketogenic days followed by two high-carbohydrate days as a cycle.
The targeted ketogenic diet (TKD):
This diet permits adding additional carbohydrates around the periods of the intensive physical workout.
The high-protein ketogenic diet (HPKD):
This diet includes more protein and the ratio around 60 per cent fat, 35 per cent protein and five per cent carbohydrates but as can be seen, it is still a very high fat diet.
The cyclical and targeted ketogenic diets are recent additions and mostly used by bodybuilders or athletes.
Physiological Principles Of Ketogenic Diets
All the ketogenic diets that you want to follow contain a very low carbohydrate percentage. During this period of drastically reduced carbohydrate consumption (below 50 g/day), the glucose reserves become insufficient, both for normal fat oxidation and for the supply of glucose to the central nervous system (CNS).
But the CNS cannot use fatty acids as a source of nutrition. Hence, after 3-4 days of carbohydrate restriction, the CNS is forced to find an alternative source of energy.
This alternative source of energy is ketones. Ketone bodies are produced in the liver and are of two types: they are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate.
As ketone bodies are produced by the breakdown of fats, ketosis is the most reliable indicator of fat loss. Ketosis is a completely physiological mechanism.
There are two types of ketosis
- Physiological ketosis
- Pathological ketoacidosis
It was Hans Krebs who first differentiated physiological ketosis from pathological ketoacidosis that is seen in type 1 diabetes.
In physiological ketosis (which occurs during very-low-calorie ketogenic diets), the ketones in the blood (ketonaemia) reaches maximum levels of 7-8 mmol/l (it does not go higher because the CNS efficiently uses these ketones) and also there is no lowering of blood pH.
In the pathological ketosis especially in diabetic ketoacidosis, it can exceed 20 mmol/l with a concomitant lowering of the pH.
Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
There are numerous benefits that come with being on keto diet . Here are the short list of benefits regarding to health that one can achieve.
The ketogenic diet essentially uses your body fat as an energy source – so there are obvious weight loss benefits. On keto, your insulin (the fat storing hormone) levels drop greatly which turns your body into a fat burning machine.
Many people incorporate MCT Oil into their diet (it increases ketone production and fat loss) by drinking ketoproof coffee in the morning.
One study found that people on a ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet. Triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels also improved.
Another study found that people on the ketogenic diet lost 3 times more weight than those on the diet recommended by Diabetes UK
Control Blood Sugar
Keto naturally lowers blood sugar levels due to the type of foods you eat.
Studies even show that the ketogenic diet is a more effective way to manage and prevent diabetes compared to low-calorie diets.
If you’re pre-diabetic or have Type II diabetes, you should seriously consider a ketogenic diet. We have many readers that have had success with their blood sugar control on keto.
One study found that the ketogenic diet improved insulin sensitivity by a whopping 75%
Another study in people with type 2 diabetes found that 7 of the 21 participants were able to stop using all diabetes medications
In yet another study, the ketogenic group lost 24.4 pounds (11.1 kg), compared to 15.2 pounds (6.9 kg) in the higher-carb group. This is an important benefit when considering the link between weight and type 2 diabetes
Many people use the ketogenic diet specifically for the increased mental performance.
Ketones are a great source of fuel for the brain.
When you lower carb intake, you avoid big spikes in blood sugar. Together, this can result in improved focus and concentration.
Studies show that an increased intake of fatty acids can have impacting benefits to our brain’s function.
Increased Energy & Normalized Hunger
By giving your body a better and more reliable energy source, you will feel more energized during the day.
Fats are shown to be the most effective molecule to burn as fuel.
On top of that, fat is naturally more satisfying and ends up leaving us in a satiated state for longer.
The ketogenic diet has been used since the early 1900’s to treat epilepsy successfully.
It is still one of the most widely used therapies for children who have uncontrolled epilepsy today.
One of the main benefits of the ketogenic diet and epilepsy is that it allows fewer medications to be used while still offering excellent control.
Cholesterol & Blood Pressure
A keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup.
More specifically low-carb, high-fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL and decrease in LDL particle concentration compared to low-fat diets.
Many studies on low-carb diets also show better improvement in blood pressure over other diets.
Some blood pressure issues are associated with excess weight, which is a bonus since keto tends to lead to weight loss. If you have high blood pressure or other blood pressure issues.
It’s common to experience improvements in your skin when you switch to a ketogenic diet.
Here’s one study that shows drops in lesions and skin inflammation when switching to a low-carb diet.
Another study that shows a probable connection between high-carb eating and increased acne, so it’s likely that keto can help.
For acne, it may be beneficial to reduce dairy intake and follow a strict skin cleaning regimen.
One study found that the diet helped improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Polycystic ovary syndrome:
The ketogenic diet can help reduce insulin levels, which may play a key role in polycystic ovary syndrome .
One animal study found that the diet can reduce concussions and aid recovery after brain injury
New research in mice suggests that keeping blood sugar under control using either the ketogenic diet or a diabetes drug could help treat certain cancers by boosting the efficacy of standard chemotherapy.
The diet could boost the power of conventional cancer treatment by selectively inducing metabolic oxidative stress in cancer cells, but not in normal ones.
Cancer cells’ use of sugar holds the key to their destruction
Interfering with cancer cells’ ability to metabolize sugar could make oncolytic viruses more effective at killing them.
Other studies have also suggested that certain cancers are heavily reliant on glucose for energy. So, restricting cancer cells’ access to sugar may be a valid way of sensitizing them to chemotherapy.
What Do I Eat on a Keto Diet?
To start a keto diet, you will want to plan ahead.
What you eat depends on how fast you want to get into a ketogenic state.
The more restrictive you are on your carbohydrates (less than 15g per day), the faster you will enter ketosis.
Try to remember that keto is high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbs
Your nutrient intake :
- 70% fats,
- 25% protein,
- 5% carbohydrate.
Typically, anywhere between 20-30g of net carbs is recommended for everyday dieting – but the lower you keep your carbohydrate intake and glucose levels, the better the overall results will be.
Do Not Eat
Any food that is high in carbs should be limited.vbb
Grains – Wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
Tubers – potato, yams, etc.
Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc.
Leafy Greens – spinach, kale, etc.
Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
High Fat Dairy – hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter, etc.
Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries
Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb
Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc. (source)
Keto Diet For Indians
For Indians, it appears that it would be most prudent to have a diet with about 50 per cent carbohydrate (using complex carbs and whole grains such as brown rice or whole wheat) about 20-25 per cent protein (preferably from vegetable proteins such as legumes and pulses) and the remaining 25-30 per cent from healthy fats like monounsaturated fats (e.g. groundnut oil or mustard oil and nuts and seeds) along with plenty of green leafy vegetables. Such a diet may not immediately give dramatic results as far as weight reduction is concerned. However, it will be sustainable in the long term and will be less risky and certainly more healthy and also help prevent non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
A Sample Keto Meal Plan For American style
Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, and tomatoes.
Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil and feta cheese.
Dinner: Salmon with asparagus cooked in butter.
Breakfast: Egg, tomato, basil, and goat cheese omelet.
Lunch: Almond milk, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and stevia milkshake.
Dinner: Meatballs, cheddar cheese, and vegetables.
Breakfast: A ketogenic milkshake (try this or this).
Lunch: Shrimp salad with olive oil and avocado.
Dinner: Pork chops with Parmesan cheese, broccoli, and salad.
A Sample Keto Meal Plan For Indians
We’ve provided multiple Keto meal plans for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Choose the one based on your personal preference.
Breakfast Options: Pick 1
- Bullet coffee (coffee/tea mixed with coconut oil, cream and butter mix)
- 10 Soaked Almonds + 1 tbsp Sunflower Seeds + 1 tbsp Flax Seeds
- 5 Walnuts + 10 Almonds + 5 Pistachios
- Whey Protein Shake with water
- Strawberry Smoothie, Tofu (Soy Paneer) & Cheese Pakora
- Omelet with 2-3 Eggs and Cheese (non-veg)
- Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Capsicum, Cabbage (non-veg)
- Paneer Bhurji with Vegetables and Cheese
- Keto Almond Bread with Cheese
Lunch Options: Pick 1
- Spinach Soup with Mushrooms and a dab of White Butter
- Butter Chicken + Veggies (allowed) – (non-veg) – (recipe)
- Boiled Chicken & Vegetable Salad stir fried in olive oil and butter (non-veg)
- Cauliflower rice pulao (with egg/paneer/chicken/fish/prawns)
- Spiced, Fried Paneer Pakora
- Naans using Almond Flour + Flaxseed with Paneer Butter Masala
- Lemon Chicken Curry with Cauliflower Rice (non-veg)
- Fried Lady Finger with Peanuts – (recipe)
- Pav Bhaji – (Recipe video)
Dinner Options: Pick 1
- Egg Masala – (non-veg)
- Stir Fried Chicken & Vegetable Salad (non-veg)
- Stir Fried Paneer & Veg Salad
- Baked Spinach with Cheese and Cream
- Stir Fried Mutton with Cauliflower Rice (non-veg)
- Cream of Mushroom + Veg Salad (Stir Fried)
- Chicken in Pesto Sauce with paneer and spinach leaves stir fried in olive oil (non-veg)
- Chilli Paneer with Vegetables
- Chicken Barbecue with Spinach and Cheese (non-veg)
- Spinach Egg Omelette with lots of Cheese (non-veg)
- Stir fried Veggies with spices and cream dressing
- Almond flour Pancakes
- Mutton keema curry with cauliflower rice (non-veg)
- Bullet Coffee (Coffee / tea mixed with coconut oil , cream and butter)
- Black tea / lemon tea / peach tea (without sugar)
- Black coffee (without milk & sugar)
- Green tea (without sugar)
- Lemon water (without sugar)
- Lots and lots of water (source)
Side Effects and How to Minimize Them
Although the ketogenic diet is safe for healthy people, there may be some initial side effects while your body adapts.
Keto flu includes
- poor energy and mental function,
- increased hunger,
- sleep issues,
- digestive discomfort and
- decreased exercise performance.
To minimize this, you can try a regular low-carb diet for the first few weeks. This may teach your body to burn more fat before you completely eliminate carbs.
Mineral And Water Imbalance
A ketogenic diet can also change the water and mineral balance of your body, so adding extra salt to your meals or taking mineral supplements can help.
For minerals, try taking
- 3,000–4,000 mg of sodium,
- 1,000 mg of potassium and
- 300 mg of magnesium per day to minimize side effects.
Supplements For a Ketogenic Diet
Although no supplements are required, some can be useful.
Added to drinks or yogurt, MCT oil provides energy and helps increase ketone levels. Take a look at several options on Amazon.
Added salt and other minerals can be important when starting out due to shifts in water and mineral balance.
Caffeine can have benefits for energy, fat loss and performance.
This supplement may help raise the body’s ketone levels.
Creatine provides numerous benefits for health and performance. This can help if you are combining a ketogenic diet with exercise.
The dictum, ‘Moderation is the key’ should be used, while following any long-term diet plan.
While low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet does, admittedly, show dramatic improvements in the short term, these can increase morbidity and mortality in the long run and are rarely sustainable.
Instead of letting the pendulum of nutrients swing on either side, one must be vigilant of the balance and interplay of nutrients, and there should be a representation of all food groups on the plate. (source)
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