What is Keto Diet?
by MedPlus Team, April 8, 2022
The keto diet is a low carb and high-fat diet similar to Atkins and low carb diets. It reduces carbohydrate intake and increases fat by replacing it. This replacement keeps the body in a state called ketosis. Ketosis is a process where the body becomes efficient at burning fat for energy. It turns the fat ketones in the liver that supply energy to the brain. This diet works by reducing blood sugar and insulin levels. As a result, it will start to break down the fat for energy. When the body burns the fat it results in weight loss. The keto diet has many names such as the ketogenic diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF), etc. Before going into detail about the ketogenic diet, let us know about its types.
Different Types of Keto Diet:
Several types of the keto diet are standard ketogenic diet, cyclical ketogenic diet, targeted ketogenic diet, and high protein ketogenic diet.
- Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): It is a high-fat, moderate protein, and very low carb diet. The standard ketogenic diet mainly contains 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbs.
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): A cyclical ketogenic diet is a form of carb cycling or keto cycling. Following a CKD means eating high carbs 1-2 non-consecutive days per week.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): The targeted keto diet contains 65% to 70% of our daily calories from fat, 20% from protein, and 10% to 15% from carbs. This diet is for more intense workouts and more efficient post-workout recovery.
- High Protein Ketogenic Diet (HPKD): The HPKD is similar to an SKD but contains high protein content in the diet. HPKD contains 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs in it.
Out of all these four, only the standard and high protein keto diets are taken by all people in daily life. Whereas, cyclical and targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced methods and primarily followed by athletes and bodybuilders.
The metabolic process of using body fat for energy instead of carbohydrates is known as ketosis. It happens when we reduce the consumption of carbohydrates. By limiting our body’s supply of glucose, which is the main source of energy for the cells. Following the keto diet plan is the most effective way to enter ketosis. The keto diet plan contains low-carb food and limits its content to 20 to 50 grams per day. Besides reducing the carb content it is also essential to moderate the protein consumption. If protein is consumed in high amounts it may convert into glucose.
Foods to Eat:
Let us know the foods to eat for a keto body:
- Meat: Sausage, red meat, ham, steak, chicken, bacon, and turkey
- Eggs: Omega-3 whole eggs or pastured eggs
- Fish: Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and trout
- Cheese: Unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, cream, goat, blue, or mozzarella
- Butter and cream: Heavy cream and grass-fed butter
- Healthy oils: Olive oil and avocado oil
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, etc.
- Avocados: Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole
- Vegetables: Tomatoes, green veggies, peppers, onions, etc.
- Condiments: Pepper, salt, spices, and herbs
Foods to Avoid:
Avoid foods that contain high amounts of carbohydrates and proteins. Some of them are:
- Sugary foods: Fruit juice, soda, cake, ice cream, smoothies, candy, etc.
- Fruits: All fruits except small portions of strawberries
- Starches or grains: Rice, pasta, wheat, cereal, etc.
- Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, etc.
- Beans or legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, peas, etc.
- Low fat or diet products: Salad dressings, condiments, and low-fat mayonnaise
- Unhealthy fats: Processes vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
- Some condiments or sauces: Barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, honey mustard, ketchup, etc.
- Alcohol: Beer, liquor, wine, mixed drinks
- Sugar-free diet foods: Sugar-free candies, puddings, syrups, sweeteners, desserts, etc.
Sample Keto Diet Plan For A Week:
For people who are going to start a keto diet plan. Here’s a sample for one week:
- Breakfast: Egg, tomato, spinach omelet, and basil
- Lunch: Almond milk, spinach, peanut butter, and cocoa powder
- Dinner: Cheese-shell tacos with salsa
- Breakfast: Veggie and egg muffins with tomatoes
- Lunch: Feta cheese, chicken salad with olive oil, olives
- Dinner: Salmon with asparagus cooked in butter
- Breakfast: Omelet with avocado, peppers, salsa, spices, and onions
- Lunch: Celery sticks and nuts along with salsa and guacamole
- Dinner: Chicken stuffed with cream cheese and pesto and a side of grilled zucchini
- Breakfast: Nut milk chia pudding with blackberries and coconut
- Lunch: Avocado shrimp salad
- Dinner: Parmesan cheese salad, and broccoli
- Breakfast: Grilled mushrooms and cream cheese pancakes with blueberries
- Lunch: Zucchini and beet noodle salad
- Dinner: White fish cooked in olive oil with toasted pine nuts and kale
- Breakfast: Fried eggs with mushrooms
- Lunch: Low carb sesame chicken and broccoli
- Dinner: Spaghetti squash bolognese
- Breakfast: Sugar-free Greek, cocoa powder, whole milk yogurt with peanut butter, and berries
- Lunch: Ground beef lettuce wrap tacos along with sliced bell peppers
- Dinner: Loaded cauliflower and mixed veggies
Don’t eat the same diet every day shuffle the vegetables and meat over the long term, because each type provides different nutrients and health benefits.
Health Benefits of Keto Diet:
There are many health benefits to the keto diet such as:
- Weight Loss: The keto diet promotes weight loss in numerous ways such as boosting metabolism and reducing appetite. This diet contains foods that fill a person up and reduce hunger-stimulating hormones.
Related read: Best Weight Loss Foods for Summer
- Improves Acne: Acne has different causes and is also linked to diet and blood sugar in some people. Eating a diet rich in processed and refined carbohydrates changes the balance of gut bacteria and causes blood sugar to rise and fall significantly, both of which can adversely affect skin health.
- Improves Heart Health: People who are following the ketogenic diet must choose healthful foods. Eating foods like avocados instead of pork rinds can help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. A keto diet with less amount of cholesterol minimizes the risk of heart complications.
- Protects Brain Function: Ketones that generate during the keto diet provide neuroprotective benefits. They can strengthen and protect the brain and nerve cells.
Risks and Complications:
The keto diet plan has many health benefits. But staying on the ketogenic diet for a prolonged period shows a severe effect on health. Some of the health risks are:
- Kidney stones
- Mineral and vitamin deficiencies
- Excess protein in the blood
- Fat build up in the liver
The keto diet’s side effects, such as the keto flu. Some of the adverse effects of keto flu are:
- Low blood sugar
People who need to avoid the keto diet:
- People with diabetes who are insulin-dependent
- Those with kidney disease or pancreatitis
- People having eating disorders
- Women during pregnancy and breastfeeding
So, the keto diet has many benefits at the same time it has risks and complications. So, before starting to follow the diet contact your doctor or healthcare provider. Always keep in mind that long-term following the keto diet has complications and there are no particular conclusions so far. So, follow the diet carefully after knowing all about the keto diet plan.