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Ketogenic Diet: A Complete Guide For Beginners

The ketogenic diet is a diet that applies a small amount of carbohydrates but is high in fat. Consumption of foods such as meat, eggs, beans and vegetables is highly recommended.

The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits. More than 20 studies show that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve health. The ketogenic diet might even be beneficial for diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer's disease.

This article is a complete guide for beginners about ketogenic diets. It contains everything you need to know.
Ketogenic Diet: A Complete Guide For Beginners

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet (often called keto) is a low- carbohydrate, high-fat diet that has many similarities to the Atkins diet and a low-carbohydrate diet. This affects carbohydrate intake which must be completely reduced, and replace it with fat. Reducing carbohydrates causes your body to experience a metabolic state called ketosis.

When that happens, your body becomes very efficient at burning fat as energy. It also makes fat a ketone (substance from fat metabolism) in the liver, which can provide energy for the brain.

The ketogenic diet can cause a huge reduction in blood sugar levels and insulin. This happens together with an increase in ketones, which have many health benefits.

Conclusion: the ketogenic diet (keto) is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. This lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, and keeps the body's metabolism away from carbohydrates and switches to fats and ketones.

Ketogenic Diet Types

There are several versions including the ketogenic diet, as follows.

- The standard ketogenic diet (SKD): this diet is a diet that is very low in carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high in fat. This usually contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbohydrate.
- Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): this diet involves periods of consuming high carbohydrates, usually like 5 days of the ketogenic diet followed by 2 days of high carbohydrate.
- Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbohydrates while on a diet.
- High-protein ketogenic diet: this is the same as the standard ketogenic diet but by adding more protein. The ratio is 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbohydrate.

However, only the standard and high ketogenic diet proteins have been extensively studied. The cyclical or targeted ketogenic diet is a more advanced diet method, and is used primarily in bodybuilders or athletes. More information in this article applies to the standard ketogenic diet (SKD), although there are also many principles that apply in other versions.

Conclusion: there are several versions of the ketogenic diet. However, the standard ketogenic diet is the most studied and most recommended.

Ketogenic Diet Helps to Lower Weight Loss

The ketogenic diet is the best way to lose weight and reduce the risk of disease-causing factors. In fact, the results show that the ketogenic diet is far superior to the low-fat diet that was recommended. What's more, this diet is highly recommended because you can lose weight without the need to count calories or bring your food.

One study found that people who followed the ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times faster than those who followed a limited-calorie, low-fat diet. Triglycerides and HDL cholesterol levels also increase. Another study found that ketogenic diet participants were 3 times faster at losing weight than those who followed the British Diabetes diet recommendation.

There are several reasons why the ketogenic diet is very superior as a low-fat diet. One of them is increasing protein intake, which is very useful. Increased ketone, lowers sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity which is also the key that has an important role.

Conclusion: a ketogenic diet can help you lose more weight than a low-fat diet. This can happen without feeling hungry.

Ketogenic Diet for Diabetes and Prediabetes

Diabetes is characterized by changes in metabolism, high blood sugar and impaired insulin function.
The ketogenic diet can help you reduce excess fat, which is closely related to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and metabolic syndrome.

One study found that the ketogenic diet improved insulin sensitivity with a large percentage of 75%. Another study in patients with type 2 diabetes found that 7 to 21 participants involved stopped all their diabetes treatments.

In a previous study, the ketogenic group lost 24.4 lbs (11.1 kg), compared with a high carbohydrate group of only 15.2 lbs (6.9 kg). This is an important benefit when linked to the relationship between weight and type 2 diabetes.

In addition, 95.2% of the ketogenic group was also able to stop or reduce treatment, compared to the high carbohydrate group which was only 62%.

Conclusion: the ketogenic diet can increase insulin sensitivity and eliminate fat, which leads to a drastic increase in type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.

Health Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet actually originates as a treatment for treating neurological diseases, such as epilepsy. Current studies have shown that diets can have benefits for a variety of different health conditions.

  • Heart disease: the ketogenic diet can improve the risk of body fat, HDL levels, blood pressure and blood sugar.
  • Cancer: a diet currently used to treat several types of cancer and slow tumor growth.
  •  Alzheimer's disease: a diet can reduce Alzheimer's symptoms and slow the progression of this disease.
  • Epilepsy: studies have shown that the ketogenic diet can cause a large reduction in seizures experienced by epileptic children.
  • Parkinson's disease: a study found that diets help develop symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome: the ketogenic diet can help reduce insulin levels, which play a role in polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Brain injury: a study of animals found that diets can reduce concussion and help recovery after brain injury.
  • Acne: low insulin levels and sugar-free foods or processed foods can reduce acne.

However, keep in mind that a lot of research is not a benchmark.

Conclusion: The ketogenic diet can provide many health benefits, especially on metabolic, neurological or insulin-related diseases.

Foods to Avoid

In short, foods that are high in carbohydrates must be limited. The following is a list of foods that must be reduced or eliminated on the ketogenic diet.

  • - Sugary food: soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, sweets and others.
  • - Grains or starch: products made from wheat, rice, pasta, cereals and others.
  • - Fruit: all fruits, except little berries like strawberries.
  • - Beans or pods: peas, kidney beans, lentils, beans and others.
  • - Vegetables roots or tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips and others.
  • - Low-fat products or diet products: because they are processed too long and are often high in carbohydrates.
  • - Some herbs or sauces: usually contain lots of sugar and unhealthy fats.
  • - Unhealthy fat: limit consumption of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise and others.
  • - Alcohol: because it contains carbohydrates, many alcoholic drinks can make you not get ketosis.
  • - Sugar-free diet foods: this is often found in sugar alcohol, which can affect ketone levels in some cases. These foods tend to be high processed foods.

Conclusion: avoid foods that contain carbohydrates such as grains, sugar, beans, rice, potatoes, sweets, juices and even most fruits.

Edible Food

Most of your food should be as below.

  • - Meat: red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey.
  • - Fish fats: like salmon, foral fish, tuna and mackerel.
  • - Eggs: look for eggs from grazing animals (eg free-range chicken eggs) or contain omega 3.
  • - Butter and cream: look for animals that are fed with grass if possible.
  • - Cheese: unprocessed cheese (cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella).
  • - Nuts or seeds: almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and others.
  • - Healthy oils: especially original olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
  • - Avocado: fresh avocado or freshly made guacamole.
  • - Low carbohydrate vegetables: mostly green vegetables, tomatoes, garlic, paprika and others.
  • - Seasoning: You can use salt, pepper and various kinds of healthy herbs and spices.

Conclusion: the majority of foods on your diet are foods such as meat, fish, eggs, butter, nuts, healthy oils, avocados and low-carbohydrate vegetables.

Examples of Ketogenic Diet Foods, A Week

To help you get started, here is an example of a week's ketogenic diet.
- Breakfast: bacon, eggs and tomatoes.
- Lunch: chicken salad with olive oil and feta cheese.
- Dinner: salmon with asparagus cooked in butter.

- Breakfast: eggs, tomatoes, basil and goat cheese omelet.
- Lunch: almond milk, peanut butter, powdered chocolate and stevia milkshakes.
- Dinner: meatballs, cheddar cheese and vegetables.

- Breakfast: ketogenic milkshake (please find the recipe).
- Lunch: shrimp salad with olive oil and avocado.
- Dinner: pork slices (pork) with parmesan cheese, broccoli and salad.

- Breakfast: omelet with avocados, salsa, peppers, onions and spices.
- Lunch: a handful of beans and a celery with guacamole and salsa.
- Dinner: chicken filled with pesto and cream cheese, along with vegetables.

- Breakfast: sugar-free yogurt with peanut butter, chocolate powder and stevia.
- Lunch: sauteed meat cooked with coconut oil and vegetables.
- Dinner: burger without sweet bread with bacon, eggs and cheese.

- Breakfast: ham and cheese omelet with vegetables.
- Lunch: ham and sliced ​​cheese with beans.
- Dinner: white fish, eggs and spinach cooked with coconut oil.

- Breakfast: fried eggs with bacon and mushrooms.
- Lunch: burger with salsa, cheese and guacamole.
- Dinner: steak and eggs with a little salad.

Try to replace vegetables and meat in the long run, because each type contains different nutrients and different health benefits.

Conclusion: You can eat various types of delicious and nutritious foods with the ketogenic diet.

Healthy Ketogenic Snacks

In case you feel hungry between meals, here are some healthy snacks that are suitable for keto.

  • - Fatty meat or fish.
  • - Cheese.
  • - A handful of nuts or seeds.
  • - Cheese with olives.
  • - 1-2 boiled eggs cooked.
  • - 90% dark chocolate.
  • - Low-carb milkshake with almond milk, powdered chocolate and peanut butter.
  • - Fat-rich yogurt mixed with peanut butter and powdered chocolate.
  • - Strawberries and cream.
  • - Celery with salsa and guacamole.
  • - Little food leftovers.

Conclusion: snacks that are good for the keto diet contain cuts of meat, cheese, olives, hard-boiled eggs, beans and dark chocolate.

Tips to Eat Outside When the Ketogenic Diet

It's not too difficult to make most restaurant meals very 'keto' when eating out. Most foods offer several types of meat or fish-based dishes. Order it, and replace all high carbohydrate foods with vegetables. Egg-based foods are also a good choice, such as omelet or eggs and bacon.

Another favorite is a burger without sweet bread. You can also leave the bread and potatoes and replace them with vegetables. Add extra avocados, cheese, bacon or eggs. In Mexican restaurants, you can enjoy all kinds of meat with cheese, guacamole, salsa and sour cream. For dessert, ask for a mixture of cheese or double cream with berries.

Conclusion: when eating outside, choose meat, fish or egg-based ones. Ask for extra vegetables instead of carbohydrates or starch, and provide cheese for dessert.

Side Effects and How to Minimize them

Although the ketogenic diet is safe for people's health, there may be some side effects when your body is adapting. This is often referred to as "keto flu" - and usually occurs more than a few days.

Keto flu includes little energy and slightly decreased mental function, increased hunger, sleep problems, nausea, digestive discomfort and decreased body performance.

In order to minimize this, you can try a low carbohydrate diet for the first few weeks. This might get your body used to burning more fat before you eliminate carbohydrates in total.

A ketogenic diet can also change the balance of water and minerals in your body, so adding extra salt to your food or taking mineral supplements can also 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.

At least initially, it is important to eat until full and avoid limiting too many calories. Usually the ketogenic diet causes weight loss without deliberate calorie restriction.

Conclusion: many side effects during the start of the ketogenic diet that can be limited. Facilitating diet and taking mineral supplements can help.

Supplements for the Ketogenic Diet

Although no supplements are needed, some can be useful.
  • - MCT oil: add to drinks or yogurt, MCT oil provides energy and helps increase ketone levels.
  • - Minerals: additional salt and other minerals that can be important when starting a diet, because there is a shift in the balance of water and minerals.
  • - Caffeine: caffeine can be beneficial for energy, fat loss and performance.
  • - Exogenous ketones: these supplements help increase the levels of ketones in your body.
  • - Creatine: creatine provides many benefits for health and performance. This can help if you combine the ketogenic diet with exercise.
  • - Whey: use half a spoonful of whey protein into a shake or yogurt to increase your daily protein intake.

Conclusion: Certain supplements can be beneficial on the ketogenic diet. This includes exogenous ketones, MCT oil and minerals.

Five Frequently Asked Questions

The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the ketogenic diet.

- Can I eat carbohydrates again?
Yes. However, this is important to eliminate them initially. After the first 2-3 months, you can eat carbohydrates on special events - just go back to the diet after that.

- Will I lose muscle?
There is a risk of losing some muscles on any diet. However, high protein intake and high ketone levels can help minimize muscle loss, especially if you lift weights.

- Can you build muscle on the ketogenic diet?
Yes, but it might not be as good as on a sufficient carbohydrate diet.

- Do I need to repeat eating carbohydrates again?
Not. However, a few high-calorie days may be useful now and later.

- How much protein can I eat?
Protein must be moderate, as a high intake that can stop insulin levels and low ketones. About 35% of the total calorie intake is a possible limit.

Five Other Questions Frequently Asked Questions

- What if I'm always tired, weak and tired?
You may not be in full ketosis or beneficial fat and efficient ketones. To overcome this, reduce your carbohydrate intake and see the points above again. Supplements such as MCT oil or ketones can also help.

- My urine smells like fruit? What happens?
Do not worry. This is only due to excretion made during ketosis.

- My breath smells. What should I do?
This is a common side effect. Try drinking natural-flavored water or chewing sugar-free gum.

- I hear ketosis is very dangerous. Is it true?
People often confuse ketosis and ketoacidosis. The first is formed naturally, while the other only occurs in uncontrolled diabetes. Ketoacidosis is dangerous, but ketosis on the ketogenic diet is very normal and healthy.

- I have digestive problems and diarrhea. What should I do?
This is a common side effect that usually passes after 3-4 weeks. If it continues, try eating more high-fiber vegetables. Magnesium supplements can also help constipation.

The Ketogenic Diet Not For Everyone

The ketogenic diet can be very good for people who are overweight, diabetes or who are trying to improve their metabolic health. This may be less suitable for elite athletes or those who hope to add large amounts of muscle or weight.

And, like other diets, this will work if you are consistent and keep doing it in the long run. That's all, some things that are proven in nutrition as health benefits and weight loss from the ketogenic diet.

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