The ketogenic diet or the abbreviated keto diet has recently become a new trend in lifestyle and diet. This diet is essentially a diet to reduce carbohydrate intake and increase fat intake which is believed to help you lose weight but still improve health, especially reducing the risk of diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, to Alzheimer’s. Who? Diet but why eat fat instead? Maybe that’s what comes to mind when hearing this concept. But, rather than busy wishing, first, consider Cosmo’s guidelines about things you need to know about the keto diet before trying it yourself.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The keto diet reduces carbohydrate intake in food and replaces it with fat. The name keto diet itself refers to a process in our body where when we reduce carbohydrate intake, our collection body will enter a metabolic condition called ketosis. When that process occurs, our collection will be far more efficient at burning fat in the body as energy. This process also converts fats into acids called ketones in the heart, which can provide power to the brain. In addition to burning fat, the keto diet can also reduce blood sugar levels and insulin levels in the body.
Some types of keto diets
The keto diet has several types, namely:
Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): A diet low in carbohydrate, sufficient protein, and rich in fat, the usual portion being 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbo.
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): This diet combines the keto diet cycle and the carbo-rich diet, for example, five days on the keto diet and two days on high carbohydrate consumption.
Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbohydrates during exercise.
High-protein Ketogenic Diet (HKD): This diet is actually not much different from SKD but with more protein intake. Common portions are 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
However, it is recommended for the general public SKD and HKD because CKD and TKD are more complicated methods and are generally intended for athletes, especially bodybuilders.
Can the keto diet lose weight?
Yes! The keto diet is an effective way to lose weight and reduce the risk of many diseases. Some research reveals the keto diet is far more effective than the low-fat diets that have been more common before. Fortunately again, this diet does not make you starve because you have to eat foods that contain fat. A study found people who go on the keto diet to lose weight 2.2 times compared to those on a low-fat diet.
Other health benefits of the keto diet
The keto diet was originally intended to treat neurological diseases such as epilepsy. Also, the keto diet can increase insulin sensitivity and burn fat, which is very beneficial for those who have diabetes.
Some of the other health benefits of the keto diet are reducing risks:
- Heart disease: the keto diet can reduce several factors that cause heart diseases such as body fat, cholesterol level, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
- Cancer: This diet is often used for patients with several types of cancer and tumours.
- Alzheimer’s: The keto diet can reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and slow its progression.
- Epilepsy: Research shows the keto diet can reduce the frequency of seizures in children with epilepsy.
- Parkinson’s: A study states that this diet improves the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
- Acne: Insulin levels and low sugar intake can reduce acne.
Some recommended foods consumed in the keto diet:
- Meat: Chicken, beef, turkey, red meat, etc.
- Fatty fish: Salmon, tuna, mackerel, etc.
- Eggs: Especially those rich in omega-3s.
- Cheese, cream, butter: Especially those that are processed naturally.
- Grains: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Healthy oils: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil.
- Avocados: Whole avocados or those that have been made as guacamole.
- Low-carbo vegetables: Green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
- Complementary spices: Salt, pepper, and other spices.
Foods to avoid
All foods that contain high carbohydrates must be reduced or eliminated in the keto diet:
- Sweet foods: Soda, fruit juices, smoothies, cakes, ice cream, sweets, etc.
- Wheat and rice: Products made from wheat, rice, pasta, cereals, etc.
- Fruit: All fruits, except for a small portion of the berry family such as strawberries.
- Nuts: Peas, kidney beans, long beans, etc.
- Root vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, etc.
- Saturated fats: Factory processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, sauces, or dressings that contain sugar.
- Alcohol: Get rid of some types of alcoholic drinks that contain carbohydrates.
Side effects of keto and how to overcome them
Accustomed to consuming carbohydrates, it is not uncommon for our bodies to adapt to dietary changes and some side effects occur when starting a keto diet which is often referred to as the keto flu. The symptoms are the body feels weak, hungry, sleep disturbance, dizziness, or digestive discomfort that can last several days. To minimise these symptoms, you may want to try the more common low-carbohydrate diet first before actually reducing your carbohydrate intake drastically. The keto diet can also change the balance of water and minerals in the body, so you can add extra salt to food or take mineral supplements, especially sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
Who is recommended to try the keto diet?
The ketogenic diet will be very beneficial for those who are overweight, have diabetes, or simply want to improve their metabolic health. This diet is not suitable for athletes or those who want to increase muscle mass and weight. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not go on a keto diet to be safer.