A ketogenic diet is a way of a diet that promotes a state of ketosis in the body. In general, a ketogenic diet contains the following proportions of macronutrients 60% to 80% of total calories come from fat, 15% to 35% of total calories are derived from a protein with 5% or less of total calories are obtained from carbohydrates. A ketogenic diet, on the other hand, is well known for being a low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver which is used as energy. It can also be referred to as keto diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF), etc. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures. (1)
When you eat something high in carbohydrates, your body will produce glucose and insulin. Glucose is the easiest and lightest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that it will be chosen over any other sources of energy. Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body. Typically, when the body is on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By lowering the intake of carbohydrates, the body is induced and brought into a state known as ketosis.
Ketosis being a natural process which the body initiates to help us survive when there is a low intake of food. During this state, the body produces ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver. Forcing the body into its metabolic state is the end product of a properly maintained ketogenic diet. We don’t do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates. human bodies are highly adaptive to what you put into it when the body is overloaded with fats and take away carbohydrates, the body starts to burn ketones as the primary sources of energy. Optimal levels of ketones offer many health benefits which include, weight loss, physical and mental performance. Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits (2).
(Image with thanks from blog.thenewyouplan.com)
The major Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet include the following:
- Improved Weight Loss
Most people choose to lose weight by focusing on reducing calories, consuming mainly high levels of carbohydrate foods (such as more veggies and fruit) and reducing the fat content of their diet. While this may bring some benefits, some studies show that low-fat diets yield only modest weight loss results long-term due to compliance issues and the tendency for people to feel hungry while reducing and controlling their fat intake. (2) Low-carb diets can help minimize hunger and also increase weight loss through their hormonal effects. With less insulin around, the body does not store extra energy in the form of fat for later use and instead is able to reach into existing fat stores for energy. Diets high in healthy fats and protein also tend to be very filling, which can help reduce excessive intake of empty calories, sweets, and junk foods. (3) For most people who take a healthy low-carb diet, it’s easy to consume an appropriate amount of calories, but not too much, since things like sugary drinks, cookies, bread, cereals, ice cream or other desserts and snack bars are out of bounds.
- Reduced Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
A ketogenic diet is regarded as being beneficial for people living with type 2 diabetes (who are not on insulin medications) or pre-diabetics wishing to reverse their condition. Studies show that low-carbohydrate
diets, which limit or reduce the intake of sugar and processed cereals, promote improvements in the dyslipidemia of diabetes and other risk factors for metabolic syndrome. Low- carbohydrates diets have shown many benefits for improving blood pressure, postprandial glycemia and insulin secretion. Diabetics on insulin should contact their medical provider prior to starting a ketogenic diet, however, as there may be the need for adjustment of insulin dosages.
- Possible Protection Against Cancer
Certain studies suggest that ketogenic diets may “starve” cancer cells. A highly processed, pro-inflammatory, low-nutrient diet can feed cancer cells causing them to proliferate. The regular cells found in our bodies are able to use fat for energy, but it’s believed that cancer cells cannot metabolically shift to use fat rather than glucose. (5) Therefore, a diet which eliminates excess refined sugar and other processed carbohydrates may be effective in reducing or fighting cancer which is the connection between a high-sugar diet and cancer. Following a ketogenic diet is not the only way to reduce the risk of cancer, but some proponents of ketogenic diets believe that these diets should be prescribed for just about anyone with a family history of cancer or higher risk for other reasons to minimize the likelihood of the disease development.
- Protection Against Heart Disease Risk Factors
Even though the ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet, research suggests that eating this way will not raise your overall cholesterol score as you might suspect, or increase your risk for heart disease. Today we know, that heart disease is mostly caused by inflammation, influenced predominately by consumption of unhealthy foods like trans-fats, too much sugar and lots of processed/packaged foods but not due to eating heart-healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, and fish. Lower-carb diets that are high in unprocessed non-starchy plant foods, healthy fats like olive oil and nuts, and healthy proteins can help lower risks for risk factors like obesity or heart disease as well as decreasing likelihood of complications due to these conditions.
Giving a new diet a trial can be very tough, all those things to avoid, to eat more of new ingredients to buy. It’s enough to drive anyone bonkers. But there is a way of eating that has grown recently known as the ketogenic, or “keto,” diet and its keto recipes. If you do not know where to start, there is no fear. There are some really delicious, good-for-you keto recipes out there that are craved to be eaten. Examples are listed below:
- Avocado and Eggs Fat Bombs
Are you curious about looking for a way to add an extra healthy fats and protein to your diet? These fat bombs have you covered. They’re made from avocados, which are loaded with monounsaturated fats and vitamins, along with protein-packed eggs. Use homemade mayonnaise to make these extra healthy.
- Best Keto Bread
keto recipes include bread Satisfying your cravings for bread with this keto-friendly recipe. This bread is made with a low-carbohydrate gluten-free almond meal that is light.
- Cauliflower Crusted Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Get a quantity of vegetables and cheese with this great keto recipe. You will dry out the cauliflower, then cook it in slices of “bread” that have stacked with high-quality cheese, this may include the use of organic cheddar.
- Chicken Pad Thai
This low-carb Thai chicken paste is one of the keto’s best recipes to replace Asian take-away dishes. It’s got all of the flavors that come with normal pad thai, such as ginger, crushed peanuts, tamari, and chicken, but all served up on spiral zucchini instead of carb-heavy noodles. Best of all, you’ll have this one on the table in just 30 minutes.
- Chocolate Fat Bombs
The beauty about the keto diet is that sometimes you just have not eaten enough fat in the day, and so you chow down on “fat bombs” to make up the deficit. These chocolate bombs are one of the finest ways to do that. Just mix butter, cream cheese, cacao powder and a small amount of sweetener for some chocolate that’ll do your body good. Other examples of keto recipes are Cinnamon Butter Bombs, Coconut Oil Mayonnaise, Creamy Cauliflower Mash and Keto Gravy, Crustless Spinach Quiche and Easy Cheesy Zucchini Gratin etc.
Ketogenic diet meal plan
This is a sample menu for one week on a ketogenic diet plan. The table below shows delicious 7-Day Ketogenic Meal Plan and Menu
|DAYS||KETOGENIC MEAL PLAN||MENU|
|MONDAY||Breakfast||3 Egg Omelet with Spinach, Cheese, and Sausage
|Baked Salmon with Asparagus
|Bacon and Eggs
|Dinner||Cheese-Stuffed Bunless Burgers
|Lunch||Cottage Cheese, Walnuts, and Hot Sauce
|Lunch||Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps
|Eggies and/or Fat Coffee
|Spam Fries and Cole Slaw
|Dinner||Pork Roast and Roasted Veggies
|Chicken and Hummus Lettuce Wraps|
|Philly Cheesesteak Casserole|
Ketogenic Diets and Weight Loss
Ketogenic diets are very effective for weight loss. They help the body to lose fat, preserve muscle mass and also improve many markers of disease. Many studies have compared the recommended low-fat diet to a ketogenic diet for weight loss. Findings often show the ketogenic diet to be superior, even when there is a matching in total calorie intake. It was reported in a study that people on a ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times more weight than people on a low-calorie, low-fat diet.
Here’s how ketogenic diets promote weight loss:
- Higher protein intake:Some ketogenic diets lead to an increase in protein intake, which has many weight loss benefits (6).
- Food elimination:Limiting your carb intake also limits your food options. This can noticeably reduce calorie intake, which is key for fat loss (7).
- Gluconeogenesis:Your body converts fat and protein into carbs for fuel. This process may burn many additional calories each day (8)
- Appetite suppressant:Ketogenic diets help you feel full. This is supported by positive changes in hunger hormones, including leptin and ghrelin (9).
- Improved insulin sensitivity:Ketogenic diets can drastically improve insulin sensitivity, which can help improve fuel utilization and metabolism (10).
- Decreased fat storage:Some research suggests ketogenic diets may reduce lipogenesis, the process of converting sugar into fat (11).
- Increased fat burning:Ketogenic diets rapidly increase the amount of fat you burn during rest, daily activity and exercise (12).
It is very clear that a ketogenic diet can be a successful weight loss tool compared to the recommended high-carb, low-protein, and low-fat diets.
- Freeman JM, Kossoff EH, Hartman AL (Mar 2007). “The ketogenic diet: one decade later”. Pediatrics. 119 (3): 535–43. PMID 17332207. Doli:10.1542/peds.2006-2447
- Brehm B J, et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003
- Smithran P, et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013
- Freeland S J, et al. Prostate. 2008.
- Freeland S J, et al. Prostate. 2008.
- Annu Rev Nutr. 2009;29:21-41. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-080508-141056.
- Theor Biol Med Model. 2007 Jul 30;4:27
- Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009;645:301-6. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-85998-9_45
- Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jul;67(7):759-64. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.90. Epub 2013 May 1.
- Annu Rev Nutr. 2010 Aug 21;30:273-90. doi: 10.1146/annurev.nutr.012809.104726.
- Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Sep;90(3):519-26. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27834. Epub 2009 Jul 29
- Annu Rev Nutr. 2006;26:1-22.