The ketogenic diet has many wonderful benefits and is a real alternative to improving health status and fitness. However, switching from a conventional diet to a keto plan can be challenging.
What is the ketogenic diet?
It is characterized by an extremely low-carb diet, but very high in fat. The lack of carbohydrates modifies the functioning of the metabolism and takes it to a state called ketosis.
But what exactly is Ketosis?
Normally, the body gets energy from carbohydrates it gets through food; therefore, it depends on the carbohydrate supply. In the absence of carbohydrates as energy suppliers, the body has to help itself in other ways to ensure its functioning.
In the liver, fats are converted into ketones, which are used instead of carbohydrates to generate energy and, for example, maintain brain function. This state of energy production is called ketosis and is the principle on which the ketogenic diet is based.
The body needs some time to get used to this modified process, in about 2 weeks a nutritional adaptation is achieved while from 4 weeks a complete and effective adaptation is acquired.
How is eating on a Keto Diet?
During a ketogenic diet, energy requirements are different from a conventional diet and must be met to achieve a true state of ketosis:
- Carbohydrates: 10 %
- Proteins: 30 %
- Fat: 60%
What Foods Are Allowed?
The distribution of macronutrients is very different from common diets which might make you believe that it is a very limiting diet, however, even with its high fat requirement, the keto diet offers a variety of foods.
They represent a fundamental part of the keto diet because they provide good energy levels while protecting muscle mass. Ideal proteins are those of animal origin and organic origin to ensure a high biological value, including:
- Meat: red meats, steak, ham, bacon, chicken, and turkey.
- Bluefish: salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel.
Fats are the center of the ketogenic diet because from now on they will be the main source of energy in your diet, however, you should not choose any type of fat, these must be healthy fats, especially those that contain medium-chain triglycerides or TCM, these are a type of fat capable of being absorbed quickly for energy and help reduce the synthesis of fats at the liver level, reducing the accumulation of cholesterol in the tissues. Some foods with excellent healthy fat content suitable for the ketogenic diet include:
- Organic and unrefined coconut oil
- Cold-pressed Avocado oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Nuts, Almonds, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts
- Flax seeds
- Hemp hearts
- Chia seeds
- Cacao nibs
- Full-fat Greek yogurt
They are the least consumed macronutrients in this eating plan, maintaining a limited intake of carbohydrates allows to maintain the ketogenic state, so it is very important to select the foods of this group, the ideals are those of low glycemic index, such as:
- Green leafy vegetables: peppers, cucumber, zucchini.
- Fruits: ideally low sugar, such as raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, and peach.
What Are The Benefits Of A Ketogenic Diet?
- Weight loss
The ketogenic diet is more effective than low-fat diets because it is based on higher protein intake. This has already shown beneficial health effects such as a reduction in body fat percentage, decreased insulin levels, and also decreased risk of metabolic diseases.
- Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
The ketogenic diet reduces body fat, blood pressure, and blood sugar, and improves HDL cholesterol levels due to the consumption of healthy fats and proteins of high biological value, this decreases the risk of coronary heart disease and high blood pressure.
- Reduces blood glycemia levels