Table of Contents
The youth today is driven with the idea of fitness, giving rise to the number of gym goers; however there is no second thought on the concept of getting fit just by working out, a proper diet is a vital part in the process. A recent study stated that gym goers lead a better and healthier life. But what if there were other ways to stay fit? Nearly 10 to 30 percent people suffer from health impacting behaviors and conditions that need attention of policy makers and health professionals. Many people give in to the culture of gymming and dieting with mere information and awareness of the nutritional palate they design for themselves. What’s Keto?
Every body is different and reacts differently to change, dieting is one such thing that takes a hard toll on many people as they cut down their intake drastically overnight, making it hard for the body to accept and causing lethargy and lack of sleep. So the proper way to get in shape is to get down on hard work and then smart work. Don’t cut down on your meals, just substitute it with healthier options and the Ketogenic diet is the perfect guidebook to the smart work.
Ketogenic diet is one of the most well-known dietary plans that also helps ‘treat’ a lot of things than just weight reduction. Only recently, researchers have discovered the efficiency of the diet and an explanation for the anticonvulsant mechanism of it. This diet could supercharge your energy levels, lose fat or bulk up by just consuming food with fats and reducing carbs. It was primarily suggested by nutritionists to cure ‘epilepsy’ in the former years, but it also has benefits against ‘diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s’ disease and also reduces skin problem like ‘acne’ and helps in bettering ‘migraine headache’.
Let thy food by thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food.
How Keto works?
It is a low-carbs, high-fat diet and high protein, replacing carbohydrates with fat, similar to that of the Atkins diet. And to understand this diet better one must know what Ketosis it. Ketosis is a condition where the body ketones (formed in the liver) rather than glucose and transforms it into energy. The reduction of carbs triggers the production of ketones to lower the insulin levels. These ketones are used by the body to burn for energy because of the unavailability of glucose, making it possible to lose weight and inches in a short span of time.
Foods to eat
Before planning anything, one must makep sure to not compromise the nutritional balance. Body needs good nutrition to keep the vital functions running smoothly and avoid falling sick. One must add to their diet:
“Meat (red, steak, ham, chicken, turkey), Fish that is rich in fat (salmon, trout, tuna), Egg (with yolk), Butter, Cream, Tofu, Cottage Cheese and Cheese (unprocessed), Nuts and Seeds (almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds), Olive oil (extra virgin), Coconut oil, Avocado oil, Vegetables (broccoli, tomatoes, onions, pepper, spinach, greens basically).”
Foods to avoid
As it emphasizes on lower carbs, here is a short list of food to be reduced or avoided:
“Sugary Foods (soda, carbonated fruit juices, cake, ice-cream, candy), Grains or Starch (wheat based products, rice, pastas), Fruits (most of it except berries and strawberries), Beans and Legumes (peas, chickpeas, lentils), Root Vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots), Low fat or diet products, Bottled Sauces (they contain sugar), Mayonnaise and processed Vegetable oil, Alcohol (affects the formation of ketones), Sugar-Free Foods (contains high sugar-alcohol).”
In following this diet always rotate the vegetables and meat over the long term, as each kind provides different nutrients and health benefits.
As mentioned that different bodies react differently, there are also different types of the Ketogenic diets to suit all the body kinds or following of how the body is desirably to be shaped by the individual. There are 4 major diet plans and they are:
- Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD)
This is the most common type of the Ketogenic diet. Minimum consumption of carbs at all times. It requires around 20-50 grams of net carbs a day, but the amount depends on an individual’s need.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD)
This approach suggests you eat carbs right before working out so the carbs are used effectively and are completely burned without disrupting ketosis for too long. Avoid foods high in fructose and go for glucose based foods. Fructose would replenish liver glycogen instead of muscle glycogen (which is best to be avoided on this diet). Post-work out meal should be high in protein and low in fat. Fat-based food will impair nutrient absorption and muscle recovery, so avoid eating fat foods right after exercise.
- Cyclic Ketogenic Diet (CKD)
The first two plans are not suitable for many people, as the carbs consumption depends on what exercise you choose to do. This diet can be practiced in two ways – i) Carb Cycling and, ii) Carb Loading.
This type is efficient for body builders and athletes who want to maximise fat loss while also building lean mass. Therefore, majority of the people are recommended this CKD.
The way it works in muscle building – the body adapts and loses the minimum amount of muscle tissue. When the body is fed fat and protein, it uses dietary fat with body fat for energy and the protein goes towards muscle repair.
- Restricted Ketogenic Diet for Therapeutic Uses
Ketosis is a beneficial condition for treating cancer as the healthy cells can use ketones for energy but cancer cells cannot, causing them to starve to death. This solution can be maximised by restriction of carbohydrate intake and keeping it below 20-50 grams.
According to Dr. Seyfried’s report, when the diet is combined with calorie restriction, the body becomes inhospitable to cancer cells. Additionally, Keto diet has been used to treat neurological diseases like autism, depression, Parkinson’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome and more (with the diseases mentioned earlier in the article).
When on a diet, the most awaited day is the cheat day when you are tempted to lay your hands on mouth watering food of your choice for once every week or month but you can maintain the efficiency by having a Keto friendly meal. Meals that are egg-based, fish, and replacing sides with vegetables than fries, add extra cheese and meat, salsa and guacamole are good options for dips and sauces, and desserts could be berry or cheese based.
Does the Diet have any side effects?
Yes and no, the Keto diet is very strong and has substantial data behind it, showing that it can boost fat-burning, reduce inflammation, boost cognitive performance and more, but this is a very general way of the body of reacting to such a drastic change. Meanwhile a person may be manifested with some side effects while getting used to the diet. Namely some effects are:
- Frequent urination
- Muscle cramps
- Sugar cravings
- Flu like symptoms (keto-flu)
- Sleep problems
- Bad breath
- Heart palpitation and reduced strength
Some of these could be caused due to low blood sugar and mineral deficiency. This happens because the body takes time to shift its energy sources, for years your body has been running on sugar and the switch to fats takes time to generate and utilize ketones as a fuel source.
To make through this transition smoothly, you must:
- Eat every three to four hours – this will help you keep satiated and keep the blood sugar balanced.
- Keep check on what you drink – high quality electrolyte drinks are best suited, drink mineral rich beverages.
- Keep hydrated – make generous use of salt and eat mineral rich foods.
- Chew sugar free chewing gums for breath or drink naturally flavoured beverages.
- Foods high in magnesium and potassium may help relieve leg cramps.
- And make sure you’re eating enough fat.
And for your cravings between meals or evening, eat these keto-approved snacks: “Cheese, Nuts or Seeds (limited to a hand full), Almonds, Olives (can add a little butter and spices), 1 or 2 hard boiled eggs, Dark Chocolate (90% dark), Full fat yogurt (with nut butter or cocoa), Berries and cream, Celery with salsa, or broths (for soup).
The diet can change the water and mineral balance of the body, so adding extra salt is mostly recommended. Even Caffeine helps the fat loss process performance and provides energy, this works for the people who need that one cup of coffee to start their day. And those who opt for the Cyclic Diet can add half scoop of whey protein in shakes or yogurts to increase daily protein intake.
The Ketogenic diet has unique effects on the body and works wonders with body cells inside which benefits you beyond any other diet. The combination of carbohydrate restriction and ketone production reduces insulin levels and triggers a cellular clean-up, reduces inflammation and burns fat more efficiently. The plethora of benefits by its broad range of effects helps a lot of people with a lot of different issues and health problems. It is a must try for those who are looking forward to a new and proficient way of healthy living in these busy times. As it cuts down cooking time it also cuts down the chances of catching any diseases. Just remember that cleanliness is next to godliness and internal cleanliness is somewhat double the godliness as a man who is clean in body is mostly clean in heart and well the entire body in this context and is next to god in nature!
There is another diet which people often try, Paleo. You can compare both here.