The “keto lifestyle” or “keto diet” has grown in popularity in recent years. Abbreviation for “ketogenic diet”, this is a diet that focuses on high fat intake with moderate protein and limited carbohydrates. Diets that involve a low carbohydrate intake are not new, they have been promoted intensely and have gained momentum because the results are seen much faster than the classic low-calorie diets, but with a balanced distribution of macronutrients.
What does the keto diet entail?
First, you need to stop referring to it as a ketogenic diet and call it a ketogenic lifestyle, or a keto style, or you can directly say “I’m keto.”
By majorly reducing the body’s intake of carbohydrates and replacing them with fats, the body is introduced into a metabolic state called ketosis. When the body is in a state of ketosis, fats become the main supplier of energy to the body, which is pleasing to most cells in the body. When we eat less than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day, the body enters the state of ketosis, a state that offers multiple benefits to the body. Some of them are: reducing the level of sugar and insulin in the blood and reducing body fat.
There are several versions of keto diets:
1.Keto Standard Diet: Very few carbohydrates, moderate protein and lots of fat. It is usually a diet that contains 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates.
2.Cyclic Keto Diet: It is based on the alternation between periods with many carbohydrates and periods of keto, usually 5 days keto and 2 days with many carbohydrates.
3.Targeted Keto Diet: Most of the time you follow a standard keto diet, but only add carbs when you go to workouts.
4.Protein Rich Keto Diet: Similar to the Standard Keto Diet, only we add more protein. The distribution changes to 60% fat, 35% protein, 5% carbohydrates.
Suitable foods and foods to avoid in the ketogenic diet
The focus of a ketogenic diet is a healthy diet, as unprocessed as possible.
The suitable foods are:
-those rich in protein, such as beef, lamb, pork and chicken (not in excess, because excess protein is converted into glucose by the body)
-fish and seafood of any kind, preferably meat higher in fat, such as salmon or herring
-natural fats: butter, coconut, avocado or olive oil
-vegetables that grow above ground: any kind of cabbage, zucchini, olives, spinach, mushrooms, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, eggplant and others
-fatty dairy products: butter, sour cream, cheese, cheese, yogurt
-fruits: Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries- in moderation
-drinks: plain or mineral water (with lemon or lime), coffee and tea without sugar (with milk, cream or coconut butter
The foods to avoid are:
-sugar and foods with a high sugar content: juices, chocolate, cakes, pastries, commercial ice cream, sweetened cereals
-starchy foods: bread (there are recipes for keto bread, almond flour, for example), pasta, rice, potatoes, chips, muesli
-vegetables that grow underground: potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley
-sugary fruits, such as bananas and grapes
Side effects and how to treat them
Although the ketogenic diet is good for healthy people, there may be some initial side effects until the body adapts.
The effect is often called keto-flu and usually ends in a few days. Keto-flu includes low energy and low mental function, increased hunger, sleep problems and digestive discomfort. To minimize this effect, you can try a normal low-carb diet in the first few weeks. This can teach your body to burn more fat until it gets used to the complete elimination of carbohydrates.
A ketogenic diet can also change the balance of water and minerals in the body. For minerals, try to take 3000 mg of sodium, 1000 mg of potassium and 300 mg of magnesium per day to minimize side effects.
In the beginning, it is important to eat until you are full and to avoid reducing too many calories.
While the keto lifestyle offers promising weight loss results and other potential health benefits, it can be difficult to sustain in the long run. This is because it is very restrictive for food groups. It may not be the best choice for high-level athletes who do not want to sacrifice performance or muscle mass. Due to the dramatic changes it causes in the body, the keto diet should be supervised by a doctor.