What is the ketogenic diet? If you are thinking of starting a keto diet, it's only natural to find out what exactly you are trying to do. Thi￼s guide breaks it down for you.
The ketogenic diet is a strict low carb diet, where the consumption of carbs is limited to give room for the body to use fats for fuel instead of the glucose which it is accustomed to.
The keto diet limits the consumption of carbs sugary foods, pasta and bread products. It is a diet that encourages the consumption of healthy fats hence it is also called the Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) Diet.
Why a Low carb or Keto diet?
Have you ever taken a look at the nutritional panel of a low fat product like yoghurt for example and compared it with the nutritional panel of a full fat one. The next you go shopping, I encourage you to do so.
Let me give you a little insight on what you will see? The sugar content in the low fat yoghurt will always be higher than the sugar content in the full fat one.
Why should a low fat product have higher sugar content. The presence of fat makes foods delicious and satisfying. When fats are reduced in low fat foods, the element of deliciousness is reduced so there is a gap which needs to be bridged. Sugar is used to bridge that gap. And guess what sugar is bad for you and it's bad for me.
Knowing that sugar is bad for you, which product would you buy? The low fat or the regular fat product?
How does Keto work?
Under Normal circumstances, our body uses glucose as a source of fuel and that is exactly what our bodies prefer because glucose is readily available.
A ketogenic diet leverages on the body's use of ketones as its primary source of fuel instead of glucose. How does it get ketones you may ask?
The body gets ketones through the metabolic process in the liver called Ketosis. Here is how that works; When carbohydrate intake is restricted, the body is forced to use ketones which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver. What the ketogenic diet does is to force your body to use ketones in the absence of glucose.
In other words, when there is limited carbs in the blood stream, the body is forced to use fats as its source of energy. Contrary to what many people think, the body does function well on ketones.
Limiting the intake of sugars and carbs stabilizes the blood sugar and also reduces the the level of insulin in circulation in your blood steam. This is helpful in the management of Insulin Resistance. The state of Ketosis puts your body in the fat burning mode. If you've heard fat burning machine in the Keto world, that's exactly what it means
Types of Ketogenic Diet
These are the popular types of the Ketogenic Diet
• Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs
• Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This type of keto diet is usually used by body builders. The aim is to to build muscle while still benefiting from the SKD. The goal is to temporarily switch out of ketosis to refill muscle glycogen, in order to sustain training performance in the next cycle. This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 days of strict keto followed by 2 high-carb days (5-2) Some people even make it a 6-1 cycle. If you are doing the Ketogenic Diet for health reasons, this type of keto is not recommended.
• Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This Diet is similar to the SKD with the only difference being that TKD allows you to add carbs around workouts.
• High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.
What can I eat on a keto diet
Below is the acceptable food list you can read more on how to start the Ketogenic Diet here
- Meats: Beef, Pork, Chicken, Lamb
- Fishes: All kinda of fish especially fatty ones like salmon, Mackerel etc
- Nut butters
Fats and oils:
- Heavy cream
- Avocado oil
- coconut oil
- Mct oil
Vegetables above ground are best on a low carb diet because they contain less carbs than the above ground veggies. Veggies that grow below the ground are usually very starchy
- All green leafy vegetables like Spinach, ugu, ewedu,
- Garden eggs
- Bell peppers
- Heavy cream
- Full fat Greek yoghurt
- Soft cheeses like Cream cheese, cottage cheese
- Block cheeses like Mozzarella cheese, provolone cheese, cheddar cheese.
Non Dairy products:
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
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To a healthy lifestyle