what is Keto Diet (ketogenic diet) ?
Curious to know what a ketogenic diet ? is also called the « keto diet ». The ketogenic diet is a therapeutic diet prescribed from the 1920s in cases of epilepsy. It was neglected for decades after the Second World War and the arrival of new antiepileptic drugs. It has come back to the fore since the years 1990 – 2000, with an acceleration of research in many countries and its use for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers.
The scheme, however, gained popularity in the last few years as a rapid method for losing weight, but also in improving symptoms of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate diet, consisting mainly of foods high in fat. In other words: you eat a lot of fat and reduce your carbohydrate intake to the maximum. The keto diet is similar to low-carb diets (the Atkins diet, for example) in many ways. However, there is a difference between the ketogenic diet and the low-carb diet:
The low-carb diet, as the name suggests, is mainly about avoiding carbohydrates.
Note : The ketogenic diet recommends a diet rich in lipids to stimulate fat burning. You significantly reduce your carbohydrate intake and replace them with large amounts of fat. After a few days, the elimination of carbohydrates (the body turns carbohydrates into glucose, the body’s main source of energy) puts the body in a metabolic state called ketosis.
What is ketosis ?
Ketosis is the state in which the body begins to use fat as the main source of energy. The body then becomes very efficient at burning fat in order to draw energy from it. This process lowers your insulin levels and stimulates fat burning.
- The brain favors glucose as an energy source. But the glucose reserves are insufficient, the body is forced to look for another source of energy.
- The breakdown of fatty acids leads to the production of ketones in the liver. Ketones provide energy to the brain, so it can continue to function
Signs of entering ketosis ?
There are several signs that you may be in ketosis. First, bad breath with the release of acetone. You may also experience decreased appetite, nausea, short-term memory loss, feeling confused, muscle cramps, fatigue and dehydration.
Why follow a ketogenic diet?
Low-carbohydrate and high-fat diets have long been the subject of controversy. This type of diet was thought to increase cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease due to the high fat intake.
Fortunately, times are changing, and today (fat) high-fat diets are no longer frowned upon. The ketogenic diet can help you lose a lot more weight than a fat-free diet. The ketogenic diet also has less obvious benefits. Eliminating (simple) carbohydrates from your diet can reduce blood sugar spikes. As the ketogenic diet consists mainly of lipids, it also provides great satiety.
The main components of our diet are the three macronutrients. The number of calories per gram differs from one nutrient to another:
- Proteins: ± 4 kcal per 1 g
- Carbohydrates: ± 4 kcal per 1 g
- Lipid: ± 9 kcal per 1 g
A simple calculation could lead you to think that you should eat as little fat as possible to lose weight.
Being keto-adapted means that your body uses lipids as the main source of energy. The body somehow turns into a fat burning machine. For this to happen, carbohydrates must no longer be able to be used as the primary energy source. You have to be in nutritional ketosis long enough for lipids to become your main source of energy: three to four weeks on average and sometimes up to 8 weeks.
The establishment of a ketogenic diet must be carried out with the support of a doctor who masters this type of diet.
Easyketo.fr aims to provide information about the ketogenic diet.
Ask your doctor for advice before changing your diet.
Warning. It is imperative to consult your health professional before any change in eating or sports habits.
The ketogenic diet may not be right for you and may even be dangerous if you have type 1 diabetes, kidney disease, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have other health problems.
It is not recommended for minors, people with eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia …), etc.
The authors are neither a doctor nor a dietitian and the information shared on this site cannot replace the opinion of your doctor. In no case the Padcook.com site and its authors can not be held responsible for the use of the information published on this site and their potential undesirable effects. Ask your doctor for advice before changing your diet. Depending on your state of health, your pathologies, your age, this diet can be dangerous, do not take no risk!
Why does a ketogenic diet make you lose weight ?
Consuming large amounts of simple sugars daily lowers insulin sensitivity. Insulin plays a major role in fat storage. Since the body can only store a limited amount of glucose, an excess leads to an increase in fat mass. Excluding carbohydrates from your daily diet in favor of lipid-rich foods lowers your insulin levels and improves your insulin sensitivity. Your body goes into ketosis and burns fat more efficiently.
Here are the top four reasons why the ketogenic diet causes weight loss:
- Ketogenic diet reduces insulin production and helps control blood sugar
- Eating more protein and fat leads to faster and longer-lasting satiety
- The satiety caused by a diet rich in proteins and lipids makes it possible to reduce the daily caloric intake, which, ultimately, leads to weight loss
- The body begins to draw energy mainly from fat, which leads to the burning of more body fat.
Another benefit of the ketogenic diet is that ketosis inhibits the secretion of Ghrelin. Ghrelin is commonly known as the « hunger hormone » because it stimulates appetite. The rate of ghrelin increases as soon as you lose weight, the body being biologically programmed to survive. It is for these reasons that the ketogenic diet promotes weight loss, and that it allows you to lose weight faster than with a low-fat diet.
Is the ketogenic diet dangerous ?
Many people panic when they learn that the keto diet is made up mostly of fat. Isn’t eating so much fat terribly unhealthy? After all, we are what we eat, right? The reality is a little more nuanced. It is very important to consume good fats when following a ketogenic diet, since lipids do not constitute less than 70% of the daily caloric intake.
Omega-3 fatty acids are the best fats for health, and I recommend that you give them pride of place. One way to consume these good fats is to eat lots of oily fish. For example, salmon, tuna, herring, etc.
The ideal ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids is 1: 1.
We already consume enough omega-6, found in particular in meat. However, this is not the case for omega-3s. This is why it is advisable to consume fatty foods rich in omega-3.
It is best to avoid saturated fat as much as possible. Saturated fats are found mainly in animal products such as whole dairy products and fatty meat.
Saturated fats are not as bad for health as we have long thought. The simple fact is that they are often found in processed products. More recent studies, starting in 2010, have found that there is no link between saturated fats like butter and the risk of cardiovascular disease or premature death.
On the other hand, you should avoid trans fatty acids, industrial in origin and very harmful to health. They increase the risk of insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes) and cardiovascular disease
Does the ketogenic diet have any side effects ?
Although the ketogenic diet is safe for healthy people, it can cause some unwanted side effects during the period of adaptation to the diet, which is called ketogenic flu. It spans a few days. Here are the possible side effects:
- Lack of energy
- Increased appetite
- Sleeping troubles
- Digestive disorders
- Reduced sports performance
To minimize the side effects of the early stages of the diet, it is advisable to start with a low-carbohydrate diet. This will help your body learn how to burn more fat until your carbohydrate intake is 20 to 40 g per day. A ketogenic diet can also upset the water balance and the amount of minerals in your body. Try to ingest the following amounts of minerals daily to minimize side effects.
- 3000-4000 mg /Sodium
- 1000 mg / Potatium
- 300 mg /magnesium
Don’t pay too much attention to calories. In the long run, ketosis will make you lose weight without you having to worry about observing any calorie restriction.
The benefits of the keto diet !
- Stabilizes blood sugar level
- Increases insulin sensitivity
- Suppresses appetite
- Reduces triglyceride levels
- Reduces fat storage and stimulates their combustion
- Improves cognitive functions
- Reduces seizures in children with epilepsy
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- Slows down the dementia process (Alzheimer’s disease) (source, source)
- Reduces chronic inflammation
Four disadvantages of ketogenic diet !
The keto diet, like any other slimming diet, has certain disadvantages that you should know before you start.
Danger # 1: Tiredness :
You may be running low on energy during the first few days of the ketogenic diet. You may feel tired and listless (so-called ketogenic flu).
This is not surprising since the body must adapt to this diet composed almost exclusively of lipids and proteins. It can take up to 2 weeks for your body to be able to fully use its energy from fat.
Extremely low in carbohydrates, this diet is not suitable for athletes. People who play explosive sports like weightlifters say they suffer from poor muscle recovery when they eat little carbohydrate. Some people say they live perfectly with very little glucose, but it’s mostly people with a sedentary lifestyle.
The brain always needs a minimum of glucose to function properly. Admittedly, the body is able to make glucose from lipids and proteins thanks to neoglucogenesis, but it is a heavy and energy-consuming process.
The Inuit (Greenland Eskimos) do this very well, but they don’t have access to fruits and vegetables because of the freezing weather.
Danger # 2: Constipation :
The keto diet can cause constipation. Not everyone suffers, but the risk does exist. Fortunately, this is often temporary and can be remedied with good hydration, magnesium supplements and an accumulated breakdown (1 to 3 g per day).
Danger # 3: Water loss :
It is true that the ketogenic diet makes you lose a lot of weight because the body is forced to burn fat to produce energy. But besides losing fat, water loss also plays an important role. Carbohydrates retain water in the body. Eliminating carbohydrates from your diet will therefore result in fluid loss. It also means that as soon as you eat carbohydrate-rich meals again, water retention will resume.
Danger # 4: Vitamin and mineral deficiency :
When you’re on a ketogenic diet, you’re confined to an extremely low-carb diet. Where the rub is often the elimination of fruit, which is one of the best sources of carbohydrates. A medium-sized banana provides 33 g of carbohydrates. What quickly exceed 50 g of carbohydrates per day. Avoiding fruits and vegetables can lead to a lack of essential nutrients you need to stay healthy.
Ketogenic diet: which foods are allowed and which should be avoided ?
Dieting is much easier when you know what to eat. The advantage of the ketogenic diet is that you don’t have to confine yourself to sad meals. If you like fish and meat, this diet is for you!
What vegetables can you have on a keto keto diet? There’s a simple rule:
Above-ground vegetables are generally lower in carbs and are usually the best keto options.
Below-ground vegetables — also known as root vegetables — contain more carbs and aren’t a great choice, especially potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Read on for more details, and when there are exceptions to this rule.
Above ground :
Carb counts are provided as net carbs per 100-gram (3½-ounce) serving.12 The options to the left are solid keto vegetables.
Below ground :
Carb counts represent net carbs for a standard serving size of 100 grams for each vegetable (3½ ounces, about the weight of an average tomato). For example, 100 grams of asparagus contain 2 grams of net carbs while 100 grams of broccoli contain 4 grams of net carbs.
Note that while the below-ground vegetables range from 7 to 17 grams of carbs per 100 grams, the above-ground vegetables are all under 5 grams of carbs per 100 gram serving. Quite a difference!
A word about onions: while they grow below ground and are higher carb, they can be added to foods as a seasoning because you generally won’t eat too many at once.
Be careful of caramelized or sautéed onions, as these are easier to consume in larger amounts. Green onions, or scallions, can be used to top salads or other dishes in modest amounts.
Vegetables on keto :
All foods are made up of macronutrients – carbs, protein, and fat. While meat and most dairy mainly provide protein or fat, vegetables contain mostly carbs.
On a strict ketogenic diet, with fewer than 5% of calories from carbs, it’s important to know which veggies are the lowest in carbs, particularly if your goal is to consume fewer than 20 grams of carbs per day.
Vegetables with less than 5 grams of net carbs may be eaten relatively freely. It’s hard to overeat spinach, zucchini, lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, asparagus and kale on a keto diet. These are considered keto vegetables.
Be more careful with slightly higher-carb vegetables like bell peppers (especially red and yellow ones), brussels sprouts and green beans to stay under 20 grams of carbs a day. The carbs can add up. For instance, a medium-size pepper has 4-7 grams of carbs.
While tomatoes are technically a fruit, they can work on a keto diet. But again, their carbs are a bit higher. When combined with other foods, you may exceed 20 grams of net carbs a day if you consume too many tomatoes.
Other helpful guidelines :
Here are two more general rules that can help you choose lower-carb and keto vegetables:
- In general, keto-friendly veggies are those with leaves — all types of lettuce, spinach and other greens are good ketogenic options.
- Green vegetables tend to be lower in carbs than veggies with a lot of color. For example, green cabbage is lower in carbs than purple cabbage. Green bell peppers are also somewhat lower in carbs than red or yellow peppers.
Top 10 keto vegetables :
- Cauliflower – 3 g. Mild flavor and so versatile. Use it as base of staples like cauliflower rice and cauliflower mash.
- Cabbage – 3 g. Delicious when sautéed in butter or used in our popular Asian cabbage stir fry.
- Avocado – 2 g. Technically a fruit, but loaded with nutrients and healthy fat. 6 Great sliced, mashed as guacamole, or even baked.
- Broccoli – 4 g. Swap it for pasta, rice or potatoes. It can be steamed, fried in butter, drizzled in cheese sauce, roasted with bacon, baked au gratin
- Zucchini – 3 g. Miss potatoes? Try our zucchini fries or zucchini chips. Zucchini can also be spiralized to make keto pasta, like in this keto carbonara.
- Spinach – 1 g. Extremely low in carbs, it can be used raw in salads, baked into chips, sautéed, or creamed. Check out our popular keto frittata with fresh spinach
- Asparagus – 2 g. Filling, highly nutritious, and very low carb, asparagus was made for a high-fat sauce such as hollandaise or béarnaise.
- Kale – 3 g. Although slightly higher carb than spinach, kale is a flavorful veggie. Enjoy it raw in salads, bake into chips, sauté in lard, or use as a base instead of pasta.
- Green beans – 4 g. Green beans can be roasted, steamed, or stewed, but may taste even better cooked in bacon fat or butter.
- Brussels sprouts – 5 g. Baby cabbages are excellent roasted until crispy or served in a creamy sauce.
NOTE: all the recipes already mentioned in this article you will find them in detail in the coming days and we wish you a good read.