Keto Diet: A Beginner’s Guide To the Ketogenic Diet

Keto diet or ketogenic diet is defined as a low-carb diet. This diet has diverse names, such as STD (standard ketogenic diet), TKD (targeted ketogenic diet), CKD (cyclical ketogenic diet) and HPKD (high-protein ketogenic diet).

How Keto Diet Works?

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The ketosis is a daily process of the body that adapts to the fuel the body needs to burn on a low-carb diet. When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks it into glucose. The glucose creates an energy molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a fuel that your body needs to burn as energy. If you consume a lot of carbohydrate-rich food, your body will probably not need the extra glucose. In this scenario, two things will happen to your body, glycogenesis and lipogenesis.

Glycogenesis

The excess glucose in your liver and muscles will convert into glycogen. Estimates show that half of the daily energy is stored as glycogen in your body.

Lipogenesis

If your muscles and liver already have enough glycogen, therefore, the extra glucose is transformed into fat that is stored in your body. Whenever your body has no glycogen, ketosis occurs. Because your body does not have access to food that produces glucose, so the body will create molecules called ketones that will start burning fat as energy. Over 20 studies have shown that keto diet can help you with weight loss and health improvements. Ketogenic diet may also help with diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s. (1)

Keto Diet for Diabetes

High blood sugar and insulin function impairment can cause diabetes in the body. According to one study, ketogenic diet can improve insulin sensitivity by 75%. In another study, the ketogenic group lost 24.4 pounds compared to the high-carb group that lost 15.2 pounds. The key benefit of a ketogenic diet is that it can reduce the extra body fat. Extra body fat has a close connection with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Study shows the ketogenic diet group saw a 95.2% reduction in diabetes compared to 62% in the high-carbohydrate diet group. (2, 3)

Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss

In one study, people on a keto diet lost 2.2 times more weight than the people on low-fat, low-carb diets. It can also balance levels of triglyceride and good cholesterol. Research shows that the ketogenic diet is much better than the low-fat diet. Another study shows that people on the low-carb diet lost more weight than other diets. A keto diet is better than a low-fat diet for many reasons, and it can provide many health benefits. This is because of the increase in ketones production, which decreases blood sugar level and improves insulin sensitivity. (4, 5)

One Week Keto Diet Meal Plan

BreakfastLunchDinnerSnacks
MondayEggs Scrambled with Sauteed Onions and Cheddar CheeseSpiced cauliflower soup with bacon pieces or tofu cubesBaked Catfish with Broccoli and Herb-Butter BlendPeanut Butter Fudge Crisp Bar
TuesdayOmelet with mushrooms, broccoli, and peppersAvocado and egg salad with onion and spices, served in lettuce cupsCajun spiced chicken breast with cauliflower rice and Brussels sprout saladSlices of cheese with nuts and bell peppers
WednesdayScrambled eggs on a bed of sauteed greens with pumpkin seedsChicken mayonnaise salad with cucumber, avocado, tomato, almonds, and onionBeef stew made with mushrooms, onions, celery, herbs, and beef brothSmoothie with almond milk, nut butter, olives, chia seeds, and spinach
ThursdaySmoothie containing almond milk, nut butter, spinach, chia seeds, and protein powderShrimp and avocado salad with tomatoes, feta cheese, herbs, lemon juice, and olive oilGarlic butter steak with mushrooms and asparagusA boiled egg with flax crackers with cheese
FridayScrambled eggs with jalapenos, green onions, and tomatoes sprinkled with sunflower seedsTuna salad with tomatoes and avocado plus macadamia nutsBeacons with non-starchy vegetables of choiceCelery sticks with almond butter dip and a handful of berries and nuts
Saturday2 eggs, fried in butter, with avocado and blackberriesGrilled salmon with a salad of mixed leafy greens and tomatoChicken breast with cauliflower mash and green beansKale chips and Slices of cheese and bell peppers
SundayYogurt with keto-friendly granolaGrass-fed beef burger (no bun) with guacamole, tomato, and kale saladStir-fried chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, and peppers, with homemade satay sauceSugar-free turkey jerky, an egg and vegetable muffin
7 days keto diet plan

I suggest you make your meals easy and delicious. So you can stick to it without getting board while preparing it. All of your keto diet recipes should be low in carbs and slathered in fatty dressings with green leafy salad. You should avoid carbs completely for quicker results.

Foods to Avoid on A Keto Diet

You should avoid every food high in carbohydrates.

  • soda
  • fruit juice
  • candy
  • ice-cream
  • wheat
  • rice
  • pasta
  • cereals
  • sugary fruits
  • beans
  • legumes
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • carrots
  • parsnips
  • alcohol

Some people will have tough time getting into ketosis process and they will not lose weight. This is because they are not eating keto friendly foods. However, underlying health problem can also stop you from getting into ketosis.

Keto Diet Side Effects

You can try a regular low-carb diet during the first few weeks to minimize the side effects. This can teach your body to burn more fat before you eliminate carbs completely. A keto diet can also alter your body’s water and mineral balance. By adding additional salt to food or taking mineral add-ons will help. While the ketogenic diet is safe for healthy individuals, some initial side effects can occur when your body adapts. This is often called keto influenza and usually happens in a couple of days. Keto influenza includes poor mental and energy, increased hunger, sleep problems, nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort, and lower performance.

Supplements to Take on a Keto Diet

No supplements are necessary on a keto diet, some may be helpful.

  • whey protein
  • MCT oil
  • caffeine
  • exogenous ketones
  • creatine
  • vitamin B-1 thiamin
  • gamma oryzanol
  • lecithin
  • sarsaparilla
  • inosine.

Conclusion

A ketogenic diet can be effective for overweight, diabetic individuals looking to improve their health. It might be less effective for athletes who would like to add muscles. Before starting any keto diet, always speak to your doctor if ketogenic diet best suits for your current health status.

References

  1. The ketogenic diet: one decade later. Pediatrics. 2007.
  2. A review of low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2003.
  3. Effect of a low-carbohydrate diet on appetite, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Ann Intern Med. 2005.
  4. The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2008.
  5. A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2005.
  6. A randomized trial comparing a very low-carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low-fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003.
  7. A low-carbohydrate diet is more effective in reducing body weight than healthy eating in both diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. Diabet Med. 2007.
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Naeem Durrani BSchttps://defatx.com/
I am a retired pharmacist, nutrition expert, journalist, and more. My interests include medical research, and the scientific evidence around effective wellness practices, which empower people to transform their lives.

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