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The Keto-Diet: A Comprehensive Guide to Keto Diet. Everything you need to know!

As described in the title this is the complete and comprehensive guide to keto diet including introduction, best drinks, fruits, things to avoid and health benefits. Let’s continue with its introduction.

Introduction

A high-fat diet with adequate-protein and low-carbohydrates is known as Ketogenic or simply a keto diet. The name keto is given to this diet because it allows the body to produce ketones which are small fuel molecules. These fuel molecules act as the alternative energy source instead of sugars. It offers many health benefits against harmful diseases such as diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s and also helps in weight loss because Keto diet can help you burn fat more effectively.


Keto diet helps in reducing carbohydrates intake in the body by replacing it with the fats. These fats get turns into ketones in the liver, which can act as an energy source for the brain.  As the keto diet is low-carb and high-fat so, it lowers blood sugar level and shifts the body’s metabolism towards the fats and proteins.

Types of Keto Diet

There are several versions of ketogenic diets but four are major types. Below is a brief introduction to each type.

  • Standard ketogenic diet (SKD)

It is termed as a standard ketogenic diet because it exactly follows the definition of the keto diet, as it is a high-fat diet with very-low-carb and moderate protein levels.

According to grams per day, the standard ketogenic diet may contain:

  • 20-50gm of carbohydrates
  • 40-60gm of proteins
  • No set limit for fats
  • Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD)

The Targeted ketogenic diet is similar to an SKD except that carbohydrates are consumed around exercise times. Any day you exercise, you are allowed to take  a high amount of carbohydrates in the keto diet.

  • Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD)

It is also known as carbohydrates backloading because it involves days of higher carbohydrates that refeed the carb, such as 2 days of higher carbohydrates in a week. 

  • High-protein ketogenic diet (HPKD)

As the name is indicating that this diet includes more protein as compared to the standard ketogenic diet. The percentage of different compounds is as follows :

  • 35% of Proteins
  • 60% of fats
  • 5%  of Carbohydrates

This was a brief introduction to the ketogenic diet along with its four major types. Hope you will find it interesting as it has wonderful health benefits. It helps you lose weight with no hunger and shifts the body metabolism towards fats.

Health benefits of a Keto-diet

A ketogenic is a dieting plan which focuses on foods that provide healthy fats, moderate amounts of protein, and low carbohydrates. This is done to achieve the goal of getting more calories from the fats than from carbohydrates.

There are several versions of the keto diet, including the Standard Ketogenic Diet, the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet, the Very-low-carb ketogenic diet, and the Targeted Ketogenic Diet.

Why would you think about Keto Diet? There are several health benefits, proven by science and supported by medical experience, like these:

  • Lose weight

Researches have revealed that keto diets are often more effective to lose weight than other diets. Keto diets make it easier to lose body fats without hunger, and without having to count calories. 

The low-carb diets may help promote weight loss by boosting metabolism, reducing appetite and utilizing body fats into the formation of ketones.

One thing you should keep in mind that an effective keto diet for weight loss should be based primarily on real food, and not on processed food. Real food is meat, fish, vegetables, eggs, butter, olive oil, nuts, etc.

  • Reverse type 2 diabetes

Keto diets can help reduce or even normalize blood sugar by directly reducing blood sugar, improving insulin sensitivity and reducing inflammation.

If you can consistently and safely follow the ketogenic diet, you may potentially reverse type 2 diabetes.

  • Reduce the risk of certain cancers

Studies have shown that the ketogenic diet has a wonderful effect in helping prevent or even treat certain cancers.

Different studies and modern research in mice shows that intaking small amount of carbohydrates and keeping blood sugar under control through keto diet could help treat certain cancers by increasing the efficacy of standard chemotherapy.

  • Improve heart health

When you follow the low-carb diet, it is important that you should choose healthful foods. Some studies show that eating healthful fats and reducing carbs,  can help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol.

Summary

Weight loss, shrinking fat stores, lower blood sugar, improved mental clarity, and a calmer digestive system are the bonus benefits of the keto diet. The Low-carb diet can also help in lowering blood pressure, acne and skin improvements, and better fertility along with the grateful gut.

Unexpected Health Benefits of the Low-Carb Diet

The low-carb diet is a wonderful and fast way to lose weight, but studies have revealed many other benefits of the low-carb, high-fat approach to eating. Here we will discuss a few unexpected benefits that people following a keto diet plan might see.

  • The rise in energy levels

Keto diets contain high-fats which contain double the amount of energy as compared to an equal number of carbohydrates. In the beginning, your body should change the energy cycle and When you get into ketosis, the brain starts burning ketones instead of glucose. So, fats become the ultimate source of energy for the body.

  • Diminish anxiety and depression
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Keto diet is also known as an anti-anxiety diet as it helps reduce anxiety, depression, and fear. The reason behind this reduction in anxiety is Ketone Supplements. According to recent studies, beta-hydroxybutyrate (a ketone) may help reduce stress-related disorders like anxiety by diminishing brain inflammation

  • The liver gets healthier

The ketogenic diet may improve liver health, as it shifts the energy cycle towards fats. Actually, this ketosis cycle occurs inside the liver and the accumulated fats in the liver are transformed into ketones which help in protection against type 2 diabetes.

  • Proper Sleep Cycle

When the energy level of the body rises, the body feels relax and that is the reason people on a ketogenic diet sleep much deeper. Proper sleep help in optimizing our hormones.

  • Boost heart health

In the ketogenic diet, fats from the food and from the body are transformed into ketones, so the blood cholesterol level decreases to a great extent. Moreover, losing weight can help reduce cardiovascular risk factors and helps reduce high blood pressure and arteries diseases.

Summary

To conclude, it is now obvious that high-fats and low-carb can help reduce many risk factors for health including anxiety, depression, bad cholesterol, high blood pressure and low level of energy.

What to eat on a Keto Diet?

The keto diet is a very low-carb, moderate protein and higher-fat diet. While you take a small number of carbohydrates on a keto diet, you maintain moderate levels of protein and fulfill your energy needs by increasing your fat intake. The increase in fat and the reduction in carb intake puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis. In ketosis, fat from your diet and from your body is turned into small fuel molecules called ketones, which are burned to release energy.

Why we need ketones to fulfil the brain’s energy needs? 

On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its energy supply to run mostly on fat but the brain can’t run on fat directly, it can only utilize glucose – or ketones. So, in the liver fats are breakdown into small ketones. These ketones are directly used by the brain for energy.

What to eat on a keto diet?

Here are the foods that you can intake on a keto diet:

  • Fish and Seafood

They are a rich source of fats and all good for keto-diet, especially fatty fish like salmon. Try eating more of the smaller fish like sardines, mackerel, and herring if you have concerns about toxins.

  • Eggs

Use eggs in any of its cooking forms, i.e. boiled, fried in butter, scrambled or as omelets, etc.

  • Meat

Unprocessed meats are keto-friendly. One thing you should keep in mind that keto is a higher-fat diet, with moderate proteins, so you don’t need huge amounts of meat.

  • High-fat dairy

Use butter, cheese and heavy cream for cooking. They are all good and keto-friendly. Avoid drinking milk directly as it contains high carb (one glass = 15 grams of carbs), but you can use it sparingly in your coffee.

  • Nuts

Nuts should be taken in a moderate amount and also be aware that cashews are relatively high carb, choose macadamia or pecan nuts instead.

  • Berries

Berries are the most favored choice for people watching their carb intake. A moderate amount of berries are good on keto.

  • Vegetables

Choose leafy and green vegetables that are grown above the ground. Fresh or frozen – either is fine.

Summary

As a basic beginner, you should stick to foods with fewer than 5% carbs. In short, take real low-carb foods like meat, fish, eggs, vegetables and natural fats like butter or olive oil.

Best Keto-Friendly Drinks

At the start of a keto diet, when your body is adapting to severely low carbohydrates, your body’s hydration status will shift because of lack of glycogen as body stores carbohydrates in the form of glycogen, which holds onto water.

If you’re on a low-carb diet, you’re mostly focused on what to eat and especially what to avoid. But If you also focus on what you should sip can set you up for success, too.

Here is the list of 10 keto-friendly drinks for you:

  • Water

Water is one of the best keto-friendly drinks. To stay ahead of your hydration Keep a water bottle near you at all times and drink throughout the day. Drinking a large amount of water is beneficial for health in many ways, as it helps maintain blood pressure, body temperature and forms saliva and mucus.

  • Calorie-Free Tea

If you keep the tea plain and don’t add sugar or another sweetener, Tea is another great drink, as it’s carb- and calorie-free.

  • Sparkling Water

A great way to mix up your usual water is by adding a squeeze of lemon in nearly ½ gram (g) of carbohydrates. It is another carb-free drink option.

  • Plain Coffee
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Plain coffee is also a keto-friendly diet if you’re drinking it black because it is completely calorie-free. The Addition of heavy cream in black coffee will be appreciated because it provides fats.

  • Bone Broth

Sipping a cup of Bone broth is something uniquely warming for keto-dieters as it offers 0 carbs and 1 cup contains less than 50 calories and 9 grams of protein.

  • Nut Milk

If you want to mix things up, Nuts milk makes for great choices as they offer 1 g (or less) of carbs per cup and may be fortified with vitamins and minerals.

  • Kombucha

Kombucha can be a great replacement for Soda for keto-dieters. It is also a gut-friendly fermented tea.

Summary

Green tea, a fermented tea, black tea, coffee, water, sparkling water, and protein shakes are some useful keto-friendly drinks. They contain a very small amount of carbohydrates. Keto-dieters should properly plan their food to avoid any serious consequences, such as dehydration. 

Fruits to Eat on a Keto Diet

The keto diet can help improve your health. But if you’re not eating the right kinds of fruit in the right amount, you may bring yourself out of ketosis and stall your health improvement efforts.

If you’re on the way to the keto diet for your wellness goals, and you are willing to add fruit to your meal plan, Here is the list of the best low-carb fruits to eat on a keto diet:

  • Avocados

Avocados are ideal snacks in between meals for keto-diet as they are low in calories (about 138 for the one serving) and enrich with fiber.

  • Blackberries

Blackberries can make a great addition to your keto meal plan as it is low in carbohydrates. Blackberries are also a great snack for weight loss.

  • Tomatoes

Tomatoes are keto-friendly because they are also low in carbohydrates. They also prevent heart diseases, as they contain lycopene.

  • Star Fruit

if you’re on low-carb-diet and want to satisfy your sweet tooth it’s worth a try to add start fruit in your grocery. It is low in carbs and calories.

  • Raspberries

Raspberries are also keto-friendly as well as good for heart health because they contain powerful antioxidants that can reduce blood pressure, lowering your risk of heart disease.

  • Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is another very delicious, refreshing, and keto-friendly fruit with only 5.8 g of net carbohydrates in a half cup of serving.

  • Lemon

Lemon water contains antioxidants that fight with many toxins and improve digestion. It is also low in carbohydrates, so a keto-friendly fruit.

  • Strawberries

Strawberries are very delicious, refreshing and healthful fruits with very low carbohydrates. 100 gm of Strawberries contains only 6 grams of carbohydrates.

Summary

Most fruits contain a great number of carbs, that’s why they taste sweet. But we above given list of fruits contain a relatively small amount of carbs and are keto-friendly. 

Diseases That May Cure With A Ketogenic Diet

Low-carbs diets have become immensely popular. Modern studies show this ketogenic diet may benefit several health conditions. Although most of the suggestions are based on the study of animal researches, results from human-controlled researches are also promising.

Here is the list of several health conditions that may cure with the help of the ketogenic diet.

  • Epilepsy

Epilepsy causes excessive brain activity in the human, which results in the seizures. Anti-seizure medications are widely used for the treatment of epilepsy. New researches have revealed that epilepsy may be cured with the help of keto-diet.

Patients who follow the ketogenic diet have 50% improvements in their severity of epileptic disorder and frequency of seizure reduced to a great extent. Keto diet may have many other beneficial impacts on the brain beyond the seizure control. 

  • Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome indicates the prediabetic conditions in the patient due to insulin resistance. People with metabolic syndrome are more vulnerable to diabetes, heart disease and other serious disorders related to insulin resistance.

Low-carbs diet can minimize the vulnerability and reduce abdominal obesity, triglycerides, blood pressure and blood sugar in the patients.

  • Glycogen Storage Disease

Glycogen storage disease GSD occurs due to the lack of one of the enzymes that involve in storing glucose as glycogen or turning glycogen down into glucose. Mostly, this disease is diagnosed in children.

Modern researches have revealed that keto diets may help people in Glycogen Storage disease. Patients with GSD may find dramatic improvements in their health while following a low-carb diet.

  • Diabetes

Recent studies have shown that the ketogenic diet helps control blood glucose level to a great extent and have many other beneficial effects on the health of the diabetic patient. In most of the cases, blood sugar level returns to a normal range, and medications can be discontinued or reduced.

  • Parkinson’s Disease

Dopamine is a signaling molecule in the human nervous system. If the level of this molecule is reduced in the CNS, it may cause tremor, impaired posture, stiffness and difficulty walking and writing. This condition is known as Parkinson’s disease.

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The low-carb diet has shown promising impacts in improving symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

  • Obesity

Researchers have found that low-carb diets are very effective for weight loss in obese people without hunger. This is probably due to their powerful appetite-reducing effects. The Whole metabolic system of a person shifts from carbohydrates to fats due to the ketogenic diet.

Summary

It is obvious from the above discussion that the ketogenic diet benefits many health conditions due to the low-carb. However, high level researches are needed to perform to prove it scientifically.

How to gain weight on a keto diet

We usually advise to eat a higher amount of carbohydrates and adopt an exercise program for weight gain. Unfortunately, it is an unhealthy method and often results in gaining fat mass.

Here we will show you how to gain weight healthily, while staying on a low-carb diet, and following the ketogenic diet.

Most of us consider the keto diet as a weight-loss diet, this is not ultimately true. Keto diets lead to weight loss for people with high weight, due to increased metabolic cycle and fat burning. Underweight people may gain weight through the help of keto diets because low-carb foods are very nutrient dense due to the presence of healthy fats. Fats contain double the amount of energy as compared to an equal amount of carbohydrates.

These are the few tips to gain weight healthily:

  • Exercise

By following the ketogenic diet plan, exercise regularly to gain weight. Exercises like cycling, jogging, rec sports, or swimming are highly recommended on keto diets.

  • Proper sleep

The Keto diet will help you a lot in gaining weight if you take proper sleep. It is essential for hormone functions.

  • Avoid Stress

Avoid stress during your dieting plan and be as relaxed as you can because hormones released due to the stress put negative effects on our health.

  • Be hydrated

In the ketogenic diet, proper drinking is very much essential and as crucial as eating. Being hydrated every time can help you gain weight and improve body defense system against toxic substances.

  • Avoid Drugs

Nicotine and caffeine have harmful effects on our health and often results in weight loss. Try Quitting every type of drug and avoid smoking too to gain weight.

  • Use proteins

In the ketogenic dieting plan, adequate proteins are present, so try using high-quality proteins such as unprocessed meats, fish and eggs, etc.

Who Should Not Follow a Keto Diet

No doubt, there are several health benefits of the ketogenic diet for a person but it may be harmful in certain conditions. If you’re going to follow a low-carb diet or any other diet program, you should first undergo health screening tests to rule out any rare conditions with your health or medications.

It is essential to consult your doctor before starting the ketogenic diet because the low-carb diet may be harmful in many health conditions. Below are some of the conditions in which a person should avoid following the keto diet.

  • Underweight or having any eating disorder

If a person is facing an eating disorder or has a BMI value of less than 18.5 should not follow the ketogenic plan.

  • Pregnancy

In any of the stages of pregnancy, the ketogenic diet should be avoided because it may retard the growth of the fetus or may cause a deficiency of nutrients for the fetus.

  • Kidney functions disorder

The higher levels of fats may put pressure on your kidney if you’re facing decreased kidney functions. The ketogenic diet may be the reason behind the kidney stones in this condition.

  • Women with irregular menses

Reducing too many calories on the low-carb diet can lead to irregular periods, so women with irregular menses should not follow the keto diet.

  • Breastfeeding mothers

Breastfeeding mothers should not cut down too many calories, so they are advised to avoid following the ketogenic diet.

Summary

A ketogenic diet is rich in healthy fats, has adequate protein and is low in carbohydrates, so it shifts the body’s metabolism towards fats. Fats are utilized to generate ketones, and these ketones are burnt to generate energy for the body. This transformation of the energy cycle may be harmful to many people as the original energy sources are carbohydrates especially glycogen. So, It is good to consult your doctor before starting this dieting plan.

The Best Low-Carb Vegetables for Keto Diet

Vegetables play a crucial role in the low-carb diet as they are low in calories but rich in vitamins, and minerals. Many of the vegetables are high in fiber which makes them ideal for a keto diet.

Here is the list of best keto-friendly vegetables for you:

  • Bell Peppers

They are incredibly nutritious, anti-inflammatory and rich in vitamins A and C. They are also and also known as capsicum. One cup of bell peppers contain:

6gm of carbohydrates

3gm of fibre

  • Broccoli

Broccoli is a true superfood that contains 4gm of carbohydrates in its one cup. It’s also enriched with vitamins K and C.

  • Asparagus

It is an anti-cancer vegetable with delicious taste. It’s also a wonderful source of vitamins with the only 4gm of carbohydrates.

  • Mushrooms

Mushrooms are true keto-friendly vegetables as they contain only 1gm of digestible carbohydrates of their one serving. They can minimize the metabolic syndrome in the patients.

  • Spinach

One of the best health-friendly and keto-friendly vegetable is leafy green Spinach. It is enriched with vitamin K and beneficial for heart and eyes with the only 3gm of carbohydrates.

  • Cauliflower

Cauliflower is one of the delicious and most versatile keto-friendly vegetables. It is widely used all over the world. It contains 2gm of carbohydrates in its one cup and highly enriched with vitamins K, and C.

  • Green Beans

Green Beans, also known as snap beans are enriched with anti-oxidants and contain only 6gm of carbohydrates in one cup.

  • Lettuce

It is also one of the most common keto-friendly vegetables which may lower heart diseases because it is highly enriched with useful vitamins. Its one serving contains only 1gm of carbohydrates.

  • Garlic

Garlic is popular for its wonderful health effects in the human, it may lower the blood pressure, protect the heart and improve our immune system. 3grams of garlic contain only 1gm of carbohydrates.

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Naeem Ur Rehman

Written by Naeem Ur Rehman

Pakistan's youngest blogger and the CEO of Raabta.net. He is currently the student of BS Environmental Sciences at University of the Punjab, Lahore. He is also working as a senior advisor to Aagahi.pk, Mukaalma, and Pylon TV.

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