All About Ketogenic Diet

By Akanksha Surana

Pizza, Maple Pancakes, Banana and Kiwi Smoothie….hold on, before anyone gets into this sinful indulgence let me divulge; ladies, it is not my dinner plan for tonight but it’s a message: “Dear Stomach, you are bored, not hungry, so just shatap”.

Ketogenic diet with nutrition diagram written on a note.

What is Ketogenic Diet?

Healthy eating food low carb keto ketogenic diet meal plan protein fat

An ever-hungry stomach, an undisciplined lifestyle and a lethargic mind make you no less than a dead investment. It is very important to take care of the body because it’s the only place to live in. One of the many ways to foster a healthy lifestyle is to go on a Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diet, popularly known as the Ketogenic Diet. A Keto diet is all about adopting a healthier lifestyle rather than about losing weight. The word Keto is derived from Ketosis, which is a natural process to help the body survive when the food intake is rather low. This process essentially produces ketones, a byproduct of the breakdown of fats in the liver. The end goal of this diet is to force the body into this metabolic state of fat analysis. So, in the process, what is burnt is the carb and not the calories. The Keto diet merely fools the body into thinking it is fasting, through the elimination of glucose that is found in carbs.

How can one benefit from this diet?

Weight Loss: Weight loss is a huge benefit due to lowered insulin levels and the body’s ability to burn stored fat.

Blood Glucose Control: Diabetic patients can specifically benefit from this diet given that it has the ability to lower and stabilize insulin levels and maintain a seemly correct cholesterol level.

PCOS: Good news for women suffering from PCOS! PCOS is directly associated with insulin resistance. A Keto diet helps in addressing the insulin resistance and in turn, helps in combatting PCOS.

Greater Endurance: A Good diet coupled with complimenting exercise is believed to provide greater endurance and agility. The Keto diet does exactly this.

Heartburn: This diet is believed to reduce acidity of the esophagus simply by taking a low carb diet…Wow!!

Prevention of Cancer: Following a Ketogenic diet may also help to prevent and even kill cancer cells. There are several medical studies that show that this diet is an effective treatment for cancer and other serious health problems.

How does the Ketogenic Diet work?

Keto food pyramid chart. Nutrition and diet infographics. Vector illustration.

Ketogenic diets, like most low carb diets, work through the elimination of glucose. Because most folks live on a high carb diet, our bodies normally run on glucose (or sugar) for energy. We cannot make glucose and only have about 24 hours’ worth stored in our muscle tissues and liver. Once glucose is no longer available from food sources, we begin to burn stored fat instead, or fat from our diets. The Ketogenic diet, therefore, eliminates glucose and causes the body to burn its own fat quickly. This process of burning fat provides more benefits than simply helping us to shed extra weight. It also helps to control the release of hormones like insulin, which plays a role in the development of diabetes and other health problems. When we eat carbohydrates, insulin is released as a reaction to elevated blood glucose (an increase in sugar circulating in our blood). Insulin is a “storage hormone” that signals cells to store as much available energy as possible, initially as glycogen (aka stored carbohydrates in our muscles) and then as body fat. The Ketogenic diet works by eliminating carbohydrates from the diet and keeping the body’s carbohydrate stores almost empty, therefore, preventing too much insulin from being released following food consumption. This can help reverse “insulin resistance,” which is the underlying problem contributing to diabetes. Optimal ketosis is reached when the body stays in ketosis for at least a few weeks, when both any side effects diminish greatly while the benefits are more pronounced with the body becoming a fat burner.

Diet requirements

Simple illustration of low carbohydrates ingredients diet system.

To start a Keto diet, one needs to plan ahead. That means having a viable diet plan ready and waiting. What we eat depends on how fast we want to get into a ketogenic state. The more restrictive we are on our carbohydrates (less than 15g per day), the faster we will enter ketosis.

Do Not Eat
• Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
• Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
• Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
• Tubers – potato, yams, etc.

Do Eat
• Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc.
• Leafy Greens – spinach, kale, etc.
• Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
• High Fat Dairy – hard cheese, high fat cream, butter, etc.
• Nuts and seeds – walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
• Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries
• Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, and other low card sweeteners.
• Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.

Keto is high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbs. The nutrient intake should be something around 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate. Keto diets should only be used under clinical supervision and only for brief periods. The Ketogenic diet is a very restrictive plan that most people can’t stick with and shouldn’t try for weight loss.

This is the latest trend across the globe with the likes of Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox and fitness queen Gynewth Paltrow advocating the benefits of this diet. Recently, Tanmay Bhatt lost 109kgs as a result of this diet and sheer discipline. There is one healthy takeaway, though, in general, reducing carbs and incorporating more healthy fats, like nuts and avocados and certain oils, in our diet — without going to extremes — is a good idea for most of us. The only problem with this or rather any kind of a diet is the fact that it is not sustainable, and there is a lot of stress on the kidneys to produce the ketones. Talking to a registered dietician before following any diet program is the thumb rule.

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2 thoughts on “All About Ketogenic Diet

  1. i have tried this diet once. god! being a vegetarian it was soo hard to follow. I survived for 3 days. 😐 But it’s a really good one if you can include all the lovely cheese and meats. Very regulated. good post! 🙂

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