Keto Diet for Beginners in 2018
A Keto diet, short for ketogenic is a high fat and low carbohydrate diet that has been proven to provide many health benefits such as fighting diabetes, certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. It can also help in losing weight.
The keto diet is similar to the Atkins diet according to a report from TheDietDynamo. Here you are aiming to bring down your carbs and raise your fat intake. The low carbs results in the body going into ketosis-thus the name.
Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body’s efficiency at burning fat is increased due to a low carbohydrate intake. The body also produces energy for the brain by burning fat in the liver.
During the fat burning process, blood sugar levels are highly reduced and the insulin levels will also go down drastically.
Types of Ketogenic Diets
There are four different types of ketogenic diets which include:
- Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This constitute low amounts of carbohydrates, moderate protein and very high fat. The proportions include 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates.
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): This is where you take 3 days of ketogenic diet which are followed by 2 days of high carbohydrate consumption.
- Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): Here you are permitted to include carbohydrates when you are working out.
- High-protein ketogenic diet: This diet looks like the standard ketogenic diet but contains more protein. The proportions are 60% fat 35% protein and 5% carbs.
Anyone can choose any of the above four methods. However, most studies have only been done on the standard ketogenic diet and the cyclical ketogenic diet. Body builders tend to focus more on the targeted ketogenic diet.
How the Keto Diet Promotes Weight Loss
Research has shown that following the keto diet has better results than a low-fat diet. One of the ways that this is possible is due to the fact that you feel full after a high fat diet. The total quantity you consume is significantly less than if you were eating a high carb or protein diet.
In fact, people who followed the standard keto diet lost over twice the weight of those who followed a low-fat diet in the same period of time. Cholesterol levels are also brought down to ideal levels.
The high ketones, increase in insulin sensitivity and low blood sugar may contribute to the faster rate of weight loss. And the good thing is, while you will consume less quantities with the keto diet, you will not have to worry about feeling starved.
Keto Diet for People with Diabetes
Diabetes comes with insulin insensitivity, high levels of blood sugar and impaired metabolism. The keto diet allows one to lose fat. Insulin sensitivity is improved by up to 75%.
Some studies have shown that 1/3 of the people with diabetes have been able to stop medication completely with the keto diet.
There are plenty of other health benefits of the ketogenic diet. Keep in mind that the original intention for creating this diet was to treat neurological problems such as epilepsy. Other benefits include:
- Reducing the chances of heart disease. By helping you lose fat, and lowering blood pressure, you are less likely to get heart disease.
- Cancer is being treated with the keto diet as well as slowing down the rate of tumor growth.
- Patients with Alzheimer’s disease have been shown to improve with the keto diet
- Patients with Parkinson’s disease have also been shown to improve with this diet
- High fat diet has been shown to increase the rate of recovery from brain injuries.
In other words, the ketogenic diet can improve any diseases related to insulin and high blood sugar levels. To maintain the right diet, certain foods need to either be eliminated or reduced. These are:
- Sugary foods such as ice cream, soda, smoothies and cakes
- Grains such as cereal, rice and wheat based products
- Fruits excepts small servings of berries
- Beans and other leguminous seeds
- Root tubers such as potatoes, parsnips and carrots
- Alcohol as this can cause you to give up on the keto diet
- Unhealthy fats such as mayonnaise and processed vegetable oil.
Foods to eat on the other hand include:
- Steak, ham, red meat, bacon, chicken and turkey
- Fatty fish such as trout, salmon, mackerel and tuna
- Butter and cream
- Nuts and seeds such as walnuts, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds.
- Vegetables that are low in carbs such as tomatoes, onions, peppers
Side Effects of the Keto Diet
When you finally start using the keto diet, it is fairly common to experience certain side effects. Remember that your body is not used to the high fat intake. This is referred to as the keto flu and will clear after a couple of days.
These side effects include feeling nauseated, low energy, sleeping problems, discomfort with the digestive system and hunger.
To help your body graduate to the low carb high fat diet, try consuming lower and lower quantities of carbs as you increase your fat intake.
Another change that is going to be affected is the mineral and water balance in the body. You can add mineral supplements to the water you drink so as to maintain the right balance.
The Keto Diet Is Not for Everyone
Scientific research on the keto diet has shown significant results in weight loss and in health improvement. It is ideal for people who are overweight as well as those dealing with insulin and blood sugar related illnesses such as diabetes.
The keto diet however, is not ideal for people who exercise regularly and those looking to increase muscle mass. For you to see any kind of progress however, you need to be consistent.
Ensure that your diet contains moderate amounts of protein. This is because too much protein will lower the quantity of ketones while increasing the level of insulin in the blood. The best amount is 35% of the food you consume. While you can still build muscle on a keto diet, the rate is quite low compared to a high carb diet.