The keto diet is a high-fat diet originally created for people suffering from epilepsy, but a number of studies show that this type of diet is very useful for people with type 2 diabetes, obesity, as well as for those who want to increase their energy. Although the ketone diet is not suitable for everyone, it definitely deserves attention.
Reducing carbohydrate intake to a minimum causes the body to produce ketones, which it uses for energy instead of glucose. The body enters ketosis metabolism when blood sugar levels are below a certain level.
Here we must clarify that we are talking about ketosis in nutrition. This is not identical to diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening complication of type 1 diabetes whereby the accumulation of high levels of ketones occurs due to not having sufficient insulin to metabolize blood glucose. This diet regulates ketones while keeping the blood pH within normal limits in healthy people without type 1 diabetes.
What Is The Meaning Dietary Ketosis?
The purpose of the keto diet is to change metabolism to favor the burning of fat for fuel instead of sugar. When you stick to dietary ketosis, your cells burn fat to produce ketones. Ketones are burned quickly and efficiently, so they act as an ideal source of energy for the whole body, but especially for the brain. Being in a state of ketosis promotes metabolic efficiency, which means that the body is able to quickly enter a mode of burning fat instead of constantly relying on sugar. Note that when you eat more carbohydrates, after a few hours you get hungry again and you need something quickly to give you energy. A healthy metabolism should be able to easily “switch” between sugar and fat as the main source of energy.
The high-fat diet is in stark contrast to most diets, which focus mainly on carbohydrates and fats are limited. High-carbohydrate diets are metabolically inefficient as the body is forced to rely primarily on glucose (sugar) for fuel. People who break down sugar quickly are constantly hungry and looking for something to eat. They find it difficult to survive until the next meal without a snack, and their blood sugar levels often vary throughout the day. From a metabolic perspective, the process of burning glucose for energy results in the production of many free radicals, which are the driving force for inflammatory processes in the body and tends to accelerate aging.
What Are The Specific Benefits Of Ketosis?
- Lowers blood sugar and increases insulin sensitivity.
- Reduces body fat – healthy fats are very saturated, they reduce sugar cravings, control hunger and regulate appetite.
- Improves cognitive function.
- Reduces inflammatory processes in the body.
- Eliminates the desire to consume sugar and carbohydrates.
What Are The Potential Disadvantages Of The Diet?
The diet is difficult to follow because you need to monitor and plan your diet well at all times, especially during the first 4-6 weeks as you readjust your metabolism. This is very restrictive, as you have to remove many foods from your menu, even some vegetables such as beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, because they contain more carbohydrates in their composition.
Eating too many acidic foods can upset the body’s balance and lose minerals, so it’s important to eat more alkaline foods, such as vegetables.
Some people do not include enough vegetables in their keto diet and do not get enough fiber, which naturally leads to constipation.
Hormonal Stress For Women
Men feel better on a keto diet than women. This is mainly due to the fact that a low-carbohydrate diet can have a negative impact on women’s reproductive health and fertility.
How To Start A Ketone Diet?
If you decide to go on a ketone diet, we advise you to do so under medical supervision, at least in the beginning or consult a nutritionist. It is important to learn how to calculate macronutrients in food and they should look something like this:
- Carbohydrates – 5-10%
- Protein – maximum 20%
- Healthy fats – 70-80%
When starting your keto diet, it is important not only to increase healthy fats, but also to drastically reduce the intake of carbohydrates and sugar. Ketosis also limits protein, as excess dietary protein can be converted to glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.
The first step to switching to ketosis is to replace sugar, flour, grains and refined oils with low-carbohydrate vegetables and healthy fats.
The main products in your diet should be raw pressed olive oil, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, avocado, coconut. You need to reduce carbohydrates to 50 grams per day, and weight loss may require a greater reduction to about 20-25 grams per day.
In the beginning, while learning how to eat properly, you may need to measure the ketones in your body using various urine or blood tests.
It is recommended to eat mainly green leafy vegetables – lettuce, arugula, beet leaves, spinach, cabbage, etc. You can eat them raw and cooked, as well as include them in smoothies and soups. As long as you readjust your metabolism to burn fat for energy and do not go through the period of adaptation, you should not eat fruit.
The amount of protein you can consume to maintain a state of ketosis depends on your physical activity. That’s why it’s a good idea to use a keto calculator to help you figure out what’s best based on your goals and needs. The best sources of protein are fish, chicken, beef, eggs, seeds and nuts.
If you endure at least 6 weeks of ketosis, your body will already have the necessary metabolic flexibility, which allows you to experiment with the inclusion of foods that are not in the keto plan. For example, you could add more carbohydrates in the form of vegetables.
We offer you a keto shake to start:
- 1 measuring spoon of collagen powder
- 2 tablespoons almond oil
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 5 drops of sweetener
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- a small pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk
- Mix everything in the blender jug.
Not ready for keto yet?
If you do not feel ready to start a keto diet, we recommend that you start with a 12-hour fast. The goal is not to eat any food during these hours. When you feel better, try extending this time between 13 and 16 hours. For example, if your dinner is at 6 pm, try not to eat anything until 10 am the next day. Fasting will bring many health benefits to your body.