We figure out who suits and why such a diet can be dangerous, how to choose products and make a menu. The material was checked and commented by Evgenia Maevskaya, PhD, gastroenterologist, nutritionist at the GMS Clinic.
What is the keto diet
The keto diet, or ketogenic diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet. The keto diet helps lower blood sugar, increase insulin sensitivity, improve well-being, and lose weight by altering your metabolism.
A change in diet induces a state of ketosis, a metabolic regime in which the body receives fuel from animal foods. The main source of energy are ketone bodies: acetone, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyric acid. These are substances that are formed in the liver from fatty tissues of the body and consumed fats. Ketone bodies feed the internal organs, muscle tissue and brain instead of glucose.
The process of ketosis can be started with the help of fasting, but the keto diet allows you to enter this state and stick to it constantly without any health risks.
Signs of ketosis:
- acetone or fruity breath;
- increased levels of ketone bodies in the blood, urine and breath;
- decreased appetite and feelings of hunger;
- a breakdown, which after a few days can be replaced by normal health and increased brain activity;
- disorders of the digestive tract, thirst and frequent urination;
- weight loss;
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state of the body in which fats and adipose tissues of the body become the main source of energy instead of glucose.
Types of keto diet:
- standard: 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates of the total calorie intake;
- cyclic: five days on keto alternates with two days on high-carb foods;
- target: suitable for those who play sports;
- high protein: differs from the standard version in the ratio of elements (60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbohydrates).
Most studies and expert articles are devoted to standard and high protein regimens. Cyclic and target options are less studied and recommended for athletes and bodybuilders.
The keto diet is a diet that is high in fat and low in carbs. The body gets energy from animal foods instead of glucose. Such a diet can help lower blood sugar and insulin levels and lose weight.
Foods to avoid on a ketogenic diet
The keto diet cannot be called carbohydrate-free: their daily amount is 5% of the diet or 20-50 grams of the product.
But to start and maintain a state of ketosis, you need to remove or reduce the amount of high-carb foods from the menu:
- cereals and foods with starch: rice, pasta, cereals, potatoes;
- sugary foods and drinks: soda, fruit juices, pastries, and so on;
- any fruit other than berries;
- beans and beans;
- diet foods and foods low in fat;
- sauces and flavorings that contain sugar and unhealthy fats;
Foods to include in your diet
The main foods that are included in the keto diet:
- meat: steaks, sausages, bacon, chicken and turkey;
- fish: salmon, tuna, mackerel;
- butter and sour cream;
- cheeses: cheddar, goat, cream, mozzarella or blue cheese;
- nuts and seeds;
- olive, coconut and avocado oil;
- fresh avocado and guacamole;
- low-carb vegetables: most green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers;
- seasonings: salt, pepper, spices and herbs.
Low-carb foods that are suitable for the keto diet:
- 0% carbs: beef, lamb, chicken, eggs, pork (including bacon), jerky, salmon, sardines, trout, butter, olive, coconut and avocado oils, water, coffee, tea.
- 0-5%: liver, shellfish, shrimp, tuna, lobster, cod, tomatoes, cauliflower, cucumbers, asparagus, mushrooms, cheese, sour cream, yogurt (including Greek yogurt).
- 5-10%: Broccoli, onions, Brussels sprouts, kale, eggplant, sweet peppers, green beans, avocados, olives, strawberries.
- 10-15%: grapefruit, apricot, walnuts.
- 15-25%: almonds, peanuts.
As a snack, experts advise eating seafood, cheese, olives, meat, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, berries, dark chocolate, and small portions of food left over from breakfast, lunch, and dinner.