The kegogenic or keto diet is based on the minimum content of carbohydrates in the diet. They are replaced by fats. As a result of such a rearrangement, the necessary fat accumulations are burned, and besides this, such weight loss takes place without starvation and heals a person.
History of occurrence
Low-carbohydrate nutrition was first introduced in the 1920s at the Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital in Baltimore. Special nutrition for epileptic children gave positive results, and in addition, doctors noticed a tendency for patients to lose weight. Based on this, they made up a ketogenic diet, which they began to massively use to combat obesity in the 60s of the last century.
How the diet works
A person draws the main energy from glucose, which is formed during the breakdown of carbohydrates. Sugar and starches in the process of digestion significantly increase the level of glucose in the blood, provoking the release of insulin. The human body is not able to store excess carbohydrates in the muscles for more than a day.
After 24 hours from glycogen in muscle tissues, carbohydrates are transformed into fats. Therefore, with a constant excess of carbohydrates, fat layers will only grow. Similar to carbohydrates, when in excess, proteins are also converted into glucose.
The essence of the keto diet is to critically reduce the level of carbohydrates in the diet to 20%. As a result, fat reserves will become the "fuel" for the body.
With this metabolism, ketone bodies are formed in the liver, replacing glucose. It is enough to observe the daily amount of calories and fats in the diet. You can lose weight on such a diet quickly and without grueling workouts in the gym (but without them you still won’t be able to tighten your muscles).
The strictness of the ketogenic diet in its constant observance, it will not work to skip a day and treat yourself to a cake. Even a one-time excess of carbohydrates will bring the body out of the desired state of ketosis.
Types of keto diet
Today, many versions of the popular diet have been developed, from which you can choose the option that suits your health:
- Standard- 75% of the diet is fats, 20% proteins and the remaining 5% carbohydrates.
- Modified- 40% of the menu are fats, carbohydrates and proteins 30% each.
- cyclic- Designed for athletes to build muscle mass. Several days of a strict keto diet alternate with high-carb days, one day of transition. It is not recommended to follow such a diet for a long time, it is also incompatible with strength physical activity.
- target- a simplified version of the cyclic. Carbohydrates and proteins are allowed on days of physical training, the rest of the time a ketogenic diet is followed.
- Vegetarian or keto- the daily amount of carbohydrates is allowed up to 15%, all animal fats are replaced by fats of vegetable origin.
- Limited- not only carbohydrates are reduced, but also the daily number of calories. Often it is prescribed for cancer.
- High in protein- the amount of proteins in comparison with the traditional increases to 30%, carbohydrates also make up 5% of the diet, and fats remain 65%. Suitable for bodybuilders and seniors. Contraindicated in renal diseases.
- Dirty- healthy natural products containing healthy fats are replaced with "unhealthy" keto foods. Fast food, sausages, bacon and many other unhealthy foods. As a necessary measure, their use is allowed, but there will be no health benefits.
- lazy- it differs from the standard one by an increased content of carbohydrates up to 20%. It is easier for beginners to get used to the restrictions, but the result will not be as fast.
Do not confuse the keto diet with the paleo diet and others like it. They are similar to restricting carbohydrates in the diet, however, the ketogenic diet does not include many fruits and starchy vegetables, as well as natural sweeteners.
Recommended and Prohibited Products
The keto diet should consist of natural fats such as butter and vegetable oil, meat, oily fish, seafood, eggs, and fiber-rich vegetables.
Vegetables should be chosen from predominantly green growing above the ground (all types of cabbage, lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans). Eggs can be used in any form. Nuts are acceptable in small quantities, except for high-carb cashews.
Cheese, dairy products without sugar are great for the menu, but you can’t use them as a snack. The keto diet basically does not allow snacking between main meals.
Meat and starchy vegetables (potatoes) should be present in a minimum amount. Processed meat (cutlets, meatballs, sausage, etc. ) contains a lot of carbohydrates, so it is best to avoid it.
From drinks, preference should be given to plain water, you can drink tea and coffee without sugar, bone broth. On holidays, alcohol without sugar is allowed in small quantities.
Chips, crackers, soda, beer, fruit, chocolate, and candy—all high-carbohydrate foods are strictly prohibited.
Advantages and disadvantages
The main advantage of the keto diet is the rapid weight loss in obesity. At the same time, the results achieved are fixed for a long time, in contrast to diets with a limited amount of calories and the proportion of fat in the menu. This happens due to reduced insulin secretion and more active use of previously accumulated fat reserves.
Protein foods high in natural fats help you feel full quickly and reduce cravings for sweets, which are unacceptable on a keto diet. And in addition to rapid weight loss, the body will also improve.
Scientific studies have confirmed the beneficial effects of a ketogenic diet on:
- endocrine diseases (in particular, with polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility);
- type 2 diabetes (insulin levels are kept at an acceptable level, insulin resistance improves);
- cardiovascular diseases (the level of bad cholesterol decreases, the amount of dense lipoproteins increases, which is important for atherosclerosis);
- prevention and control of oncology (products used in the keto diet do not provoke the reproduction of cancer cells);
- neuralgia and cognitive impairment (normal nutrition of brain cells is ensured and the intensity of disorders is reduced).
Keeping a keto diet constantly is not recommended, a lack of minerals is possible. And also you can not use it for diseases of the kidneys and liver due to the high content of fat and protein. A complete contraindication is type 1 diabetes.
Reducing the amount of carbohydrates to an all-time low is a serious blow to the body. It will take some time to rebuild and adapt, in the first weeks of the keto diet, you can feel symptoms such as headache, fatigue, irritability, mild nausea, acetone breath, sleep disturbance, weakness and dizziness.
All of these symptoms are called the keto flu, and people experience them in varying degrees of intensity and duration. It depends on the initial state of the organism. If you've been eating a lot of carbs in the past, then transitioning to a ketogenic diet will be stressful and difficult.