A popular buzzword in the diet world nowadays is the ketogenic diet. This high-fat, low-carb diet has become popular. The diet promises something for everyone, claiming that you may eat as much fat as you want, never feel hungry again, and even improve your athletic ability. But what is the ketogenic diet, and is it the ideal weight-loss plan for you? This article compares the keto diet to other diets and assists you in making better dietary decisions.
Ketogenic Diet and Its Forms
The ketogenic (or “keto”) diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that can treat various medical conditions. Also, it involves substantially lowering carbohydrate intake and substituting fat. This carbohydrate decrease causes our body to enter a metabolic state known as ketosis. This diet is gaining much attention as a prospective weight-loss technique because of the low-carbohydrate diet craze.
The ketogenic diet has come in a choice of forms, including:
- The cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) comprises phases of increased carbohydrate refeeding, such as five ketogenic days followed by two high carb days.
- A high-protein ketogenic diet is comparable to a regular ketogenic diet; however, it contains more protein. Typically, the fat-to-protein-to-carbohydrate ratio is 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
- The standard ketogenic diet (SKD) is a low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, high-fat diet. It usually comprises 70% fat, 20% protein, and barely 10% carbohydrates.
- The targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) permits you to eat carbohydrates between workouts.
How does the Ketogenic Diet Work?
When you consume the majority of your calories from fat, your body is forced to use alternative energy pathways. The body switches to using fat for energy instead of carbohydrates, a process known as ketosis.
The ketogenic diet for weight loss is based on the idea that by depriving the body of glucose, an alternative fuel called ketones gets created from stored fat. Glucose is the major energy source for all cells in the body and is obtained by eating carbohydrate foods. Because it cannot retain glucose, the brain requires the most glucose in a consistent supply, roughly 120 g per day.
The body first takes stored glucose from the liver. Then, it temporarily breaks down muscle to release glucose during fasting or when minimal carbohydrate gets consumed. Suppose this goes on for 3-4 days, and the body’s stored glucose gets depleted. In that case, blood levels of an insulin-like hormone drop, and the body switches to fat as a primary fuel source. In the absence of glucose, the liver creates ketone bodies from fat.
Ketosis occurs when the body’s ketone bodies build up in the blood. During periods of fasting (e.g., sleeping overnight) and vigorous activity, healthy people naturally experience moderate ketosis. According to proponents of the ketogenic diet, the brain will use ketones for fuel. Healthy persons typically create enough insulin to prevent excessive ketones from accumulating. Therefore, if you follow the diet strictly, blood levels of ketones will not reach a hazardous level.
The amount of time it takes to enter ketosis and the number of ketone bodies that build in the blood depends on various parameters, including body fat percentage and resting metabolic rate.
The HealthifyMe Note
The key to a healthy diet is to consume the appropriate number of calories based on your goals, activity level, and health conditions. The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet with various health benefits. This diet got popular as it treated and managed diabetes. It has been used as a weight-loss diet in recent years because it produces quick results. However, because this is a fad diet, the weight loss results may be temporary. Nutritionists and dieticians also recommend this diet for the treatment of epilepsy.
General Nutrition And Foods To Include
Carbohydrates (5%-10% of Daily Calories)
Cutting carbohydrate consumption is the most difficult (but crucial!) element of the keto diet. To stay in the ketone-burning condition known as ketosis, most keto dieters try to consume 20 to 50 g of carbohydrates daily.
To naturally enhance hydration and keep your digestive system chugging along, try to get your carbohydrates from high-fibre, water-rich fruits and vegetables.
Foods to include in a low-carb keto diet include:
- Beans, green
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
Protein (10%-20% of Daily Calories)
Our body requires protein for the formation of muscle cells and the burning of calories. As a result, if you eat too little protein (and too much fat) on the keto diet, your body will resort to muscle tissue as a source of energy. As a result, your overall muscle mass and the number of calories you burn during rest will decrease. Protein-rich keto diet foods include:
- If possible, use dark flesh chicken
- If possible, use dark flesh from a turkey.
- Cheeses made from natural ingredients
- Plain Greek yoghurt made with unsweetened whole milk.
- Ricotta cheese made with whole milk
- Cottage cheese made with whole milk
Fat (70%-80% of calories)
The majority of your calories get consumed through fat. Yes, it has a terrible rep, yet it’s a necessary macronutrient for constructing cell membranes, absorbing vitamins and minerals, and performing other biological functions. A higher-fat diet can also lessen cravings. But ensure you’re eating full-fat meals rather than trans-fats and highly processed polyunsaturated fats.
There’s a popular misunderstanding that keto is all about bacon, butter, and cheese. Although this is true for some people, it’s not the only way to go. While the diet is heavy in fat, if you want to lose weight, you need to reduce your fat intake so that your body can burn the fat it has stored.
Foods to eat on a ketogenic diet that is high in fat include:
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Chia seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Seeds of sesame
- Hemp heart
- Unsweetened Nut butter
Foods To Avoid
Avoid carbohydrate-dense foods as much as possible.
On a ketogenic diet, the following foods should be avoided or reduced:
- Sugary foods – soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, and other sweet foods
- Grains or starch – Some examples are wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, and other grains or starches.
- Fruit: any fruit, except modest amounts of berries such as strawberries.
- Legumes – Peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, and other beans
- Root vegetables and tuber – potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and others.
- Low fat – Low-fat mayonnaise, salad dressings, and condiments are just a few examples
- Condiments or sauces – barbecue sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, and other sauces.
- Unhealthy fats – Processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, and other harmful fats.
- Alcoholic beverages – beer, wine, liquor, and mixed drinks- are examples.
- Sugar-free diet foods include sugar-free candy, syrups, puddings, sweeteners, and desserts, among other things.
Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss
Obesity is a worldwide health issue. Many diets have arisen to fight this, including the ketogenic diet, which involves consuming extremely few carbohydrates. Overweight sufferers benefit from this diet, according to some research. It may expedite fat loss, muscle preservation, and the improvement of various illness markers. According to some research, a ketogenic diet may be more effective for weight loss than a low-fat diet, even when the total calorie intake is the same. It may also lead to decreased hunger and food intake.
The following are some of the ways that ketogenic diets help people lose weight:
- Increased protein consumption – An increased protein consumption is associated with several ketogenic diets, which have several weight-loss benefits.
- Gluconeogenesis – For energy, our body converts fat and protein to carbohydrates. This approach can potentially improve daily calorie burn by a significant amount.
- Ketogenic diets make you feel satiated – This theory gets supported by positive changes in hunger hormones like leptin and ghrelin.
- Insulin sensitivity has improved – Ketogenic diets can help fuel utilisation and metabolism by improving insulin sensitivity.
- Fat storage gets reduced- According to some research, ketogenic diets may reduce lipogenesis or sugar conversion to fat. Because extra carbohydrate gets stored as fat, fat is used as an energy source when carbohydrate consumption is low.
- Increased fat metabolism- Although additional research is needed, several studies have suggested that ketogenic diets may slightly boost the amount of fat you burn during rest, daily activity, and exercise.
In these ways, a ketogenic diet may be beneficial for weight loss.
Other Benefits of This Diet
In addition to weight loss, the keto diet may aid in the treatment or prevention of disorders such as:
Treating Epilepsy in Children
A study has shown the ketogenic diet to reduce seizures in epileptic children. They claim that keto can cut the number of seizures these kids have in half and that 10% to 15% of them can go seizure-free. It may also help patients reduce their drug dosage in some circumstances.
Diabetes Mellitus Management
Cutting carbohydrate intake to a minimum aid in controlling and treating type 2 diabetes. Excess fat is connected to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome. The ketogenic diet can help you lose it. In a small study of women with type 2 diabetes, adopting a ketogenic diet for 90 days lowered haemoglobin A1C levels, a measure of long-term blood sugar management.
Treatment Of Cancer
The ketogenic diet is often used with chemotherapy and radiation to help treat cancer. In addition, because it may help reduce tumour growth, studies are usually conducted on the diet plan to invent an additional cancer treatment.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Since women with PCOS are more likely to develop diabetes and obesity, they typically must follow the keto diet. In addition, as per research, it can help lower insulin levels, which may play a role in polycystic ovary syndrome.
Neurological Disorders are Treated
The ketogenic diet has shown to be effective in treating neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The release of ketone levels gets increased with the use of medium-chain triglycerides, such as coconut oil. High ketone levels are also often linked to improved memory performance.
Ketogenic Diet Vs Other Diet
Just a few diets follow the ketogenic diet’s exact macronutrient breakdown. However, other low-carb eating plans are similar.
The Dukan Diet
The Dukan Diet has its origins in medical circles. Dr Pierre Dukan, a French general practitioner who specialises in weight management, developed it. In the 1970s, a physician created the eating program. This diet is divided into four phases and consists of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The first two phases are geared toward weight loss, while the final two are for weight maintenance.
The diet is low in fat and allows for moderate carbohydrate consumption. This plan may make consuming enough calories challenging and maintaining the appropriate macronutrient balance challenging. Protein accounts for 79 per cent to 90 percent of calories in different phases of the Dukan Diet.
The first phase of the Dukan Diet is the Attack phase. The Pure Protein (PP) phase is another name for it. The quick shift in your eating habits causes a rapid and encouraging weight loss, which helps urge you to stick to the diet for the duration of it, but this weight loss is only short-term.
It may be challenging to keep to this diet plan due to its high protein and low-fat content. It also has several characteristics that may make it challenging to maintain over time. However, at the end of the day, it’s a rapid weight-loss program that works, but it requires sacrificing a lot of good meals. If someone wants to stay on track with this program, they can talk to a nutrition coach or a dietitian, who will ensure that the entire journey is simple to follow.
The Atkins Diet
Robert Atkins, the “father” of low-carb diets, may not have been the first to recognise the attractiveness of carb-free eating. Still, he was undoubtedly the first to bring the concept to the general public’s attention. The Atkins diet is similar to the ketogenic diet in that both emphasise fat and protein consumption while strictly restricting carbohydrates. If supplies are plentiful, the body will initially turn to glycogen stores (carbohydrates) for energy.
Compared to a keto diet, fat accounts for 55 to 70 per cent of total calories, 20% to 30% more protein and 5% to 15% more carbohydrates in your total calories. As a result, the Atkins diet offers a more nutritionally balanced approach.
The Atkins diet is a low-carbohydrate diet typically used to lose weight. This diet claims that if one avoids meals heavy in carbohydrates, one may lose weight while eating as much protein and fat as one desires. Low-carb diets, which do not need calorie counting, can benefit weight loss and lead to various health benefits.
Carbohydrates are gradually reintroduced on Atkins while they are constantly under check on ketogenic diets. As a result, Atkins may be more maintainable in the long run because it is less restrictive and doesn’t require keeping our body in ketosis.
The HealthifyMe Note
It is critical to remember that your goals and health conditions determine the best diet for you. Because each diet targets specific health conditions or achieves particular goals, it is essential to consult with a health expert before starting a new diet. We offer some advice to those who attempt the ketogenic diet. We advise cutting back on meals high in saturated fat, such as butter, meat, and cheese, and putting more of an emphasis on foods high in unsaturated fat, such as olive oil, seafood, almonds, chicken, and avocado. Take advice with a dietician or physician for advice and assess your willingness to stick with the diet over the long run.
The Bottom Line
A ketogenic diet restricts or eliminates carbohydrates. Some carbohydrates, on the other hand, provide health benefits. People should eat a diet that includes nutrient-dense fibre, carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables, nutritional protein sources, and healthy fats for a less restrictive dietary approach. People who want to start any diet should get medical advice and check whether they have any health problems to ensure the diet is a safe eating pattern.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Is keto better than other diets?
A. The keto diet is beneficial because it stimulates the body to seek energy from stored fat, or ketone bodies, which breaks down in a process known as ketosis. Until you resume carbohydrate consumption, your body will rely on ketones for energy.
Q. How is the keto diet different from the normal diet?
A. A ketogenic diet is based on fat, which can account for up to 90% of daily calories. The critical difference between these diets is carbohydrate intake, which is limited to less than 50 g per day on the keto diet.
Q. Does keto burn fat faster than other diets?
A. You must be in a calorie deficit for your metabolism to run out of dietary fat and begin burning stored body fat, which is impossible on other diets. On the ketogenic diet, your body enters ketosis, which burns dietary fat first and body fat second.
Q. Is keto the healthiest diet?
A. There isn’t much evidence that this kind of eating is effective or safe. Furthermore, deficient carbohydrate diets are associated with more adverse effects, such as constipation, headaches, poor breath, and other issues. Moreover, the diet’s restrictions require eliminating many nutritious items, making it challenging to achieve your micronutrient requirements.
Q. Who should not do keto?
A. People with kidney disease, people at risk for heart disease, pregnant or nursing women, people with type 1 diabetes, people with a pre-existing liver or pancreatic condition, people who have had their gallbladder removed, eating disorders, lethargic, skinny, people who are allergic to specific foods, and people who require particular carbohydrate grammes should not try the Keto diet.
Q. How long can you stay on a keto diet?
A. The time it takes to reach ketosis differs from person to person. Eating 20–50 g of carbohydrates per day will take 2–4 days. Some people may find that getting to this state takes a week or longer. Before starting a keto diet, persons who eat a high carb diet may take longer to go into ketosis than those who eat a low to moderate carb diet. Before entering ketosis, your body must exhaust its glycogen stores. Getting into ketosis, even on the Keto diet, is not as simple as it appears; it all depends on your body type and metabolism. Allow a few weeks for your body to acclimate to ketosis and start feeling better.
Q. Do you lose more weight on keto or low-carb?
A. A ketogenic and low-carb diet can help you lose weight. Keep in mind, however, that a ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate diet. A carbohydrate-restricted diet, on the other hand, may not always put you in ketosis. This is why, if your objective is to use your body fat for energy, it’s critical to track your progress daily. You can still lose weight if you eat low-carb but aren’t trying to get into ketosis. This is especially true if the majority of carbohydrates come from vegetables.
Q. Is keto just no carbs?
A. Carbohydrates are limited to 50 g or less per day on the keto diet. This causes nutritional ketosis, which encourages the body to burn fat as a primary fuel source. This diet is a low-carb diet; it doesn’t restrict carbs totally.
Q. What is lazy keto?
A. Lazy keto refers to eating no more than 20 g of carbohydrates per day without measuring calories or keeping track of the other macronutrients, protein and fat.
Q. Why is keto high fat?
A. The ketogenic diet is based on a low-carbohydrate, high-fat premise. Fat is a highly filling substance. It’s also higher in calories and digests more slowly than other macronutrients because the body can’t rely on glucose for energy due to the lack of carbohydrates. And, because keto meals are high in fat, the body converts to burning fat for energy rather than carbohydrates.