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What is Ketogenic Diet?

A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet for medical use especially in the treatment of refractory epilepsy in children. Food forces the body to burn more fat than carbohydrates.

It cuts down on easy-to-digest carbs, such as sugar, soda, cakes, and white bread.

Ketogenic diets were widely used in the next few decades in the treatment of epilepsy in children and adults. In several epilepsy studies, approximately 50% of patients reported a reduction of at least 50% in seizures.

ketogenic diet
image source: theconversation.com

The Ketogenic Diet is an extremely high-fat diet, where your carbohydrate intake is kept low, but your protein and fat intake is high. The result of this is that you use the fat for energy, while protein and carbohydrates are used for energy reserves.

Here is the heart of the matter: The Ketogenic Diet is designed to create a state of ketosis where your body produces ketones from fat stores. These are ketone bodies that are not really used by the body for energy, rather they provide the body with a way to burn fat. You can think of ketosis as a high-fat, very low-carbohydrate diet, but it differs from the traditional keto diet, where there is no change in carbohydrate intake. You may wonder why this diet is so popular with weight-loss programs.

Underlying Concepts of the Ketogenic Diet

The classic ketogenic diet has a “fat” to a “combination of protein and carbohydrates” ratio of 4:1.

The general daily calorie breakdown of the ketogenic diet is as follows:

  • 60-80% of calories from fat
  • 20-25% from proteins
  • 5-10% from carbohydrates

The ratio of the foods in a ketogenic diet is formulated to help the body induce and maintain a state of ketosis.

1. Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet

  • It helps to stop your body from burning fat as fuel If you want to lose weight then you should do some kind of diet. The popular diet is the low-carb or the high-fat one. But the ketogenic diet has a couple of benefits over the low-carb diet: it allows your body to burn fat as fuel instead of glucose. This is one of the best ways to get rid of your belly fat.
  • It is very good for diabetes In the study named “Effects of hypocaloric ketogenic diet on health outcomes in type 1 diabetes“, the authors showed that this diet significantly improved the glycemic and lipid responses of a group of people with diabetes.

2.  How to get Started?

Understand the fact that your diet is different: You have to understand that your body does not have the same metabolism as other people. Many people think that once they are on a ketogenic diet they are following a type of fasting diet, but this is not true. Your body needs carbohydrates for burning fat, but it does not require them at every meal. It is enough to eat only 10g of carbohydrates for every 1,000 calories of daily food.

For example, for a male weighing 75kg it is required to eat 6,000-7,000 calories per day (1,500 calories is the minimum required), while a woman weighing 60kg needs 3,000 calories per day. This means that we need some fat for burning fat, but we can eat small amounts of carbohydrates if we feel hungry (on average 50g per day).

3. What to Eat?

Feeding on fats, very low carbohydrate, low protein and low sugar. It is a strict diet that forces the body to burn fats as its primary fuel for energy. The Ketogenic diet causes the body to go into a state of ketosis where it breaks down fat for energy instead of breaking down glucose. This leads to weight loss, a healthy, energy and weight-management.

ketogenic diet
image source: ketovale.com

Foods to Eat

  • meat: red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken, and turkey
  • fatty fish: salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
  • eggs: pastured or omega-3 whole eggs
  • butter and cream: grass-fed butter and heavy cream
  • cheese: unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella
  • nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
  • healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
  • avocados: whole avocados or freshly made guacamole
  • low carb veggies: green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
  • condiments: salt, pepper, herbs, and spices

4. What not to Eat?

In the introductory section of the article we showed you how to make your own keto diet plan and get started. In this part, we will share more details about the fast-food keto diet plan. A fast-food keto diet is one of the best ketogenic diet plans you can start today! Not only is it relatively easy to follow, but you can control a lot of the fast-food keto diet’s effects, too.

For example, the fast-food keto diet’s hunger suppressant effect is usually limited because it is not being countered by hunger. The opposite is true. You can go for days without a single ounce of food. On the other hand, you can eat almost anything (pizza, burgers, fries, etc.) in excess and maintain your keto diet as long as you consume small portions and don’t mind the greasy, carb-loaded food.

Foods not to Eat

  • sugary foods: soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
  • grains or starches: wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
  • fruit: all fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries
  • beans or legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
  • root vegetables and tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
  • low fat or diet products: low fat mayonnaise, salad dressings, and condiments
  • some condiments or sauces: barbecue sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, etc.
  • unhealthy fats: processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
  • alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks
  • sugar-free diet foods: sugar-free candies, syrups, puddings, sweeteners, desserts, etc.

5. Most Common symptoms of ketosis (positive and Negative)

  • Weight Loss
  • Increased ketones in the blood
  • Appetite suppression
  • Increased focus and energy
  • Short-term fatigue
  • Digestive issues
  • Insomnia
  • Bad breathe


By the end of this article, you will be convinced that there is no better way to maintain healthy weight, and it doesn’t really matter whether you choose the high fat/low carb approach or the low carb approach. As long as you practice the basic principles of the ketogenic diet, you’ll be in good shape. Your body already needs fat to survive.

When you diet your body is able to remove only about 500-600 calories worth of fat. After that, your body’s enzymes are basically blind to the existence of fat. Therefore, it is very difficult for your body to burn fat, unless you increase the amount of nutrients in your diet. If you want to maintain healthy weight after you’ve reduced your calorie intake, you’ll need to eat more than you used to.

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