Keto – What is it?
If you are like me, with all the diets out there, you have asked or is asking yourself this question. To help us decide, maybe it’s good to first identify what is a Keto diet.
Put simply, it is a low carb high fat diet. There are several versions associated with the Keto diet with different goals and body types in mind. Will preview a few variations later.
Keto – Is it for you?
Like most extreme diets, there will be side effects. Side effects for the Keto diet are similar to Akins diet. So what one person might experience will be different from another.
It is always a good practice to consult your doctor if you think you might be at risk, or if you have a medical condition.
While doctors and nutritionist are sometimes divided on whether this diet is right for an individual, they should be able to help you determine the heath risk or benefits.
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Keto – The risk
What are some risk?
- The keto diet could cause low blood pressure, kidney stones, constipation, nutrient deficiencies and an increased risk of heart disease.
- It could cause what’s known as the Keto Flu with symptoms like upset stomach, dizziness, decreased energy, and mood swings caused by your body adapting to ketosis.
- Another consequence of keto-related weight changes can be a loss of muscle mass.
- The possibility of low blood sugar can make Keto risky for people with diabetes.
- Frequent urination.
- Weight loss, constipation and increased levels of cholesteroland triglycerides. Women may also experience amenorrhea or otherdisruptions to the menstrual cycle.
In future articles we will go into these risk in fuller details.
Keto – The benefits
- Aids in weight loss. Turning fat in energy takes more work, turning fat into energy requires less work. This is why the keto diet in most instances speeds up weight loss.
- Reduces appetite. For all who have been on a diet, our most challenging problem is hunger. But not with the keto diet. Low carb food intake leads to a reduction in appetite.
- Reduces blood sugar and insulin levels. Studies prove that cutting carbs lower both blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Improves cholesterol levels.
- Helps you to lose weight, especially around the stomach area. While increase muscle mass.
- Increased mental performance.
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In future articles we will go into these benefits in more details.
Keto – Choose the right diet for you
As we mentioned earlier, Keto diet comes with variations. So decide on a diet that’s right for you.
According to Diabetes.co.UK the following are some variations of the Ketogenic diet.
Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD)
This is a very-low carb, moderate protein and high fat diet. It
typically contains 70 to 75 per cent fat, 20 per cent protein, and about 5
to 10 per cent carbs.
In terms of grams per day, a typical standard ketogenic diet would be:
- 20-50g of carbohydrate
- 40-60g of protein
- No set limit for fat
Fat in diet should provide the majority of calories for it to be a ketogenic diet.
No limit is set as energy requirements can vary significantly from
person to person.
Ketogenic diets should include a strong intake of vegetables,
particularly non-starchy vegetables, as these are very low in
Standard ketogenic diets have consistently shown success in helping
people to lose weight, improve blood glucose control and improve heart
Very-low-carb ketogenic diet (VLCKD)
A standard ketogenic diet is very-low-carb and therefore a VLCKD will usually refer to a standard ketogenic diet.
Well Formulated Ketogenic Diet (WFKD)
The term ‘Well Formulated Ketogenic Diet’ comes from Steve Phinney, one of the leading researchers into ketogenic diets.
The WFKD follows a similar blueprint as a standard ketogenic diet. Well
formulated means that the macro nutrients of fat, protein and carbohydrate meet the ratios of the standard ketogenic diet and therefore provide the best chance of ketosis occurring.
MCT Ketogenic Diet
This follows the outline of standard ketogenic diet but has a focus on
using medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) to provide much of the fat
content of the diet.
MCTs are found in coconut oil and is available as MCT oil and MCT emulsion liquids.
MCT ketogenic diets have been used to treat epilepsy because the theory
is that MCTs allows people to consume more carbohydrate and protein
whilst keeping in ketosis. This is because MCTs provide more ketones per gram of fat than the long-chain triglycerides that are present in normal dietary fat.
Note that MCTs can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea if consumed
largely on its own. To prevent this, it’s best to have meals with a
balance of MCTs and non-MCT fat.
There is a lack of studies, however, investigating whether MCTs have wider benefits on weight loss or blood sugar.
Calorie-restricted ketogenic diet
A calorie-restricted ketogenic diet is similar to a standard ketogenic
diet except in that calories are restricted to a set amount.
Research shows that ketogenic diets tend to be successful whether
calorie intake is restricted or not. This is because the satiating
effect of eating fat and being in ketosis tends to help prevent
over-eating in itself.
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD)
The CKD diet, also known as carb back loading, involves days in which
more carbs are eat, such as five ketogenic days followed by two higher
The diet is intended for athletes which can use the higher carb days to replenish glycogen lost from muscles during workouts.
Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD)
The TKD is similar to a standard ketogenic diet except that carbohydrates are consumed around workout times.
It is a compromise between a standard ketogenic diet and a cyclical
ketogenic diet that allows you to consume carbohydrates any day you
It is based on the concept that carbohydrate consumed before or after a
physical effort will be processed much more efficiently, as the muscles’
demand for energy increase when we’re being active.
High Protein Ketogenic Diet
This diet includes more protein than a standard ketogenic diet, with a ratio of 35 per cent protein, 60 per cent fat, and 5 per cent carbs.
Research suggests that a high-protein ketogenic is effective for weight loss in people that need to lose weight.
As with other forms of ketogenic diet, there is a lack of research into
whether there are any health risks if followed for many years.
Keto diet could be for you if you want to lose weight quickly. But with all extreme diets please seek advice from your doctor if you have a medical condition. There are a number of different types of Keto that should make it easier for you to find one that will fit your need.
Come back for more details on the different diets within the Kenogenic family.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. All material is based on my research and experience on this diet. Results posted based on clinical studies published on reputable medical websites.