What is a ketogenic diet? The doctor tells you everything you need to know

basic principles and essence of ketogenic diet

The human body uses two energy sources: glucose and fatty acids. Fat can accumulate in the body and cause weight gain. The key to losing weight is to convert this fat into energy instead of consuming glucose. This idea has formed the basis of the ketogenic diet, which has gained popularity in recent years.

Before the advent of effective anticonvulsants and diabetes medications, doctors used a ketogenic diet (high fat, medium protein, simple carbohydrates / sugar) to prevent seizures and control type 2 diabetes. Today, we are rediscovering the benefits of lowering simple carbohydrates and total sugar in the diet - but for a wider population.

Who can benefit from the Keto Diet?

It has been observed that a ketogenic diet may be beneficial for patients with the following diseases or illnesses. And these observations are supported by scientific research:

  • high blood pressure;
  • type 1 and type 2 diabetes;
  • inflammation (high C-reactive protein levels);
  • high cholesterol or triglycerides, low high density cholesterol ("good" cholesterol);
  • obstructive sleep apnea syndrome;
  • overweight, obesity;
  • inflammatory bowel disease;
  • epilepsy;
  • migraine;
  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • Parkinson's disease.

ATTENTION:It is important to distinguish between ketosis and ketoacidosis. Nutritional ketosis achieves the required blood ketone levels while maintaining normal glucose and insulin levels. The keto diet is related to this.

In diabetic ketoacidosis, blood ketone levels are 10 times higher than the target, glucose rises significantly, and insulin is insufficient. This situation can be life threatening.

What is a ketogenic diet?

Ketogenic diet (keto diet) is a diet high in healthy fats, medium in protein and low in carbohydrates. The diet is based on the idea that by consuming less than 30-50 grams of simple carbohydrates and / or sugar per day, the body will begin to produce ketones from fat in a few days. These ketones then act as a source of energy for the body.

For the keto diet, it is recommended to eat very green, leafy vegetables. Due to the small amount of calories, it can make up a quarter of your diet, and at the same time will make up only 5% of the calorie content. For example, two servings of spinach contain only 20 calories.

According to the traditional definition, the following ratio in the diet is considered a keto diet:

  • 60-70% of calories from fat (avocado, fish, nuts, chia seeds, flaxseed, cheese, MCT oil, etc. );
  • 20-25% of calories from protein (meat, fish, chicken, nuts, green leafy vegetables);
  • 5% of calories from carbohydrates (strawberries, blueberries, cherries, coconuts, green leafy vegetables, almond flour, etc. ).

Benefits of Keto Diet

Jimmy Moore, author of the book Keto Clarity, talks about the following benefits of the keto diet:

  • control hunger and appetite;
  • clarity of mind;
  • weight loss;
  • improved sleep;
  • stabilize blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity;
  • lowering blood pressure;
  • more energy;
  • eliminate heartburn;
  • strengthen the immune system and slow down biological aging;
  • memory improvement;
  • improving skin condition;
  • less anxiety;
  • Strengthen your discipline.

What are macronutrients?

Vitamins and minerals are considered trace elements. Macronutrients are the three main ingredients of any food:

  • carbohydrates;
  • oils;
  • protein.

Carbohydrates are divided into simple and complex.

Simple carbohydrates, unlike complex ones, consist of shorter sugar chains. When food is digested, it is absorbed faster in the intestines, and therefore the amount of sugar in the blood rises faster than complex carbohydrates. Eating simple carbohydrates causes the body to produce more insulin than complex carbohydrates, which helps you lose weight.

Simple carbohydrates satisfy hunger in a short time - you often want it faster after eating.

Examples of simple non-keto carbohydrate foods:

  • processed foods;
  • potatoes;
  • bread;
  • cakes;
  • rice;
  • tortilla;
  • baked goods;
  • Fruits with high sugar.

Complex carbohydrates consist of longer sugar chains than simple carbohydrates. For this reason, it takes longer to assimilate and does not accelerate blood sugar levels so much. This indicates that they have a lower glycemic index and provide a longer feeling of satiety compared to simple carbohydrates. A ketogenic diet allows unlimited intake of the most complex carbohydrates. Just keep in mind that beans and peas are not suitable for a keto diet, even though they are complex carbohydrates.

Examples of foods rich in complex carbohydrates:

  • cabbage;
  • Brussels sprouts
  • broccoli;
  • collar greens
  • lettuce
  • yay;
  • spinach.

Fat: Second macronutrient. The keto diet should contain 60-70% of calories from fat. Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad. Eating healthier fats will help your body burn fat better. In addition, many doctors believe that eating fat does not necessarily lead to obesity. Sugar seems more suitable for this.

Fat is important for our metabolism. However, there are "good" and "bad" fats. In recent years, the losses of saturated or "bad" fats are considered.

Examples of Fat-Rich Foods:

  • avocado;
  • MCT oil;
  • olive oil;
  • coconut oil;
  • avocado oil;
  • almonds;
  • pistachio;
  • Brazil nut;
  • chia seeds;
  • flax seed;
  • almond paste;
  • peanut butter;
  • macadamia oil.

Protein: The third macroelement. Proteins are made up of amino acids and are broken down when absorbed by the body. They are extremely important for the body. Hair, nails, enzymes and hormones are primarily composed of protein. In addition, protein is an important part of bones, cartilage, tendons, muscles and skin.

Examples of Protein-Rich Foods:

  • protein powder;
  • bone water;
  • dairy products;
  • beef;
  • chicken;
  • seafood;
  • green leafy vegetables.

Sugar problem

Many people get their energy only from sugar (glucose). Excreted by the body from foods rich in sugar or simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are converted into glucose, and when we consume more glucose than we can absorb, excess sugar accumulates in the body as fat. Let's repel another popular misconception. In fact, not all fruits are created equal. Regular consumption of sugar-rich fruits can eventually cause problems for those who need to limit their sugar levels.

200 years ago, people ate an average of 3. 2 kg of sugar a year. By 2020, this figure has risen to 47-55 kg.

Excessive sugar consumption almost explains the increase in some diseases in the world: obesity, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and other chronic diseases.

How does a ketogenic diet work?

Ketosis is caused by the breakdown of adipose tissue into three fatty acids. These fatty acids then go to the liver, where they are converted into ketones, molecules that provide an alternative energy source. Ketones mainly include beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate and acetone.

Ketones for the body are like high-octane gasoline for the car. It is a cleaner fuel for the brain and body, reduces sugar intake. When the body uses ketones instead of sugar, the oxidative damage to body cells is reduced.

Ketosis can help many people in many ways. In addition to large portions of green leafy vegetables, you can eat a keto diet with healthy fats, seafood, meat, chicken, eggs, cheese, nuts and seeds. As with many things, the key is! In general, sweets, sugar, bread, rice, tortillas, potatoes, beans and processed foods should be avoided. Fortunately, there are now excellent tasty keto snacks and keto bars on the market that make it easy to cut simple carbohydrates.

A ketogenic diet may not be suitable for everyone, but it is generally an excellent alternative for those struggling to control weight or diabetes with other low-calorie diets.

Many people who are sensitive to carbohydrates or insulin and have difficulty controlling their blood sugar have benefited from switching to a diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats.

CAUTION:Always consult your doctor before stopping any medication.

Recommended supplements for ketogenic diet

  1. Exogenous ketones, including beta-hydroxybutyrate, magnesium and calcium salts.
  2. Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil is an excellent source of healthy fats that can be easily converted to ketones. Most people on a ketogenic diet consume MCT coffee cream.
  3. Multivitamins - A good multivitamin is recommended for many children and adults.
  4. Magnesium - Consuming enough magnesium can prevent muscle cramps and spasms.
  5. Vitamin D - 80% of the population is deficient. For most, it is recommended to take 2000-5000 IU of this vitamin continuously.
  6. Greens in Supplements and Powders - It is best to get all the nutrients you need from your diet, but these supplements and powders can help provide your body with the antioxidants it needs.
  7. Cook with coconut oil or avocado oil - these are a great source of healthy fats and are ideal for straining vegetables.
  8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids - have anti-inflammatory properties.
  9. Whey, soy or pea protein is an ideal food substitute and is also an excellent addition to smoothies.
  10. Momordica charantia, cinnamon, chromium picolinate and berberine may be useful, especially for insulin refractories.