The ketogenic diet is based on fat and few carbohydrates and is intended to melt the pounds quickly. We’ll tell you what exactly is behind this extreme diet.
Low Carb – High Fat! This is the motto of the ketogenic diet, in which carbohydrates are almost completely avoided. In contrast, the focus is on protein and a lot of fat, so the diet is often referred to as the fat diet. Due to the high intake of protein, strength athletes, in particular, like to rely on this high-energy diet to build muscle mass.
How Does The Ketogenic Diet Work?
A ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet but in an extremely severe form. Because with this form of nutrition, the carbohydrate content is very low. In concrete terms: a maximum of 20 to 40 g of carbohydrates are consumed with food each day. For comparison: a whole-grain roll has around 40 g of carbohydrates. The low amount of carbs is said to result in rapid weight loss.
Without Carbohydrates, The Body Attacks The Fat Cells
How does it all work? If the body is not supplied with sufficient carbohydrates (less than 40 g per day) and all glucose stores are used up, it uses the annoying fat cells to generate energy. This condition is called ketosis (hence the name of the diet), which usually occurs after 24 to 72 hours (this is different for everyone).
This Is What You Can Eat On The Ketogenic Diet
The metabolism is completely switched from a cube of sugar to a predominantly high-fat diet in the ketogenic diet. The energy requirement should consist of 5 percent carbohydrates, 35 percent proteins, and 60 percent fats.
Foods containing carbohydrates such as bread, rice, muesli, pasta, sweets, potatoes, and everything containing sugar (ready-made products, sauces, drinks, alcohol, .) are taboo during the ketogenic diet. Many vegetables and fruits, legumes (chickpeas, peas, beans, lentils), and milk are prohibited. Only sweeteners such as xylitol and stevia are allowed.
Which Foods Are Allowed?
Fatty foods should be high on the menu. This mainly includes fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and trout, and meat (steak, ham, bacon, chicken). These products should also land on the plate:
- Nuts & seeds (except peanuts)
- fatty dairy products like cheese, butter, and cream
- healthy oils (olive and coconut oil)
- Low-carb vegetables: tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini, onions, cucumber, salads, mushrooms, cauliflower
Benefits Of The Ketogenic Diet
- Lowering Blood Sugar Levels: The keto diet can help keep insulin levels low. The hormone insulin is also said to promote inflammation in the body, and a ketogenic diet can also be beneficial here.
- Initial Weight Loss: By avoiding foods high in sugar and carbohydrates, many lose weight, especially at the beginning of the switch to the ketogenic diet. On the one hand, this can be due to less water retention and a more stable blood sugar level. You can start a real sugar detox regimen with the switch to the keto diet.
- More Healthy Fats: The many fats ingested provide a lot of energy even in small amounts and are very filling. Healthy fats, for example, from avocado, nuts, and fish, are important for our cells.
Cons Of The Ketogenic Diet
- Complicated And Difficult To Implement: The hardest part about the keto diet has to stick to a strict eating plan. Meals must be precisely planned and calculated. You then have to forgo an impromptu visit to the restaurant.
- Too Many Bad Fats, Too Little Fiber: The risk of consuming a lot of unhealthy fats on this fat-based diet is high. Many people pay too little attention to food quality and thus absorb the so-called bad saturated fatty acids into the body. These are not beneficial to health. Since you do without various vegetables that provide carbohydrates and fiber, a deficiency can also occur here.
- Side Effects Of The Keto Diet: Depending on your previous diet, the withdrawal of carbohydrates can also affect the mind. The mood worsens, and some people also suffer from severe headaches and even faint attacks (see below).
Who Is The Keto Or No-Carb Diet Suitable For?
Lots of fat and protein – this is not for everyone. People with high cholesterol should stay away from it. This form of diet is also not suitable for people with kidney disease. The Nutrition Society is skeptical of extremely low-carb diets. The results of studies so far do not offer any clear advantages of this type of diet over other diets.
For the body, the conversion from carbohydrates to fats is enormous. For this reason, the so-called “keto flu” can occur, especially in the first few days. Side effects such as dizziness, headache, constipation, and fatigue are not uncommon. In addition, ketones can acidify the body and cause bad breath and heartburn—the uric acid level rises, and gout or kidney stones risk.
Warning: Even if the keto diet promises quick results on the scales, this diet should by no means be viewed as a permanent form of nutrition, as it is not balanced, damages the metabolism and can lead to a mineral and vitamin deficiency. Therefore, the ketogenic diet should always be carried out under medical supervision. A balanced and healthy diet is always better than such diet forms – this also spares you the dreaded yo-yo effect.
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