The ketone diet is a low-carbohydrate menu with a moderate protein and high fat content. Clinical studies have shown that the keto diet produces results not previously achieved without the help of drugs for diabetes, epilepsy, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
The keto diet: Learn more about nutrition and ketosis
The goal of the ketogenic diet is to force the body to use fat as its main source of energy. This process is usually different: Carbohydrates that are supplied with food are processed into glucose - the basis for the function and nutrition of the brain and the cell structures of other organs. When you limit the amount of carbohydrates, the liver converts fats into ketone bodies.
Experts recommend a ketogenic diet under the following conditions:
- diabetes, epilepsy and autism;
- Alzheimer's disease and brain tumor;
- stroke, depression, Parkinson's and Charcot's disease;
- schizophrenia, head trauma and hyperactivity;
- obesity, irritable bowel syndrome and tremors;
- cardiovascular pathologies and respiratory failure.
To understand how the keto diet affects the body, you need to understand the process of ketosis. For full function, a person needs a sufficient amount of energy in the ATP format (a universal source that is mandatory for biochemical processes). On average, you need around 1800 kcal per day. The brain consumes about 400 kcal - that's 100 g of glucose. What happens to the body when carbohydrates are almost completely excluded from the diet?
Ketosis is a process in which fat is used as the main source of energy while carbohydrates are kept to a minimum. Similar changes in the body in infancy and in women during pregnancy are observed as a natural process without additional effort.
In ketosis, insulin levels drop and fatty acids leave the adipose tissue in large quantities. The oxidation process takes place in the liver, where ketones (organic substances) are produced - sources of energy for the body. They penetrate the blood-brain barrier and nourish the brain cells.
If you take a closer look at biochemical processes, you should pay special attention to the process of "burning fat". In this case, fatty acid molecules are converted into acetyl-CoA. This element combines with oxaloacetate and leads to the Krebs cycle that occurs in the mitochondria of cells. This process creates substances that are important for vital activity.
The reduction of sugar and insulin has a positive effect on the health of the internal organs and systems. Ketosis is a safer process than glucose metabolism because in this case no free radicals are formed, which is essential in old age. Ketones are automatically produced in the body when the diet consumes less than 30 grams of carbohydrates per day and 0. 8-1. 5 grams of protein per 1 kg of body weight. At the same time, high-quality saturated fats are needed in sufficient quantities (butter, egg yolks, lard and lard, etc. ).
The benefits of ketones for our body are as follows:
- Internal organs and tissues (heart, brain, kidneys) work much more efficiently.
- A healthy heart is surrounded by thick fatty tissue, without which it cannot beat well.
- The brain works 25% more efficiently than with glucose in the blood.
Ketones are ideal fuel for cell structures, non-destructive and non-flammable. They don't glycate, which means they don't contribute to cell aging or shorten a person's lifespan. Healthy ketosis starves cancer cells and increases mitochondrial function to produce more energy in a reliable and sustainable way.
The difference between a ketogenic diet and a low-carb diet
Only a regular lack of carbohydrates enables you to achieve ketosis. This process becomes permanent and is characterized by a noticeable increase in the level of ketones in the blood. Such processes are not observed with a low-carbohydrate diet, since the amount of carbohydrates and fats that enter the body with food every day is completely sufficient for its energy needs.
When we talk about the keto diet, this nutritional system is designed so that ketones are synthesized in large quantities in the liver and used as fuel. With ketosis caused by nutritional correction, the indicators reach a value of 0. 5 to 3. 0 mM / l. To determine the amount of ketones, you can use special test strips that are sold in the pharmacy. This is not possible with a low-carb diet.
The ketogenic diet affects the body on several levels at the same time. Mitochondria were originally created to be used as a source of energy from dietary fats. At the same time, the load on cells with toxins decreases and the amount of free radicals (waste) decreases. Mitochondrial health is the main key to optimal health. The ketogenic diet is the best way to maintain proper balance.
Indications for a ketogenic diet:
- Diabetes - for lowering insulin levels, increasing mitochondriogenesis and increasing insulin sensitivity.
- Risks of developing cardiovascular diseases (cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood) - to increase LDL and decrease insulin levels.
- Obesity - to reduce appetite, reduce lipogenesis and reduce energy consumption for the thermal effect of proteins.
- Epilepsy - suppression of neuronal excitability and the anticonvulsant effect of ketones.
Not scientifically proven, but most experts claim the keto diet helps treat acne and neurological conditions. Ketosis is effective against polycystic diseases and cancer.
What is the "adaptation phase"?
Many reviews of the ketogenic diet show that some time after changing the diet, consciousness becomes clouded, health deteriorates, and energy is lost. It is about adjustment that takes place in the first few weeks from starting the diet. This is due to the fact that the necessary enzymes are insufficient for the full service life, therefore oxidative processes are slower.
During the "adaptation phase" the body is reorganized in order to use other energy resources. Internal organs begin to absorb ketone bodies rather than carbohydrates by breaking down fats from food. The state of the body returns to normal only after 4-6 weeks.
Results of clinical studies on the effectiveness and safety of the ketogenic diet:
- Improvement in body composition. Every day the keto diet consumes 10, 000 fewer calories than usual. At the same time, body weight decreases every day against the background of a decrease in body fat.
- Reduced performance under high-intensity loads. During the first 30 days after a diet change, your ability to exercise at high intensity will decrease. This is due to the fact that intramuscular and hepatic glycogen is decreasing.
- Reduction of the intramuscular reserves. It is characterized by a decrease in dietary glucose. It is accompanied by a decrease in the body's rate of recovery and its ability to build muscle mass.
The conclusion is obvious: the ketogenic diet is optimal and effective for healing the body, but cannot be used to build muscle. Ketosis is an irreplaceable process that can help you lose weight with health benefits.
The keto diet is widely used by athletes who practice cyclical sports that require endurance (cycling, triathlon, marathon, etc. ). This is due to the fact that in ketosis, the body is effectively burning fat for energy, which allows you to store the available glycogen stores in the event of excessive respiratory stress.
If the diet is formulated correctly, the result of the ketone diet will be available in 2-3 weeks. After 1-2 years the condition improves in 90% of cases. If you make mistakes, the positive effect can never materialize.
Permitted oils and fats
Foods that contain these elements are the staple foods of the keto diet.
You should eat the right fats, excluding unhealthy ones:
- monounsaturated (macadamia nut, avocado, olive oil, egg yolk);
- polyunsaturated (fatty fish and animal protein).
It is not allowed to include trans fats in your diet - processed foods that have undergone a hydrogenation process to extend shelf life, such as margarine.
The balance between omega-3 (shellfish, trout, tuna, krill and salmon) and omega-6 (walnut, almond, pine nuts, corn and sunflower oil) is important. It is recommended to eat fatty meat and fish in small quantities.
Food should be fried in beef fat, coconut or ghee. This approach to food preparation allows for more essential fatty acids.
Protein in the keto diet
The higher the concentration of a certain substance in a product, the less it has to be used. It is better to give preference to the meat of grass and pasture fodder. This will eliminate the possibility of consuming steroids and harmful bacteria. Dark meat (poultry) is preferred.
Note that too much protein can decrease ketone synthesis and increase glucose production. The diet should not contain more than 35% protein, which should be balanced with sauces and rich side dishes. For example, lean beef should be eaten with fatty cheese. Lamb can be substituted for pork without affecting ketosis.
Useful fish are cod, trout, tuna, catfish and mackerel. It is imperative to add shellfish (crabs, lobsters, oysters, squid, or clams) to the diet. Chicken eggs are an important source of protein. It is best to buy the product from free range chickens. Useful poultry - duck, chicken, pheasant; Offal - tongue, liver and heart.
Fruits and vegetables against ketosis
Avoid plant foods that are high in glucose. The best vegetables are those that are high in nutrients and low in carbohydrates (leaf and greens). Highlighting asparagus, paprika, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
Vegetables that grow underground should be limited as they store carbohydrates. They are recommended for frying onions and carrots. In small quantities, you can eat citrus fruits, berries (blueberries, blackberries and raspberries), nightshades (eggplant and tomatoes), and root vegetables (mushrooms, garlic, parsnips).
Dairy products for the keto diet
Whole milk can only be drunk with the main meal. In this case, moderation is important. Organic raw milk products should be preferred. If you are lactose intolerant, stick to hard cheese.
Some of the healthy foods recommended for a ketogenic diet include:
- Whipped cream and Greek yogurt
- homemade mayonnaise and soft cheese (brie, mozzarella);
- Cheese parmesan, cheddar, porter;
- sour cream, cottage cheese, cream nuts, mascarpone.
Dairy products are often used in sauces and fatty side dishes. For a keto diet to reduce body weight, it is recommended that you limit these foods.
Drinks and water for ketone production
The ketogenic diet aims to have a natural diuretic effect. This is why most of the people are dehydrated. To exclude the likelihood of negative effects on the body, it is recommended to drink at least 4 liters of water a day.
Note that caffeine causes fluid loss in the body. Therefore, the energy supply of beverages such as tea and coffee should be reduced to 2 cups per day. To eliminate the chances of getting the keto flu, which is characteristic of a wrong keto diet, you should learn how to make up for the electrolyte deficiency. To do this, you need to drink bone broth, which can be replaced with sports drinks containing stevia or sucralose.