The Ketone Diet is a low carb menu with moderate protein content and high fat content. Clinical studies have shown that the ketogenic diet offers results that have not previously been achieved without the help of medications for diabetes, epilepsy, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.
The ketogenic diet: more information on nutrition and ketosis
The goal of the ketogenic diet is to force the body to use fat as its main source of energy. As a general rule, this process occurs in a different way: the carbohydrates that come with food are processed into glucose, the basis for the functioning and nutrition of the brain and the cellular structures of other organs. If you limit the amount of carbohydrates, the liver converts fats into ketone bodies.
Experts recommend following a ketogenic diet for the following conditions:
- diabetes, epilepsy and autism;
- Alzheimer's disease and brain tumor;
- stroke, depression, Parkinson's and Charcot disease;
- schizophrenia, head injury and hyperactivity;
- obesity, irritable bowel syndrome and tremors;
- cardiovascular pathologies and respiratory failure.
To understand how the ketogenic diet works in the body, you need to understand the process of ketosis. For full functioning, 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 is, 100 g of glucose. What happens to the body if carbohydrates are almost completely excluded from the diet?
Ketosis is a process that uses fat as the main source of energy while keeping carbohydrates to a minimum. Without additional effort, as a natural process, similar changes are observed in the body in childhood and in women during pregnancy.
In ketosis, insulin levels drop and fatty acids in large quantities leave adipose tissue. The oxidation process takes place in the liver, where ketones (organic matter) are produced, sources of energy for the body. They penetrate the blood-brain barrier and nourish brain cells.
Considering biochemical processes in more detail, you should pay particular attention to the "fat burning" process. In this case, the fatty acid molecules are converted to acetyl-CoA. This element combines with oxaloacetate and gives rise to the Krebs cycle, which occurs in the mitochondria of cells. As a result of this process, substances important for vital activity are formed.
Reducing sugar and insulin has a positive effect on the health of internal organs and systems. Ketosis is a safer process than glucose metabolism, since in this case no free radicals are formed, which is essential in old age. Ketones are produced automatically in the body when the diet involves the consumption of less than 30 grams of carbohydrates per day and 0. 8 to 1. 5 grams of protein per 1 kg of body weight. At the same time, high-quality saturated fats (butter, egg yolk, lard and bacon, etc. ) are needed in sufficient quantities.
The benefits of ketones for our body are the following:
- Internal organs and tissues (heart, brain, kidneys) work much more efficiently.
- A healthy heart is surrounded by thick fatty tissue, without which it does not beat well.
- The brain works 25% more efficiently than it does with blood glucose.
Ketones are an ideal fuel for cell structures, they are not destructive or inflammatory. They do not glycan, that is, they do not contribute to cellular aging and do not shorten a person's life. Healthy ketosis starves cancer cells and increases mitochondrial function to generate more energy in a reliable and sustainable way.
The difference between a ketogenic diet and a low carb diet
Only a regular carbohydrate deficiency allows you to achieve ketosis. This process becomes permanent and is characterized by a marked increase in the level of ketone bodies in the blood. With a low-carbohydrate diet, such processes are not observed, since the amount of carbohydrates and fats that enter the body daily with food is sufficient for energy needs.
If we are talking about the keto diet, then this nutrition system is designed in such a way that ketones are synthesized in the liver in large quantities and used as fuel. In ketosis caused by nutritional correction, the indicators reach a level 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 carbohydrate diet.
The ketogenic diet affects the body on several levels at once. Mitochondria were originally created to be used as an energy source from dietary fats. At the same time, the cell load with toxins decreases and the amount of free radicals (waste) decreases. Mitochondrial health is the primary key to optimal health. A ketogenic diet is the best way to maintain a proper balance.
Indications for a ketogenic diet:
- Diabetes: to reduce insulin levels, increase mitochondrion, and increase insulin sensitivity.
- Risks of developing cardiovascular diseases (cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood): to increase the size of LDL and reduce insulin levels.
- Excess weight: to reduce appetite, reduce lipogenesis and reduce energy consumption due to the thermal effect of proteins.
- Epilepsy: suppression of neuronal excitability and anticonvulsant action of ketones.
Not scientifically proven, but most experts claim that the ketogenic diet helps treat acne and neurological conditions. Ketosis is effective against polycystic disease and cancer.
What is the "adaptation phase"?
Many reviews of the ketogenic diet indicate that some time after the change in diet, consciousness becomes cloudy, health deteriorates, and energy is lost. It is an adaptation that lasts during the first weeks from the start of the diet. This is because the enzymes necessary for full life are not enough, so oxidative processes are slower.
It is during the "adaptation phase" that the body reorganizes itself to use other energy resources. The internal organs begin to absorb not carbohydrates, but ketones, by breaking down fats from food. The state of the body normalizes only after 4-6 weeks.
Results of clinical trials on the efficacy and safety of the ketogenic diet:
- Improved body composition. Every day, the ketogenic diet consumes 10, 000 fewer calories than usual. At the same time, every day body weight decreases against the background of a decrease in body fat.
- Decreased performance under high intensity loads. During the first 30 days after a change in diet, the ability to exercise at high intensity decreases. This is due to the fact that there is a decrease in intramuscular and hepatic glycogen.
- Reduction of intramuscular reserves. It is characterized by a decrease in glucose from food. It is accompanied by a decrease in the body's recovery rate and the ability to build muscle mass.
The conclusion is obvious: the ketogenic diet is optimal and effective in healing the body, but it cannot be used to build muscle. Ketosis is an essential process that can help you lose weight with health benefits.
The keto diet is widely used by athletes who play cyclical sports that require endurance (cycling, triathlon, marathon, etc. ). This is due to the fact that the body in ketosis effectively burns fat for energy, allowing it to save available glycogen stores during excessive respiratory stress.
If the diet is formulated correctly, the result of the ketone diet will arrive in 2-3 weeks. After 1-2 years, the condition improves in 90% of cases. If you make mistakes, the positive effect may never come.
Allowed oils and fats
Foods containing these elements are the staple of the ketogenic diet.
You must eat the right fats, excluding unhealthy ones:
- monounsaturated (macadamia nut, avocado, olive oil, egg yolk);
- polyunsaturated (fatty fish and animal protein).
It is not acceptable to include trans fats in the diet: processed foods that have undergone a process of hydrogenation to increase shelf life, such as margarine.
The balance of omega-3 (shellfish, trout, tuna, krill, and salmon) and omega-6 (walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, corn, and sunflower oil) is important. It is recommended to consume fatty meats and fish in small quantities.
Products must be fried in beef fat, coconut or butter. This approach to food preparation allows you to get more essential fatty acids.
Protein in the ketogenic diet
The higher the concentration of a certain substance in a product, the less it will need to be consumed. It is better to give preference to meat from grass-fed and grazing animals. This will eliminate the possibility of consuming steroids and harmful bacteria. Dark meats (poultry) are preferred.
Keep in mind 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 rich sauces and garnishes. For example, lean beef should be eaten with fatty cheese. Pork can be substituted for lamb without compromising ketosis.
Healthy fish include cod, trout, tuna, catfish, and mackerel. It is essential to incorporate shellfish (crabs, lobsters, oysters, squid or mussels) into the diet. Chicken eggs are an important protein supplier. It is best to buy the free-range chicken product. Useful poultry: duck, chicken, pheasant; offal: tongue, liver and heart.
Fruits and vegetables for ketosis
Avoid plant foods that contain high amounts of glucose. The best vegetables are those that are high in nutrients and low in carbohydrates (leafy and green). Highlighting asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
Vegetables grown underground should be limited as they store carbohydrates. They are recommended for frying, for example, onions and carrots. Small amounts of citrus fruits, berries (blueberries, blackberries and raspberries), nightshades (aubergines and tomatoes) and root vegetables (mushrooms, garlic, parsnips) can be used.
Dairy products for the ketogenic diet
Whole milk can only be drunk with the main meal. In this case, moderation is important. Organic raw dairy products should be preferred. If you are lactose intolerant, opt for hard cheeses.
Among the healthy foods recommended for the ketogenic diet are:
- Whipped cream and Greek yogurt
- homemade mayonnaise and soft cheese (brie, mozzarella);
- Parmesan, cheddar, porter cheese;
- sour cream, cottage cheese, nut cream, mascarpone.
Dairy products are widely used in greasy sauces and garnishes. For a ketogenic diet to reduce body weight, limiting these foods is recommended.
Drinks and water for ketone production
The ketogenic diet aims to create a natural diuretic effect. This is why most people are dehydrated. To eliminate the probability of negative effects on the body, it is recommended to drink at least 4 liters of water per day.
Keep in mind that caffeine leads to fluid loss in the body, so energy drinks like tea and coffee should be reduced to 2 cups a day. To eliminate the likelihood of developing the keto flu, which is characteristic of improper maintenance of a keto diet, you must learn to compensate for a lack of electrolytes. To do this, you need to drink bone broth, which can be replaced with sports drinks with stevia or sucralose.