Ketogenic diet: what you need to know before you get started

It’s the latest in the world of dieting and though it may sound too rigorous, thousands of people have achieved significant weight loss with this diet. The ketogenic diet first evolved as a beneficial diet for those who were diagnosed with epilepsy. Since the 1900s it has been successfully used as a diet for children with uncontrolled epilepsy.

What is the ketogenic diet?

A ketogenic diet is where you starve your body of carbohydrates and consume more fats. This causes the body to use fats for energy and thereby leads to fat loss. When the body uses fat to produce energy the liver releases something known as ‘ketones’ and the process is called ketosis. Hence the name, ketogenic diet.

But I don’t need to lose weight

The ketogenic diet has numerous benefits. A lot of metabolic disorders are caused due to insulin resistance. Most diets are rich in carbohydrates and frequent consumption of simple sugars and high carb foods causes weight gain and insulin resistance. A ketogenic diet can help to lower insulin levels.

A ketogenic diet has also shown to increase HDL [good cholesterol] levels and reduce LDL [bad cholesterol] levels. Besides this it has shown to help in reducing triglyceride levels and in lowering high blood pressure.

Fats are known to be brain food and going on a keto diet helps you stay more alert, improves energy levels and is good for your memory.

Eliminating sugar and high carb foods from your diet may even show a reduction in acne and fine lines and give you a flawless complexion and healthy looking skin.

So how do I get started?

Getting on the keto diet will require some meal planning and also shopping in advance to make sure you have stocked up on all that you need to keep you going. The key is to keep your carb intake as low as possible and we mean just 5% of your total food intake. 70% should be fats and the remaining 25% can be from proteins.

What you can eat

  • Meat, fish, eggs, chicken, lamb
  • Cheese, full fat cream, butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, groundnut oil
  • Nuts, almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds
  • Avocado, berries, raspberries
  • Spinach, lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, green beans

What you should avoid

  • Refined flour, processed foods, bread, biscuits, cookies
  • Wheat, rice, corn
  • Apples, mangoes, bananas
  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes
  • Aerated drinks, sweetened juices, canned juices
  • Sugar, jaggery, palm sugar

What about supplements?

Being on a keto diet can be challenging as the menu may seem restrictive and eating out also becomes an issue. That’s why adding a supplement to your diet is imperative. Here again, you’ll have to choose a supplement that is aligned with the rules of a keto diet, namely, low in carbs. Click this link for some options for ketogenic supplements. When choosing a keto supplement choose one that is low on sugar and carbs.