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Thinking about trying the keto diet; then we must look closer at the ketogenic diet. This diet is one where the carbohydrate intake is drastically reduced and the fat intake increased. This reduction in carbohydrates puts the body into a metabolic state called Ketosis. In this state the body becomes more efficient at burning stored fat for energy, causing massive weight loss. Turning fatty acids into ketones in the liver is also another effect of the Ketogenic diet. This creates another supply of energy for the brain. In recent times this type of dieting appears to be trending on many social platforms.

Ketogenic diet

There are several variations, but the research is centered around the standard version of the diet. 1) Standard ketogenic diet (SKD), typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs. 2) Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD), this diet involves periods of higher-carb feedings, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days. 3) Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD), this diet allows you to add carbs around workouts. 4) High-protein ketogenic diet, this is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs. The diet offers these food guidelines.

Top 5 must have foods on a ketogenic diet

Coconut oil

Avocado

Salmon

Eggs

Spinach

Must have foods

Healthy fats

Protein

Non starchy vegetables

Some fruits

Most full fat dairy

Foods to limit

Milk

Berries

Foods to avoid

Sugars

Grains

Legumes and beans

Starchy vegetables and most fruits

Studies show that the ketogenic diet has proven to be great for people suffering with being overweight. It is less suitable for elite athletes or those wishing to add large amounts of muscle or weight gain. It is even less suitable for persons that are severely underweight. It is important to note that the diet affects the male and female body differently, mainly because of all the things that make us female.

The benefits

When starting a new diet regime, the benefits and side effects are always of great importance. Originally designed by experts as a treatment for epilepsy; researchers note that the ketogenic diet also aids with the control of type 2 diabetes. Many studies on ketogenic diets claim the following health benefits. However, do keep in mind that research into many of these areas is far from conclusive.

Improved cognitive functioning

Reduce inflammation from high blood sugar

Slow the spread of various cancers and slow tumor growth

Increase female fertility

Heart disease, the ketogenic diet can improve risk factors like body fat, HDL cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar

Acne, lower insulin levels and eating less sugar or processed foods may help improve acne.

The side effects

As with any new diet, the ketogenic diet, although safe for healthy people, has some initial side effects associated with starting the diet, as the body adapts to the new feeding changes. These side effects can be limited by simply easing into the diet and with the aid of mineral supplements. Studies documented the following symptoms, known as the keto flu which is usually over within the first few days of starting the diet. Poor energy and mental functions, increased hunger, sleep issues and nausea, digestive discomfort and exercise performance issues. It does not seem to be bad, but still let us check with our medical professional to ensure our health standing before we embark on this diet.

Beginners tips

Try a regular low carbohydrate diet for a few weeks first, this teaches your body how to burn fat and prepares you for the ketogenic diet.

Add extra salt to your food while on the keto diet, as the ketogenic diet changes the water and mineral balance in your body.

At least in the beginning of the diet, it is important to eat until you are full and not worry about caloric restrictions.

When eating out, select a meat, fish or egg based dish, order extra veggies instead of carbohydrates or starches and have cheese and cream for dessert.