What are Carbs?
‘Carbs’ or carbohydrates are essential nutrients as they provide the energy needed for our brains and body. Most foods we ingest contain carbs and also provide vitamins, minerals, and fibre which is beneficial to bowel health.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
Commonly referred to as a Keto Diet, which involves drastically reducing the amount of carbohydrates that are ingested into your body, and substituting it with fats, this then puts your body into a state called Ketosis. Typically the diet consists of low carb, moderate protein, and high fat ingestion.
When your body enters the state of ketosis, this can then make your body burn fat for energy, and also turns fat into ketones in the liver, in which helps supply energy for the brain. Keto diets can cause insulin levels to drop and blood sugar to drop, alongside this, increased levels of ketones which has many health benefits.
Four Types of Keto Diets:
- (TKD) Targeted Keto Diet: Working out with carbs
- (CKD) Cyclical Keto Diet: Consists of higher-carb refeeds, for example; 5 ketogenic days which is then followed by two high carbohydrate days.
- High Protein Keto Diet: Pretty much the same as a standard keto diet, but involves more protein. Usually consists of 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% of carbs.
- (SKD) Standard Keto Diet: Consists of very low carb, adequate/moderate protein, and a high-fat diet. 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% of carbs.
The Standard and high protein keto diets are the main ones that have been studied extensively, but the TKD (Targeted Ketogenic Diet) and the CKD (Cyclical Ketogenic Diet) are typically more advanced and used for athletes or bodybuilders.
(Most information in this article is based on the Standard Ketogenic Diet, but can relate to the other forms of keto diets also).
Benefits of a good Ketogenic Diet:
It’s a very effective way of losing weight and can help lower risk factors concerning diseases or other health-related issues. This diet ensures that you get very full without needing to track calories regularly and worrying about portions as much.
Studies have shown that people on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet, lost 2.2 times less than those on a ketogenic diet. Those on the keto diet also showed improvements in HDL cholesterol levels. One of the other study’s that were conducted also showed that people on a keto diet lost three times more than those on a diet that was recommended by Diabetes UK.
Keto Diets for Prediabetes and Diabetes:
High blood sugar and lack of insulin can be a significant factor in causing diabetes, and some people are just born with it. Ketogenic diets can help lower levels of insulin and levels of blood sugar, thus helping treat the issue. A study had found that insulin levels were improved by 75%. Another study had found a group of people on keto diets had lost 11.1kg in comparison to those in a higher carb group, losing 6.9kg.
95.2% of those who were on diabetic medication was able to stop or reduce it due to a ketogenic diet.
What to eat on a keto diet:
- Meats: Steak, Ham, Red Meat, sausage, bacon, chicken, and turkey
- Eggs: Omega-3 whole eggs
- Cheese: Goat, Cream, Blue cheese, mozzarella, cheddar
- Nuts and seeds: Walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds etc
- Oils: Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil
- Vegetables that are low carb: Green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc