Diet Plan Information: Keto Diet


What is the Keto Diet Plan?

The keto (ketogenic, ketosis) diet plan is a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high fat diet. The reduction in the consumption of carbs allows your body to reach a state of ketosis, where your body burns fat to provide energy to the body.


How Does the Keto Diet Plan Work?

The keto diet is one that relies on fats rather than carbohydrates and sugars to fuel the body. “When the body’s glucose level is reduced due to the diet’s low carbohydrate content, the body acts as if it is in a starvation state — although it is not — and begins burning fats instead of carbohydrates” (Belli, 2020). Aside from that, it works like any other diet plan in that you consume fewer calories than you burn which allows you to lose weight.

The ketogenic diet is also a diuretic – that is, you lose a lot of water weight very quickly. “This diet has a diuretic effect, and some early weight loss is due to water weight loss followed by a fat loss” (Masood & Uppaluri, 2019). Many athletes like the keto diet because much of your muscle is spared due to your protein intake. “Interestingly with this diet plan, lean body muscle is largely spared” (Masood & Uppaluri, 2019).


Is the Keto Diet Plan Safe?

As with many other diets mentioned, this all depends on who you ask. Some experts say that it is safe and effective while others claim it can have adverse effects. Ask your doctor before starting any new dietary plans. “Kizer says that regardless of carb cycling, ketosis, or any other diet that people may be trying, it’s always smart to choose carbohydrates that are as whole and unprocessed as possible” (MacMillan, 2018). Switching your eating habits to whole, unprocessed food is almost universally accepted as the best way to lose weight and be healthier.

It should be noted that ketosis is not the same as ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a normal part of a healthy metabolism while ketoacidosis can most often be found in people with type 1 diabetes.



How Do You Implement the Keto Diet Plan?

Depending on how strict you’d like to be with your carb intake, there are different levels of the keto diet. First though we should define what net carbs are as they become more important when implementing the keto diet.

Carbohydrates – Dietary Fiber = Net Carbs

For example, a half-cup serving of peas has 11 grams of carbohydrates. It also has 4 grams of fiber. So, the net carbs of a half-cup serving of peas would be 7 grams of carbs. Additionally, one cup of broccoli contains 6 grams of carbs and 2.6 grams of fiber. Therefore, the net carbs of one cup of broccoli would be 3.4 grams of net carbohydrates.

Returning to the point of how to implement the keto diet (and now knowing about net carbs), we should examine the different levels.

  • Strict Keto: Strict keto restricts your daily net carb intake to less than 20 grams. This means that you’re eating predominately low carb vegetables and meat. Although it’s restrictive, you’ll lose weight relatively quickly if you stick to strict keto.
  • Moderate Keto: A moderate keto diet means that you’re eating between 20-50 grams of net carbs. This allows a bit more variety in the fruits and vegetables you can eat and makes sticking to the keto diet easier.
  • Liberal Keto: Liberal keto allows you consume up to 100 grams of net carbs daily. This is the easiest form of the keto diet to follow but will also likely result in the slowest weight loss.
  • Keto Cycling: Some dieters find the keto diet much easier to follow if they cycle low carb and normal carb days. For example, some people might eat low carb for five days per week and then allow themselves to consume higher carb intake on the weekends.


What Can You Eat on the Keto Diet Plan?

The main focus of the keto diet is to consume whole, unprocessed foods (which is why many find it similar to the paleo diet plan).

  • Meat (beef, chicken, pork, lamb, rabbit, etc.)
  • Seafood (shrimp, salmon, tuna, scallops, cod, etc.)
  • Eggs
  • Dairy (cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream)
  • Low-Carb Vegetables (broccoli, bell peppers, asparagus, spinach, kale, cabbage, green beans, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, etc.)
  • Low-Carb Fruits (blueberries, blackberries, avocados, coconuts, starfruit, pears, kiwi fruits, pineapples, etc.)
  • Extra Dark Chocolate


What Can’t You Eat on the Keto Diet Plan?

Typically, you’ll want to avoid anything processed when embarking on the keto diet plan. However, fruits and vegetables that are high in sugars or carbohydrates should also be avoided.

  • Grains (bread, oats, cereals, wheat, pastries, cookies)
  • Candy
  • Processed Foods
  • Sugary Drinks (soda, fruit juice)
  • Low Fat Items (items that are labeled as “low fat” typically contain higher sugar content)


Pros of the Keto Diet Plan

  • Satiety and Hunger Levels: Many people report feeling fuller for longer on the keto diet, making it easier to consume lower amounts of calories. Some dieters even report that they end up doing some intermittent fasting without even realizing it because they simply aren’t as hungry as they used to be. “Thus, the clinical benefit of a ketogenic diet is in preventing an increase in appetite, despite weight loss, although individuals may indeed feel slightly less hungry (or more full or satisfied). Ketosis appears to provide a plausible explanation for this suppression of appetite” (Gibson et al., 2015).
  • Weight Loss: If you follow the keto diet, you’re going to lose weight. “The ketogenic diet causes a rapid and sensible weight loss along with favourable biomarker changes, such as a reduction in serum hemoglobin A1c in patients with diabetes mellitus type 2” (O’Neill & Raggi, 2020).


Cons of the Keto Diet Plan

  • Restrictive: As with some other diet plans, the keto diet is highly restrictive when it comes to anything with high amounts of carbohydrates, even vegetables high in carbohydrates like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn.
  • Side Effects: There are a number of potential side effects for the keto diet including muscle cramps, constipation, headache, weakness, and rash (Ting et al., 2018). Like any change in your dietary habits, consult your doctor before starting on the keto diet.


Books on the Keto Diet Plan

  • Keto Diet For Dummies (Abrams & Abrams): “Keto Diet For Dummies is your all-in-one resource for learning about the keto diet, getting started and reaping the full benefits like so many others have. The keto diet has gained immense popularity due to its effectiveness and the ever-growing science backing it. Keto Diet For Dummies provides you with the information and resources you need to succeed and achieve your goals.”
  • The Keto Diet: The Complete Guide to a High-Fat Diet, with More Than 125 Delectable Recipes and 5 Meal Plans to Shed Weight, Heal Your Body, and Regain Confidence (Vogel): “The Keto Diet does away with the “one size fits all” philosophy offering a customizable approach that is tailored to the unique needs of the individual. Leanne provides the tools to empower everyone to develop a personalized nutrition plan, offering limitless options while taking away the many restrictions of a traditional ketogenic diet.”
  • Simply Keto: A Practical Approach to Health & Weight Loss, with 100+ Easy Low-Carb Recipes (Ryan): “Her first book, Simply Keto, isn’t just a cookbook; it’s a portal into Suzanne’s life and dieting success—how she accomplished the incredible feat of losing almost 40 percent of her total body weight and developed a healthier and more balanced relationship with food. In this book, she shares everything you need to know to get started and find your own success.”


Evidence-Based Studies on the Keto Diet Plan

  • Reduced Inflammation: “A widely used ketogenic diet (KD), which is extremely high in fat with very low carbohydrates, drives the host into using β-hydroxybutyrate for the production of ATP and lowers NLRP3-mediated inflammation” (Goldberg et al., 2020).
  • Best in Small Doses: “This reduces diabetes risk and inflammation, and improves the body’s metabolism, said Dixit, the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Comparative Medicine and of Immunobiology. After a week on the keto diet, he said, mice show a reduction in blood sugar levels and inflammation” (Belli, 2020).
  • Increased Endurance: “These results suggest that KD has the potential to be used as a fatigue-preventing and/or recovery-promoting diet approach in endurance athletes” (Huang et al., 2018).
  • Weight Loss: “The rapid and sustained weight and fat mass (FM) loss induced by the [very low carb keto] diet is associated with good food control and improvements in the psychological well-being parameters in obese subjects, which could contribute to the long-term success of this therapy” (Castro et al., 2018).

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