The ketogenic diet explained in a nutshell
Our average diet today is roughly 50% carbohydrate, 35% fat, and 15% protein. Most of our energy therefore comes from carbohydrates (they are found in pasta, bread, cereals, fruits and even table sugar). They contain sugar in different forms, including glucose and fructose. Glucose from carbohydrates will be used as a primary source of energy by the muscles, heart and brain.
The ketogenic diet is based on a diet that is very high in fat (or lipids) and very low in carbohydrates (high-fat and low-carb). When you massively decrease your daily carbohydrate intake, your body will then start to convert fat into energy, because it lacks carbohydrates: this is ketogenesis. Our liver will produce small molecules called ketones (or ketone bodies) to supply our bodies and brains with energy. These ketones are produced by the liver from fat in the diet.
On a ketogenic or keto diet, the body works primarily with fat and ketones. It thus partly reproduces the effects of fasting where the body has to adapt to the deprivation of food, and therefore of glucose.
What foods to favor on a ketogenic diet?
Starting a Keto diet means redefining your diet in a sustainable way. You will find more details in our article which explains how to get started on a keto diet, but here are some general tips.
Favor foods high in fat
- The good oils : olive, rapeseed, coconut, walnut, etc.
- Dairy products: whole milk and fresh cream, coconut milk and coconut cream, cheese matured with raw milk, yoghurts, unsweetened vegetable milks
- Meat, fish and eggs
- Nuts and seeds: walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecan nuts
- Coconut flour, walnut flour, almond or hazelnut powder
Reduce your carbohydrate intake
- Sugar and sweet products (candies, pastries for example)
- Overly processed foods (ready meals)
- Bread, pasta, rice, and cereals
- Foods rich in starch (potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.)
- Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, etc.)
- Sodas and fruit juices
Maintain your protein intake
- Animal proteins: meat, fish, eggs
- Vegetable proteins: nuts and almonds
Eat vegetables low in carbohydrates and limit fruits
- Vegetables: cabbage, endives, spinach, lettuce, eggplant, asparagus, cucumber, zucchini, fennel, green beans, leek, broccoli, celery
- Fruits: berries only (blueberries, blackcurrants, currants, raspberries, strawberries)
What macro nutrient intake during a ketogenic diet or keto diet?
Macronutrients seem to be the lifeblood of any keto diet, but contrary to popular opinion, there is no one macronutrient ratio that is right for everyone. Instead, you'll have a completely different set of macronutrients than your friend or mom's depending on:
- Your physical and mental goals
- Your health history
- Your activity level
However, there are general tips for a ketogenic diet:
- 70-80% of calories from fat
- 20-25% of calories from protein
- 5-10% of calories from carbohydrates
Remember that percentages should be used as a guide only. Your macronutrient goals will vary depending on your lifestyle.
Fat intake in a ketogenic diet
Fat is considered the cornerstone of the keto diet because it doesn't raise your blood sugar like carbohydrates. The real secret to getting into ketosis is to cut back on carbs and you can modulate your fat intake from there. However, most people on a keto diet have a calorie intake of which 70-80% comes from healthy fat. Fill up on healthy fats with Fbomb nut butterwhere the Revolsnax bites.
Protein Intake in a Ketogenic Diet
Protein is extremely important in the Keto diet, especially if you are active or athletic. Ideally, you should consume at least 0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean mass to prevent muscle loss. For those with an extremely active lifestyle, 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass is ideal.
To calculate your lean mass, you must:
Calculate your percentage of body fat.
Subtract your body fat percentage from 100%. This will be your lean body mass in%.
Multiply your lean body mass in% by your total weight. While most keto sites recommend 10-15% protein of total calorie intake, be aware that you can eat a lot more without raising your blood sugar or dropping you into ketosis.
Carbohydrate Intake in a Ketogenic Diet
Most people who want to go into ketosis should include 5-10% carbohydrate in their total calorie intake, or around 100-200 calories from carbohydrates (25-50 grams of carbohydrate per day). Enjoy Funky Fat Foods Sugar Free Chocolate to start your keto diet smoothly and begin to burn fat.
The health benefits of the ketogenic diet
This is the most well-known feature of the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet can dramatically help you lose weight fast while maintaining muscle mass. The keto diet can also increase muscle metabolism during training.
The ketogenic diet can help improve your stamina levels. Be careful, the transition from the burning of carbohydrates to fats can be more or less long.
Several studies have shown a link between low sugar intake and improvement in irritable bowel symptoms. A study has shown that a ketogenic diet can reduce abdominal pain in people with this syndrome.
The ketogenic diet helps balance blood sugar levels as well as insulin. Lowering the risk of insulin resistance can help prevent diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
The ketogenic diet may also reduce risk factors for heart disease, including improving HDL cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol.