Ketogenic diet what it is and how is it done

The ketogenic diet is a nutritional choice based on the reduction of carbohydrates;

This strategy obliges the organism to autonomously produce the glucose necessary for survival and to increase the energy consumption of the fats contained in the adipose tissue.

In different words, ketogenic diet means “diet that produces ketone bodies” (a metabolic residue of energy production).

Regularly produced in minimal quantities and easily disposed of with urine and lung ventilation, ketone bodies reach a level above normal in the ketogenic diet.

The unwanted excess of ketone bodies, responsible for the tendency to lower blood pH, is called ketosis.

What is the ketogenic diet and how is it done?

Attention, however, there is not just one type of ketogenic diet and all food styles that provide less calories, carbohydrates and sometimes proteins are ketogenic;

The most important aspect of achieving ketosis is to eat foods that do not contain carbohydrates, limit those that are low in carbohydrates, and avoid foods that are rich in carbohydrates altogether.

Recommended foods are:

  • Meat, fishery products and eggs – I fundamental food group
  • Cheese – II fundamental food group
  • Fats and oils for seasoning – V fundamental food group
  • Vegetables – VI and VII fundamental food groups.

On the other hand, the foods not recommended are:

  • Cereals, potatoes and derivatives – III fundamental food group
  • Legumes – IV fundamental food group
  • Fruits – VI and VII fundamental food groups
  • Sweet drinks, various sweets, beer, etc.

Generally speaking, it is recommended to maintain a carbohydrate intake of less than or equal to 50g per day, ideally organized into 3 servings of  20g each.

A rather strict guideline for a correct ketogenic diet provides for an energy breakdown of:

  • 10% from carbohydrates
  • 15-25% protein (not forgetting that proteins, also containing glucogenic amino acids, participate in supporting the level of glucose in the blood)
  • 70% or more from fat.

How does the ketogenic diet work?

The functioning mechanism of the ketogenic diet is based on the reduction of calories and dietary carbohydrates which, in association with the right level of proteins and a high percentage of fat, should improve lipolysis and cellular lipid oxidation, therefore total consumption. of fat optimizing weight loss.

The production of ketone bodies, which must be absolutely controlled, has the function of moderating the stimulation of appetite due to their anorectic effect.

This type of food supply is applied above all to 3 macro sectors:

  • bodybuilding for muscle definition
  • weight loss (only under medical advice)
  • reduction of symptoms of childhood epilepsy

In any case, it is a type of diet that cannot be maintained over time, but only up to a maximum of 21 days and in any case under medical observance.

Benefits/Advantages of the ketogenic diet

  • Facilitates weight loss thanks to:
    • Total calorie reduction
    • Constant maintenance of blood sugar and insulin
    • Increased consumption of fat for energy purposes
    • Increase in global caloric expenditure due to an increase in specific dynamic action and “metabolic work”
  • It can be helpful in counteracting the symptoms of unresponsive epilepsy, especially in children

Disadvantages of the ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet has numerous disadvantages:

  • Possible hypoglycemia
  • Possible hypotension
  • Keto-influenza or “keto-flu” in English; is a syndrome linked to the poor adaptation of the organism after 2-3 days from the start of the ketogenic diet. Comprehends:
    • Heachache
    • Fatigue
    • Dizziness
    • Slight nausea
    • Irritability.
  • In more sensitive individuals, increased possibility of fainting
  • Increased tendency to:
    • Muscle cramps
    • Constipation

Therefore, before embarking on this path it is good to consult a doctor and not stick to the thousands of diets created on the Internet.

If you want to lose weight in a healthy way, take a look at our section on NUTRITION.