What is a Ketogen or Keto Diet?

keto diet dishes, nuts, egg peppers, etc

The beginnings of diets can be traced back to ancient Greek and Roman times. If you had a healthy body, it meant that you also had a healthy mind. If your body was as healthy and beautiful as the Greek god, it meant that your mind was also healthy. Fat was not only ugly, but also a sign of mental imbalance.

The Greeks were engaged in physical fitness; in fact, they were wealthy people who spent their free time eight hours a day training, usually naked. They also held beauty contests for women to set beauty standards.

Hippocrates, a Greek physician who lived around 400 BC, believed that obese people suffer from unhealthy sleep, pain, constipation, and other diseases, and advised to follow a strict diet, increasing physical activity. 

Even today, there are implicit standards for how people should look. But is that correct? - about this though will not be in this article. Let's talk about the popularity of the Keto diet, what it gives us and how much it is safe

What is a Ketogen or Keto Diet?

It is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the blood. Most cells prefer blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, which are the body's main source of energy. When foods do not have circulating sugar that enters our bloodstream, we begin to break down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (a process called ketosis). Once you have reached ketosis, most cells will use the ketone bodies to produce energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. 

The transition from the use of circulating glucose to the breakdown of stored fat as an energy source usually takes two to four days, eating less than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. It must be remembered that this is a very individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones.

The ketogenic diet is rich in protein and fat. It usually contains a lot of meat, eggs, processed meat, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds and fibrous vegetables. Due to the very limited choice of food in the diet, it is difficult to follow in the long run. 

One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and poor quality fat from processed foods, and it contains very few fruits and vegetables. Therefore, when using this diet should be very careful and first of all, better to consult with professionals. 

In short: Keto diet ideas are to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates

Keto diet dishes
Picture with the foods that diet time should consume.

How does the Keto diet work?

Eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day depletes the body's "fuel" (blood sugar level). It usually takes 3 to 4 days, then you need to start breaking down protein and fat to gain energy, which can lead to weight loss. This is called ketosis. It is important to note that the keto diet is a short-term diet that focuses on weight loss.

Who Uses Keto Diets?

People use a keto diet to lose weight, but it can also help manage certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy. It can also help people with heart disease, some brain diseases and even pimples, but more research is needed in these areas. Talk to your doctor first to find out if it is safe to try a keto diet.

Is the Keto diet good for health?

Researching a number of opinions where doctors have expressed their views on the keto diet has shown that there is strong evidence that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effective as medication. 

Questions have been raised about the potential of this diet to treat other brain disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism and even brain cancer. However, there are no studies in humans to support the recommendation of ketosis for the treatment of these diseases.

One common conclusion could be reached - weight loss is the main reason why people use a keto diet. Various studies show good evidence of faster weight loss when using a keto diet compared to others using a more traditional low-fat diet or even a Mediterranean diet. However, this difference in weight loss seems over time disappear.

keto diet pyramid
Keto diet pyramid in English.

Foods to avoid during the diet:

  • Sweet dishes: fruit juices, cocktails, cakes, ice cream, candies, etc.
  • Cereals or starches: products based on wheat, rice, pasta, cereals, etc
  • Fruit: all fruits except small parts of berries such as strawberries, raspberries, etc
  • Beans or pulses: peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc
  • Vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc
  • Low-fat or dietetic products: low-fat mayonnaise, salad dressings and spices, etc.
  • Some spices or sauces: barbecue sauce, honey, mustard, ketchup, etc.
  • Unhealthy fats: processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc
  • Alcohol: beer, wine, cocktails
  • Sugar-free dietary foods: sugar-free sweets, syrups, puddings, sweeteners, desserts, etc.

Foods that should be taken during the diet:

  • Meat: red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey.
  • Oily fish: salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel.
  • Waves.
  • Butter and cream.
  • Cheese: raw cheeses such as cheddar, goat, blue or mozzarella.
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
  • Healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil
  • Avocado: Whole avocado or freshly cooked guacamole
  • Low carb vegetables: green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
  • Spices: salt, pepper etc.

This article is not meant for everyone now to run and use this diet. We each know our bodies best and know what we need. If you have had the idea to use this diet, good luck. Take a look at the recipes section, there will probably be some recipe, which will help you in your diet. 

"If you keep good food in the refrigerator, you will eat good food."

Erriks Makadamss

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