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A series of articles about The Ketogenic Diet

Updated: Jan 26, 2020

No. 1

The Ketogenic Diet: Faster weight loss and feeling more energetic

Only cheeses over 30% fat, lots of butter and almost no carbohydrates: The ketogenic diet results in rapid weight loss and improved mood and energy measures.

The ketogenic diet is based on introducing the body into a state of imbalance due to a lack of carbohydrate and caloric deficiency, a condition called "ketosis". In ketosis, the body must move to utilize fat as an alternative source of energy instead of the missing carbohydrates, creating "keto bodies" as a result of fat dissolution.

The extremes of avoiding carbohydrates and the amount of bodies that cut down on blood or urine raise significant questions about the safety of the diet. The question often arises as to whether it contributes to or damages health.

The ketogenic diet, now considered one of the trendiest diets in the United States, was ranked last in the 2018 Best News Diet List by U.S.News Magazine and the expert team. The last place ranking (39) raises questions about the use of diet for weight loss while maintaining our health.

The principles of diet

The argument is that using the ketogenic diet, you can lose weight quickly, while also improving your overall feeling, mood, mental concentration and energy. The developers of the diet even ensure that the need for carbohydrates and sugar is decreasing, and those who were "sweet addicts" can be in control again.

The guiding principle of the diet: By limiting the carbohydrate and increasing the amount of fat on the menu, the body will "learn" to utilize the body's fat stores and the fat that comes from the diet as an energy source, instead of glucose.

In order for the body to utilize fat as a sole source of energy, the body must be put into ketosis mode, that is, to create a change in the PH level in the blood, to a lower acidic level than the standard defined.

Other low-carb diets also try to encourage the use of fat as an energy source, but the ketogenic diet is considered the most extreme. The amount of carbohydrate allowed in the ketogenic diet is up to 20 grams per day, for comparison, the minimum recommended dietary balanced recommendation is a minimum of 70 grams of carbohydrate to ensure proper functioning of glucose-dependent cells as an exclusive energy source (brain, red blood cells, and cells from the nervous system).

Within these 20 grams, this is not just about foods belonging to the carbohydrate group, but a careful count of every gram of carbohydrate in vegetables, nuts and meats. That is, it is a count of carbohydrates that would not necessarily be counted on a balanced diet as they do not necessarily provide available energy.

For example, while the dietary fiber in vegetables is considered chemically carbohydrate, the body is unable to absorb it. Therefore, the restriction on the amount of carbohydrate in the menu is extreme, and in fact the carbohydrate availability is lower.

Anyone who chooses to eat according to the ketogenic diet should regularly check the amount of ketones in his body to make sure he is in "ketosis" mode. The test is done in the urine or by a blood test (a small stab) that can be done independently at home.

To be able to keep to the dietary principles you need to do homework: understand who the carbohydrate vegetables are, understand where the sugar is "hiding" in the food, and plan the meals properly so that they do not contain more than 20 grams of carbohydrate a day. It is also important to emphasize fat on the menu.


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No. 2

The ketogenic menu is mostly fat, combines high amounts of protein and allows very little carbohydrate. Avoiding carbohydrates lowers blood sugar and insulin and requires the body to 'access' its fat stores to use them to create ketone bodies. The same ketone bodies become the body's and brain's energy source and actually fulfill the initial goal of those fat stores - nourishing us when hungry (or: lack of glucose). It is important to emphasize that ketosis is a natural process that occurs not only when we adopt a ketogenic diet, the body can enter a mild state of ketosis even during pregnancy, infancy, fasting and even after a night's sleep.

Low and regular sugar levels help with diabetes and various metabolic diseases. Also, various studies have found that a low carbohydrate diet can improve the condition of Alzheimer's patients. Researchers speculate that this is because metabolic syndrome increases the risk of many diseases, including diabetes and Alzheimer's, although there is still no precise explanation for how it works and research is still in its early stages.

Further preliminary studies suggest that a low carbohydrate menu may improve memory and brain functions in an older population, reduce migraines and Parkinson's symptoms. In general, the diet seems to benefit from insulin-related medical conditions, neuronal processes and metabolism.

If so, the ketogenic diet can benefit the brain (contrary to the myth that it does not provide the brain with enough 'fuel' for normal activity), but is it beneficial for weight loss? Research in the field indicates that a low-carb diet is more effective than a low-fat diet, but this is not a big difference. What's more, professionals will endeavor to tailor a diet method that suits them personally.

The ketogenic diet itself is not a uniform set of instructions and there are several versions of it, including:

  • A standard ketogenic diet - a diet that consists of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrate.

  • Cyclic Diet - A dietary method that changes cyclically by 5 consecutive days in which they eat according to a standard ketogenic diet followed by two days in which they eat a carbohydrate-rich diet.

  •  Targeted Ketogenic Diet - A standard ketogenic diet that allows you to eat more carbohydrates in close proximity to exercise, in order to provide energy needed for athletes and assist recovery.

  •  A protein-rich ketogenic diet - a dietary method that allows for higher protein consumption. The menu usually consists of 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbohydrate.

In order to reach a state of ketosis (and also succeed in the diet) care should be taken to consume a very low carbohydrate and also pay attention to the amount of proteins as they can also raise blood insulin levels slightly. Exactly how much you can eat from any food parent can determine a qualified professional who can personally calculate (depending on your lean body mass) the amounts that will keep you in ketosis.

So what do you eat?

Let's start with the main menu: fat. A wise choice of the types of fats will maintain your fatty acids balance, proper use and storage will ensure that you earn their nutritional value. Avocado oil and excellent olive oil are suitable, for example, for cooking at low temperatures and for use while cold, as opposed to Ghee or coconut oil which can be used for regular cooking / frying.

Depths will reveal that not all oils and fats are born equal and some are off-limits - seed oils and vegetable oils (such as corn oil or canola) are sometimes removed from the menu in general, due to their production process. And in any case, it is better to look for the versions that were cold-pressed.

>> what is it? Butter / Ghee, Fat Cheese, Coconut Oil, Fat, Avocado Oil, Olive Oil, Macadamia Oil, Linen Oil

For fruits and vegetables, care must be taken first and foremost to learn about their carbohydrate content. It is important to remember that some of the carbohydrates in fruit or green are actually dietary fiber that is not counted in the general carbohydrate calculation.

The amount of fruit allowed is very limited - because of its high sugar content. However, some can be measured in a measured amount on the menu (e.g. berries), without compromising the process.

The list of vegetables is longer, and includes: leafy vegetables (spinach, rocket, mangold, lettuce, endive, mustard, regal, etc.), broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kale, green beans, zucchini, asparagus, cucumbers, etc. As a principle, avoid starchy vegetables and stick to those grown 'above the ground'.

More fat-derived proteins are the tone of the ketogenic diet, therefore: poppies, entrecote, oily fish, superior internal organs over chicken breasts, skinned lean fish fillets and fat-free sirloin chunks. The possibility of consuming meats, fish, eggs, cream and cheeses with high fat is part of the reason people are attracted to this diet.

Other Allowed Foods: Herbs and spices (gluten-free and sugar, of course), can do wonders on the menu and diversify it. Certain nuts (macadamia, Brazil nuts, pecans and hazelnuts) constitute a permitted snack if eaten in measured quantities. Fermented foods like kefir and yogurt (without added sugar, of course) can contribute to gut health, etc.


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