Ketogenic diet (Keto): Where to start?
Keto, is not only a diet, but a way of life! Changing one's eating habits for the ketogenic lifestyle means taking care of one's body and brain. Keto complements perfectly a healthy and busy lifestyle while improving its energy level.
How does it work? 🤔
The basics of a ketogenic diet are simple, but in practice, preparation is essential. Theoretically, you should eat 75% of good fats, 20% of protein and 5% of carbohydrates. The goal is to get in a state of ketosis. Thus, we abandon all carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta, to focus on good fats, such as avocado’s and coconut oil.
A strict Keto diet pushes the body to use fat as the primary source of energy. To achieve this, one must perform ketogenesis, the transformation of fatty acids into ketones by the liver. The main fuel of the body then becomes the ketone. Ketogenesis is a natural metabolic mechanism.
Are you moderate, liberal or strict in your Keto diet? ☝️
A regular diet includes daily carbohydrate intake of approximately 300g to 600g. As part of the ketogenic lifestyle, this carbohydrate intake is reduced more or less drastically. Depending on the objectives of each person and their nutritional needs, it is possible to adopt a moderate, liberal or strict ketogenic diet. Here are the differences between the three approaches:
Moderate Keto lifestyle
- Daily carbohydrate intake between 50g and 100g
- Maximum of 10% of calories provided by carbohydrates
- Suitable for active and healthy people who have no weight to lose
Liberal Keto lifestyle
- Daily carbohydrate intake of 50g or less
- Suitable for people who are slightly overweight and who engage in little physical activity
Strict Keto lifestyle
- Daily carbohydrate intake of 20g or less
- Recommended for people who are significantly overweight or have certain diseases
- Ideal for sugar addicts
The benefits 🤙
Of course, there are many benefits and several studies continue to expand the list. In addition to energy gain, the health benefits are manifold. The ketogenic diet helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It is also a proven method to help diabetes management. The Keto lifestyle can help reduce the risk of neurological and degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. In addition, a Keto diet is effective in burning a few pounds and regulating one's weight without losing muscle mass.
Am I in a state of ketosis? 👀
Normally, you enter a state of ketosis in a few days, 72 hours for the majority. Some signs can be easily seen. First of all, there is the smell. Indeed, the release of ketones results in bad breath. Don't worry, there are many tricks to camouflage it. Then you will quickly notice a decrease in appetite. In addition, physical symptoms may be experienced during the first few days. Some people will experience nausea, cramps, fatigue or dehydration. Fortunately, these annoyances usually last two or three days at most, until the body gets used to its new diet.
After a few days, we will fall into a state of ketosis. However, it can take one to two months for the body to use only fat as an energy source. This stage is called keto-adaptation.
If you want to follow closely your ketosis level it is recommended to measure it. There are two techniques on the market. There are urinary strips and blood glucose readers. The first one is easier to use but is less accurate. The second determines exactly the concentration of ketone in the blood, but it is more expensive.
Foods permitted and not permitted 🍽
The ketogenic diet adapts to everyone's lifestyle. Some people want to adopt a strict diet, while others will be more liberal. The basics of the Keto diet is to limit their carbohydrate intake to less than 50 g per day, but everyone can adjust their diet according to their needs and goals. Despite some restrictions, a wide range of tasty foods are allowed in the ketogenic diet. Here is a partial list of foods accepted or not:
Accepted: the majority of meats, even bacon (in limited quantities of course), seafood, especially salmon for its high fat content, and nuts.
Refused: sausages and meats with fillers such as soy.
Accepted: saturated and monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, butter, avocados, coconut oil and duck fat.
Refused: processed fats, such as corn oil, margarine and some vegetable oils.
Fruits et vegetables 🍓
Accepted: anything that contains a lot of fibre, little sugar and grows outside the ground, such as tomatoes, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
Refused: root vegetables, such as potatoes, beets, carrots, peas and onions as well as fruit that contains little fibre.
Dairy products 🥛
Accepted: firm or sweet cheeses, yogurt, sour cream and all foods that contain a lot of fat.
Refused: Skimmed dairy products or with added sugar, such as cream cheese and ice cream.
Accepted: anything that does not contain added sugars, such as water, coffee and tea. Wine, preferably dry, is allowed, but in moderation of course.
Refused: fruit or vegetable juices, sports drinks, soft drinks and beer.
This category is the most critical in a ketogenic lifestyle. Carbohydrates should not be completely removed from your diet, but it is important to reduce them. In other words, all products with a high carbohydrate content, such as pasta, rice, bread, and cereals are refused. On another hand, there are products, such as Protilife Keto bars, that integrate perfectly with the ketogenic diet by providing some of the daily carbohydrate intake. For lovers of bread or pancakes, alternatives like almond flour, coconut and oat fibre exist to circumvent the rules a little.
The Keto lifestyle is full of health benefits. However, it is necessary to prepare well for its transition. Planning first-week meals and groceries greatly helps to strictly keep up with the restrictions of the ketogenic diet. Protilife Keto bars complement a ketogenic diet, reduce cravings and meet its guidelines even when there is not enough time to cook.