Today, we are going to show you a complete beginners guide to the keto diet.
This guide reveals everything you need to know about the ketogenic diet – how to make it part of your lifestyle and what benefits you can get from it.
Before making a list of foods that are typical of a ketogenic diet, it is important to take stock of your diet and eliminate anything that is not healthy.
Many people suffer from a variety of chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity, and the main culprit is usually their diet.
Most people consume too much protein and carbohydrates, which are unhealthy because they ultimately lead to insulin and leptin resistance. The consequence is excessive weight gain, the development of inflammation and the risk of cell damage.
To avoid this problem, it is necessary to make significant changes in your diet, and the best way to do this is to put your body into a state of nutritional ketosis, in which it uses fat as a source of fuel. instead of sugar. To achieve nutritional ketosis, one must follow a ketogenic diet. What exactly is a ketogenic diet?
This guide will reveal everything you need to know about the ketogenic diet – how to make it part of your lifestyle and what benefits you can get from it.
The many benefits of the ketogenic diet
If you are trying to lose weight, the ketogenic diet is one of the best ways to do this because it provides access to your body fat to ‘melt’ it down. Obese people, in particular, can benefit from this method.
In one study, obese participants ate a low-carb ketogenic diet for some and a low-fat diet for others. After 24 weeks, the researchers noted that subjects in the ‘low-carbohydrate diet’ group had lost more weight (9.4 kg) than those in the ‘low-fat diet’ group (4.8 kg).
The human body can use both sugar and fat as a source of fuel. However, the latter is preferable because it is a cleaner and healthier fuel, which releases much less reactive oxygen species and secondary free radicals.
By eliminating sugar from your daily diet, you lower your risk of developing chronic inflammation that is widespread throughout your body.
•Increased muscle mass
Jeff Volek, PhD, is a dietitian who specializes in how a high fat, low carbohydrate diet can affect athletic health and performance.
In one of his books, he explains that ketones are similar in structure to branched side chain amino acids, which can help build muscle mass. Ketones spare these amino acids, which are therefore more numerous, which can promote the development of muscle mass.
Being hungry all the time can cause you to consume more calories than you can burn, which can lead to weight gain. A ketogenic diet can help you avoid this problem, as cutting back on carbs can reduce feelings of hunger. In one study, participants who followed a low-carb diet were less hungry, which helped them lose weight.
•Reduced insulin levels
When you consume carbohydrates, they are broken down into sugars in your body. This causes your blood sugar to rise and your insulin to spike. Over time, you may develop insulin resistance, which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
The Ketogenic Diet May Help Lower Your Cancer Risk
Cancer is a devastating disease and one of the leading causes of death around the world. To make matters worse, the medical profession continues to ignore virtually all the evidence that cancer is a metabolic and mitochondrial problem, and conventional cancer treatments, therefore, fall short of the results they promise.
Most people don’t realize that cancer cells eat mainly glucose. From this point of view, the ketogenic diet may prove to be the best solution. By depriving cancer cells of their main source of fuel, and also restricting protein intake, they are literally starving them.
Additionally, research into the ketogenic diet and its effect on cancer has grown in recent years, and data indicates that in addition to helping prevent cancer, the ketogenic diet may be a supplement. common cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
The different types of ketogenic diets you can try
•The classic ketogenic (CR) diet
The classic RC is the one I generally recommend because it is very efficient. It is characterized by high consumption of good fats (70% of your diet), moderate consumption of protein (25%), and very low consumption of carbohydrates (5%).
•The targeted ketogenic (CR) diet
Targeted CR is generally aimed at fitness enthusiasts. This approach involves consuming your entire daily portion of carbohydrate all at once, 30 to 60 minutes before a workout. The idea is to efficiently use the energy provided by carbohydrates before they interrupt ketosis.
If you take this approach, my advice is to choose easily digestible, high glycemic index carbohydrates to avoid an upset stomach. In addition, after your workout, increase your protein intake to promote muscle recovery, and then continue with fat.
•The cyclical ketogenic (CR) diet
While Targeted CR is for fitness enthusiasts, Cyclic CR is more for athletes and bodybuilders. Cyclic CR involves alternating a classic ketogenic diet with times when you eat a diet high in carbohydrates, known as “glycogen overload.”
The idea is to take advantage of carbohydrates to compensate for the loss of your muscles in glycogen during your sports activities and your training.
•The high protein ketogenic diet
This method is a variation of the classic RC. In a high protein diet, you increase protein intake by 10% and reduce the intake of good fats by the same amount.
In a study of obese men who tested this method, researchers noted that it reduced the feeling of hunger, and therefore reduced food intake significantly, promoting weight loss. If you are overweight or obese, this method may help you initially, and you can eventually switch to regular CR once your weight has normalized.
•The Restricted Ketogenic Diet
As I mentioned above, a ketogenic diet can be an effective weapon against cancer. For this to be the case, one must adopt a restricted ketogenic diet.
When you restrict your carbohydrate intake and calorie intake, your body loses glycogen and begins producing ketones, which your healthy cells can use for energy. Because cancer cells are unable to use these ketones, they literally starve to death.
Foods to give up before starting a ketogenic diet
Before making a list of foods that are typical of a ketogenic diet, it’s important to take stock of your diet, and eliminate anything that isn’t healthy. This means eliminating sugars, starches, packaged and processed foods from your diet because a ketogenic diet is based on real, whole foods.
Additionally, you should avoid drinking milk, since it contains galactose, which is a carbohydrate – just one glass of milk can practically cover your allowable carbohydrate portion for the day. Also, avoiding milk allows people with lactose intolerance to adopt a ketogenic diet.
Many other products should be avoided, such as hydrogenated vegetable oils (canola oil), soy products, and sodas. They may be low in carbohydrates, but they are unhealthy foods that can be bad for your health.
Foods to eat on a ketogenic diet
•The omega-3 animal, from healthy sources such as wild salmon from Alaska, sardines, anchovies and krill.
•Olives and olive oil (make sure it is certified by an independent body, as most olive oils are diluted with other vegetable oils)
•Raw pasture butter
•Raw nuts, such as macadamia nuts, almonds, or pecans
•Seeds, such as squash, sesame, cumin, and hemp seeds
•Lard and/or tallow
•Ghee (clarified butter)
•Raw cocoa butter
•Organic free-range eggs
When establishing your meal plan, on a ketogenic diet, it is important to favour leafy green vegetables, as they are high in fibre, antioxidants, and many nutrients. The best options are broccoli, spinach, parsley, Brussels sprouts, and zucchini.
While fruits are healthy, most of them should be avoided on a ketogenic diet, due to their high sugar content. However, you can consume some red fruits, in moderate amounts, such as blackberries, blueberries and lingonberries, as they are rich in antioxidants which contribute to good health.
As for drinks, you have several choices. The most important is water, but you can also drink organic black coffee (without sweeteners or milk), which is rich in antioxidants. You can also drink coconut milk, as well as herbal teas which are rich in many antioxidants and nutrients.
Who should not go on a ketogenic diet?
During pregnancy, the body goes through many changes that require nutrients from various sources. Restricting your sources of good carbohydrates can, therefore, have a negative impact on your baby’s health.
Breastfeeding women should avoid following a ketogenic diet for the duration of breastfeeding. Women need oxaloacetate, a compound that is essential for making lactose in breast milk, which is essential for the growth of their babies.
Athletes preparing to start a new season
The energy produced by ketones can be of great benefit to athletes, but it takes around four to six weeks for your body to enter a state of ketosis.
During this period, the body is not yet ready to use fat for energy, which can hamper performance during competitive sports.
If you want to reap the benefits of a ketogenic diet, you need to allow your body time to adjust and plan to start it early enough, during the offseason.
People who have had their gallbladder removed
Your gallbladder collects and concentrates bile, which helps your digestive system to properly absorb fat from your diet.
Without it, fat is less well absorbed, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies since a ketogenic diet relies heavily on fat for nutrient supply. The solution is quite simple.
Just be sure to take two supplements with every meal that includes fat. Beef bile and lipase. Beef bile helps emulsify fat so that you can absorb it, and replaces the bile that is normally secreted by the gallbladder. Lipase is an enzyme that helps digest fat.
People with a history of kidney stones
If you’ve had kidney stones in the past, a ketogenic diet may increase your risk of developing them again. Ketones are indeed naturally acidic and cause an increase in the production of uric acid and stones.
That said, kidney stones can be prevented when you are on a ketogenic diet, by increasing your potassium intake by consuming leafy green vegetables and other foods high in fat, such as avocados. Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day also helps lower your risk of developing stones.
In one study, children with epilepsy who followed a ketogenic diet saw their symptoms reduced, and their cognitive performance improved.
However, according to a study published in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology magazine, this diet can have a negative effect on their growth in the long term.
Researchers believe that a ketogenic diet reduces the production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a hormone essential for the development of bones and muscles in children and adolescents. If your child absolutely must follow a ketogenic diet, consult a doctor first to examine any potential growth issues.
Naturally thin people
Naturally thin people with a body mass index (BMI) of 20 or less should avoid following a ketogenic diet which may cause them to lose more weight, which could be harmful to their health.
People with rare metabolic disorders
Disorders such as Gaucher, Tay Sachs, Niemann-Pick or Fabry disease can interfere with fat metabolism, thereby disrupting energy production.
If you suffer from any of these conditions, it is not recommended that you follow a ketogenic diet, which relies heavily on fat for energy production.
People with anorexia
People with anorexia are at risk of quickly worsening their condition while following a ketogenic diet, as they are already limiting their calorie intake and have an extreme fear of eating fatty foods, which are very common in this diet.
By adopting a ketogenic diet, they may also suffer from reduced energy, since this diet is based on fat as the main source of fuel. However, their overall well-being can be enhanced by ketones, subject to careful medical and psychiatric monitoring.
People with pancreatic insufficiency
Pancreatic insufficiency is a disease in which the pancreas does not make enough enzymes to break down and absorb nutrients in the digestive system.
If you are suffering from pancreatic insufficiency, I suggest that you treat it before adopting a ketogenic diet, as your digestive system would have a hard time absorbing fat.
Side effects of a ketogenic diet
When starting a ketogenic diet, you may notice that your breath is unpleasant, and this is due to the increased level of acetone in your body.
Acetone is a ketone produced during ketosis, which is excreted in the urine and partly in the exhaled air.
On the plus side, the smell of acetone on your breath indicates that your ketogenic diet is working. You can brush your teeth and/or rinse your mouth with coconut oil to get rid of that bad breath.
It is possible to feel tired when starting a ketogenic diet. This is one of the main reasons why many people abandon this approach, long before they have been able to enjoy its benefits.
The fatigue that one can feel, in the beginning, is due to the fact that the body switches from using carbohydrates for energy, to using good fats.
The transition doesn’t happen overnight, and it can take anywhere from 7 to 30 days for the body to reach the state of ketosis.
In the first few days of a ketogenic diet, you may notice that you urinate more often. This is because the body eliminates glycogen present in the liver and muscles in the form of urine.
In addition, as the level of insulin in the blood decreases, excess sodium is also eliminated in the form of urine.
Any big change in our diet can lead to digestive issues, and the ketogenic diet is no exception.
People who start such a diet often report problems with constipation, but it can go away after a few weeks when your body gets used to the healthier foods you eat.
It is possible to have heavy cravings for sugar when the body switches from sugar to fat for fuel. However, I encourage you not to give in to temptation.
There are several relaxation methods that you can adopt, such as the Emotional Release Technique or yoga, to distract your attention from sugary foods.
It is possible to see more hair loss in the first few days of a ketogenic diet.
Don’t worry, as any major change in diet can lead to hair loss. This problem will go away once your body has reached the state of ketosis.
Ketogenic Recipes You Can Try
Often people underestimate the potential that a healthy diet can have for your overall well-being. In truth, the food you eat contributes 80 per cent of your overall health, with the last 20 per cent depending on various lifestyle factors.
In my book, I sought to educate readers on the benefits of using good fats as a catalyst to lead to improved mitochondrial function, thereby enabling you to improve your health. In essence, the book explains “why” it’s important to eat good fats. Nonetheless, you still have to figure out ‘how’ for good ketogenic foods in appetizing form.
Whether you are an aspiring cook or a chef, there is a delicious dish waiting to be prepared that will take your health to the next level.
I also encourage you to try the ketogenic recipes presented below that I use on a daily basis. They are not included in the book, but they are a good introduction to the great benefits and flavours of the ketogenic diet.
Fat Bomb Chocolate
1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon of flax seeds
1 tablespoon of black cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon of organic psyllium
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
1 dose of organic vegetables
1 tablespoon of pasture eggshell calcium.
1/2 ounce of cocoa butter
1 whole avocado
1 to 2 tablespoons Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) Oil
1 taste of Stevia
•Let the black sesame, flax, squash and black cumin seeds soak overnight (about 14 hours) in a bowl.
•Mix the remaining ingredients.
Pour in water to achieve the consistency you want – it can range from a liquid form to a pudding-like texture.
•Using an immersion blender, blend for two to five minutes to achieve desired consistency.
2 ounces of chopped organic lamb
1/3 red onion
1 whole avocado
2 to 4 ounces of sprouted sunflower seeds
1 to 2 tablespoons
6 anchovy pieces (wrapped in salt, not oil)
A handful of oregano according to the flavour you want (finely chopped)
2 to 4 ounces of fennel bulbs and/or leaves
2 sprigs of rosemary (finely chopped)
100 grams of red peppers
A handful of Malabar spinach
1 habanero pepper (minced)
1 tablespoon of salmon roe
2 to 3 ounces of grass-fed cow butter
3 ounces of fermented vegetables
4 to 7 doses of Himalayan salt
10 to 20 doses of ground pepper (depending on your preference)
•Gently heat the coconut oil in a frying pan.
•Add the onions and the chopped organic lamb over very low heat for 20 to 25 minutes.
•In a separate bowl, mince and mix the remaining ingredients.
•After 25 minutes, add the onions to the salad and mix it well.
•Pass the anchovies under water to remove the salt and let them soak for five minutes.
•Cut each anchovy into thirds and add to the salad.
•Add the organic lamb to the salad.
Macadamia Nut Fudge Recipe
300 grams of cocoa butter
200 grams of coconut oil
20 grams of organic raw butter
300 grams of macadamia nuts
8 droppers full of stevia (you can also use Luo Han)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
•Combine the butter and oil over low heat for three to five minutes.
•Once the mixture has cooled, add the stevia and vanilla extract.
•Pour the fudge into large 25cl glass jars.
•Divide the nuts among the jars.
•Refrigerate until the fudge has taken on the desired consistency.