The keto diet had its first moment of splendor last year, and all predictions pointed to it being in fashion this 2019. In fact, its premise has been setting trends for a long time: eliminate or reduce all carbohydrates as much as possible and bet on fats and proteins. It is a diet widely used in certain sports fields that has now become fashionable to lose weight. Does it really work? What does it consist of exactly?
Although this is not another express miracle diet, it is not the ultimate panacea for losing weight. It is true that numerous studies confirm that a ketogenic diet can help you lose weight, but not recommended for everyone or for long-term maintenance. Before we go crazy on a keto diet, it is worth knowing exactly what it consists of in order to practice it well and what are its consequences.
Three keys to decipher the labeling of any food
What is a keto or ketogenic diet: understanding ketosis
Today’s popular term for “keto diet” is the adaptation of ketogenic diet, namely, ketogenic diet. The name refers to the fact that it is a feeding model whose objective is the creation of ketone bodies. These ketone bodies are metabolic compounds generated in the body in response to the lack of energy reserves.
We already know that food provides us with the nutrients and energy necessary for our body to function properly; the “gasoline” of the machinery of our organism. Carbohydrates are the primary source of that energy: the muscles turn first to the blood glucose concentration.
When the necessary glucose is lacking, that is, if we have low blood glucose levels, the muscles will seek energy in the glycogen stores, which are the carbohydrates accumulated in the body. What if those reservations run out? That’s when ketosis occurs.
In ketosis, the body turns to fat for energy
Broadly speaking, when you enter a state of ketosis, fatty acids are transformed in the liver in a metabolic process that seeks to obtain energy quickly. Is when ketone bodies are released, molecules that the body will now use as an energy source, as if it were glucose.
In short, ketosis is a state in which the body has run out of energy reserves and have to resort to fats to use them as immediate fuel, especially for the functioning of the muscles.
Why the ketogenic diet can help you lose weight
Scientific evidence confirms that a keto diet can help in weight loss diets based mainly on three premises:
- The body has to turn to fat for energy. But the ketosis process is not as efficient as when you use glucose; we need more fatty acids for less energy. The higher energy expenditure also contributes to greater weight loss.
- By limiting or eliminating carbohydrates, they do not accumulate, thus preventing them from concentrating in the form of fat. One of the main causes of obesity or overweight is precisely the excess of carbohydrates or sugars in the diet, consuming many more than the body needs and that end up accumulating in the form of fat.
- Increases satiety and decreases appetite. According to various studies, a diet based on the parameters of the ketogenic diet -fats and proteins- helps to control hunger as it contributes to feeling more satiated for longer.
Who can follow a keto diet and in which cases it is not recommended
Ketosis is a state in which we are forcing the body to act in an exceptional emergency situation. If a healthy diet consists of consuming a good variety of foods in a balanced way, prioritizing vegetables, fruits and legumes, it seems obvious that the keto diet has its risks and that is not valid for everyone.
The whole body needs energy, including the heart and brain, which also need it constantly and uninterruptedly. When the brain cannot obtain its normal fuel, glucose, it is also forced to turn to ketone bodies Exceptionally, which cannot fail.
The ketogenic diet is not recommended in certain pathologies
In addition, in extreme situations of ketosis it can occur ketoacidosis: ketone bodies -acids- lower the pH level of the blood, causing it to be more acidic. And this negatively affects the organs, with consequences of varying severity: bad breath, headaches, kidney problems, nausea, dizziness, cramps and muscle weakness, even brain edema.
The keto diet not recommended for people with metabolic diseases, thyroid, kidney, liver or pancreas problems, diabetics or patients with eating disorders. Likewise, it is not advisable to follow this diet in the long term, since it is very unbalanced. Since adherence not possible, it would not be an adequate diet to maintain weight, and it can cause rebound effect.
A strict ketogenic diet should only be used for specific purposes under certain circumstances and, if possible, always supervised by a professional. Depending on those goals – to lose weight, lose fat or define muscle – it could be adapted to the specific circumstances of each individual.
What foods can and cannot be eaten on a ketogenic diet
To reach the state of ketosis on a keto diet simple and complex carbohydrates are minimized. Depending on each person, their physical condition and level of exercise, the maximum limit of daily carbohydrates between 20-50 g. The approximate proportion of daily calorie intake would be the following:
- 60-75% fat.
- 25-30% protein.
- 5-10% carbohydrates.
Fat and protein are the foundation of a keto diet
Therefore, we are not in the same parameters of the paleo diet, in which a higher consumption of carbohydrates such as certain fruits and vegetables is allowed. A ketogenic diet consists, above all, of obtaining the calories from fatty foods and some proteins. Among the most consumed foods are:
- All kinds of meat, including red meat.
- Fish and shellfish, especially blue.
- Eggs, including the yolk.
- Whole dairy, preferring the fattiest (cream, cream, aged cheeses) and limiting milk.
- Cocoa and pure chocolate without sugar.
- Nuts rich in fat.
- Coconut and its derivatives (milk, oil, flour).
- Vegetable oils (olive, rapeseed, sunflower, seed …).
- Whole or ground seeds (flax, pumpkin, sunflower, chia, poppy, sesame …).
- Vegetable creams and patés with dried fruits (peanut butter, almond butter, tahini …).
To achieve and maintain ketosis you must restrict the consumption of any type of cerealWhether or not it has gluten, in all its forms (grain, bread, flour, pasta), legumes, fruits, vegetables and vegetables, especially those with a higher content of hydrates (which are usually the sweetest). Of course, the consumption of added sugars is practically completely eliminated.
Low carb keto recipes for a keto diet
To avoid falling into monotony when looking to enter ketosis, it is best to vary the protein source and its presentation, taking advantage above all the versatility of eggs. Many common recipes in our diet are suitable for a keto diet, with small variations.
For example, when making a tuna omelette or a scrambled eggs with ham we can remove the typical onion from the sauce, or stuff a rotisserie chicken with nuts and cheese instead of potatoes and vegetables. Dried or dried fruits, such as dates, dried apricots and raisins, must also be eliminated, as they also concentrate much more sugar than the fresh version, and are not comparable to dried fruits.
Egg and omelette recipes
The great advantage of eggs is that can be attached to any food of the day. It’s a good idea to cook several at the same time to have them ready in the fridge; They can be a good snack between meals or as a complement to other dishes. The cloud bread It is perfect for those who miss bread, and very simple to prepare.
Meat and poultry recipes
In addition to the typical grilled steaks, meats can be cooked in the oven accompanied by cheese, nuts or different seasonings that do not include fresh or dried vegetables or fruits. Be careful when seasoning with sauces that may contain sugar and other carbohydrates, it is better to use pure mustard, oils, homemade mayonnaise or spices. The typical alcohol of stews and roasts is convenient to eliminate or reduce it to the maximum.
Fish and seafood recipes
Any fish cooked on the grill or in the oven is a good alternative to meat on the ketogenic diet. Also seafood, simply cooked or prepared on the grill, avoiding sauces or accompaniments with vegetables. The blue fish They are especially recommended, and that gives us a lot of play to resort to canned in oil.
Pure cocoa, fatty dairy, egg and avocado can give us a lot of play for little “sweet” whims. It is advisable to completely eliminate sugar, honey or syrups, no matter how small the amount used, and make better use of spices to give …