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What is a ketogenic diet?

July 24, 2019

One of the diets that is a huge success nowadays is known as the ketogenic diet or the keto diet. The first time that I heard about it, I was very interested: it goes against most existing diets as its key theme is eating “fatty” foods to lose weight.

Why is the ketogenic diet effective?

As you probably know, most of the body's energy comes from carbohydrates. But this diet proposes a metabolic revolution: using good fats as the main source of energy – a process known as "ketosis".

In order to reach ketosis, it is important to minimize the intake of carbohydrates, to allow the body to begin to use and burn (body and ingested) fat energy, which provides much more energy than that which is acquired through carbohydrates.

Before continuing, you should know that, if you plan to carry out this diet or any similar, I recommend you to consult a nutritionist expert, who can advise on whether it is the right one for you or not.

What does it consist of?

The main element in this diet is healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil and olives, owing to their nutritional values. They also sate the appetite, meaning that hunger is considerably reduced throughout the day.

Apart from fats, lots of vegetables that are low in carbohydrates need to be eaten. Therefore asparagus, spinach, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, pepper, zucchini, lettuce, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are highly recommended in the ketogenic diet.

As for protein, the ideal is to consume products that are high in healthy fats such as salmon, certain seafood, and meat. Cheese and eggs are also good, as they as they have low levels of carbohydrate.

And of course the main thing is to reduce by almost 100% the intake of carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, cereals, pulses, root vegetables, sugar, and all processed food. You should keep in mind that the maximum carbohydrates to be consumed in the ketogenic diet is fifty grams per day.

Nevertheless, this new way of eating revolutionizes the typical concept of a diet where you reduce fat consumption as much as possible in order to lose weight. But don't forget that natural fats, such as olive oil, are healthy and necessary for the body, owing to their nutritional value. Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise to hear that we are living a healthy life with them as the main source of energy

Source: The Lancet

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