The ketogenic (KETO) diet is a low-carb diet. A feature of this diet is the use of ketones as energy by the body. Ketone is produced in the liver. In parallel with this, the production of insulin and glucose in the body is observed [1].

Glucose is the main source of energy in the human body. And insulin is a kind of blood sugar regulator. And it is because of the important role of glucose as energy that fat is stored. In other words, when consuming carbohydrates, the body will use glucose as its main source of energy. And with a lack of them, the body goes into a state of so-called ketosis.

Ketosis is a process whereby the body survives inadequate food intake. In this case, ketones will be produced in the liver from free fatty acids coming from fat reserves.

 Ketones are an alternative and universal source of a sick amount of energy, therefore the main goal of a ketogenic diet is to enter the human body into a metabolic state. This is exactly what is achieved with a reduced intake of carbohydrates.

The body begins to use ketones when the intake of fatty foods increases and the intake of carbohydrates decreases. A certain amount of ketones has a beneficial effect on the state of the human body [2].

Naturally, this suggests that this diet has certain benefits:

– weight loss associated with the use of fats as energy;

– lowering blood sugar levels (effective in treating diabetes mellitus);

-increasing efficiency, since ketones are an excellent source of energy for the brain;

-control of the feeling of hunger, because fatty foods are more high-calorie;

-control of blood pressure;

-insulin resistance;

-improvement of the skin condition (it is possible to reduce the amount of acne and acne);

– a noticeable improvement in mood, the emergence of a feeling of lightness.

What foods should be consumed.

It is necessary to carefully compile a list of foods to eat on a ketogenic diet. It is necessary to take into account the fact that with a greater restriction of carbohydrates, the body will quickly enter a state of ketosis [3].

You should continue to restrict carbohydrates by eating more foods that are high in fat and protein, such as vegetables, nuts, dairy products, and fish. It is necessary to limit the consumption of carbohydrates such as wheat (bread, loaf, pasta, cereals), starch (potatoes, beans, legumes). Avocados and berries should be used with caution [4].

With a ketogenic diet, you also do not need to consume:

-grain – wheat, corn, rice, oatmeal, pearl barley, semolina and other cereals;

-sugar – honey, maple syrup, agave, etc.;

-fruits – apples, bananas, pears, tangerines, grapes, oranges, figs, persimmons, etc .;

Recommended for ketogenic diets:

-various types of meat – fish, beef, pork, lamb, poultry;

-greens – spinach, cabbage, dill, parsley, arugula, romaine, lettuce;

– dairy products with a high fat content – hard cheeses, cream, butter, sour cream, cottage cheese, kefir;

– vegetable fats – coconut oil, olive oil, linseed oil, hemp oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, etc.

Remember that the ketogenic diet is a diet high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbohydrates. The relative ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates with such a diet should be: 25%, 70% and 5%, respectively.

Protein should be consumed in the required amount, thereby supplementing the calories obtained from fats throughout the day.

How to start a ketogenic diet?

First, you need to prepare the body. It is recommended that you reduce your carbohydrate intake about a month before starting the diet. The consumption of sweet and flour products should be limited. Then it is advised to spend a fasting day in order to get rid of harmful substances (various toxins and toxins, metabolic products) in the body. To do this, you need to drink plenty of water and reduce the calorie content of food, while increasing the frequency of its intake [5].

How to enter ketosis? There are several basic guidelines to help you enter ketosis:

1. First of all, it is to limit the intake of carbohydrates.

2. Secondly, limit your protein intake, as excess protein can lead to a decrease in ketosis.

3. Drink more water. Water helps activate metabolic processes in the body and triggers the elimination of toxins.

4. Avoiding snacking. This will limit fluctuations in insulin levels throughout the day and will speed up the weight loss process.

5.Sport. Active physical activity along with diet will help to achieve the desired result much faster [6].

How to understand if the body is in ketosis or not? There are several signs, the combination of which indicates the onset of a state of ketosis:

– frequent urination. Acetoacetate, a ketone body, is also excreted in the urine, leading to more frequent toilet trips for beginners.

dry mouth. Frequent urination leads to dry mouth and increased thirst;

-smell from the mouth. Acetone is a ketone body that is partially eliminated through respiration. It may smell harsh, like overripe fruit or nail polish remover;

-reduction of hunger and increased energy.

Results of some studies. A study was carried out in which 10 people voluntarily took part, including 5 girls. The main goal of the female sex was getting rid of excess weight, the male goal was to improve overall health and increase efficiency. The study lasted 14 days. Upon completion of the study, the following results were obtained:

From the results, it can be seen that all the participants managed to lose weight. All of them were satisfied with their results. Overweight participants managed to achieve greater results than those who just wanted to lose “a couple of kg”. In addition, it can be noted that age does not affect weight loss, the difference in kg between 20-year-olds and women over 30 is small. Each of the participants reported an improvement in overall health.

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Physical performance

It should be noted that there may be a slight drop in performance in the short term, but it goes away as soon as the body begins to adapt to fat and adequate fluid intake.

There has been a lot of research done on exercise. A study conducted on athletes who were on a ketogenic (keto) diet for four weeks showed that their aerobic endurance was not affected and their muscle mass remained unchanged.

Their bodies adapted to ketosis by decreasing stores of both glucose and glycogen, and using fat as their main source of energy.

The harm and danger of the Keto (Keto) Diet, its cons

If you sit on the keto diet for too long, it can happen that the body begins to produce too many ketones, that is, ketoacidosis occurs in the body. Fortunately, this condition is very rare.

Importantly, the main exception to ketoacidosis is type I diabetes. Ketoacidosis can occur when insulin levels are low, which is very rare in people with a normally functioning pancreas.

When you eat foods high in fat and carbohydrates, your body produces glucose. Since the body converts carbohydrates into energy, it uses them first. Ultimately, the fat will be stored in reserve. This leads to obesity and health problems associated with diets high in carbohydrates and fats (NOT a ketogenic diet).

Changes in the body.

The body uses enzymes to convert carbohydrates into energy [7]. Some of them are aimed at working with fats, namely, storing them. With a ketogenic diet, the diet changes, so the body will require the construction of new sources of enzymes. As the body adapts to a state of ketosis, the body will start using the remaining glucose. This, in turn, can lead to depletion of muscle glycogen stores, feelings of weakness and lethargy.

The appearance of dizziness, headaches and irritability is associated with the leaching of electrolytes from the body, therefore, it is necessary to observe the drinking regime. In addition, it is recommended to eat foods with added salt. This will help to retain water in the body, thereby replenishing the reserves of electrolytes.

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Possible side effects.

Convulsions. It occurs due to a lack of minerals, especially magnesium.

Constipation. The reason is dehydration of the body. Solution – 1) regular drinking (about 2.5 liters of water per day); 2) eating foods rich in fiber.

Tachycardia. The reason is the same as when the electrolytes are bled. The solution to this problem is the addition of potassium.

Decreased physical performance. In the first week, a person may feel tired and have decreased physical stamina. This is due to the adaptation of the body to changes in diet and the use of fat as its main source of energy. This usually goes away with time.

Hair loss . This side effect is rare. Hair loss is associated with micronutrient deficiencies, therefore, it is recommended to consume vitamins with such a diet.

Increased cholesterol levels. It is known that the level of cholesterol is increased by high density lipoproteins. This reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In addition, triglyceride levels may increase with a ketogenic diet, indicating weight loss. Their level returns to normal when the weight returns to normal.

Rash. At this point in time, there is no exact scientific explanation for the appearance of the rash. The rash is thought to be caused by a reaction of the skin to acetone, which comes out in sweat (for the same reason, bad breath can occur).

In conclusion, we can say that the ketogenic diet has a beneficial effect on health, contributing to weight loss, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels. However, there are some rules to keep in mind to help you achieve the best results. A sudden transition to a ketogenic diet is not recommended; it is necessary to gradually limit the amount of carbohydrates consumed. Drink plenty of water, at least 2.5 liters per day. Do not forget about the inclusion of vitamins in the diet. In addition, you cannot sit on a keto diet for a long time without interruption, maximum 2 weeks, then you should take a break, because carbohydrates are also necessary for the body for its normal functioning.