The Ketogenic Diet: An Ultimate Guide to Keto

The Ketogenic Diet: An Ultimate Guide to Keto

 

The Ketogenic Diet: An Ultimate Guide to Keto

Over recent years, ketogenic diets have become increasingly popular.

The diet is otherwise known as ‘keto,’ and it’s high in fat and extremely low in carbs.

But there are a few things to be aware of, such as the benefits, best foods to eat, foods to avoid, possible dangers and side effects.

This guide will show you all of these things.

Also, the guide provides sample keto meal plans, snack ideas, and guidance on where to find the best online keto resources.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

Ketogenic diets are a way of eating that focus on strictly limiting carbohydrate.

And if implemented well, ketogenic diets can be incredibly beneficial.

By and large, those following a keto plan eat higher amounts of fat, moderate protein, and a very small amount of carbs.

Keto macros

As long as you keep carbs very low, then keto is possible on a range of macronutrient ratios.

However, in my case I’d aim for macros similar to this:

Carbohydrate: 5-10%
Fat: 60-75%
Protein: 20-30%

How do keto diets work?

When you keep carbs very low for an extended period, the body enters nutritional ketosis.

Ketosis refers to a state in which the body starts burning fat for energy rather than carbohydrate.

On a typical high carb diet, the body burns glucose. In contrast, the ketogenic diet encourages the body to start using ketones for fuel.

Ketones are a type of molecule that our liver produces during times of carbohydrate restriction (or overall low food intake).

The human body can use both glucose and ketones for fuel.

How many carbohydrates should I eat?

Respected low carb researchers Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney advise aiming for an upper limit of 50 grams total carbs. Below this number is also widely accepted as a ketogenic diet (1).

Generally speaking, you can eat this amount of carbohydrate and still be in ketosis.

However, everybody is different, and the exact number will depend on the individual – it might be 35g, or it might be 70g.

How can I tell I’m in ketosis?

There are many signs which suggest you might be in ketosis:

  • Rapid weight loss, usually due to a drop in water weight
  • Better feelings of satiety and reduced food cravings 
  • Possible short-term side effects such as bad breath and fatigue 
  • If you want to be 100% sure, then you can use a ketone breath analyzer or a urine strip to measure for ketones.

Key Point: A ketogenic diet is a way of eating that restricts carbohydrate, has a moderate amount of protein, and a high-fat content.

By Michael Joseph, MSc