Ketogenic diet or a Keto diet is a low carb, medium protein and a high fat diet, which is aimed to reduce weight and decrease insulin requirements in diabetics.
This diet works on the fact that body utilises glucose or carbs for energy and thus minimising carbs will make body utilise fats for the same. Fats when used for energy are converted into ketone bodies leading to Ketosis.
Apart from low carb and high fat, proteins should be consumed in medium amounts as high protein will lead to utilisation of protein for energy instead of fats.
In a Keto diet, carbohydrate consumption is as low as 30g per day and proteins to 40-50g per day (requirements may vary for different bodies)
What to eat in a Keto diet?
- Low carb veggies or leafy vegetables.
- High fat dairy products
- Meat and eggs
Water intake should always be increased while following a Keto diet as there is fluid retention in case of a carb rich diet and once you start consuming a low carb diet, body doesn’t retain fluids and helps reduce weight, but simultaneously fluid loss should be compensated externally by increasing water intake.
Keto Flu –
During early days of Keto diet, body first utilises the glucose already stored in the body and then redirect towards ketones due to lack of glucose, once shifted to a low carb diet.
This transformation from high carb to low carb diet shows some obvious withdrawal symptoms like tiredness, nausea, lightheadedness, headache, stomach ache, poor concentration, sleeplessness and sometimes diarrhoea (symptoms may vary from person to person) known as Keto Flu.
The reason behind Keto Flu is lack of glucose or carbohydrate which is an instant source of energy, unlike ketones.
Keto diet and Type 1 diabetes –
Special care is needed in type 1 diabetics while following the Keto diet as it leads to Ketosis in the body or an increased level of ketone bodies which can be harmful in case a bolus of insulin is missed or an insufficient amount of insulin is taken, which can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in type 1 diabetics.
Always consult your doctor before following a Keto diet as different medical conditions may differ your diet results or some precautions should be taken while following the diet.
For example- higher amounts of ketones can be harmful for type 1 diabetics, high fat diet is not recommended in patients with high cholesterol levels or cardiac problems etc.