The Ketogenic (or keto) diet as it’s commonly known, is a very low- carb high- fat diet. The aim is to encourage the body to burn a higher number of calories by going into a state known as ketosis. With time the body becomes more efficient at using up fat for energy.
There are various types of ketogenic diets:
- Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet, containing 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs.
- Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): allows you to add carbs around workouts.
- Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.
- High-protein ketogenic diet: similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein in a 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carb ratio.
Only the high- protein and standard diets have been explored extensively through research. The other two are popular with athletes and bodybuilders.
- Helpful for cancer patients in reducing the size of tumours.
- Since you’re consuming low amounts of carbohydrates, your insulin level drops as well. As such, keto diets are useful in reversing type 2 diabetes.
- If you work out a lot, you may be looking for ways to increase your endurance. Ketogenic diets encourage the body to use fats for energy. As compared to carbs, the energy released from fat can last for weeks.
- Say bye to gut problems such as gas and cramps by embracing this diet.
- The body’s increased metabolism during such diets helps in achieving faster weight loss.
- Improved heart health due to increased HDL levels.
- May help to reduce acne (refined cabs and sugars are largely responsible for acne).
- It is a very strict diet. You have to do everything by the book. There are no cheat days.
- Critics caution that the diet is only suitable for short- term application. It should only be done under clinical supervision.
- It may cause muscle loss/ damage.
- Keto is basically starvation which can have negative effects if done long- term.
- Should be avoided by breastfeeding women and patients on medication for high blood pressure and diabetes.