Ketogenic Diet: The Basics

Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet also referred to as keto diet is highly popular with many health-conscious individuals for being a low-carb, high-fat nutritional regimen. Keto is the latest buzzword doing the rounds in the dietary world where Atkins, Mediterranean, Western, and vegan diets have ruled the roost for long. Being similar to some other low-carb dietetics, including the Atkins diet, keto entails replacing intake of major carbohydrate-rich foods with high-fat foods.

The resultant reduction in carbohydrate content leads to ketosis-a metabolic phase that stimulates the body to produce a high amount of ketones for conversion into energy. Ketosis causes the modification of fat into ketones, thus supplying you with the energy necessary for smoothly completing your everyday tasks. Ketogenic diets can be classified into four distinct types-Standard, Cyclical, Targeted, and High-protein-depending upon the proportion of macronutrients’ content.

Fresh Bread may be delicious but if you’re on a Ketogenic Diet…this is not for you!

Since keto diets help reduce insulin and blood sugar levels considerably, these effects result in numerous benefits for health. If you adhere to a keto diet on a routine basis, you can experience firsthand memory boost up, improved mental acuity, and receding of physiological signs and symptoms associated with numerous diseases.         

The Macronutrients in keto diet

You’re on a ketogenic diet when you consume foods rich in fats but low in carbohydrates that facilitates ketosis. Your body ordinarily converts carbs into glucose for providing you with energy-making glucose your default energy source. But the body is forced to transform fats into ketones (for giving you energy) when you reduce your overall carbohydrate consumption, as per the keto diet.

The main macronutrients that must be present in the foods making up your keto diet comprise fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

What proportion of the macronutrients should you consume?

What proportion of calories (energy units) should you obtain from the different macronutrients comprising the ketogenic diet? Dieticians and nutritionists opine that at least 70%-80% of calories should come from fats, 20-25% from proteins, and 5-10% from carbohydrates. However, bear in mind that the above figures are standardized guidelines.

Your personal (macronutrients) requirement levels will largely depend upon your way of life or standard of living.

In layman’s terms, your fat intake should be in the range of 150-180gms implying that you should consume foods containing healthy fats. You should remember that the mainstay of a ketogenic diet is fats. However, do not underestimate the significance of including the prescribed amount of protein in your keto diet. Consuming 0.8g protein for every pound of lean body mass will suffice. 0.8g (for every pound of lean mass) is the ideal amount of protein intake to check muscle loss.

Use this link for calculating your lean mass:-

When it comes to carbohydrate intake, make sure you receive at least 25g-50g of carbs from foods for delivering 5-10% calories (between 100-200 calories) to your body.

Ketogenic Diet Benefits

You stand to reap a wide array of benefits when you follow a keto diet and stick to the same in the long run. Expect to shed excess kilos, find more energy for your daily activities, reduction in blood sugar levels, and so on. At the least, you’ve nothing to lose but everything to gain from adhering to a ketogenic diet.

Following are some of the noticeable benefits of sticking to a keto diet:-

Reduction in blood glucose levels

Those diagnosed with type II diabetes will find relief from adopting a keto diet. The low-carb, fat-based diet can go a long way in keeping blood glucose level under control. Recent researches and trials have pointed out that an individual suffering from type II diabetes may have to take fewer medications or stop taking them altogether if they drastically reduced their carbs intake replacing it with fat-rich high-quality foods.  

Steak on top of bed of vegetables

Diabetes mellitus causes insulin resistance which causes glucose levels to rise in the bloodstream. Taking foods abounding in omega-3 fatty acids reverses or reduces your body’s resistance to insulin which in turn keeps blood glucose levels under control.  

Help lose weight

The objective behind following a keto diet is to make the body turn to fats (rather than glucose gleaned from carbs) for offering energy. When you’re on a keto regimen, your body burns fat at the same (sometimes the rate is higher) rate you consume the macronutrient. Obviously, when your body burns up fat in place of glucose (to keep you active), you tend to lose weight and slim down.  However, Calorie counting is and always will be critical for weight loss/weight gain. Ketogenic dieting is simply a way of eating that can be sustainable for certain people and the reduction in Carbohydrates usually means a reduction is caloric intake. Less calories in can usually result in weight loss in addition to the effects of a ketogenic diet.

A typical keto diet helps restrain appetite and keep food cravings under check. However, scientists and medical researchers still do not know how the mechanism (of suppressing appetite) works.  

Blood pressure stays under control

The keto diet can aid in improving HDL (good cholesterol) and lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the blood. Elevated triglycerides levels in the bloodstream could lead to pancreatitis, fatty liver disease, and arteriosclerosis. Numerous trials on various low-carb diets have indicated a correlation between the regimen and reduced LDL or triglyceride levels.

Those suffering from hypertension could witness a gradual reduction in their blood pressure levels once they get started on a keto diet. As hypertension is more often than not linked to obesity or vice-versa, obese and hypertensive persons could benefit from this low-carb diet.  

Improves mental focus

Several types of research have demonstrated that ketogenic diets could help boost up mental acuity. The human brain relies heavily on ketones for staying active. Alternatively, the increased fat intake side by side with a reduction in consumption of carbohydrates (which amps up ketones production) improves mental focus. Additionally, if you consume more fatty acids, your brain will continue to function smoothly as you age.

Keeps acne at bay

Youngsters and teenagers beset with acne and pimples can bank on a low-carb diet such as keto for getting relief. Those putting up with acne and dermal lesions can see improvements if they follow a ketogenic diet.

What food items to include in your keto diet?

Eat the following food items in higher amounts:

  • Leafy vegetables-kale, spinach, cabbage

  • Meats-poultry, lamb, beef

  • Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids

  • Seeds and nuts-sunflower seeds, walnuts, cashew nuts, almonds, etc

  • Berries-blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and so on.

Stay away from tubers, fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas, all kinds of sugar, and grains.


Following a keto diet is perfectly safe, and there’s nothing to worry about being in a ketosis state. However, high power athletes may have trouble with these dietary restrictions as carbohydrates are the fastest energy source for your body. Because energy is stored directly in the muscle cells- it is the most easily accessible- making it the most advantageous for power athletes. Hear that BJJ Practitioners, MMA Fighters, Boxers, Powerlifters, etc. ? A Ketogenic Diet is PROBABLY not beneficial for you! Remember, go with what works for you above anyones advice ever. Calories in versus calories out is still critical information for weight loss but a Ketogenic Diet can be beneficial for many people.