Ketogenic Diet Food List: A Beginner’s Guide
The ketogenic diet is one of the most effective weight loss diets ever invented. It works because it involves cutting out all carbohydrates (and sugar) from your diet.
You still eat protein, fat, and other nutrients but they are not coming from carbs anymore. Your body converts them into energy instead. When you start eating only these three macronutrients, your metabolism slows down so much that you lose weight!
If you’re wondering what foods to eat on a ketogenic diet, then this guide will answer those questions.
What Is Ketosis?
A state of low blood glucose occurs when there is insufficient insulin production to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Insulin helps regulate how much sugar enters or leaves your cells. If you have too little insulin, then the excess sugars enter your bloodstream and cause a crash in your blood sugar level.
When you consume very few carbs, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain blood sugar levels. This means that your blood sugar level drops quickly and crashes.
This happens when you consume very small amounts of simple sugars like fruit juice or honey. However, if you consume large quantities of complex carbohydrates such as breads, pastas, rice cakes or white pasta, then your pancreas produces too much insulin which causes high blood sugar levels.
There is a third situation called “ketosis” where your liver begins to break down body fat when you consume no carbohydrates or too many protein calories. This process causes a build-up of acids called ketones in your blood.
Ketones are a key source of energy for the brain. When you decrease the availability of glucose, the brain has an alternative energy supply.
What Are the Benefits of the Keto Diet?
Many people turn to the ketogenic diet because they suffer from epilepsy and have found that it helps reduce the frequency of their seizures. There is some evidence that going into ketosis may “treat” some cancers by lowering the body’s glucose supply and thus starving any tumor cells of their favorite food, sugar.
The keto diet also helps improve acne in some people by lowering insulin levels. As insulin drops, your body releases glucagon.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effects of a high-protein ketogenic diet on hunger, appetite, and weight loss in obese men feeding ad libitum by AM Johnstone, GW Horgan, SD Murison… – … American journal of …, 2008 – academic.oup.com
Worldwide use of the ketogenic diet by EH Kossoff, JR McGrogan – Epilepsia, 2005 – Wiley Online Library
Achieving and maintaining compliance with the ketogenic diet by A Amari, NC Grace, WW Fisher – Journal of applied behavior …, 1995 – Wiley Online Library
The effects of a low‐carbohydrate ketogenic diet and a low‐fat diet on mood, hunger, and other self‐reported symptoms by FJ McClernon, WS Yancy Jr, JA Eberstein, RC Atkins… – …, 2007 – Wiley Online Library
Low-glycemic-index treatment: a liberalized ketogenic diet for treatment of intractable epilepsy by HH Pfeifer, EA Thiele – Neurology, 2005 – AAN Enterprises
An overview of the ketogenic diet for pediatric epilepsy by BA Zupec‐Kania, E Spellman – Nutrition in Clinical Practice, 2008 – Wiley Online Library
Effect of low-calorie versus low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet in type 2 diabetes by TA Hussain, TC Mathew, AA Dashti, S Asfar, N Al-Zaid… – Nutrition, 2012 – Elsevier
Effect of a very low-calorie ketogenic diet on food and alcohol cravings, physical and sexual activity, sleep disturbances, and quality of life in obese patients by AI Castro, D Gomez-Arbelaez, AB Crujeiras, R Granero… – Nutrients, 2018 – mdpi.com