Keto Diet - What Is It And Who Is It For?

Food and ketogenic nutrition plan

If twenty or thirty years ago someone had put all their products in two baskets and sorted them according to the principle of greatest and least use, then today they would have to be thoroughly revised. The strangest story happened with Fett during this period - not only has mankind's youngest major enemy been fully rehabilitated, but almost declared his savior. Is that so, understands nutritionist Chris More.

A patient recently admitted to me that she and her husband eat almost one kilogram of bacon a week - three slices for breakfast and then two more with salad for lunch. I've been a nutritionist for over twenty years and it doesn't seem like anything will surprise me, but then I still couldn't resist and asked why? The patient said her husband saw a TV show about the keto diet and they decided to give it a try. Six months of bacon - and now the man has lost nine kilograms and, according to his wife, is almost bursting with energy that overwhelms him.

Increasingly, I hear from people about the miracles the keto diet is doing for them. They claim that it burns fat in the body, energizes and defeats diseases, and that from now on it is not only possible but also necessary to eat as much bacon as you want. But all of their excitement needs at least one serious test - is a keto diet that doesn't limit animal fat really that good?

The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate diet high in fat and moderate in protein. It was originally used to treat epilepsy in children by increasing the level of ketone bodies in the blood.

What is ketosis?

Let's start with the name of the diet: where does this "keto" come from? If the body is cramped for carbohydrates - for example due to diabetes or prolonged hunger - it has to break down its own fat more actively than usual in order to gain energy. Ketosis develops: the metabolism is disturbed and more ketone bodies accumulate in the tissue than necessary. Ketone bodies are products of fat metabolism. They are made by the liver when the level of insulin in the blood drops.

"The liver is constantly making ketone bodies, but their levels depend on the carbohydrates and proteins you eat - the body needs both, " said Jeff Volek, professor at Ohio University.

The breakdown of fat in the body of a healthy person and the formation of ketone bodies is a normal process, it is called ketogenesis. Unlike ketosis, ketogenesis does not result in dramatic weight loss. Ketosis is a pathology that, in addition to diabetes and prolonged fasting, can be caused by a keto diet, as it almost excludes foods containing carbohydrates from the diet. A person who has developed ketosis will lose weight dramatically, as well as due to some other pathologies.

The ketogenic diet forces the body to use fat as its main source of energy. As a rule, this role is played by carbohydrates, which ingested with food are processed into glucose, which is extremely important for nutrition and the functioning of the brain. However, on a low-carb diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. Ketone bodies enter the brain and are used as a source of energy instead of glucose. An increase in the level of ketones in the blood (ketosis) leads to a decrease in the frequency of epileptic seizures.

On the keto diet, the main part of the daily diet - from 60 to 80% - consists of fats, proteins - about 15% and only the remaining 10% are carbohydrates (that's about half of a small bun). At first glance, it looks like the Atkins diet, but the keto diet involves more carbohydrate restriction, according to Spencer Nadolsky, author of The Fat Loss Prescription. In general, a number of theorists affirm that the less carbohydrates we eat, the more fat our bodies burn. Because of this, metabolism improves, immunity increases - and, in general, various miracles begin with our body.

In normal life, however, we get about half of the calories and not a tenth of them from carbohydrates. So the question is essentially: can your body be in ketosis long enough to achieve the promised nirvana without serious health consequences? Are you literally going to start freaking out with fat?

Is the Keto Diet Right For You?

It may sound strange, but the best diet for you is what you are used to. She's good for Volek, who has been on keto for twenty years, but is she right for you? Unfortunately, there is no research into what happens in the body of someone who has been on the keto diet for a long time. During the A to Z weight loss study, scientists looked at the Atkins Diet, Zone, LEARN, and a few other diets, but in the study, female subjects ate 25 to 35% of the carbohydrates - this is nowhere near the 10% that they recommendLimit yourself to the keto diet.

One thing is certain: with the keto diet, you will really lose weight. In Italy, in 2015, they examined the performance of those sitting on them and lost around 10-12 kilograms on average over three months. A year earlier in Spain it turned out that this way you can lose about 20 kilograms in a year. Over the course of the next year, the subjects often returned to the weight they had before the experiment as soon as they abandoned the strict diet.

What will you eat if you try? First and second, this bacon. Not much of the other products will suit you. Starchy vegetables - potatoes, pumpkin, corn - like most fruits, are strictly prohibited. Milk, beans, rice and pasta must also be forgotten.

The keto diet is difficult to follow and can be dangerous for some. "Extreme diets, especially the keto diet, are strictly contraindicated in people with neurodegenerative diseases such as epilepsy, " says Dr. Alan Aragon.

The ketogenic diet is considered by society to be optimal for weight loss. According to scientific knowledge, the effect of losing weight shortly after switching to a ketogenic diet is caused by a decrease in the amount of water in the body and the amount of body fat is only influenced by the energy balance. To reduce weight, the energy supplied with food should be less than that consumed during physical activity. One of the benefits of the ketogenic diet, as with other low-carb diets, is that the ketosis that occurs on low-carb diets contributes to weight loss in obese people. The difference in calories consumed can be up to a thousand kilocalories per day compared to a low-fat diet. The effects of ketogenic diets are highly dependent on the protein content of the diet.

Can I take medication that increases ketone bodies? Under no circumstance. Do not listen to these "advisors" who assure you that even without diet you can induce ketosis with the help of special drugs.

So is the keto diet right for you or not? If you are an extreme athlete willing to experiment with your body, if you like to take risks and want quick results then give it a try! If you're just looking to lose a few pounds and have encountered the "yo-yo effect" in the past (when a person breaks down after a strict diet and gains more weight than they lost) then maybe you shouldn't risk it. However, if you approach the keto diet wisely, there are three lessons you can learn from it that will definitely come in handy.

  1. Reduce your "empty" carbohydrate intake. Analyze which foods are getting the most out of your daily carbohydrate intake: if it's from high fiber and antioxidant fruits, that's fine, but if your carbohydrate sources are candy, soda, and all foodsthat are made with white flour, you know what to do: feel free to send them to the trash.
  2. Don't avoid fat. The passion for low-fat foods that began in the 90s can safely be a thing of the past. There is nothing good in that. To compensate for the lack of fat, manufacturers often increase the amount of sugar in such products. Eat oily fish like salmon, mackerel, or sardines at least twice a week. And whatever you cook, do not skimp on vegetables, especially good ones - olive oil.
  3. Eat lots of greens. All leafy greens and vegetables go well with fatty and protein foods - fans of the keto diet eat a lot of them. And you do the same. Eat kale, spinach, pak choi, arugula and other types of salad without restrictions.

What happened to my bacon patients? Her nutritional experiments continued right up to the birth of her child. Of course, they immediately forgot about the diet (there is no time to think about it, as the young mother explained). So remember, sooner or later you will get tired of cramming bacon on a regular basis and you'll be returning to normal, familiar food.


Fish with vegetables for the ketogenic diet

Salmon and asparagus salad


  • 150 g of salmon fillet;
  • 80 g of green asparagus;
  • 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce;
  • 2 eggs;
  • 4 anchovy fillets;
  • 5 cherry tomatoes;
  • 5 large capers (or 6–8 small ones) - take capers in salt, not in brine, they must be washed before use;
  • 1/2 medium red onion;
  • 6-8 Item no. l. Olive oil;
  • 1 teaspoon joon of mustard;
  • Juice of half a lemon.

How to cook:

  1. If you've ever cooked Nicoise, you can use this salad too. It practically repeats Nice's main course, only fatty salmon is used in place of tuna, and asparagus is used in place of green beans (but you can also use beans).
  2. Salmon is best not cooked in a hot pan or in a hot oven, but steamed or in a slow cooker: 20-30 minutes at a temperature of 80-85 degrees, not higher (otherwise the protein will curl and the fish will hardenbecome). But you can also fry in a pan (just don't overdo it! ) - the fish should be tender and retain some transparency inside.
  3. Cooking asparagus. It has to be crispy, so don't cook too long! Cooking time depends on its size, so we do not recommend leaving the stove - asparagus cooks quickly.
  4. Put the dismantled iceberg on a plate (the lettuce must be washed, dried and torn into medium-sized pieces), asparagus, salmon cut into large pieces, halves of cherry tomatoes, anchovies, capers, onions cut into rings and hard-boiled eggs (ideally that shouldEgg yolks not runny, but stay soft). Top of the fields with olive oil sauce with Dijon mustard and lemon juice. You don't need to salt the dish - anchovies and capers are already salty enough.

The ketogenic diet is used by athletes who participate in endurance sports such as ultramarathons, triathlons, cycling, etc. The bodies of athletes who adhere to this diet use fat more efficiently as a source of energy, thereby helping to conserve glycogen stores during prolonged exertion.

Bacon and salad salad


  • 2 heads of lettuce the size of a palm
  • 100 grams of bacon;
  • 8 sprigs of mint;
  • 1 egg yolk;
  • 6 tbsp. l. Olive oil and a little more for frying;
  • 1 teaspoon of grainy mustard;
  • 1 tablespoon. l. Sherry vinegar.

How to cook:

  1. For this salad you need to prepare a slightly more complex sauce: put mint leaves and mustard in a tall glass, add egg yolks, pour sherry vinegar. Whisk with a blender and add olive oil in a thin stream.
  2. Halve the lettuce lengthways and fry briefly over high heat. It should caramelize slightly, that is, take on a golden brown color and stay fresh and crispy on the inside. Fry the bacon over high heat without oil or in the oven until it becomes crispy. Arrange the salad, bacon and sauce on a plate. Garnish with mint leaves.