Keto Diet: Fat Feast With A Clear Conscience

Ketogenic diet is the most popular, most discussed and mysterious type of weight loss diets. Progressives are actively losing weight, while eating homemade mayonnaise, and you can even order a keto burger, which is presented by a juicy burger that is free from the bun and other excesses. 

Foreign scientists publish new studies proving the benefits of this uncommon menu, that triggers the process, which causes the body to get energy from fat, rather than the carbohydrates. However, not all weight loss experts rush to trust the fashionable dietary craze. The truth, as usual, is somewhere out there.

KETOGENIC DIET

The ketogenic diet allows unprecedented liberties. For example, you can eat chicken with skin without having to choose just the white meat.

Finally! Fashion for burgers arrived!

A can of coconut oil, three dozen eggs, a dozen steaks, seven hundred grams of fresh lard, a bottle of olive oil, a kilo of tofu, a few bundles of radishes and a pack of fresh greens. This is how the grocery shopping result looks for an adept of the increasingly popular ketogenic diet.

It is time to think in horror: “First, he will die of indigestion, and then from the cholesterol blockage of blood vessels!” And you will demonstrate your blatant ignorance of dietary trends.

The high-fat weight loss diet does not make you fat and sick. Instead, it helps you lose weight and improve your health! At least, this is a strong belief of numerous keto bloggers and their followers, who call themselves the ketoists.

FAT FEAST

They extol the life-giving ketosis as the new ideal diet philosophy, designed neither more nor less to get the best shape to the human genetic code of the XXI century, corrupted with the dominance of carbohydrate foods, and at the same time to rehabilitate fats, accused of all sins.

Ketogenic diet alters the enzyme and hormones machinery of our bodies in a way that we get reduced production of the hormone insulin that regulates blood glucose levels, and, as a result, feelings of hunger and satiety.

“In return” to insulin and in response to an increase in the amount of fat and protein in the backdrop of a sharp reduction of carbohydrates in the diet, the liver produces ketone bodies, a special form of acetone.

These chemical compounds are included in the body into a unique closed cycle, moving from an organ into an organ with the bloodstream and affecting the fatty acid oxidation process.

As a result, the body enters into ketosis. Thus, it is trained to produce forces for existence not from the usual available carbohydrate chains, and from the accumulated fat deposits and dietary fats that come with food, avoiding the devastation of protein reserves.

The result is:

Unprecedentedly rapid weight loss

Muscle strengthening

Victory over the annoying feeling of hunger

A new life

Of course, there might be the case, when your metabolism can’t handle ketogenic diet. This weight loss meal plan (like any other) is not a universal one.

For some people, even a brief rejection of carbs turns into:

Weakness

Sharp changes in health

Other signs suggesting that ketosis is not something you can go on with

Ketogenic diet: the history of oblivion and revival

Ketogenic diet is only pretending to be a fashionable novelty. For the first time, the weight loss eating plan that restricts carbohydrates (carbs) and gives the “green light” to fats has been clinically tested in the 20-ies of the last century.

Doctors working with patients that suffered from the nervous system diseases were often prescribing courses of medical fasting that sharply and significantly limited the production of insulin and other hormones, which affect the work of the central nervous system and brain.

This gave excellent results, which, however, were impossible to enjoy for a long time for obvious reasons. People won’t manage to live long on simple water. And when it comes to children, everything takes even a more serious turn.

Ketogenic Diet

It was then that the prototype menu was developed, which we now know as the ketogenic diet. It was assumed that the diet, which reshapes the metabolism so that the carbohydrates are no longer the main source of energy from a chemical point of view, is similar to the refusal of food. Diet poor in carbs and rich in fats demonstrated particularly outstanding results on the example of epilepsy:

The number of seizures in patients came to naught.

Simple and original method that does not require significant financial expenses was used successfully and widely, but, alas, not for long.

  • The pharmacological industry has proved the effectiveness of a new type of drugs – the anticonvulsants. And the new generation doctors preferred to prescribe their patients pills instead of pork lard.

The oblivion of the antiepileptic keto diet was also contributed to the growing trend of charging fats for all the ills.

The revival of interest towards the ketogenic diet started at the end of the 90’s. The director Jim Abrahams (known by most through his masterpieces of the trash-comedies genre, including “The Naked Gun” and “Scary Movie 4”) shot an unexpectedly shrill and revealing drama “… First Do No Harm “, the plot of which was based on his own experience.

Charlie Abrahams’s son since birth suffered from a severe form of epilepsy and had a very poor response to all kinds of medicines, suffering from side effects. 

  • Parents were desperate to find help until they found out about the ketogenic diet. With its help, they managed to get the disease under control drug-free.

Jim Abrahams was so imbued with the effect of the ketogenic diet, that he organized the Foundation for Children with epilepsy and their families.

  • At the beginning of the foundation formation, it was strongly supported by Meryl Streep, who played in the movie “…First, Do No Harm” the part of the mother of the little sick child.

By the way, this is why the ketogenic diet often appears as “Meryl Streep diet”, and not because the global star refused to carbs in favor of fats.

The ketogenic diet: from the antiepileptic aid to the arsenal of dieters

A relative of the ketogenic diet is one of the most popular diets, used for weight loss at the end of the XX century – the Atkins diet.

The American cardiologist Robert Atkins has popularized the effective weight loss method he tried on himself, having adapted developments of scientists and doctors, made during the medical use of ketogenic diet.

He created his own concept of four-phase diet, which became a forerunner of the present era of eating systems that restrict the carbs intake.

The Ketogenic Diet

As planned by Atkins, you need to find that same ratio of carbs to protein and fats, in which you can lose weight initially till the desired weight and then maintain it in relative comfort. 

  • He, therefore, proposes to reduce carbs intake to 20 grams a day for the first two weeks, and then gradually increase their amount to find the individual proportions.

Hollywood elite is obsessed with “Atkins”. As a result of this popularity, the low-carbs diets literally sat on the throne as the most effective ones.

The main trend was the reduction of carbs and fats in favor of protein foods.

Indeed, experience has shown and continues to show that such an approach to eating allows you to lose weight without losing muscles and save the result for a long time.

The principal difference between most common protein diets and the ketogenic diet is their attitude to fatty foods. The authors of the eating plans with a predominance of protein, tend not only to restrict carbs, but also recommend to carefully monitor the consumption of lipids and choose low-fat products, or at least products devoid of visible fat.

However, the most progressive kind of ketone menu, the LCHF diet (low carbs high fat) has not accidentally spread like a among the users of social Reddit network. Here, the new young intellectuals communicate, who are hungry for bringing the evidence base for any of their decisions.

Scientific studies have shown that the best menu for releasing from sugar captivity and the inclusion of ketosis, is the menu drawn up on the basis:

  • “a large number of high-quality fats – an adequate amount of protein – an optimal amount of fiber – a huge amount of water”.

Promoter and talented interpreter of the scientific research results became the columnist of The New York Times Magazine, Gary Taubes. Through his publications, proclaiming a new look at a truly healthy diet, which allows fats and forbids carbs, he became a cult figure among the followers of the keto diet.

Taubes has consistently shown that

  • People get fat not because they eat a lot, but begin to eat a lot because they get fatter – and saw the only one way out of this trap in curbing insulin surges.

Experts on the ketogenic diet claim that namely a properly launched and supported ketosis becomes the key to trouble-free life following of the ketogenic diet without a shadow of longing for carbs and any damage to the body.

American and Swedish (Sweden is the birthplace of LCHF diet) have questioned the well-established dogma that the brain and nervous system are not able to live without glucose, and came to some surprising conclusions.

Experiments have shown that in rejection of carbs and after the exhaustion of glycogen, brain is able to switch to the “use” of ketones and feed with products of fats processing. In addition, the latter are a more physiological fuel for the brain (brain tissue is largely “highly purified” fat).

  • Today, the foreign medical press is literally bursting of data that carbs, offering your brain “cheap” available energy, provoke degenerative diseases in the long term that undermine the already tattered reputation of carbs.

Of course, not all aspects of the ketogenic diet are sufficiently investigated or investigated at all.

For obvious reasons, there are no long-term observation of the high-fat diet adherents. However, TIME magazine hastened to usher in a new era of ketogenic power and declare “the end of the World War with fats”.

What and how much should we eat? Products for the high-fat ketogenic diet.

  • Different variations of the ketogenic diet for weight loss suggest that you eat not more than 50 grams of carbohydrate foods a day.

In the development of the meal plan, LCHF Diet offers to focus not on the weight of the food, but on its relative volume, creating the daily menu of:

  • 70% fat,
  • 20% protein,
  • 10% carbohydrates (long chain; special attention should be given to water-soluble fiber and resistant forms of starch, such as found in raw potatoes or unripe bananas).

Here is a sample list of products that contribute to the emergence and maintenance of ketosis.

You can consume without limits:

  • fat milk and fermented milk products (except for whole milk and yogurt)
  • bacon, ham, bacon, pork loin
  • fat cheeses with minimal carbohydrate component (see. the composition of a particular product)
  • meat, poultry (with skin), fish and seafood
  • avocado
  • greens
  • mushrooms
  • tofu
  • Shirataki noodles
  • butter and unrefined vegetable oils, including hardening
  • eggs
  • nut oils (coconut, shea, etc).

Allowed in minimum quantities:

  • berries and nuts
  • chocolate (the darkest, with a minimum sugar content)
  • non-sweet fruit
  • root vegetables (can be used as a minor component of complex dishes and better raw).

Completely excluded from the menu:

  • sugar, honey, cakes, industrially produced beverages
  • sauces with added sugar and thickeners
  • breads, cereals, pastries
  • pasta (except Shirataki)
  • dried fruits
  • low-fat products
  • margarine and vegetable spreads.

High- fat ketogenic diet involves drinking a lot of plain non-carbonated water, and allows consuming tea and coffee (legal additives include lemon) and even light alcoholic beverages, like dry cider, dry wine and light beer.

Ketosis or ketoacidosis?

The dangers of ketosis is the main fear that appears in connection with the high-fat low-carb diet for weight loss. 

Someone is scared by his changing breath odor (ketone bodies are removed from the body in two ways – with exhale and the urine, which is why it is important to drink as much water as possible to monitor their concentration).

  • Some knows for sure that a large amount of fat and protein interferes with kidney function.

Another thing that we not quite often is the confusion of the concept of ketosis (increased levels of ketones) and ketoacidosis (a metabolic disorder, associated with the inability to produce insulin in diabetes).

American doctor of medicine (and, which is typical for the followers of the ketogenic diet, a blogger) Peter Attia, explains that the body’s ability to organize the brain nutrition with ketone bodies is its half-forgotten, yet powerful evolutionary advantage.

  • It allowed human ancestors to survive and not only maintain, but also develop intelligence in circumstances, when no one heard of sugar or white flour, while as root vegetables, cereals and fruit were an exotic rarity.

Attia reminds us that it is important to distinguish clearly:

  • keto adaptation (the time it takes the body, whose carbs nutrition was limited by 10-50 g carbs per day, to adapt for glycogen consumption and “retraining” to the use of fat as fuel)
  • ketosis (a process when ketone bodies actively circulate through the bloodstream, helping to burn fat)
  • diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

The first two conditions, according to the doctor, are a normal part of metabolic processes, and the body is capable of regulating them on its own. Ketoacidosis is pathological and requires early medical intervention.

According to the American physician, DKA can not threaten a person, whose body is able to produce insulin (even if its production is reduced to a minimum through a low-carb diet). However, if the production of this hormone is violated, the reduction of carbs supply and an increase in the specific weight of fat and protein in the diet can actually become a problem.

Just like in the presence of other metabolic diseases, the idea of ketogenic diet should be regarded with extreme caution and started after a doctor’s consultation, in such conditions, as:

Those that affect the water-salt metabolism

Diseases of the excretory organs

Cardiovascular system disorders

Gastrointestinal tract diseases

However, the expert participation will not be superfluous, even if you can boast of good health. Despite the lure of the ketogenic diet and convincing example of its supporters, this eating plan is significantly different from the menu, which is still traditionally considered healthy.

Opinions of various nutritionists about the ketogenic diet?

“People tend to extremes”

Ketogenic diet is a stressful diet with a variety of contraindications, and you should stick to it for a maximum of 10 days. In clinical practice, this approach is used primarily by the category of people with excess weight, which have a violation of water or water-salt metabolism.

  • Diet is held under the strict supervision of a dietitian, with the participation of a certain physical activity, which helps to actively break down already accumulated fat.

During the first two days rom the beginning of the diet, brain, deprived of the incoming carbs, gets these carbohydrates from liver and muscle glycogen.

At that, glycogen is destroyed only if the patient does not violate the rules of his eating system.

Patient’s health condition in the first two days is not always comfortable, since lack of carbs can be accompanied by:

Lethargy

Weakness

Irritability

Therefore, the ketogenic diet is never prescribed during the premenstrual, menstrual and stressful periods of life.

Around the third day of the protein-fat menu, in which carbs are limited to 200 grams of non-starchy vegetables and one bundle of greens a day, the process begins of active fat digestion under the activity of ketone bodies.

Patient’s health condition, strangely enough, gets better due to the fact that his appetite decreases and his brain requires no carbs. It is important to provide a perfectly working bowel emptying and activate the kidneys function.

At this point, the patient should get the explanations of the possible consequences of non-compliance with the rules, prescribed by the doctor. After 10 days, the diet should be stopped, and the diet should certainly be complemented with carbs that maintain a balance of all compositions.

Thanks to this diet, you can lose up to 10 kg body weight in 10 days, mainly due to:

Elimination of excess fluid

Fat reduction

In recent months, a large number of articles appeared that rehabilitate fats-containing food. 

  • Of course, our society is about to rush to active fat diets and foods that contain not only hidden, but also obvious fats and trans fats that are dangerous to human health and lead to serious cardiovascular diseases.

People generally tend to extremes.

Proper balanced diet, aimed at reducing and normalizing weight, improvement of life quality and active longevity, contains less than 30% fat in the total diet. So, my advice is not to take for granted the fact that you can lose weight only on single fats.

Any diet that brings a resounding success to another person or group of persons will be dethroned one day, and people will eventually return to natural, rational, balanced varied diet.

“You can lose weight for a while, but then the risks for your weight and health only increase”

The ketogenic diet is originally a therapeutic diet, which is prescribed to people in certain health conditions, like:

Epilepsy

Alzheimer’s disease

Other neurological ailments

Then, marketers drew their attention to it. They have considered it another episode with a possibility of popularization.

After all, the ketogenic diet is in fact a dream, rather than a weight loss diet:

You eat your favorite proteins and fats, and at the same time lose weight.

You only have to exclude or minimize the main enemies of slenderness – the carbs.

When the main source of energy are your fat reserves, you can actually lose weight for some time. However, there are a number of risks, in connection with which people are not recommended to get on this diet for some reasons, far from medical.

Medical diet involves exclusion from the diet of a product in order to normalize the work of one organ or another.

At that, starvation, severe restriction of calories or imbalance of fats, proteins and carbs slow down the metabolic processes and further only provoke weight gain, even in larger amount than before. 

Therefore, some dietitians never recommend restrictive diets to their patients at all.

Ketogenic diet involves a sharp reduction of carbs amount. It is known that carbohydrates are a bestowed by nature source of energy, required to maintain a healthy metabolism. Ketogenic diet implies the use of enormous quantities of fats and proteins.

  • It is strictly contraindicated for people with any violations in the liver and kidneys function. These organs are simply not capable of eliminating the products of protein and fat breakdown in such vast amounts.

This diet is not recommended for people with:

Severe atherosclerosis stages

Cardiac problems

Diabetes

Weight loss diet on fat and protein is fraught with violation of purine bases, which often provokes the deposition of salts and gout. It can also further increase the level of cholesterol, which leads not only to cardiovascular diseases, but also reduces the level of testosterone, which in the future may cause weight gain.

Too much protein in the diet can lead to:

  • osteoporosis,
  • worsening of renal function,
  • formation of stones.

Increased body fat is one of the prerequisites for:

  • metabolic dysfunction,
  • insulin resistance,
  • inflammation.

The formation of ketones often leads to:

  • loss of appetite,
  • nausea,
  • halitosis.

While entering the ketosis, people may feel tiredness and fatigue.

If all this does not scare you, and you are still considering the ketogenic diet as weight loss method, you should consult a dietician. He will help you minimize the risks, based on your individual circumstances.

Many practicing nutrition specialists strongly believe that people can effectively lose weight and maintain a healthy weight only if they change their eating habits. To be slim, you need to eat rationally and that’s all.