The keto diet gets its name from the word “ketosis. From English it translates as “rich in fats. In the state of ketosis, the level of ketone bodies in the body is elevated: it is necessary to maintain quality of life.
What is the keto diet, who invented it?
The keto diet involves replacing glucose with ketone bodies. The diet includes a high saturated fat content and limits carbohydrates. When all available sugars run out, the liver has to start processing fat. Starchy bread and sweets are replaced with meat and green vegetables.
The first official version of the keto diet was developed at the Mayo Clinic by Dr. Wilder.
What research is there about the keto diet?
The first mention of the low-carbohydrate diet dates back to 776 B.C. It lists the diet of athletes. It is recommended to eat maximum meat and give up bread before performances.
In 1864 in England is published a book by William Bunting on the treatment of obesity, devoted to the miraculous effect of carbohydrate-free diet. The author describes his own attempts to fight unwanted pounds.
The first scientific report on the keto diet dates back to 1921: medics proved the experience of successful starvation treatment of epileptic patients.
In the late forties of the last century, doctors faced the problem of mass obesity. Ordinary diets did not yield results. Then the scientist Alfred Pennington developed a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates. The man believed: people get fat not because of what they eat too much, but because of what their bodies do with what they eat. Too much of anything is processed into fat.
Journalist Michael Mosley (a physician by training) took part in an experiment on the effects of starvation on quality of life. As a result, he became so fascinated by the subject that he developed his own weight-loss methodology. Its essence is to reduce the content of calories in the body by 4 times on weekends.
A surge in the popularity of the keto diet happened in 2017. America even introduced National Keto Day, the first Sunday of the year.
What are the benefits of the keto diet?
Keto is a healthy lifestyle that helps fight chronic diseases. In addition, it has been scientifically proven that the diet:
- Reduces weight (the transition to a metabolic state will facilitate intuitive eating);
- improves heart function (by improving cholesterol levels);
- increases energy reserve (blood sugar levels remain stable throughout the day);
- reduces acne and pimples;
- increases life expectancy (by supporting cellular regeneration);
- reduces the frequency of chronic inflammation (this is due to the metabolic syndrome);
- is used to treat certain cancers, as well as to slow down the growth of tumors;
- reduces the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease;
- Improves insulin sensitivity by up to 75%.
What are the possible harms?
There are also a few dangers and side effects worth mentioning.
Due to the fact that a lot of animal products are eaten, women who are sensitive to hormones can begin to have problems.
The body produces ketone bodies in three forms. One is the smell of acetone while breathing. It usually goes away after a period of adjustment.
At the beginning of the diet, there may be a temporary decrease in physical strength. This moment should simply be experienced.
A common phenomenon in the initial stages of the keto diet is cramping. A sign that the body lacks minerals.
In the first days the heart starts beating more often and harder. If the problem does not go away, you need to analyze the amount of fluid consumed per day. Is it not too little?
What foods are used on the keto diet?
The diet should include foods low in carbohydrates.
Fats (up to 80% of total calories). Nuts, seeds, olive oil and coconut oil are mandatory. A little bit of butter is also possible. Fat gives energy and prevents hunger, and removes fatigue.
Protein. The main source is meat (farm meat if possible). There are no carbohydrates in any form in natural meat. Poultry is available to all; it has a wide range of culinary uses.
Of seafood, clams (marine collagen has a positive effect on the skin), sardines (a source of selenium and calcium), and salmon are chosen.
Vegetables. Both frozen and fresh will do. Broccoli, eggplant, zucchini, cabbage, kale, leafy greens, cucumbers, asparagus are on the allowed list. And avocados have more potassium than bananas.
Of dairy products, fatty fermented lactose-free products are preferred. Hard cheese is ideal.
Of drinks, it is desirable to limit oneself to water with a little lemon juice. Sometimes you can afford tea or coffee: they have protective properties for the liver and strengthen the metabolism. And cocoa powder has a high magnesium content.
Example menu for the keto diet for a week
The sample menu can be supplemented or combined with other recipes that fit the keto criteria. The main thing is that it should be tasty, comfortable and nourishing.
Monday. In the morning: 2 boiled eggs, bread with butter and a handful of nuts. Lunch: a piece of fatty fish (mackerel, salmon or salmon), salad with green vegetables dressed with butter. Dinner: a salad with spinach, cheese, shrimp and avocado, minced beef cutlets.
Tuesday. Breakfast: scrambled eggs in coconut oil (bacon can be added), handful of cashews. Lunch prepares mushrooms stuffed with vegetables, herbs and cheese. For the evening, serve soup without potatoes in meat broth.
Wednesday. The third day of the week begins with cheesecakes with sour cream. No sugar should be put in the base. Lunch: soup without potatoes and a bowl of green vegetables. Dinner: a salad of the type «meat + green vegetables».
Thursday. Breakfast: cottage cheese with strawberries and sour cream, a few slices of cheese, and coffee. Lunch variant: chicken legs stewed with mushrooms and herbs. Dinner: steak with mashed cauliflower.
Friday. In the morning — unsweetened yogurt, avocado and cheese spread. Lunch is baked meat with stewed vegetables. Dinner salad recipe: roast beef straw, fresh vegetables, pine nuts and olive oil.
Saturday. Breakfast: cheesecakes with peanut paste and coffee with cream. For lunch, baked red fish and eat it with a vegetable salad. End the day with any kind of kebab and a glass of dry wine.
Sunday. In the morning, they cook scrambled eggs. As a dessert, a slice of bitter chocolate. Lunch: Beef cutlets and a vegetable side dish. In the evening: stuffed cabbage rolls without rice and pork.
Low-carb diets have a history of development and a lot of practical scientific material. Everyone can try changing their own diet for at least 3 weeks and analyze the results.