The ketogenic diet: what do you need to know?

When people hear the word “diet” they think of counting calories. But with a ketogenic (or, as it's also known, keto) diet, you don't have to waste time on this activity. Keto is a special diet that is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, through which the body enters a state of ketosis, that is, it uses accumulated fat deposits for energy production.

While on keto (i. e. 2-3 weeks), only 20-50g of carbohydrates can be consumed per day, but the body should be getting 60-80% of all calories from fat. Studies have shown that such a low-carbohydrate diet is effective for weight loss, type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), acne, and epilepsy. It is also useful for certain forms of cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

Pros and Cons of the Ketogenic Diet

The main benefit of the ketogenic diet is that it really helps you lose weight, lower bad cholesterol, and increase the amount of good cholesterol. When the body uses its own fat stores for energy, appetite often decreases (perhaps this process has been established in humans during evolution to help them survive periods of hunger). In addition, fats are digested much more slowly than carbohydrates and prolong the feeling of fullness between meals.

But like any diet food, keto has its downsides. By following it, you may notice the side effects: bad breath, headache, nausea and fatigue. Symptoms that occur in the first few days of keto often resemble those of the onset of illness. Fatigue and fatigue appear due to a sharp drop in blood sugar, but after 24-48 hours there is no trace of it.

While in keto, you may experience bloating or constipation and urinate more frequently while in ketosis. Since only certain food groups should be consumed as part of a ketogenic diet, there is a risk of nutritional deficiencies that can cause brittle hair and nails.

Many patients find that after completing a diet course, they easily regain the lost pounds. This can be avoided by avoiding carbohydrates and trying to eat low carbohydrate foods.

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What foods can you eat on keto?

The ketogenic diet can help you lose weight, control blood sugar, and solve health problems. As you already understood, choosing it you should eat fatty foods exclusively. But no, it's not about burgers and onion rings in the batter - you just need healthy fats! Where to find them? Believe it or not, on keto you can eat tasty, satisfying, and varied, while the low carb foods you need to eat for the next 2-3 weeks (usually ketosis begins on day 7 of the diet. ) are easily accessible in supermarkets. To maximize the benefits and reduce the side effects of dietary restrictions, eat the following 15 foods regularly.

Fish and seafood

Fish and seafood are arguably the best sources of vitamins, minerals and omega-3s. At the same time, in many seafood, either the amount of carbohydrate is negligible, or there is none at all (for example, in shrimp). If we are talking about the most popular products, then 100 g of mussels contain 5 g of carbohydrates, octopus and oysters - 4 g each, and squid - 3 g. By the way, frequent consumption of fish reduces the risk of developing various diseases and improves mental health, so try to eat it at least twice a week.

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Low Carb Vegetables

Vegetables are nutritious and versatile foods, the main thing is to choose those that do not contain starch. A serving of non-starchy vegetables contains an average of 1-8 grams of carbohydrate. Therefore, you can safely include zucchini, cabbage, celery, and cherry tomatoes in your diet.


There are hundreds of types of cheese out there, and luckily they're all low in carbs and high in fat, making them very suitable for a ketogenic diet. Cheese is rich in protein, calcium and healthy fatty acids. Plus, eating cheese regularly can help reduce muscle loss in older people.

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One serving of avocado contains 2 grams of net carbs, lots of fiber, and a variety of nutrients, including potassium. Additionally, avocados help support heart function, lower cholesterol levels, and act on triglycerides in the body. Whisk it in a spice blender to make a great dressing for vegetable and fish dishes.

Meat and poultry

Meat and poultry are considered staple foods on a ketogenic diet. They are carbohydrate free, rich in vitamins like vitamin B and minerals like potassium, selenium and zinc. Meat and poultry are also great sources of high-quality protein, which many studies have shown can help maintain muscle mass during a low-carb diet.

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Eggs are one of the healthiest and most versatile foods on the planet. A large egg has less than 1g of carbohydrate and around 6g of protein, making eggs ideal for keto people. Additionally, egg consumption affects the production of hormones that prolong feelings of fullness and maintain blood sugar levels, which significantly reduces the total calorie content of foods eaten per day.

By the way, it's important to note that you need to eat the whole egg, not just the protein - it's in the yolk that contains most of the nutrients, including the antioxidants - lutein and zeaxanthin - that help inmaintain eye health.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Unlike long chain fats, MCTs are absorbed directly by the liver and then converted to ketones or become a source of rapid release of needed energy.

Additionally, coconut oil increases metabolic rate, promotes weight loss, and removes belly fat. It is important that it is of high quality - there are a lot of fragrances and additives in cheap products.

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Unflavored Greek yogurt and cottage cheese

Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are healthy foods that are high in protein. Although they do contain a certain amount of carbohydrates, they can still be included in your diet as part of a ketogenic diet. 150g of plain Greek yogurt contains 5g of carbohydrates and 11g of protein. The same amount of cottage cheese gives 5 g of carbohydrate and 18 g of protein. By the way, studies have shown that yogurt and cottage cheese can help reduce appetite and contribute to the rapid onset of a feeling of fullness.

Olive oil

Olive oil is high in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that lowers risk factors for heart disease and rich in antioxidants called phenols. These compounds further protect the heart, reduce inflammation in the body, and improve arterial function. Olive oil is great for salad dressings, mayonnaise and added to cooked foods.

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Nuts and seeds

Frequent consumption of nuts reduces the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, depression and other chronic illnesses. Plus, nuts and seeds are high in fiber. But the amount of carbohydrate they contain varies. The least of them are in pecans and Brazil nuts - only 1 g per serving (30 g), in nuts and macadamia - 2 g, in almonds and sesame - 3 g, in seeds ofpumpkin - 4 g, in pistachios - 5 g, and in cashews - 8.


Most fruits are too high in carbs, so you will need to ignore them while on the ketogenic diet. Berries are another matter. They are rich in nutrients that can lower your risk of contracting a wide variety of diseases. A 100g serving of berries provides 5-12g of net carbs. For example, in blackberries there is only 5 g, in blueberries - 12 g, in raspberries and strawberries - 6 g each

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Butter and cream

Butter and cream are low carbohydrate foods. Studies have shown that, contrary to popular belief, they have a neutral or beneficial effect on heart function when consumed in moderation.


One serving of olives (approximately 28g) contains 2g of carbohydrate, of which 1g is fiber. They are rich in oleuropein, an antioxidant that protects the heart. Eating olives helps prevent bone breakdown and lower blood pressure.

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Unsweetened coffee and tea

Unsweetened coffee and tea are carbohydrate free. Due to caffeine, they can speed up metabolism, improve physical performance, alertness, and mood. They can also lower your risk of developing diabetes. Avoid coffees and 3-in-1 tea bags, as manufacturers usually add powdered milk and high-carb flavors to them.

Dark chocolate and cocoa powder

Yes, the ketogenic diet allows you to eat dark chocolate (minimum 70%) and drink cocoa. This is because these foods are great sources of antioxidants. Cocoa contains about the same amount as blueberries and acai berries. But dark chocolate contains flavanols - biologically active substances that lower the risk of heart disease. 30 g of unsweetened chocolate contains only 3 g of net carbohydrates, in chocolate with sugar - 10 g.

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