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Ketogenic diet

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Ketogenic diet is rich in fats, low in carbohydrates and adequate in proteins. It’s important to understand the scientific attributes of the diet, the benefits, risks and other factors before starting to follow the diet plan.


How does ketogenic diet work?

Ketogenic diet works by optimizing the levels of ketone bodies. It helps your body to use the ketone bodies to produce energy, instead of exhausting the cellular carbohydrate sources.


Who needs ketogenic diet?

Ketogenic diet is medically significant in managing a number of health conditions. The diet is primarily used for the treatment of epilepsy and neurological disorders (Alzheimer’s disease, autism, etc.) because abnormal levels of ketone bodies in your blood can affect normal functioning of your brain.

Apart from this, some doctors customize the diet for obese people and type 2 diabetics. If you eat the right kind of fats, then ketogenic diet can moderate cardiovascular risk factors high LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and other health conditions like metabolic syndrome, severe acne, etc.


Ketogenic diet plan

Your doctor will create the diet plan depending upon your body’s demand which includes food types, portion size and total calories.  

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You should gain 70-75% of calories from fat, 5-10% from carbohydrate and 20-25% from protein, everyday. You need to count your calories strictly.

Understanding the diet plan

It always advisable to understand the diet and know what foods to eat and what to avoid in order to achieve the best results.

Avoiding foods high in carbs- This includes whole grains, sugars, starchy vegetables, fruit smoothie, etc. Your carbohydrate consumption should not be more than 20-25 grams in day.

Fats you should consume- Choice of fats is the most vital part of the diet plan. If you have a pre existing medical condition like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, etc. then your doctor would restrict consumption of saturated fats like red meat, high fat dairy etc. Monounsaturated fats like the omega 3 fatty acids (almonds, flax seeds, fish, etc.) would prove beneficial to you.

Children who have a neurological condition can eat saturated sources of fats like milk, butter, fruit yogurt, cream, eggs, cheese along with unsaturated varieties.

Protein- To meet the protein demand you can eat salmon, lean meat, tofu, beans, pulses, etc. Stick to the quantity as decided by your doctor.

Drink plenty of water- It’s important to increase your water intake while being on ketogenic diet.


How long to follow ketogenic diet?

It takes at least 4 weeks for the ketogenic diet to show improvement in your health. You might need to follow it for 3 months or more, depending upon the condition you are treated for.


Side effects of ketogenic diet

Not everyone respond well to the ketogenic diet. When followed inappropriately, it can 

  • Raise your cholesterol levels and put you to risk of having a heart disease
  • Make you gain weight due to consumption of high amounts of fats
  • Lead to micro nutritional deficiencies
  • Induce kidney stones, dehydration and constipation

Note: Ketogenic diet should be followed strictly under the observation of your doctor or nutritionist. It is different from the popular fad low carb diets. So, do not plan the diet yourself and start eating foods randomly.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last visited: June 25, 2014

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