Ketogenic Diet ReviewThe ketogenic diet, more commonly known as the “keto diet” or simply “keto”, is a high fat and low carb diet. Not unlike other low-carb diets, like Atkins, the ketogenic diet involves significantly reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing these carbs with fat. The reduction in carbs puts the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis, from which the diet takes its name.

When the body enters a state of ketosis, it become an efficient fat burning machine. Without the excess sugars from carbs, the body burns fat for energy and also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. As a result, following a ketogenic diet can lead to a massive decrease in blood sugar and insulin levels.

It is not uncommon for those who follow a keto diet to lose weight. The diet may also be beneficial for individuals with certain health problems, including diabetes and cancer. Some studies have found that following a ketogenic diet has also lead to improved memory and focus in some people, encouraging the belief that it may also be beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease.

That being said, you should know that there is no single ketogenic diet. There are actually different versions of this diet that you can follow if you are interested in trying it to lose weight. For the purpose of this review, only the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) and High-protein ketogenic diet will be discussed, as both of these types are those that have been studied the most.

SKD is a very low-carb moderate –protein and high-fat diet. Typically, the breakdown is as follows: 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs.

High-protein ketogenic diet is not unlike the standard version of the diet. The only real difference is that it includes more protein. Generally speaking, the breakdown is typically: 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.

Foods to avoid on the ketogenic diet include: Sugary Foods (fruit juice, soda, cakes, etc.), Fruit, Grains or Starches (wheat-based products, including pasta, rice, etc.), Beans or Legumes (kidney beans, peas, etc.), Low-fat Products, Unhealthy Fats (mayonnaise, processed vegetable oils), Alcohol, etc.

Foods that are okay to eat include: Meat (red meat, chicken, turkey), Fatty Fish (salmon, tuna), Eggs, Butter and Cream, Nuts and Seeds, Cheese (unprocessed), Healthy oils (coconut oils, extra-virgin olive oil), Avocados, Low-carb Vegetables (tomatoes, onions, most green veggies), etc.

An example of three meals for one day following the SKD is: Breakfast – bacon, eggs and tomatoes, Lunch – chicken salad with olive oil and feta cheese, Dinner, salmon with asparagus cooked in butter.

Although studies have found that following a ketogenic diet can lead to weight loss, the ketogenic diet – no matter which version you follow – is a highly restrictive diet, so it may not be easy, practical or even safe for everyone to follow.

As is the case when you plan to make any drastic alteration to your diet, it would be in your best interest to consult with your doctor before implementing the ketogenic diet into your weight loss (or health) plan, to make sure it is the right choice for you.