Keto is short for Ketogenic Diet. From the word Ketosis, which is a natural metabolic process our body goes through when we switch from glucose to ketones as our energy source.
A Ketogenic Diet is mostly high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrates. In fact, the recommended limit for carbohydrates is only 20g per day. When we deplete our body’s glucose store, our body will switch to fat as its energy source. Ketosis results in weight loss because fat is burned off instead of being stored in our tissues.
Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
- Weight loss (Dashti, Hussein M et al.,2004)
- Control appetite (Nymo, S et al., 2017)
- Improve mental clarity (Hallböök, Tove et al.,2012)
- Treat epilepsy in children (Rogovik and Goldman, 2010)
- Treat symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) (Mavropoulos, John C et al., 2005)
- Control Type 2 Diabetes (Yancy, William S et al., 2005)
- Lower Bad Cholesterol (LDL) (Dashti, Hussein M et al.,2004)
Types of Keto Diets
There are many types of Keto diets practiced by many people. Here are just some of them:
- Standard Keto Diet – which focuses on 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
- Carnivore Keto – this focuses on eating a higher amount of protein, and very little carbs. No vegetables.
- Ketotarian or Vegetarian Keto – wherein practitioners get their protein from plant sources.
- Cyclical Keto – used by athletes and bodybuilders, this involves scheduled carbohydrate intake in preparation for intense physical activities, followed by intermittent fasting.
- Targeted Keto – takes a higher percentage of clean carbs but still staying in Ketosis. Ideal for people with very active lifestyles.
There are also different approaches to the Ketogenic Diet, aside from the types listed above.
- Strict Keto – this approach stays below 20g carbs and involves measuring and logging what you eat using a meal tracking app.
- Lazy Keto – this approach stays below 20g carbs but only carbs are tracked, or no tracking whatsoever, just clean eating.
- Dirty Keto – this approach stays below 20g carbs but includes processed and packaged food, as long as it fits the day’s macros allowance.
- Keto with Intermittent Fasting – this involves eating Keto while fasting and feasting at specific times.
The type and approach to Keto that you will follow, will largely depend on your physical condition and lifestyle. However, for the purpose of discussion, we will only be endorsing the Standard Keto Diet and Intermittent Fasting.
Who Can Do Keto?
Most people, especially obese individuals, can do Keto and reap wonderful results. However, if you have underlying conditions such as High Blood Pressure and Diabetes, it is important to consult your doctor so that your medicine dosage can be adjusted accordingly.
Breastfeeding mothers can also do Keto but their diet should include more leafy greens and magnesium to support their milk supply. Lactating mothers are discouraged from fasting as it could impact their supply.
Bonyata, Kelly. “Natural Treatments for Nursing Moms • KellyMom.com.” KellyMom.com. N.p., 15 Jan. 2018. Web. 19 Dec. 2018.
Dashti, Hussein M et al. “Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients” Experimental and clinical cardiology vol. 9,3 (2004): 200-5.
Eenfeldt, Andreas, and Bret Scher. “A Ketogenic Diet for Beginners – The Ultimate Keto Guide.” Diet Doctor, Diet Doctor, 4 Jan. 2019, www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto.
Hallböök, Tove et al. “The effects of the ketogenic diet on behavior and cognition” Epilepsy research vol. 100,3 (2011): 304-9.
Leiva, Courtney. “7 Health Benefits of the Keto Diet That Have Nothing to Do with Weight Loss.” INSIDER, INSIDER, 4 Sept. 2018, www.thisisinsider.com/benefits-of-the-keto-diet-besides-weight-loss-2018-8.
Mavropoulos, John C et al. “The effects of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet on the polycystic ovary syndrome: a pilot study” Nutrition & metabolism vol. 2 35. 16 Dec. 2005,
Mawer, Rudy. “The Ketogenic Diet: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide to Keto.” Healthline. Healthline Media, 30 July 2018. Web. 19 Dec. 2018.
Nymo, S et al. “Timeline of changes in appetite during weight loss with a ketogenic diet” International journal of obesity (2005) vol. 41,8 (2017): 1224-1231.
Stiehl, Christina. “Can You Do Intermittent Fasting While You’re Breastfeeding? These Experts Weigh In.” POPSUGAR Home Australia. N.p., 18 Oct. 2018. Web. 19 Dec. 2018.
Yancy, William S et al. “A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes” Nutrition & metabolism vol. 2 34. 1 Dec. 2005,
Next: What to Eat on Keto