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Friday, November 8, 2019

Understanding Keto Diet

Keto diet also known as Ketogenic diet is a high fat and low carb diet. 
It involves reducing carbohydrate intake drastically and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.

When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.

Ketogenic diets cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels and therefore shifts the body’s metabolism away from carbs and towards fat and ketones. That is why by definition, Keto diet is not a balanced diet.

Normally carbs in food are converted into glucose which is then transported throughout the body, but if little carbs are available in diet (as in keto diet), then the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. These ketone bodies pass into brain and replace glucose as energy source.

An increase in ketone bodies in blood leads to ketosis.
Advantage of ketosis is that it reduces epileptic seizures, therefore keto diet is prescribed in patients suffering from epilepsy.

Another way of generating a state of ketosis in the body is by Fasting.


1) Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs.

2) Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.

3) Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.

4) High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.

However, only the standard and high-protein ketogenic diets have been studied extensively. Cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced methods and primarily used by bodybuilders or athletes.


1) Seafood. Fish and shellfish are very keto-friendly foods.
2) Low-Carb Vegetables like  green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, asparagus, broccolli, cucumbers.
3) Cheese and Peanut Butter.
4) Avocados, raspberries, and lemons are keto-friendly fruits when eaten in moderation.
5) Fatty Meat and dairy products.
6) Eggs
7) Coconut oil
8) Plain Yogurt and cottage cheese
9) Ice-cream
10) Dark Chocolates
11) Spirits like Gin, Vodka and Whisky


1) Weight Loss: You lose weight without going hungry.
2) Cancer: The diet is currently being used to treat several types of cancer and slow tumor growth.
3) Alzheimer's disease: The keto diet may reduce symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and slow its progression .
4) Epilepsy: Research has shown that the ketogenic diet can cause massive reductions in seizures in epileptic children.
5) Parkinson's disease: One study found that the diet helped improve symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
6) Polycystic ovary syndrome: The ketogenic diet can help reduce insulin levels, which may play a key role in polycystic ovary syndrome.
7) Brain Injuries: One animal study found that the diet can reduce concussions and aid recovery after brain injury.


1) Keto Breath: Since ketones are released in breath, urine and sweat, people following ket diet can easily be recognised by the foul odour they emit.

2) Keto rash mostly occurs in the upper body. It includes itchy rash with redness. It is an uncomfortable and itchy condition which can be controlled with some precautions. It can be spotted on neck, chest and back.

3) Cramps due to reduced electrolyte levels in blood, as they are lost in urine.

4) Vitamin defficiency and fatigue.

5) Keto Flu which includes reduced alertness, giddiness, fatigue and loss of sleep.

6) Muscle Loss.

7) Kidney stones and constipation.

8) Joint pains due to increase in uric acid levels

9) Acidosis leads to erosion of bones which increase chances of fractures.

10) Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels in blood increase leading to heart disease.

11) Low carb diet leads to irregularities in heart beats e.g Atrial fibrillation.

12) Physical performance shows major deterioration.

13) Keto diet also aggravates gall bladder disease.


The ketogenic diet was originally formulated by doctors to help treat people with epilepsy, and it was found especially effective in children who didn’t respond to medication. Indeed, the keto diet has been found to reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures, which are common complications of this condition.
The keto diet has also been studied as a possible cancer therapy. 

Since it is not a balanced diet it is not recommended for the general population.
Yet if you wish to try your hand at the keto diet, run to your doctor first and get a precise meal plan from him.

And before you begin keto diet, remember:
1) ketosis can be harmful to a fetus, the keto diet should be avoided during pregnancy.

2) The keto diet is not for children or adolescents either, and a long-term complication can be growth retardation in children.

3) It should not be tried by people suffering from Diabetes mellitus, kidney problems and heart disease.

                              Written By                                                                                 
                         Dr Neelima Bathija
                             (Gynaecologist and Infertility Specialist)   


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