A ketogenic diet is essentially a very low-carb, high-fat diet, and involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this occurs, 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 can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits!
Types of Keto Diets
There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:
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
Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days
Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts
High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. Ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs
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.
Types of Keto & Weight Loss
A ketogenic diet is an effective way to lose weight and lower risk factors for disease. In fact, research shows that the ketogenic diet is far superior to the often recommended low-fat diets.
Keto is so filling, that you can lose weight without counting calories or tracking your food intake. One study found that people on a ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet. Triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels also improved. Overall, a ketogenic diet can help you lose much more weight than a low-fat diet. This often happens without hunger.
Keto & Diabetes
Diabetes is characterized by changes in metabolism, high blood sugar and impaired insulin function.
The ketogenic diet can help you lose excess fat, which is closely linked to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and metabolic syndrome.
One study found that the ketogenic diet improved insulin sensitivity by a whopping 75%.
Another study in people with type 2 diabetes found that 7 of the 21 participants were able to stop using all diabetes medications.
In yet another study, the ketogenic group lost 24.4 pounds, compared to 15.2 pounds in the higher-carb group. This is an important benefit when considering the link between weight and type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, 95.2% of the ketogenic group were also able to stop or reduce diabetes medication, compared to 62% in the higher-carb group. Crazy!