Keto Diet: What You Need to Know

Controlling, maintaining and getting rid of at least some of our health problems is a very real dream that we all are faced with. While some diseases are easier to control or get rid of, some are more persistent. Diabetes is one such disease which is a particularly stubborn kind of disease; but at the end of the day , the most effective way to prevent and manage diabetes is eating a balanced diet that includes healthy carbohydrates and enough healthy proteins and fats.

Let us get to the first question, what is a keto diet? The ketogenic diet is a very low carb, high fat diet. It 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 happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fats into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy to the brain. Ketogenic diets can cause significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. There are several different versions of the ketogenic diet, like:

  • Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) : This is a very low-carb, moderate protein and high fat diet. It generally consists of 70% fat, 20% protein and only 10% 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. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.

Even though there exists more than one type of ketogenic diet, the     Standard (SKD) is the most researched and the most recommended.

Now that we have looked into what keto diet is; let us find out the meaning of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which our body uses fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. It occurs when the consumption of carbohydrates is significantly reduced, this limits the body’s supply of glucose (sugar), which is the main source of energy for the cells. Modifying your diet and practicing intermittent fasting can help you enter ketosis faster. Certain lists and symptoms can also help determine whether you have ketosis.

There have been quite a few advantages of following a ketogenic diet. Let us explore these advantages. It is said that the ketogenic diet is an effective way to lose weight and lower the risk factors of various diseases. In fact, research suggests that the ketogenic diet may be as effective for weight loss as a low fat diet. One review of 13 studies found that following a very low-carb ketogenic diet was slightly more effective for long term weight loss than a low fat diet. People who followed the keto diet lost an average of 2 pounds (0.9 kg) more than the group that followed a low-fat diet.

The increased ketones was also related to lowering the blood sugar levels. One older study found that the ketogenic diet improved insulin sensitivity by a whopping 75%. A small study in women with type 2 diabetes also found that following a ketogenic diet for 90 days significantly reduced levels of hemoglobin A1C, which is a measure of long-term blood sugar management.

Studies have shown that the diet can have benefits for a wide variety of different health conditions:

  • Heart Disease – The ketogenic diet can help improve risk factors like body fat, HDL (good) cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar.
  • Cancer – The diet is currently being explored as an additional treatment for cancer, because it may help slow tumor growth.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease – The keto diet may help reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and slow it’s progression.
  • Epilepsy – Research has shown that ketogenic diet can cause significant reduction in seizures in epileptic children.
  • Parkinson’s Disease – Although more research is needed, one study found that the diet helped improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – The ketogenic diet can help reduce insulin levels, which may play a key role in polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Brain Injuries – Some research suggests that the diet could improve outcomes of traumatic brain injury.

In a ketogenic diet many foods have to be excluded while many foods need to be included. We need to strike a balance between the two. Carb-based foods like grains, sugars, legumes, rice, potatoes, candy, juice and even most fruits are to be avoided. Basing the majority of your diet on foods such as meat, fish, eggs, butter, nuts, healthy oils, avocados, and plenty of low carb veggies.

We have been learning so many things regarding the keto diet. But like everything there are some side effects to the keto diet as well. Even though the ketogenic diet is usually safe for most healthy people, there may be some initial side effects while our body adapts.

There is some anecdotal evidence of these effects often referred to as the keto flu, based on reports, it’s usually over within a few days. Reported keto flu symptoms include diarrhea, constipation and vomiting. Other less common symptoms can be:

  • Poor energy and mental function
  • Increased hunger
  • Sleep issues
  • Nausea
  • Digestive discomfort
  • Decrease exercise performance.

A ketogenic diet can also change the water and mineral balance of your body, so adding extra salt to your meals or taking mineral supplements may help. Talk to your doctor and dietician about the nutritional needs. Staying on the keto diet in the long term may have some negative effects, including risks of the following:

  • Low protein in the blood 
  • Extra fat in the liver
  • Kidney stones
  • Micronutrient deficiencies.

A type of medicine called Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors for type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of Diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition that increases blood acidity. Anyone taking this medication should avoid this diet.

Even though the keto diet has many benefits, it also has a few disadvantages associated with it. A Doctor’s consult and a Dietician consult is always recommended.

Get an answer to all the questions about diabetes in my online course. I will be back again with a new and interesting topic for everyone to discuss. Thank you.

Let me introduce you to the Art of Living with diabetes,a unique training program for every diabetic citizen. Visit to know details

Published by Dr.Pratim Sengupta

Dr. Pratim Sengupta thinks of himself as conscious, living, soulful being with an inner urge to break the inertia of life. He feels that life is nothing but a material expression of the Supreme Almighty Consciousness. His conscious existence empowered him to see, to hear, to talk, to interact, to feel, to dream, to ask questions, and to seek solutions to every problem. In the flow of life, as he grew up, he understood that knowledge of life is the only way to understand the scientific basis of conscious existence. Hence Dr. Sengupta felt the urge to study the science of life – i.e. Medicine. After he completed his higher secondary education from the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira in Belurmath, he joined the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) course at RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata. The professional packaging of knowledge in terms of a time-bound, goal-oriented syllabus frustrated him a bit, but nevertheless ignited the urge within him to study further. He thus went on to his post-graduation (MD) in Medicine from IPGMER and SSKM Hospital, Kolkata. During his MD training, he got a glimpse of the vastness of knowledge, and the quest to learn precisely the facts of life narrowed down his area of interest to the functioning of the kidneys and the specialisation of Nephrology – a discipline that is complex, yet relatively new and still evolving in terms of complete understanding of renal physiology and pathology. So, Dr. Sengupta decided to study and train for the DM (Doctorate of Medicine) degree in Nephrology. Right from the start of his career, Dr. Sengupta was passionate about Research. During the MD programme he worked on Cirrhotic Cardiomyopathy, Autonomic Neuropathy of Lupus, and Insulin resistance in Diabetics. All these research studies were published in national journals. During his postdoctoral study in Nephrology, he worked on Hemodialysis efficiency, and suggested an angular placement of the Dialyser in order to increase efficiency. This innovative concept was accepted for presentation at the World Congress of Nephrology, Milan, in 2009, and also published in Hemodialysis International. Dr. Sengupta also worked on Plasmapheresis – a blood filtering technique by which toxic and pathogenic immunoglobulins can be removed from the body. He studied the role of Prethymectomy Plasmapheresis in Myasthenia Gravis patients, and his findings were published in the journal Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. The patient-empowered nutritional model for nutritional care of kidney patients is another interesting and innovative area in which Dr. Sengupta has worked for quite a long time. Dr.Pratim Sengupta won the Bharat Jyoti award for his excellency in the field of medicine. He is also the president of our non-governmental organization, The Kidney Care Society. His tireless contribution to provide quality living for his patients is worth mentioning. He introduced Mukti, blending ancient Indian yoga with modern medicine for well being of every patient. He has also introduced an unique online course "Art of Living with diabetes" which is a complete solution to diabetes management. He has authored many books, blogs, for the patients. Searching and researching for solutions to problems in the field of Nephrology remains the passion and dream of Dr. Pratim Sengupta, and he intends to persist on this journey as long as he is conscious. Meanwhile, even as he pursues his dreams, Dr. Sengupta diligently puts into practice all he has learned about Nephrology over the years, at the Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkata and ILS hospital,Dumdum where he is available for his patient

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