Probably you are about to begin your weight loss journey and you want to do so with a ketogenic diet or you’ve already begun and things are not going as expected so you decided to switch to a ketogenic diet.
Whatever point you are in your weight loss journey, it is important that you have enough information about the ketogenic diet before making a part of your weight loss journey.
In this article, we are going to provide information on the Nigerian keto diet, its benefits and Nigerian foods that make up the perfect keto diet plan.
History of the Ketogenic Diet
Shockingly the ketogenic diet was first introduced as a treatment for epilepsy. Epilepsy is a brain disorder characterized by seizures.
By studying this brain disorder, scientists postulated that the foods we eat can have a significant effect on brain disorders. The ketogenic diet was discovered to help children with epilepsy get better and to improve their intellectual capability.
It was officially accepted as a treatment for childhood epilepsy in 1940. However, the introduction of anti-epileptic drugs saw a decline in the interest in this form of treatment.
In the 1980s and 1990s, as the interest in using the ketogenic diet as a form of treatment dwindled, some individuals started exploring the diet as a way to build a muscular body and still consume fatty foods.
It turned out that the ketogenic diet became the solution they have been seeking all along. The ketogenic diet is able to help you lose weight and build the perfect body, also it provides several benefits that make it one of the most popular diet options in the world today.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
Being on a keto diet means you will be consuming a lot of fats, the regular amounts of protein and totally scrap carbohydrates from your meals. Although in some ketogenic diets, you’ll have to consume little carbohydrates.
The main aim of this diet is to make your body use fats as a source of energy instead of carbohydrates. This state is known as Ketosis.
Normally, the body makes use of carbohydrates for energy and stores excess carbohydrates as fats (which could lead to weight gain).
Types of Ketogenic Diets
There are four types of ketogenic diets
Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): This is the main ketogenic diet. Below is the breakdown of the nutrient consumption in the diet
- Fats (75%)
- Protein (20%)
- Carbohydrates (5%)
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): This diet is characterized by 5 ketogenic days (you’ll follow the standard ketogenic diet during these days) followed by 2 high-carbohydrates days (you’ll consume foods high in carbohydrates during these days).
High-Protein Ketogenic Diet: In this diet, the amount of proteins consumed is increased and the amount of fats consumed is decreased. Below is the breakdown of the nutrient consumption in the diet
- Fats (60%)
- Protein (35%)
- Carbohydrates (5%)
Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): Everything about this diet is similar to the standard ketogenic diet, however, in this diet, you are allowed to consume foods with carbohydrates during workouts
If you’re planning to lose weight, then you’ll have to go for either the standard ketogenic diet or high-protein ketogenic diet as they are the only ones that aid in weight loss and provide other health benefits that a ketogenic diet offers.
Cyclical and targeted ketogenic diets are mostly used by bodybuilders or athletes.
How Keto Diet Leads to Weight Loss
As said earlier, Ketogenic diets aim to replace carbohydrates (glucose) with fats as the primary source of energy in the body. When the body is deprived of energy supply from carbohydrates it goes into a catabolic state.
Ketogenesis begins in the body to provide an alternative source of energy. This source of energy comes from ketone bodies which replace glucose as a primary source of energy.
During this process, the stimulus for insulin secretion is low which reduces the stimulus for fat and glucose storage. The breakdown of fats that result in fatty acids also occurs in this process.
The fatty acids are converted to acetoacetate which is later converted to beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetone. These basic ketone bodies provide energy for the body in the place of glucose.
The ketone bodies are produced in small concentrations during ketosis without any effect on the blood pH. However, if they are produced in extremely large concentrations, they alter the blood pH and lead to a life-threatening condition known as ketoacidosis.
Benefits of Keto
Keto diet is one of the best ways to lose weight without counting calories or tracking your food intake. Due to the increased consumption of proteins, you are more likely to get full quickly on a protein diet, than on any other diet.
The Keto diet can help with factors like body fat, blood pressure, HDL cholesterol levels, and blood sugar which contribute to heart disease
The diet could aid in recovery after brain injury and reduce concussions.
During ketogenesis, the stimulus for insulin secretion is low which leads to lower insulin levels. Coupled with the reduced consumption of sugar and processed foods, acne is drastically reduced.
Food Recommendations for a Keto Diet
- Fatty fish: Such as trout, salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, tilapia, etc.
- Cheese: Unprocessed cheese from cheddar, cream, goat, or blue.
- Nuts and seeds: Such as walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, Melon, etc.
- Oils: Virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and red palm oil.
- Fruits: Avocado, Berries, Coconut, Lemon, Lime, etc
- Low-carbohydrate vegetables: Pumpkin leaves aka ugwu leaves, spinach, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, peppers, cabbage, okra, garden egg, eggplant, asparagus, celery, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.
- Beverages: Green tea
Foods to Avoid on a Keto Diet
The foods below contain high amounts of carbohydrate and will have a negative effect on your keto diet.
- Refined Sugar
- Grains or starches
- Fruits: All fruits except berries like raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cranberries
- Root vegetables and tubers
- Low-fat or diet products
- Unhealthy fats
- Sugar-free diet foods
Although the keto diet can aid in weight loss and offer a lot of health benefits, it could lead to some side effects such as an enlarged liver, kidney disease, electrolyte imbalance, and stroke.
To minimize these side effects, you can start off with a regular low-carbohydrate diet for a few weeks. Also, you should add more salt or mineral supplement to your meals before consuming them.
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