Ketosis is a metabolic process in which your body produces ketones to extract energy, since it is not extracted from glucose produced by the decomposition of carbohydrates, as usual.
By lowering considerably the glucose stored you force your body to use fat as a fuel, but first you will go through a very difficult period of adaptation in which you will feel sick. This adaptation usually lasts more or less ten days, and many people give up the diet before achieve their goal.
In the ketogenic diet, or keto diet, the percentages allowed for food groups or macronutrients are 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates.
What should you avoid eating?
As you see, this is a diet very high in fat and almost nil in carbohydrates. You should also be careful with protein intake; it cannot exceed 20%, since the body will extract the glucose from these, preventing you from getting into ketosis, which is the goal (become a fat-burning machine).
As you can see, it is a quite restrictive diet that completely eliminates starchy vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and sweet potatoes. You will get that 5% from green vegetables such as spinach, lettuce or broccoli.
You have to be careful with fat intake. It is true that this will be your main source of food and energy, but you must resort to good fats that provide healthy nutrients to your body, such as avocado, egg yolk, olive oil and coconut oil.
Ketogenic diet foods to avoid
Fruits, tubers, cereals and legumes are forbidden.
These are some foods that you CANNOT consume: potato, sweet potato, banana, rice, oats, bread, grains, sweets, and sugar; that is, you have to avoid everything that contains a high dose of carbohydrates.
Yes, delicious carbohydrates are FORBIDDEN.
Carbohydrates in the ketogenic diet
Remember, what is good for the goose may not be good for the gander.
In general, if you have insulin resistance (type II diabetes or class I, II, II obesity), you will have to reduce your carbohydrate intake.
However, it is important that you do not confuse overweight with obesity, or few carbohydrates with 0 carbohydrates.
Completely eliminating carbohydrates from your diet can result in a reduction of vitamins or a low-fiber intake.
What about fruits?
The ketogenic diet is a feeding program that limits fruit consumption due to its high content of fructose and glucose, that is, sugar. Even so, do not forget that fruits contain antioxidants and fibers, so in later stages of the ketogenic diet you can include some of them
Some fruits such as avocado or tomato are included in other food groups (fats or vegetables).
Proteins in the ketogenic diet
However, it is very difficult to exceed the protein intake, due to its filling power. The fact that you can eat a certain amount of protein does not mean that you have an obligation to do so. If you feel full with less, eat less! The important thing is that you do not subject your body to stress either of excess or defect. Eat what you need within what you have allowed and you will stay in ketosis. If you are following the diet conscientiously, you do not need to take any type of protein supplement.
Fats in the ketogenic diet
What about dairy?
But there are exceptions! Fermented milk products such as sugar-free yogurt, cheese, butter and sour cream are allowed.
What about coffee?
When I talk about coffee I do not mean the one consumed in the big stores, I mean the black coffee that you prepare yourself at home.
Coffee is the product of the roasted beans of the coffee plant. It is a berry with a lot of benefits, especially at the cognitive level; for example, it reduces dementia, cognitive decline, type II diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and heart disease. Coffee is an antioxidant and also helps reduce inflammation and stress.
The amount of coffee you can drink depends on your caffeine tolerance, but some studies indicate that you can drink up to 5 cups of black coffee. Of course, you must be aware of the signals from your body, so that it does not become harmful because of the abuse.s.
In addition, if you are on the ketogenic diet, you should not add sugar to your coffee because you can increase your insulin levels and get out of ketosis.
However, if you are one of those who do not like coffee, you do not need to consume it.
Sugar and sweeteners
If you decide to start a ketogenic diet, I warn you that sugar is an absolute NO, as well as any other sugar substitute or sweetener.
Regardless of the diet you follow, you must ingest fibers. It is true, fibers are carbohydrates, but they are the only one that is not absorbed by the body.
Fibers are essential because they help your digestion, reduce glucose, prevent hemorrhoids, lower cholesterol, reduce hunger and, above all, help you have healthy gut bacteria. But if you are following the ketogenic diet you have to avoid the fiber of legumes and cereals. You must obtain fiber from vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, tomato, spinach, garlic and asparagus.
If you are following your diet correctly and you are feeding yourself properly, you do not need to take multivitamin supplements. You can take them if you wish, but you do not need them.