Ketogenic diet is a diet model used for epilepsy treatment in the 1920s. In general, low carbohydrate, high fat and moderate protein intake is dominated by a ketogenic diet, which is based on a carbohydrate intake of less than 50 grams per day. This reduction in carbohydrates puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis.

Individuals who follow a ketogenic diet have to limit many foods they consume. Carbohydrates from all sources are severely limited. Many nutrient-rich foods are also sources of carbohydrates, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk and yogurt. Therefore,it is effective in fat burning in short-term applications, although it has effects such as vitamin and mineral loss in the body, fiber deficiency, and deterioration of intestinal health in long-term applications.

Why is carbohydrate restricted in a ketogenic diet?

Why is carbohydrate restricted in a ketogenic diet

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our body. Without enough carbohydrates for energy, the body breaks down fat into ketones. Ketones then become the primary fuel source for the body. Ketones provide energy for the heart, kidneys, and other muscles. The body also uses ketones as an alternative energy source for the brain. The ketogenic diet for our body is actually a partial fasting. In a state of complete fasting or starvation, the body has no energy source. Thus, it breaks down lean muscle mass for fuel. With the keto diet, ketones provide an alternative source of energy. Unlike a complete fasting, the keto diet helps preserve lean muscle mass.

Ketogenic diet types:

Standard ketogenic diet: This is a very low carb, medium protein, and high fat diet. It typically contains 70% fat, 20% protein and only 10% carbohydrates.

Cyclical ketogenic diet: This diet is a 5-day ketogenic diet followed by 2 days of high carbohydrate consumption.

Targeted ketogenic diet: This diet is a diet model in which carbohydrate intake is allowed with exercise.

High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but with more protein. The ratio is usually 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbohydrates.

However, only standard and high-protein ketogenic diets have been extensively studied. Cyclical or targeted ketogenic diet patterns are mostly used by bodybuilders or athletes.

What is ketosis?

  • Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body uses fat as fuel instead of carbohydrates.
  • It occurs when you reduce your carbohydrate consumption significantly, limiting your body’s supply of glucose (sugar), which is the main energy source for cells.
  • Following a ketogenic diet is the most effective way to get into ketosis. Carbohydrate consumption is limited to about 20 to 50 grams per day; This gap is closed with meat, fish, eggs, nuts and healthy fats.
  • It is important to reduce your protein intake along with carbohydrates, as protein can turn into glucose when consumed in high amounts, which can slow your transition to ketosis.
  • The known intermittent fasting method can also help you enter ketosis faster. There are many different forms of intermittent fasting, but the most common method involves limiting food intake to around 8 hours a day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
  • There are blood, urine and breath tests that can help determine whether you are entering ketosis by measuring the amount of ketones produced by your body.
  • Some symptoms, such as increased thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, and hunger or decreased appetite may also indicate that you are going into ketosis.

Benefits of the ketogenic diet

  • Studies show that the ketogenic diet can be just as effective at losing weight as a low-fat diet. Also, because the diet is filling, it can help you lose weight without counting calories and tracking your food intake.
  • In addition, the liver helps to reduce the volume of the liver as it converts the fat into ketone bodies that can provide energy for the brain.
  • Increased ketones, low blood sugar levels, and improved insulin sensitivity can also play an important role.
  • It can help you lose excess fat, which is closely linked to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and metabolic syndrome.
  • The ketogenic diet is used in the treatment of neurological patients such as epilepsy, and it has been observed in studies that it helps reduce epileptic seizures in children.
  • In short, a ketogenic diet can provide many benefits, especially in metabolic, neurological, or insulin-related diseases.

Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe?

Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe

This eating pattern is not recommended for people who have:

  • Pancreatic disease
  • Liver conditions
  • Thyroid problems
  • Eating disorders or a history of eating disorders
  • Gallbladder disease or those with gallbladder removed

Also, there are both short-term and long-term health risks for all people associated with the keto diet. Short-term health risks include flu-like symptoms. For example, stomach upset, headache, tiredness, and dizziness. This is called the “keto flu”. Some people also report having trouble sleeping. Cutting high-fiber vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can also increase the risk of constipation. Usually, keto dieters should consult a doctor to take a fiber supplement to help the intestines work properly.

Long-term health risks of the keto diet include kidney stones, liver disease, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. To limit carbs, many nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits are cut. For this reason, their A, C, K, and folate intakes are generally low.

The high fat nature of the keto diet is highly controversial. A significant number of studies have shown that diets high in saturated fat can increase the risk of heart disease and other chronic health problems. The risks keto dieters can take in terms of their long-term cardiovascular health have not been fully investigated.

Foods to avoid

Foods high in carbohydrates should be limited.

  • Sugary foods: soda, juice, sweets, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
  • Cereals or starches: wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereals, etc.
  • Fruit: all fruits except small fruits such as strawberries
  • Beans or legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
  • Root vegetables and tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
  • Low-fat or diet products: low-fat mayonnaise, salad dressings, and seasonings
  • Some condiments or sauces: barbecue sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, etc.
  • Unhealthy oils: processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
  • Alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks
  • Sugar-free diet foods: sugar-free candies, syrups, puddings, sweeteners, desserts, etc.

Free foods

  • Meat: red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey
  • Fatty fish: salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
  • Eggs: grazed or omega-3 whole eggs
  • Butter and cream: grass-fed butter and heavy cream
  • Cheese: unprocessed cheeses such as cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
  • Healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil
  • Avocados: whole avocados or freshly made guacamole
  • Low-carb vegetables: green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
  • Condiments: salt, pepper, herbs and spices

Menu alternatives for the ketogenic diet


  • Boiled egg
  • cucumber, green leafy vegetables
  • Prepared in nut milk, coconut, blueberry / blackberry, chia pudding
  • Spicy omelet with avocado, spinach
  • Yogurt with blueberries, cocoa, unsweetened peanut butter
  • Cheese omelette and grilled mushrooms


  • Olive oil, chicken, cheese, olives, tuna salad
  • Yogurt on boiled broccoli


  • Baked / grilled Salmon / trout / mackerel (with butter) + Curly salad
  • Zucchini Spaghetti with Minced Meat
  • Grilled chicken / steak + Boiled broccoli / cauliflower / zucchini
  • Spinach with minced meat


  • Cheese
  • Hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds
  • Olive
  • Keto-friendly snack bars
  • 90% dark chocolate
  • Full-fat yogurt mixed with nut butter and cocoa powder
  • Strawberry and plain cottage cheese
  • Dried meat