What is the ketogenic diet? Keto guide for beginners

The Ketogenic Diet or Keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet that relies heavily on reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing fat with it.

Specialists believe that reducing carbohydrates puts the body in a metabolic state called ketosis, so the body becomes effective in burning fats, To get energy. It also turns fats into ketones in the liver, which provides power to the brain.

Ketogenic diets can drastically lower blood sugar and insulin levels, along with several other health benefits.

Did you know?

That the traditional American diet contains 45-65% of calories from foods rich in carbohydrates? That’s the reason why excess weight and related health problems can spread. Are You Guilty of Choosing a Diet Rich in Carbs? Or Are You Ready to Succeed and Try Something Different?

Traditional Use – History of the Ketogenic Diet

But before we get into how you can benefit from it, let’s give you a little history of the diet.

The Ketogenic Diet has been around for over 90 years. “ It was planned in 1924 by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic“. It is traditionally used to treat epileptic seizures effectively, knowing that its use has declined in recent times after the spread of new anti-seizure drugs in the 1940s.

The ketogenic diet was later found to help treat epileptic seizures, often in cases where no other medication helped. Traditionally, the keto diet for epilepsy is about 75% fat, about 5% carbohydrate, and 20% protein.

It has been used successfully for a variety of medical conditions. Dropping off carbohydrates or sugar helps the body in many ways, including weight loss.

* The Keto Diet is effective for weight loss but has several other benefits for health.

  • Doctors usually recommend the ketogenic diet for children with epilepsy when their seizures do not respond to various seizure medications.
  • There is evidence from uncontrolled clinical trials and animal studies.
  • That the ketogenic diet can help with a wide range of neurodegenerative disorders, including:
    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • It can also help with head trauma and stroke (Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  • Sugar can nourish cancer cells and make them multiply. Did you know that Eliminating sugar and carbs may be effective in reducing or fighting cancer?
  • Improve cardiovascular risk factors.
  • New Research Shows The Keto Diet May help treat Autism.
  • Recent studies over the past decade show that the ketogenic diet has many therapeutic effects for certain conditions, such as diabetes, acne, PCOS, neurological diseases, and improved disease risk factors respiratory. (Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

3 Types Of Ketogenic Diet: Which Is The Best For You

If you are new to the keto diet, it is perfect to follow the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) for at least 2-3 weeks to see how your body responds after becoming adapted to fat. Once you’ve been in ketosis for a few weeks, you can try out different variations of the keto diet to see what works best for you.

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If you are trying to lose weight or living a sedentary lifestyle, the standard keto diet is a great plan to start. It is essentially the “real” ketogenic diet in that you won’t be eating a lot of carbs at all, typically 30 grams or less per day.


The Targeted Keto Diet allows for small meals that contain carbohydrates before or after training. That is a good keto diet variation to follow if you find that your physical performance blocks on the standard keto diet.

For most people, adding 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrate to their pre-workout or post-workout meal should be enough.

It’s important to reduce your fat intake when it comes to compensating for added carbohydrates. On days when you are not exercising, follow the SKD.


Sometimes referred to as the cycle keto diet, this type is considered one of the most advanced types of the Ketogenic diet, that incorporates cyclical carbohydrate replenishment. For example, you can follow the traditional/standard keto diet Monday through Friday, then eat a high-carb diet on the weekends.

However, it’s best to try a targeted keto diet before switching to the cyclic keto diet.  


There is no better diet for everyone, not even the keto diet. Whether you’re a die-hard carbophobe or new to the keto lifestyle, trying new dietary approaches is the only way to find out more about what works for you and what doesn’t.

If you choose to go on the keto diet, don’t be afraid to experiment with each type of the ketogenic diet and see how you feel. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so what are you waiting to get started? Make it happen!

Does the ketogenic diet work for everyone?

The keto diet only works for some people. And here’s why?

In some cases, Some people’s bodies may be a perfect fit for the foods that are eaten in any particular diet, whether it is the keto diet or any other diet, while there are others whose bodies can be the opposite of that.

People who suffer from hypoglycemia, for example, should not be on a diet. Blood sugar levels may become very low if they can faint or blackout.

The frail and the elderly are other examples where the diet may be too high because their organs may not respond positively to converting fats into a source of fuel quickly enough.

However, the keto diet can be very effective for others. It is particularly effective for people sensitive to carbohydrates, whether complex or simple.

These people are the kind of people who can skip a meal and not have the shakes or feel dizzy. Often healthy people need to lose weight.

Overweight people often respond very quickly to the keto diet. Their bodies turn sugars into fat faster than others. And once their body doesn’t get a lot of carbohydrates, their body is ready to transform their fat stores into a top-notch source of energy.

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Why is the keto diet good for you?


The ketogenic diet can help promote weight loss in several ways, including boosting metabolism and reducing appetite.

Ketogenic diets consist of a variety of nutrient-dense foods, that had a role in reducing hunger-stimulating hormones. For these reasons, following the keto diet can reduce appetite and thus promote weight loss.

In a 2013 meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials, researchers found that people on a ketogenic diet lost 2 pounds (lbs) more than those on a low-fat diet over one year.

Likewise, another review of 11 studies found that people on a ketogenic diet lost 5 pounds more than those on a low-fat diet after 6months.


When a person is on the ketogenic diet, they must choose healthy foods. Some evidence shows that consuming healthy fats, such as avocados, instead of less healthy fats, such as pork rinds, may help improve heart health by lowering cholesterol.

A 2017 review of some animal and human studies of the ketogenic diet found that some people experienced significant drops in total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and triglycerides, as well an increased height in high-density lipoproteins, (HDL) or cholesterol.

High cholesterol levels can raise the risk of cardiovascular disease. The lowering effect of a keto diet on cholesterol can therefore lower a person’s risk of heart complications.

However, the review resolved that the positive effects of diet on heart health depend on the quality of the diet. Hence, it is important to eat balanced foods while following the keto diet.

High cholesterol levels can raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.


Acne has many different causes and can be related to diet and blood sugar levels in some people.

A diet high in carbohydrates can alter the balance of gut bacteria and cause blood sugar levels to rise and fall significantly, which can adversely affect skin health.

According to a 2012 study, which showed that a ketogenic diet high-fat and low-carb, has positive effects in reducing acne symptoms in some people.


Some research, like this 2019 study, suggests that ketones generated during the keto diet have neurological benefits, as they help strengthen and protect brain and nerve cells.

For this reason, a keto diet can help a person prevent or manage conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

However, more research is needed on the effects of a keto diet on the brain.


PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) is a hormonal disorder that can lead to excess male hormones, impaired ovulation, and polycystic ovaries.

A high-carb diet can cause harmful effects in people with PCOS, such as skin problems and weight gain.
Researchers have found that a ketogenic diet improves many markers of PCOS, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Hormone balance
  • Fasting insulin levels

However, they also cautioned that the studies were too diverse to recommend The keto system as a general treatment for PCOS.


Researchers studied the effects of the ketogenic diet, finding that it may help prevent or even treat some types of cancer.

One study found that the ketogenic diet may be a safe and appropriate adjunct to therapy for use with chemotherapy and radiation therapy for people with certain cancers. This is because it would cause more further oxidative stress in cancer cells than in normal cells, causing them to die.

A recent study from 2018 indicates that the keto diet lowers blood sugar, it may also reduce the risk of insulin-related complications.

Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar and may be linked to certain cancers.

While some research indicates that the ketogenic diet may have benefits in treating cancer, studies in this area are limited. Researchers need to conduct more studies to fully understand the potential benefits of the ketogenic diet in the prevention and treatment of cancer.


The proportion of fat, protein, and carbohydrates in the keto diet alters how the body uses energy, which leads to ketosis. Ketosis is the metabolism process in which the body uses ketone bodies for fuel.

The Epilepsy Foundation suggests that ketosis may reduce seizures in people with epilepsy – especially those who have not responded to other treatment methods. More research is needed on its effectiveness, although it appears to have the most effect on children who have focal seizures.

A 2019 review supports the hypothesis that a ketogenic diet may help people with epilepsy. The ketogenic diet can reduce symptoms of epilepsy through several different mechanisms.

Risks and complications of the ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet can have a range of health benefits. However, staying on the ketogenic diet for the long term can be harmful to health, including an increased risk of the following health problems:

  • Kidney stones
  • Excess protein in the blood
  • Mineral and vitamin deficiencies
  • A buildup of fat in the liver

The ketogenic diet can cause unwanted side effects that many people refer to as the keto flu. These side effects can include:

  • Constipation
  • Tired
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Low tolerance for exercise

These symptoms are particularly common at the start of the diet as the body adjusts to its new source of energy.

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Some case should avoid the keto diet, including:

  • people with insulin-dependent diabetes
  • people who have eating disorders
  • those with kidney disease or pancreatitis
  • women during pregnancy and lactation
  • People who take a type of medicine called a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor for type 2 diabetes should also not be on a ketogenic diet. This drug increases the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition that increases acidity in the blood.

Final recommendations:

All nutrients must be balanced, in appropriate amounts for the body, and without reducing the individual component to the point of harm. So that all nutrients are consumed to achieve health and benefit the body.

Research supports following the ketogenic diet for epilepsy with medical team follow-up. It is a very complex treatment.

As for the treatment of obesity, weight loss, and some other health benefits, they are under research and study.

Important clarification: Moderation is the secret to following any long-term diet. As for the keto diet, several important studies and research have shown how effective it is to lose weight and enjoy multiple health benefits.

Be aware: however, that the ketogenic diet can increase disease and mortality in the long term.

To follow a beneficial, healthy diet, you should consult a dietician. To prepare a program that helps in losing weight based on need and health goals.

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