Ketogenic Diet: Understanding, Health Benefits, Side Effects, Risk Factors, & More


According to BBC Good Food the ketogenic diet commonly known as the keto diet, has emerged as a popular dietary approach in recent years, praised for its potential health benefits and weight loss effects. So in this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the ketogenic diet, exploring its fundamental principles, potential benefits and risks, and practical tips for getting started on this dietary journey.

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

At its core, the ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan designed to include a metabolic state known as ketosis in the body. Ketosis occurs when the body shifts from utilizing glucose as its primary source of fuel to burning fat for energy. This metabolic switch is achieved by drastically reducing carbohydrate intake while increasing fat intake, promoting the body to produce ketones as an alternate fuel source.

What are the Health Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet?

So the keto genic diet actually originated as a tool for treating neurological disease such as epilepsy. Studies have now shown that diet can have benefits for a wide variety of different health conditions:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Brain injuries
  • Weight loss
  • Improved blood sugar control
  • Increase energy levels
  • Better mental health
  • Enhance physical performance
  • Lowered inflammation
  • Improved digestive health
  • Better skin health
  • Reduce risk of metabolic syndrome

However, keep in the mind that research into many of these areas is far from conclusive.

What are the Side Effects of Ketogenic Diet?

While the ketogenic diet is generally safe for healthiest people, there may be some initial side effects as your body adjusts. So these effects, often referred to as the keto flu, typically last a few days and may include symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, poor energy, and mental function, increased hunger, sleep issues, nausea, digestive, discomfort, and decreased exercise performance. To minimize these side effects, you can try starting with a regular low-carbs diet for the first few weeks to help your body adjust to burning more fat before completely eliminating carbs. Additionally, a ketogenic diet can affect your body’s water and mineral balance, so adding extra salt to your meals or taking supplements may help.

What are the Risk Factors of Ketogenic Diet?

While the ketogenic diet offers benefits, there are potential negative effects if followed in the long term. These risks factors include:

  • Low protein level in the blood
  • Increase fat in the liver
  • Kidney stones
  • Micronutrient deficiencies

Additionally, individuals taking certain medications for type 2 diabetes, called sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors may be at increased risk of a dangerous condition called diabetic ketoacidosis when following the keto diet. It’s important for those taking these medications to avoid the keto diet. While more research is needed to fully understand the long-term safety of the keto diet, it’s essential to keep your doctor informed of your eating plan to ensure it aligns with your health goals and needs.

What Can I Eat While Following the Ketogenic Diet?

There are different types of ketogenic diets, and what you eat depends on which one you follow. So here are some of the main types:

Standard Ketogenic Diet: This diet is very low in carbs, moderates in protein, and high in fat. It usually includes 70% fat, 20% protein and only 10% carbs.

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: This diet involves alternating between periods of eating very low carbs, and higher carbs, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high carbs days.

Targeted Ketogenic Diet: This diet allows you to eat more carbs around your workouts to fuel your exercise.

High Protein Ketogenic Diet: This diet is similar to the standard ketogenic diet but includes more protein. It typically has a ratio of 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.

It’s important to note that only the standard and high protein ketogenic diets have been extensively studied. Cyclical and targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced and are primarily used by bodybuilders or athletes. This information in this article mainly focuses on the standard ketogenic diet but many of the same principles also apply to the other types.

The Ketogenic Diet Help me a Weight Loss:

Yes, the keto diet can help with weight loss and reduce the risk factors for disease. Research has shown that the keto diet can be as effective for weight loss as a low-fat diet. Additionally, the diet is so filling that you can lose weight without needing to count calories to track your food intake. Studies have found that following a very low- carb, ketogenic diet can lead to slightly more weight loss compared to a low-fat diet in the long term. This weight loss is often accompanied by reductions in blood pressure and triglycerides levels. One more study found that older adults who followed a ketogenic diet for 8 weeks lost nearly five times as much total body fat as those who followed a low fat diet. The increased levels of ketones, lower blood sugar levels, and improved insulin sensitivity that occur on the keto diet may also contribute to its effectiveness for weight loss.

Is The Ketogenic Diet Good for People with Diabetes and Prediabetes:

Yes, the ketogenic diet can be beneficial for people with diabetes and prediabetes. So here are some benefits of it:

  • Weight loss
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Better blood sugar management

It can be a valuable tool for managing diabetes and prediabetes by promoting weight loss, improving insulin sensitivity, and enhancing blood sugar management. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new diet, especially if you have a medical condition like diabetes.

What Food Do I Avoid on a Ketogenic Diet?

Any foods that’s high in carbs should be limited. So here’s a list of foods that need to be reduced or eliminated on a ketogenic diet:

  • Sugary foods
  • Grains or starches
  • Fruit
  • Beans and legumes
  • Root vegetables and tubers
  • Low fat or diet products
  • Some condiments or sauces
  • Unhealthy fats
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar-free diet foods

What Foods Can I Eat on the Ketogenic Diet?

You should base the majority of your meals around these foods:

  • Meat
  • Fatty fish
  • Eggs
  • Butter and cream
  • Cheese
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy oils
  • Avocados
  • Low carb veggies
  • Condiments

What is the Ketogenic Diet Plan For One Week?

To help you get started, here’s a sample of ketogenic diet meal plan for a one week:


  • Breakfast: Veggie, and eggs muffins with tomatoes
  • Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil, feta cheese, olives, and a side salad
  • Dinner: Salmon with asparagus cooked in butter


  • Breakfast: Eggs, tomato, basil, and spinach omelet
  • Lunch: Almond milk, peanut butter, spinach, cocoa powder, and stevia milkshakes with a side of sliced strawberries
  • Dinner: Cheese-shell tacos, with salsa


  • Breakfast: Nut milk, chia pudding topped with coconut and blackberries
  • Lunch: Avocado shrimp salad
  • Dinner: Pork chops with Parmesan cheese, broccoli, and salad


  • Breakfast: Omelet with avocado, salsa, peppers, onion, and spices
  • Lunch: A handful of nuts and celery sticks with guacamole and salsa
  • Dinner: Chicken stuffed with pesto and cream cheese and a side of grilled zucchini


  • Breakfast: Sugar free Greek, whole milk yogurt, with peanut butter, cocoa powder, and berries,
  • Lunch: Ground beef lettuce wrap tacos with sliced bell peppers
  • Dinner: Loaded cauliflower and mixed veggies


  • Breakfast: Cream cheese pancakes, with blueberries and a side of grilled mushrooms
  • Lunch: Zucchini and beet, “noodle” salad
  • Dinner: White fish cooked olive oil with kale and toasted pine nuts


  • Breakfast: Fried eggs, with and mushrooms
  • Lunch: Low carbs sesame chicken and broccoli
  • Dinner: Spaghetti squash Bolognese

Always try to rotate the vegetables and meat over the long term, as each type provides different nutrients and health benefits.

What are Healthy Ketogenic Snacks?

In case you get hungry between meals, here are some healthy, keto approved snacks:

  • Fatty meat
  • Fish
  • Cheese
  • Nuts or seeds
  • Keto sushi bites
  • Olives
  • Boiled eggs
  • Dark chocolate
  • Greek yogurt
  • Peanut butter
  • Cocoa powder
  • Bell peppers
  • Guacamole
  • Strawberries and plain cottage cheese
  • Celery salsa and guacamole
  • Beef jerky
  • Smaller portions of leftover meals
  • Fat bombs

What are the Ketogenic Tips and Tricks?

Starting the ketogenic diet can be challenging, but there are several tips and tricks that can make it easier:

  • Familiarize yourself with food labels
  • Plan your meals in advance
  • Use keto friendly recipes
  • Try meal delivery services
  • Consider health frozen keto meals
  • Bring your own food to social circles

By implementing these tips and tricks, you can make starting the ketogenic diet easier and set yourself up for success on your weight loss journey.

What are the Tips for Eating Out on a Ketogenic Diet?

You can still enjoy keto friendly meals at many restaurants by making a few simple swaps:

  • Choose meat or fish based dishes
  • Try eggs based meals
  • Go for bunless burgers
  • Enjoy Mexican Cuisine
  • Choose keto-friendly desserts

By making these simple adjustments, you can enjoy keto-friendly meals while out at restaurants.

Are There Supplements for a Ketogenic Diet?

Although no supplements are required, some can be useful:

  • MCT oil
  • Minerals
  • Caffeine
  • Exogenous ketones
  • Creatine
  • Whey

10 Ways to Tell You’re in Ketosis Without Testing:

So here are 10 signs that show you’re in ketosis without needing to use testing:

  • More energy
  • Less hunger
  • Clearer thinking
  • Different breath
  • Changed body odor
  • Weight loss
  • Less bloating
  • More peeing
  • Better physical performance
  • Steadier blood sugar

These signs can help you know if you’re in ketosis, but it’s important to remember that everyone’s experience can be different. If you’re unsure or have any concerns, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor or healthcare professionals.

7 Tips to Get into Ketosis:

So here are 7 tips to help you get into ketosis:

  • Reduce carbohydrate intake
  • Increase healthy fat intake
  • Eat moderate protein
  • Stay hydrated
  • Include low-carb vegetables
  • Exercise regularly
  • Be patient and persistent

By following these tips and staying consistent, you can increase your chances of successfully getting into ketosis and reaping the benefits of a ketogenic diet.

20 Foods to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet:

Eating high fat low carb foods is the principle of a keto diet. Followers of this diet may consume a variety of animal proteins, dairy, vegetables, other plant based foods, and fats and oils. So here are 20 foods that you can eat on the keto diet:

  • Meat
  • Fish and sea foods
  • Eggs
  • Low-carb vegetables
  • Avocados
  • Cheese
  • Butter and cream
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Coconut oil
  • Olives
  • Berries
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Dark chocolate
  • Pork rinds
  • Coconut milk
  • Shirataki noodles
  • Seeds
  • Beverages

These are some foods that you can enjoy while following the keto diet. It’s essential to focus on whole, unprocessed foods and to monitor your carb intake to stay in ketosis.

15 Health Conditions That May from a Ketogenic Diet:

So here are 15 health conditions that may be benefit from a ketogenic diet:

  • Epilepsy
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Neurological disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Migraine
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Acne
  • Mental health disorders
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Sleep disorder
  • Aging

It’s important to note that while the ketogenic diet may benefit individuals with these health conditions, it’s essential to work closely with a healthcare professional to ensure that the diet is safe and appropriate for your individual needs.


What is the lowest carb fruit?

Watermelon, the sweet summertime treat is 92% water and the lowest-carbs fruits by far, with 7.5 carbs for every 100 grams. It also has a lot of vitamin A and C.

What vegetables have no carbs?

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, celery, iceberg, lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes, contain very few or almost no carbohydrates.

Is corn carb free?

So corn is considered a starchy vegetable, which means it contains a high amount of carbohydrates and is not typically recommended for a ketogenic diet. An ear of corn contains approximately 41 grams of carbohydrates, while a cup of corn has about 30 grams of carbs. Due to its high carbs content corn is not considered a keto-friendly diet.

Is onion good for keto?

Yes, onion is a keto-friendly root vegetable.

Is milk OK for a keto diet?

Cow’s milk is high in lactose, which is a type of carbohydrate, making it unsuitable for a keto diet. While milk and dairy products are commonly consumed and enjoyed by many people, they are not compatible with the keto diet due to their high carbohydrate content.

Is coke zero ok on keto?

Coca cola zero sugar, also known as coke zero offers the classic coke flavor without the sugar or carbs. It achieves this by using artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. This allows you to enjoy it without disrupting your ketosis state if you’re following a ketogenic diet.

Can you eat popcorn on a keto diet?

So net carbs are determined by subtracting the amount of fiber from the total grams of carbohydrates in a food. So the popcorn contains 6 grams of carbs per 1 cup serving and 1.2 grams of fiber. By subtracting the fiber from the total carbs, we find that the net carbs per serving of popcorn are 4.8 grams. Therefore, popcorn can be considered a keto-friendly food.

Can I eat nuts everyday on keto?

They’re also rich in essential nutrients, including copper, zinc, magnesium, and iron. Though you can’t overindulge in any of these options, it’s perfectly fine to eat nuts on a keto diet in moderation.

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