Ketogenic diet: what it is, how to do it, food and menu

The ketogenic diet is a type of diet characterized by the elimination of almost all carbohydrate-rich foods, such as bread and rice, and increased consumption of foods rich in good fats, in addition to being important to maintain a good amount of protein in the diet. This type of diet is useful for losing weight, as the body uses its own fat as a source of energy instead of carbohydrates from food.

The ketogenic diet is mainly indicated with the aim of controlling and preventing seizures or epileptic seizures, however it can also be recommended to treat obesity, type 2 diabetes and, in some cases, cancer, since cancer cells feed mainly of carbohydrates, which is the nutrient consumed in minimal amounts in this type of diet. See what the ketogenic diet looks like to treat epilepsy or to help treat cancer.

It is important that this diet is always carried out with the supervision and guidance of a nutritionist, since, as it is very restrictive, it is necessary to carry out a complete nutritional assessment to find out whether or not it is possible to carry out it safely. Learn more about the ketogenic diet in the video below:

The ketogenic diet consists of a drastic reduction in the amount of carbohydrates consumed in the daily diet, with consumption of 20 to 50 grams per day being indicated, which corresponds to 10 to 15% of the total daily calories. However, this amount may vary according to the state of health, duration of the diet and goals of each person.

To compensate for this reduction, it is recommended to increase the consumption of foods rich in fats, such as avocados, coconuts, seeds, olive oil, almonds and nuts. In addition, the amount of protein consumed should correspond to 20% of the daily diet, being recommended to consume meat, chicken or fish at lunch and dinner and to include eggs and cheese in snacks.

When starting this diet, the organism goes through an adaptation period that can last from a few days to a few weeks, in which the body adapts to produce energy through fat, instead of carbohydrates. Thus, it is possible that in the first few days symptoms such as excessive tiredness and headache may appear, which end up improving when the body is adapted.

Another diet similar to ketogenic is the diet low carb, however, the main difference between these types of diets is that in the ketogenic diet there is a greater consumption of fats to compensate for the lack of carbohydrates. Learn more about the diet low carb.

The following table brings the list of foods that can and cannot be eaten on the ketogenic diet:

allowed prohibited
Meats, eggs and fatty fish such as salmon, trout and sardines Rice, pasta, corn, cereals, oats and cornstarch
Sausages such as ham, chorizo ​​and bacon Beans, soybeans, peas, chickpeas and lentils
Olive oil, oil and butter Wheat flour
Sour cream, natural and unsweetened yogurts, coconut milk, almond milk, cream, cottage cheese, cream cheesebrie cheese, parmesan cheese, feta cheese, cheddar cheese, swiss cheese, mozzarella cheese and blue cheese bread and toast
Peanuts, chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, peanut butter, almond paste, cashew nut paste Potato, sweet potato and banana
Fruits such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, avocados and coconuts Cakes, sweets, biscuits, chocolates, caramel and sweet sauces
Vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli, onion, cucumber, zucchini, cauliflower, asparagus, red chicory, Brussels sprouts, kale, celery and paprika Sugar, brown sugar, ice cream, vitamins and sweeteners
Flax, chia, sunflower and sesame seeds Powdered chocolate, dietetic and processed products
Sauces such as mayonnaise and mustard Pizza, lasagna, cow’s milk
stevia and olive Alcoholic beverages

Whenever industrialized food is consumed, it is very important to observe the nutritional information to verify if it contains carbohydrates and how much, so as not to exceed the amount that was calculated for each day.

The following table provides an example of a complete 3-day ketogenic diet menu:

Snack Journey 1 Journey 2 Journey 3
Breakfast Fried eggs with butter + cheese mozzarella Omelette made with 2 eggs and vegetable filling + 1 glass of strawberry juice with 1 teaspoon of flax seeds Avocado smoothie with natural yogurt and 1/2 tablespoon of chia
Morning snack Almonds + 3 avocado slices Strawberry smoothie with coconut milk + 5 walnuts 10 Raspberries + 1 spoon of peanut butter

Lunch dinner

Salmon accompanied by asparagus + avocado + olive oil Vegetable salad with lettuce, onion and chicken + 5 cashew nuts + olive oil + parmesan and sesame seeds Meatballs with Zucchini Pasta and Parmesan Cheese
Afternoon snack 10 cashew nuts + 2 tablespoons coconut shavings + 10 strawberries Fried eggs in butter + coalho cheese Scrambled eggs with oregano and grated parmesan

It is important to emphasize that the ketogenic diet must be carried out under the guidance of a nutritionist, since in addition to calculating the carbohydrate grams that should be consumed per day in the consultation, guidance is given on how to check the amount of carbohydrates present in foods to prevent the daily amount from being exceeded. In addition, because it is a diet with restrictions, the nutritionist may indicate, in some cases, a supplement of vitamins and minerals, such as calcium.

The ketogenic diet is contraindicated for people over 65, children and adolescents, pregnant women and breastfeeding women. In addition to also needing to be avoided by people at increased risk of ketoacidosis, such as type 1 diabetics, uncontrolled type 2 diabetics, people with low weight or with a history of liver disease, kidneys or cardiovascular disorders, such as stroke.

This diet is also not indicated for people with gallstones or who are undergoing treatment with cortisone-based medications. In these cases, the ketogenic diet must be authorized by the doctor and followed by a nutritionist.


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