Ketogenic Diet What is it, How to take it and advantage

The ketogenic diet or keto diet is a type of diet rich in fat and very low in carbohydrates. Because it works to lose weight fast, more and more people are trying this method.

The rationale for the ketogenic diet is that with low carbohydrates, the body goes into a mode called ketosis.

In ketosis, the body can use fat for energy. Although it may sound strange, by doing the keto diet you eat foods with fats but you lose weight.

This article describes how to do the ketogenic diet with a free keto menu with pdf, what are its benefits, contraindications and how it works.

RELATED: Keto Diet for Beginners – Phase 1

What is the ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet, or keto, is a type of diet that is very low in carbohydrates and high in fat. On a keto menu, protein is allowed in moderate amounts.

In its origins, the keto diet was created to control cases of epilepsy. Today, it is considered as a method to lose weight quickly and is associated with other benefits.

The ketogenic diet works because reducing carbohydrates lowers blood glucose levels to a minimum. When this happens, body fat is transformed into ketone bodies. A substitute for carbohydrates that the body can use to fulfill vital functions.

In other words, by doing the ketogenic diet, the different types of body fat can be used as an energy source.

Benefits of the ketogenic diet – keto

The benefits of the ketogenic diet over other types of weight loss regimens are less short-term hunger pangs, regulate blood sugar levels and it works to lose weight more quickly. (1,3,4,5)

Just as some studies have made it clear that one of its many benefits is as a treatment for specific cases of brain cancer and children with epilepsy who do not respond to treatments. (13)

Furthermore, the ketogenic diet is used by nutritionists as a treatment for severely overweight and obese people and even diabetics.

The benefits of the ketogenic diet are:

  • Lose weight quickly
  • Regulate blood sugar levels
  • It can help in specific cases of cancer
  • Less hunger in the short term
  • May increase good cholesterol levels
  • May improve blood triglyceride levels


How to do the ketogenic diet? – Food

The foods allowed on the keto diet are also known as ketogenic foods . These are fundamentally high-fat foods, both of animal and vegetable origin. Some examples on the menu are coconut oil, rapeseed, canola, nuts, butter seeds, avocado cheeses.

Meats, eggs, and mushrooms are also allowed foods, this fall into the category of high-protein foods . In addition, certain vegetables and some dairy products such as Greek yogurt are allowed on a ketogenic menu. As for fruits, only low carbohydrate fruits are allowed , for example berries, some citrus fruits and tomatoes.

Spices are also allowed as long as they do not contain added sugar or high amounts of carbohydrates in their composition.

Foods allowed on the keto diet

Some examples of foods allowed on the ketogenic diet:

  • Meats (fish, chicken, red)
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Cheeses
  • Bacon, bacon
  • Avocado
  • Vegetable oils (olive, coconut, rapeseed, etc)
  • Nuts (walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios)
  • Leafy greens (kale, lettuce, cabbage, spinach)
  • Low carb vegetables (spinach, bell peppers, cucumber, broccoli, tomatoes)
  • Seeds (flax, chia, sesame)
  • Coconut, coconut flour
  • Edible mushrooms
  • Red fruits and berries (strawberries, blueberries, cherries)
  • Lemon lime
  • Pomelo
  • Greek yogurt
  • Sweeteners: Stevia, xylitol , erythritol)
  • Spices (garlic, pepper, mustard, coriander)
  • MCT oil

Prohibited foods on the ketogenic diet

The foods prohibited in the ketogenic diet are all those high or with relatively high amounts of carbohydrates.

On the ketogenic diet, sugar and most sweet foods are prohibited. In addition, white bread, wheat flour and pasta are prohibited, as well as sweets, honey, juices and all soft drinks with sugar.

If you want ketosis to really work, you should limit high-starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn), as well as most grains like rice. With a small portion of these foods, the amounts of net carbohydrates allowed per day would be reached .

Also, on a keto diet menu, a lot of fruits are restricted. The prohibited foods on the ketogenic diet are:

  • Breads (except keto bread)
  • Cereals (Rice, wheat, oats, barley, corn, millet)
  • High starch vegetables (potatoes, sweet potato, carrots)
  • Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans, lima beans, beans)
  • Cakes and sweets
  • Jams with sugar
  • Sugary drinks and juices
  • Processed carbohydrate foods (cookies, donuts, crackers)
  • Most fruits: mango, pineapple, grapes, bananas, apple, orange, plums, etc.

Ketogenic diet – keto – Sample menu with pdf

A typical keto diet menu includes scrambled eggs with cheese for breakfast. Meats with cherry tomato salad, avocado and green leaves as the kale for lunch. A handful of nuts and blueberries for a snack. Fish like salmon or tuna are an ideal option for dinner.

A basic rule of thumb when doing the ketogenic diet is to always accompany meals with low- glycemic vegetables . On a keto diet menu, eating high-fiber vegetables is important to reduce constipation and cover vitamins and minerals.


Here is an example of a ketogenic diet menu:

Intake  Plato
BreakfastEggs with Parmesan cheese brown and blueberries
Parmesan cheese 20 g
2 Eggs
10 g of butter
Black coffee 200 mL
Coconut oil 10 mL
Stevia 1 on
LunchBeef fillet
with zucchini puree Beef

fillet 60 g
Zucchini 100 g
15 g Emmental cheese
Virgin olive oil 30 mL
Butter 15 g
Cherry tomatoes 40 g
Arugula 60 g
Afternoon snackHam with avocado snack
Ham 20 g
Avocado 60 g
Almonds 15 g
priceChicken fillet with asparagus Chicken
fillet 60 g
Asparagus 100 g
Milk cream 10 mL
Olive oil 10 mL
Recena3 g unsweetened cocoa
Greek yogurt

If you prefer, you can download the weekly version:

Basic rules on a ketogenic diet menu

If you have trouble finding the ingredients to make the menu, you can make your own by knowing the main keto rules. The basic rule of thumb on the keto diet is to control your macros. Increase the consumption of fats, consume protein in moderate amounts and carbohydrates are limited to the maximum.

To enter ketosis , on the keto diet the amount of carbohydrates on the menu is reduced to about 0.2 – 0.6 g per kilo of body weight per day. The equivalent of about 20 – 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. (4)

The percentage of macronutrients or macros in the ketogenic diet is (1):

  • 75-80% fat
  • 10-15% protein
  • 5-10% carbohydrates

If you don’t know how to count macros, you can check an example in – how to count macros . Or if it is more convenient for you to download an application for your mobile.


Effects of the ketogenic or keto diet for weight loss

Studies have made it clear that one of the effects of the ketogenic diet is losing weight fast. So some doctors and nutritionists use it in cases of overweight and obesity. (5,8,10)

The effects of the ketogenic diet compared to a traditional low calorie diet are better in terms of time.

Studies that have evaluated the difference in the effects of weight loss from other classical methods, have confirmed results of up to 20-60% shorter. (8,9,10)

The bad news, when you go on the keto diet, you can get side effects. (1.8)

There is no question that the keto diet is one of the most effective weight loss diets in the short term. However, it can have consequences if it is prolonged for long periods of time or taken as a lifestyle.

Ideally, therefore, the ketogenic diet should always be planned by a health professional, and a keto diet menu should be carried out by a physician or nutritionist.


Ketogenic diet – side effects and contraindications

The ketogenic diet has potential side effects and contraindications, especially if it is not done correctly.

Studies have confirmed a deterioration of the nervous system when following a keto diet for periods longer than 12 months. In particular, the power of attention decreases, the speed of memory and the processing of visual information can be affected. (2,3,4)

In addition, fruits, vegetables and cereals are the natural foods with the highest content of vitamins and minerals. When doing the ketogenic diet the lack of iron, calcium and potassium is frequent.

The risk of ketogenic diet side effects in children and adolescents increases as their bodies are in a period of physical growth. In addition, when entering ketosis, adverse effects related to dehydration may appear. The side effects of the ketogenic diet are:

  • Digestive problems
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Dehydration
  • Bad breath
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Lack of vitamins and minerals
  • Constipation
  • Sleep disorders
  • Lower physical growth in adolescents

The ketogenic diet – keto is contraindicated for pregnant women. Just as it is not allowed for diabetics with uncontrolled blood glucose levels.

It is also not recommended for those who have digestive problems, stomach ulcers or gastritis. Lack of fiber foods on the keto diet can slow down the digestion process and aggravate symptoms.

The contraindications of the ketogenic diet are:

  1. Pregnant women
  2. People with pancreatitis
  3. People with a lack of carnitine
  4. Disorders in the cardiovascular system
  5. People with high cholesterol
  6. Children and adolescents (with the exception of cases of epilepsy)
  7. People with type I diabetes


Ketogenic Diet and Cancer – Should Red Meats Be Avoided?

Recent research claims that the ketogenic diet has a limiting effect on tumor growth, protects healthy cells from chemotherapy or radiation damage, accelerates chemotherapy toxicity to cancer cells, and reduces inflammation (11,12).

The effects of the keto diet against different types of cancer can be seen in the following image:

Therefore some doctors still use the keto diet as an adjunct to cancer treatment. However, this is not as black and white as previously thought.

If meat consumption is high on a keto diet menu, this can be counterproductive in the long run.

The World Health Organization has classified processed meat products: sausages, cold cuts, salami; as type 1 carcinogens. In other words, they increase your chance of getting cancer. (7)

In summary, the ketogenic diet has potential effects to be used as a treatment for certain types of cancer. However, it is recommended that red meat is not the main ingredient on a keto diet menu.

Vegetarian or Vegan Ketogenic Diet – Yes or No?

Going on a vegetarian ketogenic diet is possible. However, by rejecting animal-derived products, the ingredients are limited. Doing the vegetarian or low-meat version of the keto diet is considered healthier for your health.

On a vegetarian ketogenic diet, packaged and processed foods would be off the menu. This is the basis of what is known as clean keto .

As for the vegan ketogenic diet , it is a variant of keto that is not recommended if you do not have a high knowledge of nutrition. The risk of a lack of vitamins and minerals is very high. Ketogenic foods would be basically summarized to nuts, tomatoes, mushrooms and green foods .


Can it be combined with intermittent fasting?

Combining ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting is possible. In fact, they are two methods with very similar effects. Reaching the state of ketosis is possible through fasting or going on a keto diet.

However, for most people combining the keto diet with intermittent fasting is not really necessary. It has been proven that if carbohydrates are gradually decreased on a keto diet menu, there are fewer side effects with the same effectiveness. (2)

If you also opt for a type of fast, you can start with the egg fast or egg-fast .


Cyclical keto diet A method for athletes?

The cyclical keto diet is a variant of the ketogenic diet for athletes. As the word indicates, it is done in the form of cycles.

This method is based on the principles of the traditional ketogenic diet, but alternating carbohydrate consumption throughout the week. This is a way to toggle between mode – build muscle tissue and burn fat.

This type of keto diet is used by trainers of high-performance athletes to shed body fat .

On a cyclical ketogenic diet, you alternate between a typical keto diet menu and a carbohydrate diet as your main source of energy by following the steps below:

  • Monday to Thursday nights – strict menu keto diet. Low intensity physical activity – cardio
  • Friday and Saturday – Carbs and Weight Training
  • Sunday – transition or rest day.

RELATED: Cyclical Ketogenic Diet – What Is It And How Is It Done?


The ketogenic diet is a useful eating method to lose weight quickly. It is an advanced version of the low carb diet . On a keto diet menu, fats are the main source of energy.

The keto diet was originally developed by doctors for the treatment of serious diseases such as epilepsy and certain types of cancer. Today it is associated with other benefits, such as fast weight loss.

The foods allowed on the keto diet are all kinds of healthy fats . To enter ketosis, the consumption of fruits, cereals and sweets must be limited to the maximum.

Ideally, a ketogenic diet menu should always be prepared by a nutritionist. Otherwise you run a high risk of vitamin and mineral deficiency.

When doing the ketogenic diet the consumption of processed meats and red meat should be limited. A higher proportion of these foods on the menu is associated with a higher chance of colon cancer.

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