What is keto diet and should you try it?



The ketogenic diet has certainly become one of the most popular methods to lose weight and maintain good health. Unlike other diets that give little to no success, keto takes an entirely different approach with focus on changing the fuel your body normally uses for energy. As a result, this high-fat, very low-carb eating plan offers multiple effective outcomes such as optimal weight, mental clarity, improved metabolism, boosted athletic performance, and so on.

So, what is the ketogenic diet precisely and should you try it? Stick with us and get the answers to those and other questions now.

Keto diet explained

The standard ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat regime that drastically restricts consumption of carbohydrates, substituting them with high intake of healthy fats.

What stands behind that? Naturally, when you eat carbs, your body breaks them down into glucose to use as a primary source of energy. However, once you adopt a high-fat low-carb diet, the cells have to seek an alternative fuel to rely on as carbs are no longer available in the necessary amount. Therefore, they turn to fat, which is transformed by the liver into water-soluble fat molecules called ketones. Those are found to burn more efficiently than sugar and help lose weight rapidly once you embark on keto.

When this whole process happens, your body switches its metabolism and starts to use dietary or stored fat instead of sugar, also known as a state of ketosis.

Keto Macro Ratios
Keto Macro Ratios


What to eat on keto?

We have compared the macro ratios on keto to the macro ratios of a standard diet, to be easier for you to understand the uniqueness of the ketogenic diet.



Fat per day

Protein per day

Carbs per day

Keto diet




General recommendations





Said differently, to enter ketosis efficiently, you should limit your carb consumption to around 20 to 50 net grams per day and emphasize on healthy fats, such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds.

To correctly estimate your carb consumption, you should subtract the amount of fiber from the total count of carbs. Thus, you will receive your net carbs for the day. Since fiber is indigestible by the gastro-intestinal tract, it can be easily left out of the calculation.

For a nutrient-dense ketogenic food plan, stack up on the following products:

  • Low-carb veggies – dark leafy greens, asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, celery, etc. 
  • High-quality protein – meat, offal, dairy, poultry, eggs, bone broth, fish, etc.
  • Healthy fats – olive oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee, lard, avocado oil, tallow, duck fat, nuts, seeds, etc.
  • Low-carb fruits – lemons, limes, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc. 
  • Sugar substitutes – xylitol, stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, etc.
  • Beverages – herbal teas, lemon water, bone broth, coffee, unsweetened carbonated drinks or such with keto-friendly sweetener. 

What not to eat on keto?

Try to avoid processed foods because they are usually low in nutrients and rich in empty calories. Products that contain wheat flour, added sugar, conventional dairy, refined grains, hydrogenated oils and other inflammatory ingredients, should definitely not make it on your shopping list. Good examples to cross off are pizza, cookies, cakes, cereals, sweetened beverages, ice cream, and others.

In addition to table sugar, evade other sweet sources like honey, fructose, brown sugar, agave nectar, dextrose, maltodextrin, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, rice syrup, juice, etc.

In terms of alcohol, it’s best to cut it out. However, in case you want to enjoy a beverage every now and then, choose an option that will not kick you out of ketosis like hard liquors (i.e. scotch, rum, whiskey, vodka, cognac, etc.) which have 0 grams of carbs. Don’t mix them with a soft drink or juice as they are normally high in added sugar. A glass of dry wine or a bottle of light beer will be your second-best choice. Make sure to always consume alcohol in accordance with your daily carb allowance.

Should you try the ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet has been studied for its positive effects on metabolism, weight loss, energy expenditure, hormonal balance, cardiovascular and heart health, and much more. However, probably the most fundamental benefit it offers is the reduction of chronic inflammation, which is considered the root cause of most illnesses.

Lowering overall inflammation will cut the concentration of free radicals in the body, decrease oxidative stress on cellular level and reduce the risk of multiple health disorders, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, epilepsy, autoimmune conditions, and many more.

To enjoy all advantages the ketogenic diet comes with, pick a particular type you want to follow, modulate your macros according to your personal needs and goals, and stick to them. We have described some keto diet options to choose from in our keto guide for beginners.

Once you’ve picked your ketogenic diet to follow, use a keto diet calculator to closely monitor grams of fat, protein and net carbs consumed. Keep in mind that protein intake should be between 1-1.5 grams per kilogram of your body weight. If you overeat with it on a regular basis, your body can turn it into glucose, kick you out of ketosis and hinder your progress.

Meanwhile, focus on food quality, proper hydration, good sleep, regular physical activity and willingness to give the ketogenic diet a chance to prove that it works effectively long-term. In case you get tempted and indulge in certain food that is not keto-friendly, remember that your body should be able to get back in ketosis faster if you’ve previously managed to reach it.

And here’s a practical tip: starting keto will boost your metabolism and put you into ketosis as soon as your body adjusts to fat-burning mode instead of glucose burning mode. Such significant changes are likely to make you feel tired and moody. Additionally, you can face symptoms like dizziness, impaired sleep, upset stomach, constipation, low libido, and bad breath, all known as the keto flu. However, don’t get despaired as these side effects rarely last for more than a week or two. As you enter ketosis, they will just go away.

To ease through the keto flu or better yet prevent it, you might want to consider supplementing with MCT oil. MCTs are medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acids, which are better absorbed by the body and transformed into ketones more rapidly. Except as a separate supplement, MCTs are components of all coconut and grass-fed dairy products. Overall, MCT oil may have positive effects on energy levels, exercise performance, appetite control, weight loss, and more.

Other popular supplements to check out are caffeine (boosts energy, fat loss, and performance), leucine (an amino acid that enhances ketone bodies), minerals (maintains water and electrolyte balance), etc.

The bottom line is that there’s no single answer to the question: should you try the ketogenic diet or not, because it is a matter of personal choice. If you go for it, make sure to buy the cleanest and nutrient-dense food you can afford to guarantee the healing benefits of the high-fat low-carb keto plan you’ve chosen. Also, don’t treat it as a fad diet but rather as a lifestyle change for the long haul.

In case you have been diagnosed with a chronic condition (i.e. kidney disease, thyroid issue, etc.), do not hesitate to talk to your healthcare practitioner or health coach for individual recommendations on the ketogenic diet.

Final thoughts

So, what is keto exactly? Long story short, the ketogenic diet helps your body use stored or dietary fat as a primary source of fuel instead of sugar. Maximizing your intake of high-fat foods while minimizing carb consumption will prompt you into entering ketosis and experiencing health advantages such as stable energy, clear mind, optimal weight and others. To benefit the most, remember that devotion and enjoyment are the two key components that will guarantee you the best outcomes of the ketogenic eating plan you’ve decided to follow. 



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