The ketogenic diet is based on the reduction or elimination of sugars for a short period of time. Let’s see what it is and who to trust to get effective results.

What is the ketogenic diet? It is a food strategy that involves reducing or completely eliminating sugars for a short period of time, forcing the body to independently produce glucose for survival and favoring the consumption of fats present in adipose tissue, through processing in the liver of ketone bodies (beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetacycetic acid, acetone).

Due to its physiological action at the level of the central nervous system, this diet is indicated for those who suffer from drug-resistant epilepsy and chronic headaches. According to recent studies, the ketogenic diet could prove useful also in the case of neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson, Alzheimer).

Moreover, the experts of the Italian Association of Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition (ADI) argue that the ketogenic diet for weight loss is also indicated in cases of severe or refractory obesity, as well as in subjects suffering from type 2 diabetes, fatty liver and metabolic syndrome .

How ketogenic diet works

The ketogenic diet is generally carried out in cycles of 3 or 4 weeks and the desirable weight loss is 1-2 kilos per week. The diet, despite being characterized by fixed rules as for other diets (such as the dissociated one or the sportsman’s diet), must take into account the particular needs of the patients. In principle, it is possible to consume 30 to 50 grams of carbohydrates over a day.

The maximum quota is usually reserved for male subjects, who have a strong build. The recommended daily protein intake, on the other hand, is 1 gram per kilogram of body weight, while the lipid intake varies from 15 to 30 grams, always over a whole day.

Finally, the total calories per day are around 600-800, to which those generated by the synthesis of ketone bodies, which provide a high energy content, must be added. In the case of a ketogenic diet the results, in most cases, do not take long to arrive, especially if all the indications are respected and are not implemented sgarri.

What to eat and what not

The ketogenic diet involves the consumption of all animal proteins, for which eggs, meat and fish. Instead, foods like sugar, pasta, bread, carbohydrates, legumes, fruit, milk and all the red and orange vegetables are to be forgotten.

Does the ketogenic diet have contraindications?

Regarding the ketogenic diet the contraindications are mainly due to the high levels of ketone bodies present in the blood, which lead to an increase in renal filtration and diuresis, causing dehydration and overload of the kidneys. Furthermore, they can cause hypoglycemia and hypotension.

In some cases, the so-called Keto-flu occurs 2-3 days after the start of the ketogenic diet, which is due to the body’s difficulty in adapting to the new diet and involves: headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and irritability. However, fainting can also occur in the most sensitive subjects.

It is important to emphasize that it has been found that those who undergo this nutritional strategy have a greater tendency to feel muscle cramps, inflammation of the sciatic nerve, to suffer from constipation and to feel heart palpitations. To this is added that, as a result of the increase in neoglucogenesis, the load on the liver tends to increase, and in the case of intense physical activity, muscle catabolism occurs.

Finally, it must be said that it is an unbalanced diet, since it limits the intake of some fundamental nutrients, for this reason it cannot be performed independently, but the supervision of a specialist is necessary, and should not be implemented by type 1 diabetics, from pregnant or lactating women, from malnourished subjects suffering from eating disorders (eating disorders) and from those suffering from kidney or liver disease.


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