Ketogenic Diet: Benefits, Procedure, Side Effects, Menu and General Considerations

It was originally designed in the 1920s for patients with epileptic diseases, by researchers working at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center.

The ketogenic diet is a diet plan low in carbohydrates.

Tests were conducted that revealed that fasting reduced the number of seizures that patients presented, in addition to having other positive effects on body fat, blood sugar, cholesterol and satiety levels.


Among the benefits that can be obtained from a ketogenic diet we have:


The ketogenic diet fundamentally uses body fat as a source of energy, so there are undeniable benefits of weight loss.

Diets high in fat and low in carbohydrates can help reduce hunger, increasing weight loss through hormonal effects.

Blood sugar

This process of burning fat provides more benefits than simply losing additional weight, it also helps control the release of hormones such as insulin.

Which plays an important role in the development of diabetes and other health problems.

Brain functions

Ketogenic diets have also been used to treat and even help reverse neurological disorders and cognitive impairments, including epilepsy and Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Research shows that lowering glucose levels with a low-carbohydrate diet causes the body to produce ketones as fuel.

This change can help reverse neurological disorders and cognitive decline.

The brain can use this alternative energy source instead of the cellular energy pathways, which do not work normally in patients with brain disorders.

Increased energy and normalized hunger

By providing the body with a better and more reliable source of energy, it will feel more energized during the day.

In addition to that, fat is naturally more satisfying and ends up leaving us in a state of satiety for longer.

Cholesterol and blood pressure

The ketogenic diet regulates triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels, which in some cases results in an improvement in blood pressure.

Since the variations of all these values ​​of cholesterol and triglycerides, are associated with excess weight.

Insulin resistance

Insulin resistance can cause type II diabetes.

A wealth of research shows that a ketogenic diet low in carbohydrates can help people reduce their insulin levels to healthy ranges.

Even if you are athletic, you can benefit from insulin optimization by eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.


It is common to experience improvements in your skin when switching to a ketogenic diet.

There are studies that show a probable connection between high carbohydrate intake and two skin disorders such as increased acne and skin inflammation.

For acne, it can be beneficial to reduce the intake of dairy products and follow a strict regime of cleansing the skin.

Allowed foods

High-fat, low-carbohydrate foods are consumed on a ketogenic diet.

Here is a list of diet foods:

Large amounts of healthy fats: Up to 80 percent of total calories can be consumed in foods such as olive oil, coconut oil, butter, palm oil and some nuts and seeds.

Fats are a fundamental part of ketogenic recipes because they provide energy and decrease symptoms typical of people who undergo dietary regimens such as hunger, weakness and fatigue.

All kinds of vegetables without sugar and without starch: Some options include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, all kinds of green leafy vegetables, celery, parsley, asparagus, cucumbers and zucchini.

In moderate amounts, foods with high protein content, but low in carbohydrates or without carbohydrates: That include lean meat, poultry, eggs, bone broth, fish, liver, almond milk or coconut milk.

The small exceptions for the consumption of fruits : avocado, star fruit and berries which can be consumed in moderation.

It is important to drink plenty of water, getting enough water helps to avoid fatigue, which is important for digestion and helps control hunger.

It is also necessary for detoxification.

Try drinking 10-12 eight-ounce glasses per day.

Limited food

There are some foods that have less carbohydrates, but can still exceed the net carbohydrate threshold of 20-30 allowed per day:

  • Whole dairy products
  • Vegetables such as sweet peas, carrots, beets and any type of potatoes.
  • Legumes and beans.
  • Nuts and seeds.

Forbidden food

These foods should be avoided when making the daily meal menu:

  • Any type of sugar, including natural sugars such as honey or maple syrup.
  • All grains, oats, rice, quinoa, pasta and corn.
  • Almost all processed foods, such as cookies, candy, ice cream and canned soup.
  • Caloric drinks or sweeteners, including alcohol and milk.


A ketogenic diet has the function of placing the body to produce small molecules of fuel called ketones.

This is an alternative fuel for the body, which is used when the level of sugar in the blood is low.

Ketones occur when you consume very few carbohydrates and only moderate amounts of protein.

Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel throughout the body, including the brain.

In a standard ketogenic diet, fats usually provide between 70 and 80 percent of total daily calories, proteins between 15 and 20 percent and carbohydrates around 5 percent.

The protein intake should be between one and 1.5 grams per kilogram of your ideal body weight.

To convert pounds to kilograms, divide your ideal weight by 2.2, for example, a woman who weighs 150 pounds (68 kilograms) should receive approximately 68-102 grams of protein per day.

Side effects

When the ketogenic diet changes the metabolism and puts it into ketosis, it will surely cause some symptoms, such as the so-called keto-gum .

These negative reactions and side effects are normal and usually disappear in 1 or 2 weeks:

  • Headaches.
  • Halitosis.
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Weakness and muscular pains.
  • Sleeping problems.
  • Constipation, nausea or upset stomach
  • Bad mood.
  • Lack of libido.

In general, the symptoms disappear as your body adjusts to ketosis.

To help you overcome these symptoms you should take into account the following:

  • To combat nausea, fatigue and constipation due to the keto diet low in carbohydrates, principles of alkaline diet are adopted .
  • Bone broth should be consumed in the diet, to help restore the electrolytes lost during ketosis, in addition to obtaining other nutrients and amino acids. When a keto diet is followed, much water will be lost and essential electrolytes, such as magnesium, potassium or sodium, will also be removed.
  • Foods should be consumed to increase the intake of electrolytes such as nuts, avocados, mushrooms, salmon and other fish, spinach, artichokes and green leafy vegetables.
  • Reduce the exercises temporarily.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of water and also consume enough salt and sodium.
  • Eat more fat if you are hungry.
  • Try to limit foods low in carbohydrates that are not healthy and difficult to digest such as sausages, processed meats, bacon and processed cheeses.


  1. The first two weeks the menu should be little elaborated.
  2. Use instead of lettuce, spinach.
  3. Dessert will not be consumed during the first 2 weeks.
  4. The third week a light fast is introduced.
  5. At this stage fat is obtained at breakfast and then at dinner time, bread and dessert are now included.
  6. Week four omits breakfast and lunch.
  7. Do not forget to drink coffee, tea, flavored water and the like to obtain liquids.
  8. In a state of fasting, the body breaks down the extra fat that is stored for the energy it needs.


  • Menu 1: Eggs and bacon.
  • Menu 2: Spinach omelet with sausage.
  • Menu 3: Fritatta with bacon.
  • Menu 4: Sausage and spinach omelette.

Add ten to thirty almonds, depending on the weight, to meet the fat goal and avoid constipation.


  • Menu 1: Chicken breast salad with spinach and bacon. Season with a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Menu 2: Meat with spinach and green sauce.
  • Menu 3: Tilapia fish with garlic and spinach mojito with butter.
  • Menu 4: Chicken with curry and butter and spinach.


  • Menu 1: Tuna with jalapeños, seasoned with two tablespoons of coconut oil, onion and lemon.
  • Menu 2: Tilapia with green sauce and broccoli with four tablespoons of vinaigrette dressing or two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Menu 3: Italian sausage with green sauce.
  • Menu 4: Meat wrapped with bacon and spinach.

General considerations

  • Consume a lot of water or broths.
  • Combine diet with fasting physical training.
  • The protein intake is 1.2 to 2 g / kg body weight.
  • A maximum of 3 meals / day, if possible, reduced to 2 meals.
  • On the day of fasting you can drink coffee with coconut oil.
  • You must rest to recover energy.