What is a Keto Diet, and is it Harmful?

The keto diet was created to treat patients with diabetes, but some doctors have decided to try it for weight loss. “RBC Style” understands who is suitable for and why a ketogenic diet can be dangerous, how to choose products, and make a menu.

What is a Keto Diet?

The keto diet, or ketogenic diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet. The keto diet helps lower blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity, improve well-being, and lose weight by altering your metabolism. 

The change in diet induces a state of ketosis, a metabolic regime in which the body obtains fuel from animal foods. The main energy source is ketone bodies: acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyric acid. 

These are substances formed in the liver from fatty tissues of the body and consumed fats. Ketone bodies feed the internal organs, muscle tissue, and brain instead of glucose.

The process of ketosis can be started with the help of fasting, but the keto diet allows you to enter this state and stick to it constantly without any health risks.

Signs of Ketosis:

  • Acetone or fruity breath
  • Increased levels of ketone bodies in the blood, urine, and breath
  • Decreased appetite and feelings of hunger
  • A breakdown, which after a few days can be replaced by normal Health and increased brain activity
  • Violation of the digestive tract, thirst, and frequent urination
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia

Ketosis is a natural metabolic state of the body in which fats and fatty tissues become the main energy source instead of glucose.

Types of the Keto Diet

  1. Standard: 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates of the total calorie intake
  2. Cyclic: five days on keto alternate with two days on high-carb foods
  3. Target: suitable for those who play sports
  4. High protein: differs from the standard version in the ratio of Elements (60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates)
  5. Most studies and expert articles are devoted to standard and high protein regimens. Cyclic and target options are less studied and recommended for athletes and bodybuilders

The keto diet is a diet that is high in fat and low in carbohydrates. The body gets energy from animal foods instead of glucose. Such a diet can help lower blood sugar and insulin levels and help lose weight.

Foods to Avoid on the Keto Diet

The Keto diet cannot be called carbohydrate-free: their daily amount is 5% of the diet or 20-50 g of the product.

But to start and maintain a state of ketosis, you need to remove or reduce the amount of high-carb foods from the menu:

  • Cereals and products with starch: rice, pasta, cereals, potatoes;
  • Sugary foods and drinks: soda, fruit juices, pastries, and so on;
  • Any fruit other than berries;
  • Beans and beans;
  • Diet foods and foods low in fat;
  • Sauces and flavorings that contain sugar and unhealthy fats ;
  • alcohol.

What Can you Eat on a Keto Diet?

The main foods that are included in the keto diet:

  • Meat: steaks, sausages, bacon, chicken, and turkey
  • Fish: salmon, tuna, mackerel
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Butter and sour cream
  • Cheeses: cheddar, goat, cream, mozzarella, or blue cheese
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive, coconut, and avocado oil
  • Fresh avocado and guacamole
  • Low-carb vegetables: most green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, and peppers;
  • Seasonings: salt, pepper, spices, and herbs
  • Low-carb foods that are suitable for the keto diet

0% carbs: Beef, lamb, chicken, eggs, pork (including bacon), jerky, salmon, sardines, trout, butter, olive, coconut, avocado oils, water, coffee, and tea.

0–5%: Liver, shellfish, shrimp, tuna, lobster, cod, tomatoes, cauliflower, cucumber, asparagus, mushrooms, cheese, sour cream, and yogurt (including Greek yogurt ).

5-10%: Broccoli, onions, Brussels sprouts, kale, eggplant, sweet peppers, green beans, avocados, olives, strawberries.

10-15%: Grapefruit, apricot, walnuts.

15-25%: Almonds, peanuts.

As a snack, experts advise eating seafood, cheese, olives, meat, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, berries, dark chocolate, and small portions of food left over from breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Keto Diet: Menu For the Week By Day


Breakfast: bacon, eggs, tomatoes.

Lunch: chicken salad with feta cheese and olive oil.

Dinner: salmon and asparagus in oil.


Breakfast: omelet with goat cheese, tomatoes, basil.

Lunch: Almond milk, peanut butter, and a cocoa smoothie with a sugar substitute.

Dinner: meatballs, cheddar cheese, and vegetables.


Breakfast: milkshake, such as peanut butter or strawberries.

Lunch: shrimp salad with avocado and olive oil.

Dinner: Pork ribs with broccoli, lettuce, and parmesan.


Breakfast: scrambled eggs with avocado, salsa, sweet peppers, onions, and spices.

Lunch: nuts, celery sticks with salsa, and fresh guacamole.

Dinner: Pesto chicken with cream cheese and fresh vegetables.


Breakfast: yogurt with peanut butter, cocoa with a sweetener.

Lunch: beef in coconut oil with vegetables.

Dinner: Burger without buns with bacon, cheese, and egg.


Breakfast: mushroom omelet with ham and cheese.

Lunch: ham, cheese, nuts.

Dinner: white fish, egg, and spinach in coconut oil.


Breakfast: scrambled eggs with bacon and mushrooms.

Lunch: burger with salsa, cheese, and guacamole.

Dinner: steak, salad, egg.

Organic foods that work well on a keto diet include meat, fish, butter, eggs, cheese, mushrooms, low-carb vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

Effectiveness of Losing Weight on a Keto Diet

No diet by itself provides long-term weight loss and can be harmful to health. After a temporary weight loss, people return to their previous state and sometimes recover more than before the change in diet. A safe and effective way to achieve your desired weight and maintain your health and fitness is with the help of experts to find the right lifestyle and diet you can follow all the time.

Experts confirm that the keto diet is 2.2 times more effective for weight loss than a low-fat diet, weight loss is due to:

  • Increasing the amount of protein in the diet
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Getting energy from fat instead of glucose
  • Rapid fat burning
  • Improved metabolism due to increased insulin sensitivity
  • Keto mode does not require constant calorie counting, creates a feeling of satiety, Accelerates the process of burning fat, and prevents their formation.

The Harm of the Keto Diet

In 2018, Polish professor Maciej Banach presented a report on the dangers of low-carbohydrate diets at the European Society of Cardiology congress. Studies have shown that in a control group of 24,000 participants, the risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, and cancer was 50%, 51%, and 35% higher among those who followed a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.

In January 2020, the International Committee of Physicians recommended that low-carbohydrate diets, including the keto diet, be removed from the dietary guidelines for Americans. Doctors have indicated that such a diet increases the risk of heart disease.

In addition, being in ketosis has side effects to be aware of.

Keto Gripp

The general deterioration occurs with a change in diet and lasts several days 


  1. Physical fatigue;
  2. Headache and dizziness;
  3. Decreased attention and performance;
  4. Hunger;
  5. Sleep disorder;
  6. Irritability;
  7. Digestive disorders;
  8. Increased thirst;
  9. Frequent urination;
  10. Muscle cramps;
  11. Cardiopalmus.

It is necessary to strictly follow the diet in the first weeks to accustom the body to the new regimen. With symptoms of keto-flu, it is important to eat your fill and drink at least 2 liters of fluid daily, preferably containing electrolytes. Experts recommend adding MCT oils (fatty acids derived from coconut and palm oil), minerals (salt, soda, magnesium), caffeine, creatine, whey protein, and fiber foods to your diet. In addition, you need to reduce physical activity.


Ketosis is a natural physiological regime in which the body produces the number of ketone bodies that the body needs. Ketoacidosis is a pathological condition when the level of glucose and ketone bodies is excessive, leading to coma and death. The cause of ketoacidosis may be diabetes, prolonged fasting, or a reaction to an increase in fat in the diet.

Risk group: people with type I and II diabetes, children aged 1-13 years, nursing mothers.

Stones in the Kidneys

According to studies, a ketogenic diet can provoke the formation of kidney stones in 6.7% of patients.

Good or Harmful Keto Diet?

To date, this nutrition strategy has not been recognized by any of the world’s healthy communities and cannot be recommended by official medicine.

With this type of nutrition, more than 80% of the energy content of the diet is provided by fats, while carbohydrate intake is limited to 20 g per day or up to 50 g, which is more sparing and somewhat better tolerated. In fact, most often, the keto diet is low-carb (and the transition to ketosis is associated with this) and often high-protein. With this diet, saturated fats, including trans fats, and protein, predominate in the body.

It often happens that most followers of the keto diet at the initial stage do not have a clear understanding of what foods are acceptable on a ketogenic diet, but it is more or less clear what should be avoided. Therefore, meat products are used, which has its consequences.

This can provoke a deficiency of dietary fiber found in carbohydrate foods, and a deficiency of water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C, and minerals, is possible. Such food can hardly be considered safe. And it is extremely difficult to stick to it all your life, and only this option allows you to ensure a stable weight if we talk about losing weight.

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