The ketogenic or “keto” diet is a low-carbohydrate, fat-rich eating plan that has been used for centuries to treat specific medical conditions. In the 19th century, the ketogenic diet was commonly used to help control diabetes. In 1920 it was introduced as an effective treatment for epilepsy in children in whom medication was ineffective. The ketogenic diet has also been tested and used in closely monitored settings for cancer, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The following is a summary of foods generally permitted on the diet:
- Strong emphasis on fats at each meal and snack to meet the high-fat requirement. Cocoa butter, poultry fat, and most plant fats (olive, palm, coconut oil) are allowed, as well as foods high in fat, such as avocado, coconut meat, certain nuts (macadamia, walnuts, almonds, pecans), and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, hemp, flax).
- Some dairy foods may be allowed. Although dairy can be a significant source of fat, some are high in natural lactose sugar such as cream, ice cream, and full-fat milk so they are restricted. However, butter and hard cheeses may be allowed because of the lower lactose content.
- Protein stays moderate. Programs often suggest grass-fed beef (not grain-fed) and free-range poultry that offer slightly higher amounts of omega-3 fats, bacon, wild-caught fish, organ meats, eggs, tofu, certain nuts and seeds.
- Most non-starchy vegetables are included: Leafy greens (kale, Swiss chard, collards, spinach, bok choy, lettuces), cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, cucumber, celery, summer squashes.
- Certain fruits in small portions like berries. Despite containing carbohydrate, they are lower in “net carbs” than other fruits.
- Other: Dark chocolate (90% or higher cocoa solids), cocoa powder, unsweetened coffee and tea, unsweetened vinegars and mustards, herbs, and spices.
- All whole and refined grains and flour products, added and natural sugars in food and beverages, starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, and winter squash.
- Fruits other than from the allowed list, unless factored into designated carbohydrate restriction. All fruit juices.
- Legumes including beans, lentils, and peanuts.
The ketogenic diet has been shown to produce beneficial metabolic changes in the short-term. Along with weight loss, health parameters associated with carrying excess weight have improved, such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. There is also growing interest in the use of low-carbohydrate diets, including the ketogenic diet, for type 2 diabetes. Several theories exist as to why the ketogenic diet promotes weight loss, though they have not been consistently shown in research:
- A satiating effect with decreased food cravings due to the high-fat content of the diet.
- A decrease in appetite-stimulating hormones, such as insulin and ghrelin, when eating restricted amounts of carbohydrate.
- A direct hunger-reducing role of ketone bodies—the body’s main fuel source on the diet.
- Increased calorie expenditure due to the metabolic effects of converting fat and protein to glucose.
- Promotion of fat loss versus lean body mass, partly due to decreased insulin levels.
A vegan diet contains only plants (such as vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits) and foods made from plants.
Vegans do not eat foods that come from animals, including dairy products and eggs.
Healthy eating as a vegan
You should be able to get most of the nutrients you need from eating a varied and balanced vegan diet.
For a healthy vegan diet:
- eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
- base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates(choose wholegrain where possible)
- have some dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yoghurts (choose lower fat and lower sugar options)
- eat some beans, pulses and other proteins
- choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat in small amounts
- drink plenty of fluids(the government recommends 6 to 8 cups or glasses a day)
If you choose to include foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, have them less often and in small amounts.
If you are interested and looking for these two diets, you can join us at Lina’s & Dina’s diet center in order to try & enjoy our meals which are prepared specially for these two types of the diet. At Lina’s & Dina’s, we have variety of dishes and programs that include main dishes (breakfast, lunch, dinner), two snacks (sweet & fruits), salads, Soups, and drinks that match your diet plan in case you are following either the vegan diet or the ketogenic diet.
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