Ketogenic Diet: Explanation, Diet, 9 Recipes and 4 Hazards16 min estimated reading time

Keto diet food displayed

Ketogenic Diet: Explanation, Diet, 9 Recipes and 4 Hazards

Curious about what a ketogenic dietis and what the keto diet experiences are? Do you want to know what you can eat with the ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet, also called keto-diet, is the weight lost method of recent years. With an increasing popularity, the ketogenic diet is back as one of the most popular food trends in the modern world. Not only as a short-term diet that is used for the last kilos but also as a lifestyle to settle for good with the dominance of carbohydrates.

Contrary to what you probably think, the keto diet meals are far from dull and tasteless!

In hitting the state of ketosis gives countless benefits when it comes to lose weight and weight loss. But the keto diet is also controversial and different from a low-carbohydrate diet.

This is what you will learn, among other things:

  • What makes the keto diet so special
  • The best keto diet recipes (including keto breakfast!)
  • Whether the keto diet is dangerous for you
  • The positive and negative keto diet experiences
  • What you can and can not eat with the ketogenic diet
  • And much, much more ….


What is a ketogenic diet?

Ever heard of the ketogenic diet? Probably. It is also called ‘the keto diet’. But what exactly is the keto diet?

Keto-Food-PyramidThe ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate diet that focuses on high-fat foods. In other words: you eat a lot of fats and as little carbohydrates as possible.

The keto diet has many similarities with low-carbohydrate diet (think of the popular Atkins diet).

There is, however, a difference between the keto diet and the low-carbohydrate diet:

The low-carbohydrate diet, as the name suggests, focuses primarily on avoiding carbohydrates.

In the keto diet, you mainly emphasize high-fat foods to stimulate fat burning. You drastically reduce the intake of carbohydrates and replace them by eating a lot of fats.

Your body comes through the removal of carbohydrates (carbohydrates are broken down in your body to glucose as an important energy source) after a few days in the metabolic state called ketosis.

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What is ketosis?

Ketosis is the state where your body switches to fat reserves as the main source of energy. When this happens, your body becomes very efficient in burning body fat for energy. This process reduces your insulin level and stimulates fat burning.

However, your brain prefers glucose as the main energy source. But because there is insufficient glucose available, the body is forced to look for an alternative energy source.

In the liver, ketones are produced during the degradation process of fatty acids. Ketones provide the brain with energy so that they can continue to function.

Why should you follow a keto diet?

For a long time, low-carbohydrate and high-fat diets have been controversial. It was thought that these types of diets would increase cholesterol and that the risk of cardiovascular disease was increased as a result of the high-fat content.

But times change happily and today eating (healthy) high-fat foods are no longer seen as bad. The ketogenic diet can help you lose much more weight than with a fat-free diet.

The keto diet also has fewer obvious benefits. By the removal of (simple) carbohydrates from your diet, you suffer much less from peaks in your blood sugar level. You mainly eat high-fat food that gives you a feeling of satisfaction.

The main components of our diet are the three macronutrients.

Per gram contains one nutrient more calories than the other:

  1. Protein: ± 4 kcal per 1 gram
  2. Carbohydrates: ± 4 kcal per 1 gram
  3. Fats: ± 9 kcal per 1 gram

On the basis of a simple calculation, you would think that you should lose as little fat as possible to lose weight. After all, they contain the most calories, right? And that’s where the mistake goes! You also have to look at the effect of the type of calorie.

The main effects of the different calories mentioned on the body when it comes to losing weight are:

  • Insulin: a hormone that will store fat if you make too much of it
  • Saturation: the body activates satiety hormones and/or suppresses hunger hormones

Metabolic Pathways: Ketogenesis Diet


What you see above is the result of the following:

  • Protein: Mediocre insulin production and Highest satiety feeling
  • Fats: Least insulin production and Moderate satiety
  • Carbohydrates: (important!): Highest insulin production and Lowest satiety feeling

You probably now understand that getting too many calories from carbohydrates is not a sensible idea. You are going to produce the fat storage hormone insulin in large quantities, while in the meantime you are not satisfied with it.

Proteins and fats, on the other hand, have a much stronger satiating effect, so that you are able to maintain the ketogenic diet for longer.

Keto diet as a treatment method against epilepsy

The keto diet has even more benefits than just losing weight.

For children with epilepsy, the ketogenic diet is also very effective to keep their seizures under control.

Approximately 1 in 3 children with epilepsy is poorly responsive to the current epilepsy medication. More than 70% of these children respond well to the keto diet.

After a few weeks, the ketogenic diet appears to be catching on this group of children. The seizures of epilepsy drastically decrease or even disappear completely.

Why would you follow the ketogenic diet?


The balance in macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) has completely disappeared in our current diet. This is because See the pie charts below to compare the differences between hunter-gatherers and Western societies in terms of macro-nutrients:e ating carbohydrates literally reach the sky!

A 2000 study shows that Western societies derive around 55% of their energy needs from carbohydrates.

If we look at the worldwide hunter-gatherer societies from prehistoric times, they never achieved more than 40% of their energy needs from carbohydrates.

See the pie charts below to compare the differences between hunter-gatherers and Western societies in terms of macro-nutrients:

the differences between hunter-gatherers and Western societies in terms of macro-nutrients:

In my opinion, the governments and the food industry have turned the original food pattern upside down, with the result that the number of people with overweight and type 2 diabetes has also been turned upside down. See here what this reversal looks like:

The Ketogenic food pyramid

The western present food pyramid






Why do you lose weight with a ketogenic diet?

Eating a lot of simple sugars daily reduces your insulin sensitivity.

Insulin, also called fat storage hormone, plays an important role in the storage of fat. The body can store only a little glucose, the surplus therefore leads to an increase in body fat.

By omitting carbohydrates from your daily diet and focusing mainly on high-fat foods, you lower the insulin level and improve insulin sensitivity. All this ensures that your body is in ketosis and can burn fat better.

Losing weight with the keto diet is mainly due to the following reasons:

  1. The ketogenic diet reduces the production of insulin and keeps the blood sugar level under control.
  2. Eating more proteins and fats ensures that you become saturated faster and longer.
  3. Due to the satiating feeling of protein and high fat diet, you eat fewer calories in a day, which in the long run leads to weight loss.
  4. Your body switches to fat reserves as the main source of energy. This leads to the burning of more body fat.

Another advantage of the keto diet is that ketosis suppresses the increase of the hormone ghrelin.

Ghrelin is also called the ‘hunger hormone’ because it stimulates the appetite. The ghrelin level rises as soon as you lose because the body is biologically programmed to survive.

Is the keto diet dangerous?


Keto diet in percentage

Many people panic when they hear that it is mainly fats that run on the keto diet.

Because is eating so many fats not extremely unhealthy? After all, you are what you eat, right?

The truth is a bit more nuanced.

Eating the right (healthy) fats is very important with a ketogenic diet, since fats are no less than 70% of your daily calorie intake.

Omega 3 fatty acids are the most healthy fats that exist and I advise you to eat plenty. You get these healthy fats in by eating a lot of fatty fish. Think of salmon, tuna, herring, etc.

The ideal ratio of omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 acidification is 1: 1.


The omega 6 you quickly get inside with meat, for example, the omega 3 not so fast. That is why it is wise to consume high-fat foods that are rich in omega 3.

Saturated fats should be avoided by people as much as possible. Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products such as full dairy products and fat meat.

But saturated fat is not bad at all as long as it was thought, it is often only in processed products. The newer studies since 2010 show that saturated fats are not associated with heart and vascular diseases or premature deaths.

You should avoid trans fats because these fats are industrially prepared and are very harmful to your health. They increase the risk of insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes) and cardiovascular diseases.


Does not the keto diet have any side effects?

Although the ketogenic diet is safe for healthy people, some unpleasant side effects may occur if the body adapts to the diet.

This period that lasts for several days is also called the ‘keto flu’. You may then experience the following side effects:

  • Low Energy
  • More hunger feelings
  • Sleep problems
  • Nausea
  • Digestive problems
  • Reduced sport performance

To minimize keto side effects in the initial period, it is wise to start with a normal low-carbohydrate diet first. This can teach your body to burn more fat until you reach the point of up to 20 to 40 grams of carbohydrates a day.

A ketogenic diet can also change the fluid balance and the number of minerals in your body.

Therefore, try to get the number of minerals below daily to minimize the side effects.

  • 3000-4000 mg of sodium
  • 1000 mg of potassium
  • 300 mg of magnesium

Especially during the beginning of the keto diet, it is important that you continue to eat until you are satisfied.

Do not pay too much attention to counting calories. In the long run, you will lose weight during the ketosis state without having to be aware of applying a calorie restriction.

Benefits of the keto diet

  • It stabilizes blood sugar levels
  • It Increasing insulin sensitivity
  • It inhibits appetite
  • It causes a decrease of the triglyceride values
  • It reducing fat storage and increasing fat burning
  • It improves the cognition
  • It helps reduce epileptic seizures in children with epilepsy
  • It reduces the risk of cancer
  • It slows down the process of dementia (Alzheimer’s)
  • It reduces chronic inflammations

The keto diet is a good weight loss method to lose weight and stimulate the burning of fat.

4 Dangers of the keto diet

The keto diet has, like all other slimming diet, some disadvantages that you need to know before you start.

Danger # 1: fatigue

In the first days of the keto diet, it may be that you have little energy. You feel tired and listless (the so-called ‘keto flu’).

That is not surprising as the body has to adapt to the diet of almost exclusively fats and proteins. It can take up to 2 weeks for your body to fully draw energy from fats.

With so few carbohydrates, it is also a poor diet for active athletes, especially people who do explosive strength training, such as weightlifting, report having too little recovery of their muscles if they eat low carbohydrates. There are people who say that they are doing well on very little glucose, but they are mainly people with a ‘seated lifestyle’.

The brain will always need something of glucose to function properly. The body can also make these from fats and proteins with gluconeogenesis, but that is a cumbersome and energy-consuming process.

The Inuit (Eskimos from Greenland) can do that by the way, but they do not have fruit and vegetables at their disposal with the freezing weather.

Danger # 2: constipation

You can suffer from constipation, or blockages. Not everyone suffers from it, but the chance is present. Fortunately, it is often temporary and can be remedied by drinking enough water, taking magnesium and extra salt (1 to 3 grams per day).

Danger # 3: moisture loss

It is true that with the keto diet you lose a lot of weight because the body is forced to burn fat for energy.

But in addition to fat burning, moisture loss also plays an important role in this.

Carbohydrates retain moisture in the body. Deleting carbohydrates from your diet will result in a fluid loss. This also means that as soon as you start eating carbohydrate-rich meals again, you will retain your fluid.

Danger # 4: a shortage of vitamins and minerals

With the keto diet, you are limited to an extremely low-carbohydrate diet. Often, fruit is the victim, because it contains some carbohydrates.

A medium-sized banana already delivers 33 grams of carbohydrates. In this way, you will soon be above 50 grams of carbohydrates a day.

But avoiding fruit and vegetables can ultimately lead to a shortage of essential nutrients that you need to stay healthy.

Keto diet experiences

The keto diet experiences of people are variable. Many people recognize that they have lost kilos quickly, but that it is difficult to maintain the keto diet in the long term.

The positive experiences that you often hear is that you no longer have to lead to hunger with this diet. You can basically eat what you want, as long as it is low in carbohydrates and rich in fat.

You do not have to count your calories daily with the keto diet. That is quite unique for a slimming diet.


In addition, you lose a lot of moisture in the first weeks (due to the abstinence of carbohydrates), so you quickly seem slimmer.

The negative experiences of the ketogenic diet is that your diet is undergoing a drastic change.

Especially in the beginning you suffer from withdrawal symptoms and crave fibers and sugars. These side effects seem fortunately to pass in the long run.

Another point of attention is that it is especially difficult for athletes to keep up. Think of fatigue and loss of muscle strength.

It is not the most ideal diet if you lead an active lifestyle. It is difficult to combine with intensive sports such as strength training, fitness or HIIT training. Training without carbohydrates makes the workout a lot heavier.

weightlifter resting     

The keto diet: what can you eat?

Following a diet becomes a lot easier if you know what you can eat.

The advantage of the keto diet is that your meals do not have to be boring at all. If you like fish and meat, then this is the right diet for you!

For the ketogenic diet you use the following food products:

  • Red meat (beef, horsemeat, hamburgers, bacon, sausage)
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck)
  • Fish (herring, mackerel, salmon, mussels, shrimps, tuna, trout, anchovies)
  • Dairy (butter, all kinds of cheese, whipped cream (non-sugared)
  • Fats (fish oil, linseed oil, coconut oil)
  • Nuts (cashew nuts, almonds, hazelnuts)
  • Vegetables (asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, olives)

9 tasty ketogenic diet recipes

To help you get started with the keto diet I have worked out 3 breakfast, 3 lunch and 3 evening recipes for you.

So you have an impression of how such a delicious keto meal will appear per day.

Enjoy your meals!

3 keto diet breakfast recipes

Breakfast # 1: Omelet with avocado, salsa and tomato

Breakfast-1-omelette-with-avocado-salsa-and-tomatoWhat do you need:

  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ sliced onion
  • ½ pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • Pepper and salt
  • 2 teaspoons of coconut oil

Preparation method:

  • Heat 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and add the eggs.
  • Cut the onion, pepper and tomato into pieces.
  • Add the chopped onion, tomato and pepper.
  • Cover your omelet with avocado.

Breakfast # 2: Yogurt with peanut butter and cocoa powder

Breakfast-2-Yogurt-with-peanut butter-and-cocoa powder-What do you need:

  • 250 grams of sugar-free yogurt
  • ½ tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 large teaspoon of cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon of stevia

Preparation method:

  • Mix the yoghurt with the peanut butter, cocoa powder and stevia.

Breakfast # 3: Eggs with cheese, salami and fresh spinach

breakfast-3-eggs-with-cheese-salami-and-fresh-spinachWhat do you need:

  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated cheese
  • 3 slices of salami
  • Fresh spinach

Preparation method:

  • Heat 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and add the eggs.
  • Sprinkle some pepper and salt to taste.
  • Add the slices of salami and grated cheese to the pan.
  • Cover your omelet with 150 grams of fresh spinach.

3 keto diet lunch recipes

Lunch # 1: Nuts with celery sticks and cream cheese

celery candy-cream cheese

What do you need:

  • Handful of hazelnuts
  • 6 celery sticks
  • 3 full tablespoons of cream cheese

Preparation method:

  • Dip the celery sticks in the cream cheese for a delicious taste! Eat the nuts in between.

Lunch # 2: Beef meat with vegetables


What do you need:

  • 200 grams of beef rag
  • 250 grams of frozen vegetables
  • Lunch # 3: Tuna with vegetables2 teaspoons of coconut oil

Preparation method:

  • Defrost the vegetables.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and fry the beef rump in the pan. Let the vegetables cook until cooked to taste.


Lunch # 3: Tuna with vegetables

Lunch-3-tuna-with-vegetablesWhat do you need:

  • 125 grams of tuna can in oil
  • 200 grams of frozen vegetables
  • 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise

Preparation method:

  • Defrost the vegetables.
  • Let the vegetables cook until cooked to taste.
  • Remove the tuna from the tin and put it on a plate.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise to the tuna.
  • Mix the vegetables and tuna well together.

3 keto diet dinner recipes

Dinner # 1: Chicken with pesto, vegetables and cream cheese

chicken with vegetables-What do you need:

  • 300 grams of chicken
  • 1 tablespoon of pesto
  • 1 tomato
  • Bag of stir-fry vegetables
  • A bowl of cream cheese

Preparation method:

  • Fry the chicken until done and sprinkle both sides with pesto.
  • Cook the vegetables.
  • Cut the chicken into pieces and mix the vegetables with tomato.
  • Add cream cheese to your taste.

Dinner # 2: Burgers with mayonnaise


2 HamburgersWhat do you need:

  • 2 beef burgers
  • 40 ml of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Preparation method:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry the burgers until tender.
  • Add mayonnaise.

Dinner # 3: Tuna fillet with steamed vegetables

tuna fillet-What do you need:

  • 2 slices of tuna fillet, each 150 g
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped parsley
  • 150 g of green beans
  • 150 g of cauliflower


Preparation method:

  • Rub the tuna steaks with the olive oil and let stand for at least 15 minutes.
  • Cut the green beans in half, cut the broccoli into small florets and put them together in a steam basket in a steamer.
  • Peel the shallots and cut into thin parts.
  • Fry them in a pan with some olive oil.
  • Cut the onion into half rings and squeeze the garlic.
  • Add both to the shallots in the pan.
  • Fry the tuna steaks on a grill plate and roast them for about 5-7 minutes
  • Put the steamed vegetables on the plates,
  • serve the tuna steaks and garnish with the shallots, onions and garlic.
  • Sprinkle the parsley over it.

Quickly burn excess pounds and belly fat with simple to make slimming recipes!

Did you know that research shows that 1 in 3 just gains weight from a diet instead of losing belly fat?

Discover how you lose several kilos per week with tasty and easy to make slimming recipes:



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