KETO QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat diet and shares a lot of similarities with other low carbohydrate diets, such as Atkins. There are several different types of the ketogenic diet. In the most common version of the ketogenic diet, individuals consume 70-80% of daily calories from fat, 20-25% of protein and 5-10% of daily calories from carbs.
The ultimate goal is to drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and increase the consumption of fats in order to enter a state of ketosis.
On a regular diet, your body obtains energy from glucose. On the ketogenic diet, you deplete your glycogen stores by restricting the amount of carbohydrates you eat during the day. Once your body no longer has an adequate amount of glucose, it begins to look for another source of fuel - fat. Upon consumption, fatty acids are then broken down in your liver to produce chemical substances called ketones. Ketones are then used for energy and aid your body in ketosis - a fat-burning, normal metabolic state.
The ketogenic diet has a long list of scientifically proven benefits and is mainly known for aiding in weight loss and body composition. In addition, keto improves your brain function such as mental clarity and memory. The ketogenic diet is also known to aid certain medical conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders.
- Is the ketogenic diet a low-carb diet?
Yes, keto is very low in carbohydrates and high in fat. However, the main difference lies in its optimal goal - ketosis. Drastically depriving your body of carbohydrates and sugars needed for energy shifts your metabolism to obtain fuel from fats. While other low-carb diets focus only on decreasing the daily carbohydrate intake, ketogenic diet’s most important, primary goal is to enter a state of ketosis.
The difference between keto and low-carb is the amount of carbs allowed during the day. You will typically eat 50-150g on a regular low-carb diet, whereas during the first few weeks of adapting to the ketogenic lifestyle you should not consume more than 20-30g of net carbs per day. Also, the ideal macronutrient ratio suggests that 70% of your daily calories come from fats, 25% from protein and 5% from carbohydrates.
- What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that results in the production of substances called ketones. Ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and high in fat.
Normally, your body turns carbohydrates into glucose needed for energy. Due to a low availability of carbohydrates on the ketogenic diet, your body then begins to look for another source of fuel - fat. Consumed and stored fatty acids are then transformed in your liver into ketone bodies. This is when your body begins to use ketones as a source of sustainable energy.
Ketosis has a variety of benefits including weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, improvement in cognition and reduction of symptoms in neurodegenerative disorders.
- How do I get into ketosis?
The most important factor in achieving ketosis is reducing your carbohydrate consumption. You have to deprive your body of glucose in order to shift your metabolism and begin utilizing fat as a source of energy.
The general rule is to cut down on sugar and starches, such as bread, pasta, potatoes and rice, while increasing healthy fats like avocados, coconut oil, MCT oil, eggs, lard and tallow. To see a full list of what to eat on keto and what to avoid, refer to our food guide.
Another simple way to get into ketosis is to cut your carbohydrate intake gradually. For example, you can set a goal for yourself and decrease the amount of consumed carbohydrates by 10g per day. In no time, you will find yourself closer to achieving the desired 20-30g of net carbs per day guideline recommended on the ketogenic diet.
Alongside implementing the rules of the ketogenic diet, the easiest way to get into ketosis is to take a supplement in the form of exogenous ketones. Exogenous ketones help your body to increase ketone production, achieve the state of ketosis faster and diminish the effects of the keto flu.
You can also enter a state of ketosis by fasting. If your glycogen stores are filled to their capacity, it may take about 2-4 days to reach ketosis. While during this time you may feel the onset of keto flu symptoms, the only accurate way to check if you are in the state of ketosis is to measure the level of ketone bodies in your blood or urine. You can do this by using urine test strips.
- How do I know if I am in ketosis?
There are several ways to check if you are in ketosis. The most convenient and affordable way to measure ketosis is by using a ketone testing strip to check if there are any ketones in your urine. Ketones are substances made by your liver once you begin to derive energy from an increased amount of fats instead of carbohydrates.
Although blood testing is the most accurate method, it’s expensive and invasive. Another way includes checking for ketones in your breath by using a breath meter. However, users have reported problems and inaccuracies with this approach due to its inability to detect the most important ketone - beta hydroxybutyrate.
There is no way to know if you are in ketosis unless you check your body’s ketone levels. You may begin to experience an increase in energy or even see your weight go down, however none of these are accurate and reliable methods in determining whether or not you are in the state of ketosis.
For more information on how to know if you are producing ketones, read this article.
- Is keto healthy?
The ketogenic diet is a safe and healthy nutrition alternative as long as it is done properly. You may have heard about the ketogenic diet by reading about the amazing weight-loss transformations and its positive effect on epilepsy, sugar-related diseases such as diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders. We have been conditioned for years that fat is the culprit of all evil, meanwhile scientific research has shown that sugar is one of the worst things a person can consume.
The general consensus on the ketogenic diet is to drastically restrict the amount of consumed carbohydrates, and increase the amount of fat. However, the ketogenic diet only promotes healthy sources of fat and advises against eating trans fats, such as processed meats, fast food and margarine.
While dirty keto may help you reach the state of ketosis, the main idea of the ketogenic diet is to eat all animal products except milk, healthy fats, as well as any plants that grow above the ground. What may come as a surprise, is that many individuals on the ketogenic diet claim they are eating more vegetables and salads than ever before.
- What should I avoid on keto?
If you are a ketogenic newbie, it may be difficult for you to understand what to eat and what not to eat on keto. On the ketogenic diet, your daily macronutrient intake should consist of 70-80% of fats, 20-25% of protein and 5-10% of carbohydrates.
As a general rule, here is a list of foods to avoid on keto:
- Sugar and foods with added sugars
- Cookies and cakes
- Low-fat dairy products
- Bread, rolls and croissants
- Beans and legumes
- Grains, such as rice, quinoa and oatmeal
- Starchy and root vegetables, such as potatoes and beets
- Fruits except berries
- Sugary drinks and juices
- Unhealthy fats
For a comprehensive list on what to eat and what to avoid on keto, read our guide by clicking here.
- What are net carbs?
Most individuals on the ketogenic diet count net carbs instead of total carbohydrates. Net carbs are simply the total amount of carbohydrates in a particular food minus the fiber and sugar alcohols.
For example, one medium-sized avocado has:
- 17g of total carbohydrates
- 13g of dietary fiber
17g of total carbohydrates - 13g of dietary fiber = 4g net carbs
The reason why counting net carbs is an effective way to keep track of your daily carbohydrate intake is that your body cannot fully digest fiber. In turn, fiber does not directly impact your blood sugar levels and is less likely to interfere with weight loss.
Net carb calculations only include the amount of carbohydrates your body can transform directly into glucose. The amount of glucose affects your body’s ability to produce ketones and enter a state of ketosis, therefore on the ketogenic diet it is recommended not to exceed 20-30g of net carbs per day.
- How is keto different from other diets?
Ketogenic diet is generally considered to be a low-carb diet. It does share some similarities with Atkins, Whole30 and paleo, however its main difference is its ultimate goal - to reach the state of ketosis.
While other diets may bring you weight loss success, the ketogenic diet is scientifically proven to help you reach your weight loss goals faster than other conventional diets. In addition, keto provides neural health benefits such as increased brain function, mental clarity and improved memory.
For those whose main goal may be different than losing weight on keto or strengthening their body composition, the ketogenic diet has a positive impact on blood sugar levels, blood pressure levels and epilepsy.
To read more about the differences between keto and other diets, click here.
- Can I cheat on keto?
Straying away from the proposed nutritional menu on the ketogenic diet is not recommended. This may stall your weight loss and slow down the process of achieving your goals.
However, it is understandable that from time to time you may crave sweets and other high-carbohydrate foods, such as bread, rice or pasta. Switching your daily habits and shifting your metabolism from using glucose to fat as fuel may be more difficult for some than others.
First, it is best to check for low-carb and keto-friendly substitutes to common high-carb foods, such as shirataki pasta and zucchini noodles for regular pasta, erythritol and stevia for sugar, or even pork rinds as chips. If you want something sweet you can try BeKeto ™ chocolates and BeKeto™ bars which are low-carb, high-fat and delicious. Also, cheating on keto with a sweet potato is not as significant as cheating with a few portions of cake. Choose wisely.
If you eventually cannot resist the urge to cheat and your cravings are taking the best of you, take a serving of exogenous ketones before and after a cheat meal. This will decrease your chances of getting kicked out of ketosis and increase the amount of ketone bodies in your bloodstream.
Most of those who have been on the ketogenic diet for a longer amount of time do not have frequent cravings. Keto changes the way you taste sweet foods and some may feel too sugary for you to consume. In a case where you are still battling cravings, you can add a natural, herb-based supplement that will help you reduce your cravings and improve the feeling of fullness.
- Can I drink alcohol on keto?
Yes and no. The final answer depends on your goals and the type of alcohol consumed.
On the ketogenic diet, your metabolism switches to obtaining energy from fats, rather than carbohydrates. However, the moment you consume alcohol your body categorizes it as a toxin and prioritizes its disposal. This means that while keto-friendly alcohol options may not kick you out of ketosis, your body will metabolize alcohol first before it uses all other nutrients - most importantly, fat. This can affect those who want to lose weight and improve their body composition.If you are not trying to lose weight on keto, you can occasionally drink alcohol in moderation.
Keto-friendly, low-carb drinks include:
- Red wine
- White wine
While on the ketogenic diet, avoid sugar-filled drinks such as:
- Most beers
- Pre-mixed alcoholic drinks
- Flavoured alcohols
- Sugar sweetened drinks, such as liqueurs
- What is "keto flu"?
Keto flu is a term created by the ketogenic community to describe a series of symptoms which occur within the first few days of the ketogenic diet. It is not a real illness and has nothing to do with the regular flu.
Rapid decrease in the consumption of carbohydrates forces your body to adapt to a new way of obtaining energy from fats instead of glucose. Due to this “initial shock” you may experience carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms such as lack of energy, headaches, decreased mental clarity, nausea and body aches.
Not all ketogenic newbies experience these unwanted side effects. The severity of these depend on the individual’s metabolic ability to switch between using glucose as energy to using fats. Most symptoms will only last up to a week, and with a proper macronutrient intake and daily electrolyte supplementation you will greatly diminish any signs of the “keto flu”.
If you would like to read more about the keto flu, click here.
- Is keto good for weight loss?
The ketogenic diet is scientifically proven to aid in weight loss at a faster and more efficient rate than other conventional diets. A quick internet search for “keto weight loss” will show you hundreds of thousands of weight loss transformations attributed to the ketogenic diet.
This is because the ketogenic diet uses fat as a source of energy. When glucose obtained from carbohydrates is not readily available, your body begins to search for alternative fuel - fat. Therefore, the ketogenic diet shifts your metabolism to burn through your fat deposits and use it as energy. No other diet in the world does that.
Although in the first few weeks of your ketogenic journey you may still experience sugar cravings, you can take natural, herb-based appetite suppressants to curb your sweet tooth. These will not only help you with your urges, but also increase the feeling of satiety and fullness.
If you have been on the ketogenic diet for some time and you are still not losing as much weight as you would want to, read our article here.
- Is BeKeto better than other brands?
BeKeto was made to provide the purest, highest quality of ingredients to those on a low-carb or ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is rapidly gaining popularity, we realized that most of the companies do not understand how to cater to the ketogenic community and their needs. This is why it took us over a year to travel all around the world to carefully pick the best ingredients possible and carefully develop formulations that will aid your ketosis.
As opposed to other brands, we do not hide our ingredients or put fancy names on hidden sugars and carbs. All of our products are made with zero added sugars, no artificial sweeteners and no junk.
Check out our products for yourself. We promise, you won’t be disappointed.
- What are exogenous ketones?
There are two types of ketones: endogenous and exogenous.
The goal of the ketogenic diet is to switch your metabolism from burning glucose to using fat as a source of energy. In this process, your body begins to produce substances called ketones. Those are also called endogenous ketones, which simply mean they are made inside of your body.
On the other hand, exogenous ketones are dietary supplements which directly increase the level of ketones in your body within a very short amount of time. They consist of beta-hydroxybutyric acid salts which are bound to minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium.
The main purpose of exogenous ketones is to help you reach ketosis faster and reap the benefits of the ketogenic diet, such as increased brain function, higher energy levels and weight-loss.
Most importantly, supplementing exogenous ketones before and after a cheat meal will increase your chances of staying in ketosis despite consuming a higher number of carbohydrates.
- Should I supplement collagen?
You definitely should. Collagen is made up of amino acids and aids your body in energy production, healthy DNA and RNA formation, as well as provides your bones and connective tissues with elasticity they need for easy mobility. Collagen makes up over 25% of your body’s protein content and is responsible for the health of your:
Unfortunately, collagen production begins to exponentially decrease after the age of 25, therefore regular supplementation of a keto-friendly collagen, with no added sugars is imperative to improve the appearance of your skin, hair and nails. Moreso, MCT oil infused collagen powders add additional benefits to your ketogenic diet regimen by increasing ketone production and boosting your metabolism.
- What is MCT oil?
Medium-chain triglyceride oil (MCT oil) is known as the cornerstone of the ketogenic diet. To put it into perspective, there are good fats and bad fats. Healthy sources of fat on the ketogenic diet include eggs, grass-fed butter, olive oil, avocado oil, palm oil and among others, coconut oil.
MCT oil is derived from coconut oil and contains medium-length chains of fats called triglycerides. The shorter the chain length, the easier it is for your body to process it and digest it.
After consumption, fatty acids such as MCT are broken down by the liver, which in turn begins to produce an increased amount of substances called ketones. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to switch your body’s metabolism from using glucose as a source of energy to using fats.
- Should I supplement MCT oil?
The main goal of the ketogenic diet is to begin producing ketone bodies to reach the state of ketosis. While not all fats are created equal, medium-chain triglyceride oil (MCT oil) is the healthiest source of fat in the world.
Due to its short chain length, it bypasses regular digestion and travels directly to your liver. Then, your liver transforms MCT oil into ketones needed for energy. This rapid process prevents fat deposits and in turn aids your weight loss goals by burning through consumed and stored fat.
Daily supplementation of MCT oil allows you to increase your ketone production. In addition, MCT oil improves muscle recovery after workouts, aids in healthy digestion, has antifungal and antibacterial properties and most importantly, has a thermogenic effect on your fat-burning capacity.
- What is the difference between MCT C8 and MCT C10?
There are two different types of MCT oil used in the ketogenic diet - MCT C8 and MCT C10.
MCT Oil C8 is a medium-chain triglyceride oil otherwise known as caprylic acid. It is the number one fastest and most easily-absorbed medium-chain triglyceride to be converted into ketones for energy. Due to its short chain length, it bypasses regular digestion without being stored as fat. MCT oil C8 is a rapid and stable source of energy, directly improving memory, mental clarity and immune system support.
MCT Oil C10 is otherwise known as capric acid, which is the second best medium-chain triglyceride oil due to its short chain length. It supports your body by providing you with a sustainable amount of energy to be converted into ketones. Capric acid is the strongest MCT oil to aid with digestion, providing antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Both MCT Oil C8 and MCT Oil C10 help your body produce an increased amount of ketones to reach the state of ketosis.
- How does keto affect exercise performance?
On the ketogenic diet, you are to drastically reduce the amount of carbohydrates you consume. Most high-intensity exercise depends on carbohydrates, therefore in the beginning of your ketogenic journey you may experience symptoms of the keto flu and notice a slight decrease in your athletic performance.
However, ketogenic diet is designed for everyone. There are several different kinds of the keto, including Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD) and Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD) for those who train intensely and their main goal is to increase muscle mass and exercise performance. The best idea is to start with the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) protocol, and once you are in the state of ketosis you can switch to TKD and CKD. Both of these variants allow you to eat an increased amount of carbohydrates right before your exercise, or once every few days.
If you exercise often, supplementation is imperative to achieve better results. A daily dose of a keto-friendly whey protein isolate will help you build lean muscle mass and speed up recovery. For those whose main goal is to balance their body composition and burn fat, a natural fat-burning supplement will give you an extra boost of energy and reduce cravings.
To read more information about different types of keto and which type of the ketogenic diet is best for you, click here.
- Does the ketogenic diet affect my brain function?
Both low-carb and ketogenic diets have a long list of health benefits, including but not limited to improvement in brain function. For instance, the ketogenic diet was primarily used to treat epilepsy in children who were not responsive to anti-seizure medication.
Traditionally, your brain relies on carbohydrates and glucose for energy. On the ketogenic diet, you increase the amount of fat consumed to produce ketone bodies. While your brain cannot directly utilize fat as a source of energy, it can use ketones. Ketones are a more sustainable and stable form of fuel, not only for your body, but also for your brain.
Studies have shown that the ketogenic diet improves brain function by reducing “brain fog”, lethargy, mood swings and improving memory, brain cognition and mental clarity.
To read more about the health benefits of keto, click here.