All About The Keto-Diet
Updated: Sep 1
Part I: Introduction
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins diet. The ketogenic diet involves reducing carbohydrates intake and replacing it with fat. This, in turn, puts your body into a metabolic state also known as ketosis. Thus, instead of burning carbohydrates for energy, your body ends up becoming incredibly efficient at burning fat. This process is done in the liver, where fats are turned into a chemical called ketones.
Contrary to popular belief, you can still indulge in sweet treats and bread when you’re on a keto diet. All you need is to use keto-friendly ingredients, or simply visit our keto bakery in Singapore for our range of keto desserts and diabetic-friendly cakes!
As the ketogenic diet does not include carbohydrates, it can cause significant reductions in your blood sugar and insulin levels. Combined with the increased levels of ketones, a ketogenic diet has some noteworthy health benefits such as decreasing blood sugar levels.
Part II: Understanding The Ketogenic Diet
Ketosis is a metabolic state that your body goes through to use fat for fuel instead of carbs. As mentioned earlier, this happens when your consumption of carbohydrates is significantly reduced, hence limiting your body’s supply of glucose.
While the conventional high-fat and low-carb keto diet lets you enjoy lots of butter, as well as avocado, it requires you to cut back on added sugars, processed foods, sweets, and grains - making this carb-restricted lifestyle challenging to adhere to.
Fortunately, there are a few keto variations that have developed over the years and are a little more flexible as well as easier to stick with in the long run. Modified keto diets allow your body to go in and out of ketosis whilst shedding weight and body fat.
Here, we share the four keto diet types.
1. Strict Keto Diet
Following a strict ketogenic diet is the quickest and most effective way to enter ketosis. According to Healthline, this diet limits carbohydrate consumption to approximately 20-50 grams per day. The rest of your diet should be filling up on fats such as meat, fish, eggs, starchy vegetables, and healthy oils. Aside from carbohydrates, you will also need to moderate your protein consumption since they can be converted into glucose when consumed in high amounts. As such, it can slow down your transition into ketosis.
Instead, you should be eating foods like dark, leafy vegetables, or cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. Full-fat dairy products like butter and heavy cream are some of the high-fat foods that you should also consume on a keto diet. Other healthy fats that you can incorporate are coconut oil, nut seeds, and avocado. Fruits like berries with low-sugar content and sweetener such as stevia and erythritol, though not recommended, can be consumed in moderation.
Hence, when it comes to choosing desserts on a keto diet, it is best to buy yours from keto bakeries in Singapore. We offer sugar-free cakes that taste just as good as the ones baked with sugar! Using only natural sugar substitutes that will not spike your blood sugar level, our sweet and savoury bakes are freshly baked to order - perfect for anyone on a keto diet.
2. Lazy Keto
The lazy keto diet is just as it sounds. Taking a more laid-back approach than the strict keto diet, this diet does not require you to keep track of your macronutrient intake but is also less effective at inducing ketosis. As such, it may not be ideal for those who are new to keto.
Instead, it is more suitable for people who have been following a ketogenic diet. By doing a lazy keto, they no longer need to track their food intake, allowing them to focus on just consuming a high-fat diet with limited amounts of carbohydrates.
This diet provides you with the flexibility to consume foods that may not be keto-approved. Following a lazy keto diet approach lets you eat foods that contain carbohydrates as long as you are sticking to the goal of 20-30 grams of carbs a day.
3. Dirty Keto Diet
Similar to the lazy keto diet, the dirty keto diet is another type of ketogenic diet that involves eating foods that are not necessarily deemed as keto-approved. As long as you stick to the proper macronutrient breakdown of the strict keto diet - 70% calories from fat, 25% from protein, and 5% from carbohydrates, where the macronutrients come from does not matter.
However, the downside of the dirty keto diet is that whilst consuming bacon and other fried foods do not disrupt the ketogenesis process, everyday consumption can lead to inflammation. That’s not all, sticking to the dirty keto diet also puts you at risk of missing out on important vitamins and minerals that you would be getting from a strict keto diet.
So, even though the dirty keto diet allows you to enjoy weight loss, it does not provide the other benefits that a strict keto one has to offer. Some of these benefits include improved skin health, reduction in sugar cravings, as well as better sleep. Hence, the dirty keto diet is not one that is recommended for the long term as it comes with potential health risks.
4. Low-carb Diet
Unlike a keto diet, a low-carb diet does not necessarily put your body in a state of ketosis. People on low-carb diets eat about 50-150 grams of carbs per day, which is not enough to put the body into a state of ketosis. Instead, a low-carb diet promotes weight loss simply with the reduced intake of carbohydrates.
Low-carb and keto diets also differ in protein intake. Protein intake can be high when you are on a low-carb diet unlike when on a keto diet.
Psst: If you are on a low-carb diet, you can try out our delicious low-carb bread that’s baked with your health in mind.
Between the two, the keto diet may come across as too restrictive and, hence, unsustainable for most. As such, a low-carb diet may be more suited for you, if you are not ready to embark on a ketogenic journey. Ultimately, it is still important to consult your healthcare provider before starting on any diet to minimise your risk of developing complications.
Benefits Of The Keto Diet
Even though the ketogenic diet started as somewhat of a fad, it is becoming well-known for its many health benefits too. Hence, it is important to get a clear understanding of what the ketogenic diet is best used for, and how. In this section, we will share some benefits of going keto.
Weight loss is one of the most commonly cited health benefits of the ketogenic diet. As keto helps people convert from a carb-heavy or carb-burning diet to a fat-burning one, it results in effective weight loss. Not to mention, a diet high in carbohydrates often induces bloating, weight gain, and poor health. Whereas, going on a high-fat, moderate-protein diet not only curbs your appetite, but it allows you to eat until you feel satisfied .
Whether you are obese, slightly out of shape, or even lean and fit, a ketogenic diet can do more than just maintain your ideal weight. It can also reduce your risk factors for obesity-related diseases like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
But, the best part about going on a ketogenic diet is that unlike conventional diets, you do not have to starve yourself at all. Once your body is used to the diet and food you put in it, you will start noticing the positive changes and increased energy for physical activities again!
We’re all too familiar with the random carb cravings, like the occasional urge to binge on desserts even after a full meal. This results in your sugar levels peaking. However, at the same time, your body will produce insulin to keep the glucose levels consistent, and as such, it causes the blood glucose to decrease, leading to a sugar crash.
When you are on a keto diet, you no longer have to worry about the sugar peaks and crashes.
You eat macronutrients based on factors like your height, weight, age, as well as goals you have for your body on a keto diet. But, not all macronutrients are the same, and each of them has a specific amount of calories:
Carbohydrates contain approximately four calories per gram
Protein also contains approximately four calories per gram
Fat, on the other hand, has nine calories per gram
Since fats have the most calories per gram, they are more satiating than carbohydrates or protein. This is especially since they provide you with the same amount of energy per gram as both carbohydrates and protein combined.
Aside from the calories in each macronutrient, your appetite is also reduced as a result of ketosis. Hormones like insulin, ghrelin, leptin, and cholecystokinin play a role in the feeling of satiation. In a study conducted, results have shown that participants put on a ketogenic diet experienced a reduction of circulating concentrations of hormones that influence appetite.
Blood Sugar Control
It is no surprise that the ketogenic diet is great for blood sugar control since it eliminates sugar and a large amount of carbohydrates. Whilst carb-heavy high-glycemic foods cause blood-glucose spikes, a ketogenic diet doesn't. Instead, with a lower blood sugar and carbohydrate intake, your blood glucose levels are kept from rising and falling drastically. However, there will still be a small natural rise in blood glucose levels when you eat low-glycemic foods such as low-carbs bread or keto cakes.
Moreover, reducing your carbohydrate intake through a keto diet deprives your body of glucose stores. This leads to your body using fats for fuel, resulting in lower insulin levels. Hence, after starting a keto diet, most people will notice a decrease in their blood sugar levels almost immediately.
Inflammation is our body’s natural immune response to fight against infection. However, persistent inflammation can result in unpleasant symptoms like joint stiffness, swelling, and even pain.
Being on a keto diet stimulates the production of ketones, specifically BHB (ß-hydroxybutyrate), a strong anti-inflammatory chemical. In addition, the keto diet also promotes the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods like eggs, coconut oil, avocados, and foods high in omega-3.
The Art Of Discipline
The key to reaping the benefits of your ketogenic diet is to stick to the routine. While this may seem difficult, it is not impossible to achieve. Here are four tips to help you stick to your keto diet:
1. Track your macronutrients - We tend to underestimate the amount of net carbohydrates we eat. A handy tip is to use a carbs-tracking application. By doing so, you will have a more accurate idea of knowing what you are consuming, and have all the information you need to stick to your keto diet.
2. Change your food environment - To prevent yourself from reaching out to high-carb foods, it is best to have only keto-friendly food in your house.
3. Plan your meals - Following a meal plan is a great and effective way to stay on track and prevent yourself from succumbing to other food temptations. Make sure you have snacks such as keto bread, to munch on if you are travelling. You should also always do your research and eat at keto-friendly restaurants in Singapore. If you are at home, then you should make sure that you follow a meal plan to give yourself the macronutrients you need daily.
As one of the few keto bakeries in Singapore, we offer a full range of keto cakes and bread to meet your dietary needs. Visit our online store to find out more.
4. Consume only keto-approved foods and ingredients - These foods and ingredients should be low in carbohydrates. Check out this list of foods you can eat when on a ketogenic diet:
Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc.
Low-carb vegetables – spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and avoid root vegetables like carrots and potatoes.
High-fat dairy – hard cheeses, high-fat cream, butter, etc.
Nuts and seeds – macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
Avocado and berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic impact berries
Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners
Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.
You can also make your own cakes and fried foods using keto-friendly ingredients. Generally, keto cakes use a combination of grain-free flours to achieve the similar taste and texture of regular cakes. Some of the commonly used flour is almond flour and coconut flour. Keto cakes also use natural sweeteners, as well as high-fat ingredients like full-fat cream cheese.
Baking a cake can seem hard when you are on a keto diet. Hence, you can always visit our bakery for a convenient way to grab diabetic- and keto-friendly cakes.
Part II: The Keto Diet VS Other Gluten-Free And Sugar-Free Diets
Often people confuse a keto diet with a gluten-free one. Most of the ketogenic bakes are gluten-free due to the grain-free ingredients; but this may not always be the case. Ingredients containing gluten can still be used in a ketogenic baking sometimes, making it unsuitable for the gluten-free diet.
Likewise, not all gluten-free foods are low in carbohydrates as they may contain sugar which is avoided in the ketogenic diet.
The Gluten-Free Diet
Gluten is a generic term for proteins found in wheat. It is a complex mixture of similar, yet distinct proteins. For many, eating gluten-free foods is not a choice, it is a medical necessity. They may be allergic to gluten, and as such, have to avoid foods such as wheat, flour, barley, and grains.
A person on a gluten-free diet can usually eat ketogenic bakes. However, it is important to note that some keto-friendly bakes like bread, may contain gluten, making them unsuitable for people with gluten intolerance. As such, it is always best to take it a step further and make sure that the foods you are eating are completely gluten-free.
Our ketogenic bakes are not only keto and diabetic-friendly, most of them are also gluten-free. Individuals who are sensitive to gluten can look out for our Non Gluten-Free label indicated on the respective items.
This diet seeks to remove sources of added sugar from your daily food intake. In other words, foods like candy and soda should be out of your diet. Some people, especially diabetics, may also choose to limit or remove sources of natural sugar as well, such as fruits and certain vegetables. This aspect of a sugar-free diet is what makes them similar to ketogenic ones.
People following the sugar-free diet often use a hierarchy of carbohydrates as a guide. As not all carbs are created equal, you can follow a spectrum by knowing which to restrict.
Check out the infographic below for the hierarchy of carbohydrates. The ones at the top are densest in calories whilst containing fewer nutrients. The ones at the bottom of the list are more nutritional instead.
Just because you have to eliminate sugary foods does not mean that you have to cut out on all snacks and desserts. Instead, you can opt for low-carb bread, cakes, or even sugar-free cakes to ease occasional cravings. .
Diabetics have to be more conscious of what they eat. While sugar-free products are often the alternative to sugars, not all of these are healthy. Many people try to replace the sugar in their diets with foods containing artificial sweeteners that have low calories and little impact on insulin levels.
However, these artificial sugar substitutes are often way sweeter than real sugar to fool your brain into thinking that you are eating sugar. In the long run, these substitutes can trigger sugar cravings and lead you to over-consume sweet foods - making it harder for you to stick to your eating plan.
There are mainly three types of sweeteners:
1. Natural sweeteners
One of the most popular low-calorie natural sweeteners is stevia. Stevia is extracted from a plant for its sweetness. While stevia can be 200 times sweeter than sugar, it contains no calories and has a few health benefits like lowering blood pressure as well as sugar levels in diabetics.
2. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners, otherwise known as sugar substitutes, are chemicals added to food and beverages to make them sweeter. Unlike natural sweeteners, artificial sweeteners like aspartame, and saccharin contain calories.
3. Sugar Alcohols
As sugar alcohols have a similar chemical structure as sugar, they can activate the sweet taste receptors on your tongue. Sugar alcohols can be found naturally in fruits and vegetables. They also contain calories, though it’s lower than plain sugar.
There are several types of sugar alcohols, and they each differ in taste, calorie content, as well as health impact. One such example would be Xylitol.
Xylitol is a common ingredient used in sugar-free mints and oral care products like toothpaste. It has a similar sweetness as regular sugar but is 40% lower in calories.
Erythritol is another sugar alcohol that is known to have a great taste. It tastes almost exactly like regular sugar, however, it only contains 5% of the calories. Unlike other sugar alcohols, erythritol is also gentle on the stomach and does not cause side effects like bloating. As such, many of our keto bakes and diabetic-friendly cakes use erythritol.