Do the benefits of the Indian keto diet plan surpass its side effects?

11 min


Keto diet

In a world where fitness is getting utmost priority and a slender figure epitomises ‘fitness goals’, a numerous variety of diets are redefining the spectrum of food and drinks on the health horizon. One of the most breakthrough of diets that is a relatively recent fad is the ketogenic diet. In the context closer to home, undoubtedly, the keto diet plan in India is one of the more nutritious and extensive of diet plans, with a wide array of vegetarian and non vegetarian options to choose from.

What exactly is the keto diet?

The ketogenic diet is a low on carbs, high on fat diet that can be a brilliant aid for weight loss, while promoting a healthy lifestyle. The drastic reduction of carbohydrate intake complemented by a higher consumption of fat based products induces a metabolic state in the body, which is called ketosis.

The process of ketosis in turn induces your body to develop mechanisms that burn fat more effectively and converts it into energy for your body to function more effectively. With the carbohydrate intake limited to a mere 20- 50 grams per day along with a moderate serving of protein, it’s obvious that the keto diet goes a long way in not allowing elements to find their way as sugar in the blood stream.

The ketogenic diet scores in that it stimulates the body to identify fat as the primary source of energy, thus burning fat every time you are doing something even miniscule. So you aren’t even actually dieting with the keto. What you are doing is just switching your food intake in a way that it does not interfere with the body mechanism; instead it just makes the process all the more efficient.

Benefits of the keto diet

Obviously, as a diet plan, the keto diet benefits you by helping you cut inches and lose kgs. But burning fats isn’t the only good thing that keto does. This revolutionary diet plan also has quite some other health benefits as well-

1. Reduces your appetite so that your calorie consumption is regulated.

2. Regulates blood sugar levels thus reducing the risk of diabetes.

3. Enhances metabolism by cutting down on harmful abdominal fat.

4. Also cuts down the risk of developing cancer, while aiding in the chemotherapy of those already under treatment.

5. Lowering of blood pressure and bettering of cholesterol levels puts you at reduced risk of heart disease.

6. Cutting down on those heavy carbs also improves energy levels and helps in regularising sleep patterns.

7. Crucial in the treatment of several brain disorders including epilepsy.

8. Benefits the eyes by putting them at lower risk otherwise arising from higher blood sugar levels.

9. Holistically promotes female health in being an effective treatment for PCOS and in improving fertility.

10. Promotes muscle gain and is also helpful in speeding anti- inflammatory processes.

Keto diet plan India

The typical Indian diet has been one high on carbs- with platefuls of rice and ladles of carb and protein rich pulses, beans and legumes, numerous countings of flour made roti and parathas enhanced by rich curries and puddings and a host of carbohydrate friendly appetisers and desserts.

The ketogenic diet stipulates the minimum requirement of carbs to be met by veggie servings. And given that anything fat laden is surprisingly good for you, you don’t really need to compromise on the taste.

Even with seemingly different food habits, the Indian version of the keto diet is not so difficult to incorporate. By making some smart switches the benefits of a ketogenic diet can be well reaped.

The keto diet plan for India will need you to avoid sugary stuff and other carbs. However, their tends to be no restrictions whatsoever on the consumption of meat. Even desserts can be incorporated into the menu by trying out forms of sweet alternatives.

Butter chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb (450 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 teaspoons Spice Mix (from recipe above)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
    For the sauce
  • 4 tablespoons grass-fed clarified butter (ghee)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • Remaining Spice Mix (from recipe above)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 1½ cups (355 ml) low-sodium chicken bone broth or water
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup (120 ml) grass-fed heavy whipping cream

METHOD

  1. Mix together all of the spices for the mix and set aside.
  2. Mix together all ingredients for the chicken in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but up to 2 days. Cook the chicken until fully done (it’s no longer pink in the center) skewered on a grill or in a 400F oven for about 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. For the sauce, heat the ghee in a medium-large deep-sided skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook until softened and starting to caramelize, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and remaining spice mix and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the salt, crushed red pepper flakes, chicken broth, and tomato paste. Bring up to a boil, and then reduce the heat to simmer and cook 10 minutes. Cool slightly and then carefully puree using an immersion or regular blender. Return the sauce to the skillet.
  4. Stir the cooked chicken and heavy whipping cream into the sauce.
  5. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro and sliced red onion, if desired.

Recipe sourced from The Keto Queens

South Indian Egg Curry

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 Hard Boiled Eggs, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • one small stick of Cinnamon
  • 3 pods Cardamom
  • 5 Peppercorns (lightly smashed)
  • 2 – 3 Green Chillies (slit lengthwise)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Ginger (or ginger paste)
  • 7 Garlic cloves (smashed and roughly chopped) or garlic paste
  • 2 medium sized Onions (finely chopped)
  • 3 large Tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder Red
  • 1/4 cup Tamarind Water (See Note 2)
  • 1 cup thin Coconut Milk (See Note 3)
  • 1/2 cup thick Coconut Milk
  • 8 – 10 Curry Leaves
  • Salt to taste

METHOD

  1. In a large pan, heat coconut oil and add mustard seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns and green chilies. Once everything starts spluttering, add ginger, garlic and onions.
  2. Cook till the onions turn soft and translucent and add tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chili powder and salt. Let the tomatoes cook till they are pulpy and add tamarind water and thin coconut milk.
  3. Stir and bring this to a boil. Simmer till the gravy reduces slightly and becomes thicker. This will take about 5 minutes. At this point, add some water if you need to adjust the consistency.
  4. Adjust seasoning, add curry leaves and pour in the thick coconut milk. Stir a few times, without letting it come to a boil and switch off the flame. Drop the eggs in the curry, and cover and let it sit for five minutes before serving.

Recipe sourced from my food story

Coconut Masala Chai

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup coconut cream (from the top of a can of refrigerated coconut milk)
  • 1 cup water
  • a teaspoon of raw honey (or other sweetener of choice or can be increased or omitted)
  • 1 tablespoon loose black tea leaves
  • Pinch of masala tea spice blend

METHOD

  1. Heat the coconut cream and water in a saucepan.
  2. Add in the honey/sweetener, the tea, and the spice blend. Mix well.
  3. Heat at a low simmer for approx. 4-5 minutes.
  4. Taste the tea and add more honey/sweetener or spices to taste.
  5. Pour through a strainer (to remove the tea leaves) and serve immediately.

Recipe sourced from Paleo Flourish

Baingan ka bharta

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 4 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch knob ginger, minced
  • 1-2 Serrano pepper, minced (adjust according to preference)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon each of black pepper, garam masala, paprika and turmeric powder
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Make four slits in each eggplant and then apply 1 tablespoon of oil over each eggplant. Place them on baking sheet and then roast in the oven for 40 minutes, flipping halfway.
  3. Turn the heat up to a broil for 5 minutes, then remove the eggplants from the oven.
  4. Allow the eggplant to cool, then remove the skin and chop the flesh. Set aside for now.
    For the sauce
  5. While the eggplant is baking, add 2 tablespoons of oil in a dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Then add cumin seeds.
  6. Once the cumin seeds begin to splutter, add onions and saute for 10 minutes or until the onions turn golden brown.
  7. Add the garlic, ginger, Serrano pepper and spices. Stir-fry for a minute, add tomatoes and mix well.
  8. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove lid and stir-fry for another 5 minutes.
  10. Stir in the cooked eggplant and cook for another 5 minutes.
  11. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Recipe sourced from my heart beets

Indian style chicken drumsticks

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 chicken drumsticks
  • 2–3 Tablespoons salt (it’ll depend on the salt you’re using)
  • 3–4 Tablespoons garam masala (add more for extra flavor)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of coconut oil for greasing baking tray

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 450F (230C).
  2. Grease a large baking tray with coconut oil.
  3. Mix the salt and the garam masala together in a bowl.
  4. Make sure the drumsticks are not too wet (otherwise it won’t get crispy).
  5. Coat each drumstick with the mixture and place on the baking tray. Make sure the drumsticks are not touching each other on the tray.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.

Recipe sourced from Paleo Flourish

Bullet Coffee

INGREDIENTS

Coffee Decoction – 30 ml (more if you prefer your coffee stronger)
Coconut Oil – 1 teaspoon
Heavy Cream – 1 teaspoon
Butter – 1 teaspoon
Water – 1 cup
Stevia – Optional

METHOD

  1. Bring water to boil, either in the microwave or on the stove.
  2. Add in the ingredients and stir well.
    If you want your coffee to be warmer or if the ingredients have not mixed properly, then you could heat it a little more again.

Recipe sourced from GYMPIK

Palak Paneer

INGREDIENTS

  • Spinach – 250g, washed
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp
  • Paneer – 250g, chopped into 2cm cubes
  • Onion – 40g
  • Garlic – 7g
  • Ginger – 5g
  • Chillies – 5 to 6 (slit length wise)
  • Cream – 75 ml + some more to add before serving
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Butter – 1 tbsp
  • Boiled water – As required

METHOD

  1. In a heat-safe bowl, add the cleaned spinach.
  2. Pour boiled hot water until the spinach is covered completely.
  3. Allow it to sit for 2 minutes.
  4. Strain and set aside.
  5. Once the spinach has cooled, grind to a smooth paste.
  6. Heat ghee in a pan.
  7. Add the chopped garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant.
  8. Add the chopped onions and slit green chillies.
  9. Toss in the spice powders and salt. Cook until the onions are soft.
  10. Add a splash of water to deglaze the mixture.
  11. Now, pour the spinach paste. Add a little water to dilute the mixture.
  12. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes until the flavours combine.
  13. While the curry cooks, add the cubed paneer pieces.
  14. Allow it cook for 3 minutes.
  15. At this stage, add more water if you want a runny curry.
  16. Turn off the flame. Add cream, mix gently to ensure the paneer cubes don’t break.
  17. Serve hot topped with some butter or a spoonful of cream.

Recipe sourced from Kitchening About

Cheese double omelette

INGREDIENTS

  • Eggs – 2
  • Butter – 2 tablespoons
  • Cheese – 2 slices
  • Onion (peeled and finely chopped) – 1
  • Green chillies (finely chopped) – 3 or as per your taste
  • Salt and pepper – to taste

METHOD

  1. In a bowl beat the eggs and add the green chillies, onions, salt, and pepper. Mix them up well and set aside.
  2. Add butter to a pan on medium-low flame. Once it melts, pour in the whisked eggs mixture are spread like a normal omelette.
  3. Flip it on the other side and add the cheese slices. You could also choose to grate cheese cubes and add to the omelette.
  4. Once the cheese starts to melt transfer the omelette into a plate and knock yourself out with this super yummy cheesy omelette.

Recipe sourced from GYMPIK

Buttermilk Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • ½ cup liquid egg whites
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon protein powder
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 packet of Stevia
  • Butter or oil for cooking

METHOD

  1. Beat the egg whites (from the whole egg) with a pinch of salt until they have soft peaks.
  2. Mix the buttermilk, egg yolks, liquid egg whites, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the coconut flour, protein powder, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined.
  4. Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter; make sure not to deflate the whites!
  5. Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.  For each pancake, lightly grease the pan with butter.  Then pour 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet, moving slightly to distribute batter.
  6. Cook until bubbles are visible on top, then flip the pancake over and cook until the other side is golden brown.
  7. Serve with whipped cream and berries of your choice.

Recipe sourced from ruled.me

Peanuts

Peanuts fried in oil and tossed with salt and spices is just the perfect Indian snack. Even with a highly restricted keto diet, peanuts still remains a convenient snacking option. Unsweetened peanut butter is an equally delicious keto diet mainstay.

Chicken broth

INGREDIENTS

  • Chicken pieces, diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • a piece of ginger
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Put the chicken pieces in a pressure cooker with a few cloves of garlic, a piece of ginger and a small chopped onion.
  2. Pour a generous amount of water and let cook for almost 45 minutes on low heat, allowing all the juices to come out.
  3. Shred the chicken from the bone and strain the broth. Add salt and pepper according to taste.

Coconut porridge

INGREDIENTS

  • 30 grams butter or coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • a pinch ground psyllium husk powder
  • 4 tbsp coconut cream
  • 1 pinch salt

METHOD

  1. Add all ingredients to a non-stick saucepan. Mix well and place over low heat. Stir constantly until you achieve your desired texture.
  2. Serve with coconut milk or cream. Top your porridge with a few fresh or frozen berries and enjoy!

Recipe sourced from Diet Doctor

Side effects of the Keto diet

But it isn’t that the Keto diet is without the cons. On the flip side, as a diet that reaps results in the short run, the Keto diet can be a disastrous experiment in the long run.

When you are initially put on the Keto diet, you will obviously be subject to some withdrawal symptoms of your regular lifestyle, which can include-

1. The Keto flu: With symptoms like headache, weakness, and irritability, to constipation, nausea, and vomiting, the Keto flu takes over with the body burning fat instead of glucose. The removal of ketones through frequent urination causes the body to dehydrate. This in turn leads to a host of weakness symptoms, collectively called the Keto flu.

2. A drastic loss of electrolytes owing to a restricted diet and caused also due to frequent urination makes the kidneys susceptible to injury.
Irregular heartbeat can also be manifested due to this electrolyte loss.

3. The build up of ketones in your body also miht cause your breathto be stinky- a phenomenon called the Keto breath.

4. Being on a keto diet also causes disruptions in regular bowel movements. This can lead to either bouts of diarrhea on one hand or severe constipation on the other, mainly due to the gallbladder feeling overwhelmed.

5. While the keto diet is known to regulate blood sugar levels, embarking on such a drastically limited food plan can be life threatening if you are already a diabetic.

6. Like most crash diets, keto diet, though a more stable one, too fails to achieve the long term weight loss goal. Once you get back on the carbs after months of restrictive eating, you tend to be back to square one.

7. A high consumption of fats will also mean serious discrepancies in the overall nutritional regimen of the body.

8. Women tend to be at even higher risk with the keto diet. Irregularities in menstrual cycle cause due to hormonal imbalance is a common occurence in a keto diet.

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