What Is A ketogenic (keto) diet?
The Ketogenic, or Keto Diet in short, is a low carbohydrate diet that is coupled up with moderate amounts of protein consumption and little to no restrictions on fat intake.
A typical suggested daily diet regime would comprise foods that consist of 5-10% carbohydrate, 30-35% protein and 55-60% fat content.
This sort of eating routine translates to very limited carbohydrate consumption of less than 50g per day, this is roughly the equivalent of 3 slices of white bread or 1 serving of plain pasta or white rice.
In terms of the restriction to protein intake, the objective should be to consume about 1 – 1.5 g of protein per 500g body weight.
To put this into context, a 70 kg individual would equate to a recommended consumption of 140 – 200 g of protein intake in a day. That is equivalent to about six pieces of grilled / steamed whole chicken breasts or 30 hard boiled eggs.
Finally, there is no particular restriction on the consumption of fat. Fats that are of plant or meat based origins.
The typical keto diet regime would include an abundance of meat, eggs, fish, nuts, seeds, oil and fibrous vegetables, with no sugar and minimal carbohydrate intake.
How The Ketogenic Diet Works
When the body is starved of adequate carbohydrate intake, a metabolic change occurs. This change triggers the body to start utilizing its stored carbohydrates, and the process will occur for approximately the span of 3 days.
After this period of stored carbohydrate burning, the body will begin to switch to stored fats as its primary source of energy.
It does this by producing ketones and keto acid to fuel the body.
- Has been shown to effectively reduce weight and overall BMI
- Reduction of abdominal circumference
- Positive effect on lowering blood pressure, blood triglycerides levels, fasting blood glucose and HbA1c
- Increase in High Density Lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol)
- Reduction in hyperinsulinemia
- Improvement in insulin sensitivity
- The occurrence of “Keto-Flu”. It typically consists of symptoms such as fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation and low exercise tolerance. These symptoms typically resolve on their own after a few days to weeks, where the body gradually adjusts to the low carbohydrate, ketogenic state brought forth by the new eating pattern. Ensuring proper and frequent hydration with plain water can help to alleviate some of the mentioned symptoms.
- Some long term negative effects to the body can include hepatitis steatosis ( fatty liver ), overall lack of protein in the body, kidney stones and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
- The diet is heavy on meat: this may include the abundance of red meat and processed meat intake. There are health concerns when it comes to high consumption of red meat and processed meat, one example relates to WHO categorizing these types of foods as carcinogenic (potential of causing cancer)
- Requires a lot of discipline and compliance to stick to the diet. Good results are often seen in individuals who stick to the plan for 3 – 6 months or beyond. The issue, however, with all lifestyle changes is that humans tend to find it hard to stick to this diet in the long run. It is especially difficult to do so with the restrictive nature of this diet.
Do Doctors Recommend Keto Diet?
There are also a few groups of patients that should not be on Keto diet. They are those who are diabetic, on insulin or oral medications, with liver or renal failure, pancreatitis, or those who have rare cases of in-born disorders of fat metabolism.
As it is a major shift in body metabolism, frequent monitoring with a doctor is necessary and close monitoring of renal function is crucial. There have been cases where patients do run into problems with hydration and electrolyte imbalances which could potentially be dangerous.
The transition from a ketogenic diet back to a standard diet should also be a gradual and well controlled one.
In essence, understanding the principle behind the dietary plan is key to improvement in health.
Instead of going 100% into a ketogenic diet, perhaps it may be better for individuals to move towards a reduction of carbohydrates in their diets with a balanced meal plan that includes lots of fruits and vegetables with minimal processed food.
Kind of like a low carbohydrate diet with Mediterranean diet and intermittent fasting thrown into the mix.
How Do You Eat Keto In Singapore?
Keto diet in Singapore, especially when it comes to the abundance of carbohydrate (starchy) based foods in our hawker cuisine, can seem to be quite difficult to achieve or maintain.
It is not impossible, but when eating out, emphasis must be placed into picking the right mix to put on the plate.
It is important that when shaving off the carbohydrates, the protein and fat sources should be selected from healthier and nutritionally balanced options.
Avoid deep fried, overly processed, salty and those that are laden with saturated / trans fats.
Below we will discuss what sort of food combinations individuals on keto should aim for on a daily basis.
- Steamed chicken breast with little or no rice. Moderate on the skin portions.
- Braised or lightly stir fried meat and vegetables from the economic rice store.
- Fish soup with added fish slices and vegetables
- Duck meat / char siew with little or no rice.
- Opt for fish that are high in good fats, such as salmon, tuna or mackerel.
- Yong Tau fu, add in abundance of vegetables and avoid the processed meat
- Bak Kut Teh Soup
- Star Fruits
Where Do You Eat Keto In Singapore?
As mentioned by timeout, eating out at Keto friendly restaurants is not all that difficult. 
Restaurants such as Persea, serve up low carb dishes that are high in good fats, paired with low sugar cocktails for the best drink pairing experience.
Craving for pizza but want to shave off the doughy carbs? Sofi Cafe serves up delectable, keto friendly pizzas and even keto curry puffs!
Keto bakes anyone? Treat yourself to a wide range of keto bread and sweet treats at Seriously Keto. Carefully baked treats using keto friendly ingredients such as almond flour, eggs, dark chocolate, coconut flour, these buns and cakes will definitely leave you finger licking for more!
Benbanter talks about a list of comfort food that can be keto friendly when prepared at home. These dishes mainly substitute its high carbohydrate contents with keto friendly alternatives. 
The Keto friendly chicken laksa that replaces regular noodles with shirataki noodles and uses low carb laksa paste.
Similarly, shirataki noodles take center stage when preparing keto hokkien prawn noodles.
Get wholesome breakfast ideas by baking yourself some keto friendly buns by using almond or coconut flour in replacement of regular all purpose flour.
As mentioned by the smart local, keto meals can be as simple as an online order away. 
- Ketomei offers online fixed and customisable plans for lunches and dinners over a period of subscription.
- Fitthree offers balanced recipes that are prepared by chefs and dieticians with vegetarian options. Sets can be delivered and conveniently collected at certain gyms or yoga studios.
- Lean bento offers low carb, low calorie or even gluten free rice bowl options delivered to your doorstep.
In addition, the Keto List Singapore provides a comprehensive directory of local keto friendly establishments ranging from bakeries, food & beverages, supermarkets, retail, deals, events and healthcare. 
Is Beancurd A Keto?
Yes, beancurd or tofu is keto friendly, with only about 1g of carbs per serving. It is plant based, no sugar content and high in protein, making it a good choice for the Keto plate.
Is Popiah A keto?
Unfortunately, Popiah is not considered keto due to 2 main reasons. Firstly, the popiah skin is made of wheat flour which is carbohydrate based and secondly, the sweet taste is derived from the sugary sweet sauce used in the roll.
Is Coke Zero A Keto?
Yes, it is. Coke Zero or any soda that is sugar free can be considered keto due to the zero sugar content. However, do note that artificial sweeteners might have its share of negative side effects when consumed long term. Moderation is still key.