Nigerian ketogenic diet is becoming a popular conversation in the weight loss world.

It seems once you mention that you’re on a weight loss journey, the next question you will be asked is are you doing keto?


Are you considering a keto diet?

Have you ever wondered if the hype about the keto diet is really worth it?

What does the keto diet really entail?

I’ve lost count of how often people ask me about whether they should give the ketogenic diet a shot so today I’m writing a comprehensive totally unbiased article about the ketogenic diet.

What is the keto diet?

The keto diet is a way of eating that involves eating high fat, moderate protein, and low carb.

In the past 10 years, the keto diet has become one of the most popular methods worldwide to shed excess weight and improve health.

However, the keto diet has always been in existence. It’s an approach discovered in 1920 to help with the management of Epilepsy.

There are 2 major types of Keto diet.

Standard Keto:

75% of your food intake will be from fat, 20% from protein and 5% from carbs.

High Protein keto:

60% of your food intake will be from fat, 35% from protein and 5% from carbs.

The other 2 types are cyclical and targeted ketogenic diet

Cyclical keto diet:

This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.

Targeted keto diet:

This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts. It means that on days you exercise, you can eat more carbs (5-10% of your daily caloric intake) and on days when you don’t exercise, you can stick to 5% carbs.

nigerian ketogenic diet

How does the Nigerian ketogenic Diet work?

Basically, carbohydrates are the primary source of energy production in body tissues.

When the body is deprived of carbohydrates due to reducing intake to less than 50g per day, and by 50g of carbs think 1 Cup of cooked white rice, insulin secretion is significantly reduced and the body enters a catabolic state.

Glycogen stores deplete, forcing the body to go through certain metabolic changes.

Two metabolic processes come into action when there is low carbohydrate availability in body tissues: gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis.

Gluconeogenesis is how the body produces glucose when it doesn’t get it from food.

When glucose availability drops further, the endogenous production of glucose is not able to keep up with the needs of the body and ketogenesis begins in order to provide an alternate source of energy in the form of ketone bodies.

Ketone bodies then replace glucose as a primary source of energy.

During ketogenesis due to low blood glucose feedback, stimulus for insulin secretion is also low, which sharply reduces the stimulus for fat and glucose storage.

Other hormonal changes may contribute to the increased breakdown of fats that result in fatty acids.

Fatty acids are metabolized to acetoacetate which is later converted to beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetone.

These are the basic ketone bodies that accumulate in the body as a ketogenic diet is sustained.

This metabolic state is referred to as “nutritional ketosis.”

As long as the body is deprived of carbohydrates, metabolism remains in the ketotic state.

The nutritional ketosis state is considered quite safe, as ketone bodies are produced in small concentrations without any alterations in blood pH.

It greatly differs from ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition where ketone bodies are produced in extremely larger concentrations, altering blood ph to acidotic a state.

Ketone bodies synthesized in the body can be easily utilized for energy production by heart, muscle tissue, and the kidneys.

Ketone bodies also can cross the blood-brain barrier to provide an alternative source of energy to the brain.


Keto diet has numerous health benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, Parkinson’s, Acne etc.

It also helps to reduce inflammation, cravings and it increases your energy, mental clarity, and sharpness.

However, it is important to note that the type of Fat you are eating matters. Most people see keto as an opportunity to start frying everything with terrible oils that contain trans fats which are not good for your body.

Please, the fact that it is stated on the container of a particular oil that it is low in cholesterol does not mean it doesn’t contain trans fat or hydrogenated fats.

For oils, you want to stick with healthy oils that contain medium chain triglycerides popularly known as MCTs and polyunsaturated fats such as Coconut oil, Unsalted butter, Palm oil, Olive oil, Avocado oil.

Nigerian ketogenic diet

What to avoid on keto!

Refined Sugar: Soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cakes, doughnuts, sausage rolls, meat pie, ice cream, candy, etc.
Grains or starches: Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
Fruits: All fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries.
Beans or legumes: Peas, No peanuts, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc. 
Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, carrots, parsnips, etc.
Low-fat or diet products: These are highly processed and often high in carbs
Unhealthy fats: Limit your intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
Alcohol: Due to their carb content, many alcoholic beverages can throw you out of ketosis.
Sugar-free diet foods: These are often high in sugar alcohols, which can affect ketone levels in some cases. These foods also tend to be highly processed.

To summarize in a Naija style: No fruits other than avocado, coconuts, and berries(2-3 is fine). No rice, oatmeal, yam, cocoyam, white/wheat flour, corn, cornstarch, potatoes(both Irish and Sweet), bread made from wheat, cracker biscuit, pasta, muffins, peanuts/groundnuts.

Nigerian keto Diet Foods

You should base the majority of your meals around these foods:

Meat: Red meat, organ meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey.
Fatty fish: Such as salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, tilapia, sardines etc.
Eggs: Look for pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.
Butter and cream: Look for unsalted butter as much as possible.
Cheese: Unprocessed cheese (cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella).
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, Melon, etc.
Healthy oils: Primarily extra virgin olive oil, Red palm oil, coconut oil, fish oil, and avocado oil.
Fruits: Avocado, Raspberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, Cranberries, Coconut, Lemon, Lime
Low-carb veggies: Pumpkin aka ugwu, lettuce, spinach, kale, tomatoes, onions, peppers, cucumber, cabbage, eggplant, okra, garden egg, asparagus, cauliflower, celery, Brussel sprouts etc.
Condiments: You can use salt, pepper, and various healthy herbs and spices such as oregano. rosemary, thyme, turmeric, vanilla essence etc.

Sweeteners: Xylitol, Erythritol. Stevia

Beverages: Coffee, Green tea, Black tea, Unsweetened Coconut milk, Unsweetened Almond milk, Plain Soda Water, Lemon/lime flavoured water, Bone broth etc

Others: Psyllium husk, Coconut flour, Garden egg flour, Flax seed flour, Almond flour

Healthy Snacks to eat on a Nigerian Ketogenic Diet

In case you get hungry between meals, here are some healthy, keto-approved snacks:

  • Fatty meat or fish
  • A handful of nuts or seeds
  • 1–2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 90% dark chocolate
  • A low-carb milkshake with almond milk, cocoa powder, and nut butter
  • Full-fat yogurt mixed with nut butter and cocoa powder
  • Strawberries and cream
  • Smaller portions of leftover meals

You still need to eat these meals in the right portionor you might end up not losing weight.

Nigerian ketogenic diet

Side effects of Keto Diet include:

Keto flu/Carb withdrawal symptoms: Although the ketogenic diet is safe for healthy people, there may be some initial side effects while your body adapts.

This is often referred to as the keto flu and is usually over within a few days.

Keto flu includes poor energy and mental function, increased hunger, sleep issues, nausea, digestive discomfort and decreased exercise performance.

Electrolyte imbalance

Enlarged liver

Kidney disease

Coronary artery disease as well as Stroke.

How to minimize the side effects of the Nigerian ketogenic diet

To minimize keto flu, you can try a regular low-carb diet for the first few weeks. This may teach your body to burn more fat before you completely eliminate carbs.

A ketogenic diet can also change the water and mineral balance of your body, so adding extra salt to your meals or taking mineral supplements can help.

For minerals, Most studies recommend taking 3,000–4,000 mg of sodium which is way over 1500 – 2300mg recommended by American heart association.

It is important to know that 1 teaspoon of salt contains 2300mg of Sodium so don’t overdo it with the salt.

Other minerals that you can incorporate are:

1,000 mg of potassium and 300 mg of magnesium per day to minimize the side effects of electrolyte imbalance.

These supplements are available for order on Amazon or Jumia.

But an easier and inexpensive way to go about it is to make bone broth.

Buy Biscuit bone from your local market and cook with a pinch of salt and natural spices.

You can also get some potassium and magnesium from your veggies.

In the beginning, it is important to eat until you’re full and avoid restricting calories too much.

Usually, a ketogenic diet causes weight loss without intentional calorie restriction.

At the same time, you don’t want to overeat because that might also result in you not losing weight.

The ketogenic diet can be a great option for people who are overweight, diabetic or looking to improve their metabolic health.

However, it is not for everybody. The following set of people should be careful with the Nigerian ketogenic diet!

Hypertensive patients.

While people have had lower blood pressure on keto, It’s mostly due to general weight loss.

For a hypertensive patient, your salt intake should be less than 1500mg daily and that may trigger other side effects of keto. 

The best diet for Hypertension according to dietary approach to stop Hypertension DASH is a Mediterranean-style diet.

A Mediterranean diet is a diet that’s rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fish, lean meat and low in salt.

A family history of sudden cardiac death or sudden unexplainable death.

A family history of kidney disease.

Hepatitis B Positive people. You already have something going on with your liver. Please don’t add another stressor that liver.

One day Nigerian Ketogenic Diet Timetable

What can you eat on keto diet in a day?


Bulletproof Coffee-1 Cup of brewed coffee, 2 tablespoons of grass-fed unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and stevia.


Cucumber pottage


Eggplant Swallow + Egusi


Greek yogurt + Almond cookies

Nigerian ketogenic diet

For a well structured personalized meal plan, please go here

Keto is one of the ways to lose weight. It’s not the only way and as with any diet, it will only work if you are consistent and stick with it in the long term.

If you have tried Keto diet and you did not get the desired result you had in my mind, then you might want to give intermittent fasting or being in a caloric deficit a try.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *