What is keto or ketogenic diet?
Keto diet is low carb diet in which liver produces ketones which the body uses as the fuel and energy. It is also known as ketogenic diet or keto diet. This diet basically includes high fat, low carb diet. Any diets or programs should be started with the consultation of your doctor.
In keto diet, if a person consumes less carbohydrates and moderate amount of protein and mainly fats then ketone molecules are produced. These molecules are then used by the body for energy.
To further understand the mechanism we need how the food is used in more common language than scientific. When you consume carbohydrates or carbs as known commonly, it gets converted into glucose and the excessive energy that is excessive glucose is stored in the body as body fat. Insulin is used to process glucose in the blood. This way the process is carried out every day with every meal. Thus accumulating fat in the body that is unhealthy and harmful for our heart and other organs.
As we generally consume more of carbohydrates, the glucose is readily available for burning while maintaining bodily functions hence the fat that is stored is not required to be used. Some part of fats is used in some processes but not significant.
However, if carbohydrate supply is limited the body gets into the survival mode, for example when we fast and start burning up the fat reserves. During this state the body produces ketones, these ketones are produced by the breakdown of fat in the liver. This fat is converted into energy that is free of sugar spikes thus improving some body functions as compared to carbohydrate-rich diet.
We die when the body does not get energy, but the source of energy matters which decides the quality of that energy. So fasting a few days (depends on person to person physiology) may start burning fat reserves but is not recommended as this is not the correct way to diet or lose weight. It is the step by step process and needs proper diet charts and guidance for you to benefit from ketogenic diet.
Read more about benefits of Ghee as grass fed Ghee is the best source of fat that one can use in keto diet.
The fat that is broken down in ketone bodies is used as energy. Different organs need different levels of energy. Glucose is primary fuel for brain and the body’s processes. Among organs of the body, brain requires the highest amount of energy. These ketones are used by the brain as energy. Thus ketones replace glucose as the primary source of the energy. Brain function has been reported to improve in some studies in keto diet.
Some people starve themselves for keto diet. Starvation of the body is not the right way to start ketogenic diet. Instead decrease the portion size of the carbs or carbohydrates that you consume and increase the intake of healthy fats and moderate protein size in your daily food.
Ketogenic diet was popular in 1920’s and 1930’s and was used to treat epilepsy. The less strict version of keto diet like Atkins is popular and also effective. You can vary the way keto diet after consulting with your dietician.
There are always side effects of any diet. The most adverse effects includes constipation and kidney stones when there is fluid restrictions. Fluids should not be limited in this diet and should be modified accordingly.
Weight loss: When the body burns fat as the main source of energy it decrease the fat reserves and thus aid in fat loss. Many people have lost a lot of weight with keto diet. I know that the web is filled with all kind of information but I would recommend you to go and see your dietician or nutritionist if you are serious about ketogenic diet. This should not be that fad diet that everyone follows like a fashion change but if you are serious about the benefits of keto diet, take a professional opinion.
Controls blood sugar: The sugar levels in the blood is lower due to the type of the food you consume. It is also suggested that this manages and prevent diabetes as compared to other diets.
Note: If you are on some kind of medications or suffer from any condition do not start any programs or diets without consulting your doctor first.
Mental focus: Ketones are a great source of energy without sugar levels. In some studies, it has shown to improve the mental focus of people.
Insulin levels: Insulin levels are optimized if the keto diet includes omega-3 fatty acids. There is less sugar in the blood from carbohydrates and thus insulin is better regulated.
There are so many other benefits like acne control, cholesterol control, blood pressure normalization and so on.
Things to Avoid in keto diet
The carbs to be consumed should be less than 100 grams unless specified by your dietician or doctor. Some of the common foods and drinks that you can avoid are soda, potatoes, beer, rice, pasta, chocolate, candy, donuts and other carb-rich foods.
Still, you can eat some carb but keep them under or equal to the recommended levels.
What to Eat in Keto Diet
You should consume more healthy fats like cheese, ghee, eggs, avocados, non-starchy vegetables like spinach, turnip, collards, mustard, arugula, broccoli, fennel, cucumber, leafy greens and so on. Check out the benefits of coconut oil.
Water, coffee without sugar and Full-fat cow’s milk. Animal fat should be grass fed which is the best type of fat.
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