The Ketogenic Diet: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide to Keto
Everyone is talking of the Keto diet these days as the surest way to lose the extra pounds. But, before you dive headlong into it, you need to know more about it and see whether it will work for you. The Keto diet is essentially a high-fat, low-carb diet that promises many health benefits.
How does the Keto diet work?
When you start off yourself on the Keto diet, you will have to drastically cut down on your carbohydrate intake. This is replaced by fat and the body enters what is called a “ketosis” stage. At this stage, the body can become efficient in burning fat instead of carbs to release energy. Fat is converted into ketones that are stored inside the liver and used for providing energy to the brain. Besides helping you lose weight, diet lovers are opting for the diet because of its benefits for treating cancers, epilepsy, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, etc.
What are the common types of Keto diets?
Keto diets can also be of different types, like the Standard Ketogenic Diet which is low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-proteins diet, or the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet which entails periods of very high carb re-feeds (5 Ketogenic days) followed by two high-carb days. Other types are High-protein Ketogenic diet, which is like the standard Keto diet, only with more proteins. Targeted Ketogenic Diet lets you add carbohydrates when you work out. The Cyclical and Targeted Keto diets are primarily followed by athletes while the Standard and High Protein ones are followed by regular dieters.
How ketosis develops:
Ketosis is essentially a metabolic stage where the body starts to use fats instead of burning carbohydrates. This happens because your body doesn’t get much carbs and its glucose supply depletes. Glucose/sugar is your body’s primary source of energy and to get energy, the body now starts to burn fat. A Keto diet is the simplest way to enter ketosis. Instead of consuming carbs, you replenish yourself with high protein products like eggs, fish, meat, or nuts. However, controlling protein intake is also vital since when it is ingested in very high amounts, it can get converted into glucose which slows down ketosis. If you can do intermittent fasting, the body can enter ketosis quicker. When you start to experience symptoms like dry mouth, thirst, frequent urge to urinate, and reduced appetite, you can be certain you have attained ketosis.
Dieters are opting for the Keto diet since it helps them lose a whole lot of weight in record time. Research proves that the Keto diet is almost as effective as any low-fat diet. Moreover, it is filling and you will not have to worry about calories or tracking what you eat. The diet also reduces triglyceride levels and diastolic blood pressure. Losing body fat increases ketones in the body and reduces blood sugar levels.
Since the diet helps you to shed the excess fat, it can help treat diabetes which is typically linked to excess fat. Studies have also shown that the diet enhances insulin sensitivity by almost 75%. So, people with conditions like pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes will find this diet beneficial for managing their conditions.
Besides weight loss and help in managing diabetes, the Keto diet can treat neurological conditions like epilepsy. It can improve risk factors such as good cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure, and body fat. The diet is also being researched for its benefits on people suffering from cancers. It is being recommended for reducing progression and symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.