A Thorough Introduction To Keto Diet
The journey towards weight loss, especially losing body fat is always a challenging one - both physically and mentally. People often commit the mistake of starving themselves to lose weight, however, this practice might be more damaging than being beneficial.
The key to weight loss is following a proper diet plan that provides all the nutrients you need in the right amount. A diet of this sort that picked up a lot of people’s interests, is the ketogenic diet. It is the type of diet that makes weight loss ten times easier for you.
In this article, you’ll learn about:
- What is a Ketogenic Diet?
- What is Ketosis?
- Different types of Keto Diet
- Benefits of Keto Diet
- Risks of Keto Diet
- Foods to Avoid
So, let’s get right into it!
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
"The Keto diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and low carb intake diet."
A normal diet consists of a high amount of carbs that prove to be the primary source of energy for the body. But on the contrary, a Ketogenic Diets or Keto Diet focuses on shifting the main energy reservoir to "Fats" instead of "Carbohydrates."
This phenomenon puts the body into ketosis and uses the ketone bodies for energy rather than using glycogen stores. This means that all of your meal plans will be keto-friendly containing a high amount of fats (mainly good fats) such as olive oil.
The protein intake is also moderated because, in high amounts, protein can be converted into glucose, slowing down the process of reaching ketosis. Some side effects of ketosis are thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, and a decrease in appetite.
What is Ketosis?
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in our bodies. Reducing the consumption of carbs and increasing the consumption of fat also switches the source of energy of our body. This puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
Ketosis is when the body becomes highly efficient in fat burning and uses fat for energy in the form of ketones in the liver, which then provide energy to our brain. When the body starts to burn fat and sugar reserves in your body, it results in significant and rapid weight loss..
Net Carbs in Keto Diet:
The majority of people count net carbs which means "Total carbs minus the fiber." In a keto diet, the fiber is not counted in your total carbohydrates as it is not digested.
Different Types of Keto Diet:
The keto diet isn't just a low carb high-fat diet, there are different ratios to this low carb diet as well. There are four types of the keto diet. The two main types are the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) and the High Protein Ketogenic Diet.
The other two types are the Cyclic Ketogenic Diet (CKD) and Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD). These are the less common types of the keto diet and are often used by bodybuilders or athletes.
- Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): It consists of approximately 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbs.
- High Protein Ketogenic Diet: Contains a higher percentage of protein. It contains 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
- Cyclic Ketogenic Diet (CKD): This type of keto diet includes one or two “cheat” days a week where you consume a high carb diet to restore your glycogen reserves.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): This version of the keto diet allows you to consume a slightly higher amount of carbs before a workout for a short boost in performance and energy.
Benefits of Keto Diet:
The reason the keto diet is so popular is because of its incredible health benefits like reducing the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, better insulin sensitivity, and reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease. Let’s take a look at what makes the keto diet so special!
Unlike a low-fat diet, the keto diet is most famous for its weight loss and health benefits. Research has shown that keto diets are effective for weight loss. In the state of ketosis, the body starts burning fat stores for energy, resulting in automatic weight loss.
A ketogenic diet may (Low carb diets) lower your insulin (fat storing hormone) levels significantly so you don’t store any more fat while burning fat simultaneously, making your body highly efficient at burning fat.
If you also work out regularly, you can lose weight even faster. You can even incorporate MCT oil into your keto meal to help you lower your insulin levels even further.
Type 2 Diabetes:
Studies have revealed that keto diets are actually an excellent alternative for type 2 diabetes treatment that is less reliant on medication. The reason is that the keto diet drains your glycogen storage that helps lower blood sugar levels and insulin as well. Since the keto diet has proven successful in treating type 2 diabetes, this means that it may even prevent type 2 diabetes.
The keto diet has long been used as a treatment for epilepsy in children. Although there are other treatments for epilepsy, they are mostly ineffective and highly dependent on medication.
It has been proven through research that the keto diet is an effective solution to controlling epilepsy that doesn’t rely on medication ineffective against difficult-to-treat epilepsy, especially in young children.
Risks Associated With Keto Diet:
However, along with the benefits, the keto diet also has some risks. This is the reason why the keto diet is not recommended by every dietician or doctor and controversial. Here are some risks that you should consider before switching to a keto diet.
Ketoacidosis is a life-threatening and serious complication in people with type 2 diabetes that increases blood acidity. Studies (1, 2) have shown that it is caused by taking an antidiabetic medicine SGLT2.
It is also possible for type 1 diabetes patients to get ketoacidosis due to dangerously low insulin levels resulting in extremely high ketone levels.
A few days into the keto diet, you’ll begin to experience what is known as keto flu. The symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and brain fog. This is because your body is switching from carb-rich foods to low carb foods, resulting in your body losing a lot of fluids.
This may result in frequent urination and dehydration, so make sure you drink enough water to prevent one or two of the symptoms. They will usually fade away after the first week.
A lack of nutrients and minerals can cause dizziness, cramps, and constipation. However, these are common and temporary side effects. Make sure that you are taking enough potassium, sodium, and other necessary supplements.
Foods to Eat On a Low Carb Diet:
Keto Diet may be a filling diet in terms of food choices, but keep in mind that there are still plenty of rules to follow. There are strict rules of a keto diet because eating plenty or too little fat, too much protein, or moderate carbohydrates can kick you out of ketosis. It is best to set a meal plan before beginning a keto diet. According to Harvard Health, here is a list of foods that you should eat after switching to a keto diet.
- Meat: Red meat, steak, ham, sausages, chicken, fish, lamb
- Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, bok choy, cauliflower, bell peppers, onions, garlic, cucumber, lettuce, mushrooms
- Fruits: Small portions of berries
- Healthy Oils: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, saturated fats
- Cheese: Unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, goat
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- Other: Dark Chocolate
The Final Takeaway
A Keto diet is best for weight loss, people with diabetes, and those who are looking to improve their metabolic health. However, it is less suitable for athletes looking to gain huge amounts of muscle and weight. A keto diet is not recommended to people with kidney issues, healthy children, and pregnant or breastfeeding women as shifts in nutrients may cause serious complications.
So let's get started and lose those extra pounds!
DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for informational purposes only, and although Reshape.Me strives to keep the information up to date and correct, it does not replace the advice of a healthcare practitioner. Be sure to consult a licensed medical professional if you require personalized support that may affect your health. Any reliance on this information is therefore strictly at your own risk.