Short for ketogenic diet, the keto diet is an eating plan that focuses on the reduction of carbohydrate-rich foods, and opts instead to consume foods that are high in fat and/or protein. This eating routine is the most popular diet nowadays, much like the South Beach Diet was in the early 00’s.
Our bodies need fuel that it can convert to energy that we can use to do our day to day functions. Our bodies usually metabolize carbohydrates as its main source of energy, but the keto diet forces the body to utilize other energy sources. Now, the keto diet was originally developed to help people who were suffering from seizures by encouraging your body to undergo ketosis. But because of the way the diet was developed, people noticed that they were losing weight, and since then its popularity has spread worldwide.
Ketosis may sound like a dangerous and harmful process, but this is actually a myth. Ketosis is a metabolic state that our body undergoes when certain conditions are met. In this case, your body needs to have a lack of glucose to turn into energy. Because of the lack of carbs in your body, your body then enters ketosis and starts to use your fat stores as a source of energy. The energy your body produces during ketosis is not glucose, but rather ketones or ketone bodies. These ketones are then used by the body as an alternative to glucose.
This process is what makes the keto diet a good way to help use up the stored fats in our bodies.
Benefits of a keto diet
The keto diet is mainly being used by the general public as an eating plan to manage weight or help increase weight loss. But apart from weight loss, the keto diet helps with a number of things.
People who are prone to seizures can benefit a lot from going on a ketogenic diet. This is because gut microbiota undergo a significant alteration when on the keto diet. This change in the gut ecosystem can help with epilepsy.
Individuals with type 2 diabetes are also able to receive a number of keto diet benefits. The loss of excess fat, metabolic changes, and increased sensitivity for insulin are all closely linked from reducing carbohydrate intake and instead eating more foods that are rich in fat and protein.
Keto diet myths
There are a number of reservations that people usually have with going on a keto diet that are baseless and not at all true. One of these is that ketosis, which is the process that keto diets are based on, can be life-threatening. The process they are actually referring to is ketoacidosis, which causes the body’s blood becomes very acidic. This is commonly seen among individuals with diabetes.
Another myth about ketogenic diets is that you can eat any type of fat you want. Most nutritionists and dieticians actually advise against consuming foods rich in saturated fats. Instead, to optimize weight loss and avoid complications brought about by eating unhealthy fats, they advise sticking to unsaturated fats like avocados, nuts, fish, and olive oil.
Like all diets, the ketogenic diet should be treated as a part of a regimen when it comes to weight loss. Relying entirely on the keto diet can be unhealthy. With regular exercise and engaging in a healthy lifestyle, the keto diet can be a way to better health overall.