What is the Keto diet?
Keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that is taken to trigger ketosis in the body. It involves taking high amounts of fat, going moderate on proteins and drastically reducing carb intake. The keto diet is also known as low carb, ketogenic or low carb high-fat diet. It is the latest diet craze among celebrities and is touted for helping in weight loss, greater mental clarity and increased energy among other health benefits.
The Keto diet can be classified into several groups, including;
* Standard ketogenic diet- A high-fat, moderate protein and low-carb diet.
* Cyclical ketogenic diet- A keto diet with periods of high-carb refeeds, e.g., seven days on a keto diet followed by three days of high-carb intake.
* Targeted ketogenic diet- A diet that allows one to take carbs around their workouts.
* High-protein ketogenic diet- It is similar to the standard ketogenic diet, only it includes more proteins.
The standard ketogenic diet is the most researched and in turn the most recommended version. The cyclical and targeted versions are more advanced keto diets that are yet to be studied extensively. They are mainly taken by athletes and bodybuilders.
How does the keto diet work?
When you take high-carb food, the body produces glucose and insulin. Under normal conditions, glucose is chosen over other energy sources because it’s the simplest molecule the human body can convert and use as energy. The body produces insulin to process glucose as it goes around the body in the bloodstream.
Since the body is using glucose as the primary energy source, fats are stored as they are not needed.
A keto diet, on the other hand, rejects carbs in favor of fats. A reduction of carbs in the body initiates ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state which the body gets into to help us survive with little food. The body becomes very efficient at burning fat for energy. During this natural process, the body produces ketones from the breakdown of fats in the liver.
The human body is incredibly adaptive to what you ingest. If you take lots of fats and cut off carbohydrates, the body begins to burn ketones as its primary source of energy.
Benefits of the Keto diet
When the liver burns ketones for energy production, the body attains optimal ketone levels. Optimal ketone levels promote weight loss as well as significant mental, physical and health benefits. Below are some benefits of the keto diet.
1. An effective way to lose weight while lowering risk factor for disease- Studies suggest that the keto diet is superior to the popular low-fat diet when it comes to weight loss.
2. The keto diet accelerates fat loss and boosts insulin sensitivity which causes significant health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes.
3. The keto diet was invented for the treatment of neurological conditions like epilepsy. Research has shown that this diet is beneficial to a variety of health conditions, including; cancer, heart disease, acne, Parkinson’s disease, brain injuries, and others.
Virtually anyone can safely benefit from taking a keto diet. However, you might experience initial side effects before your body adapts. How fast you get into a ketosis state depends on how restrictive you are on your carbs.