The Ketogenic diet has been in existence for almost a century. It was originally used to treat adults and children who suffered from epilepsy. Since this diet increased their ketone levels in the blood, it causes fewer epileptic seizures in them. Today, however, its scope extends to weight loss also.
Short for Ketogenic, the Keto diet helps draw energy from the food you eat. Here, by eating more fat and fewer carbs, your body goes into ketosis, a condition during which your body burns fat for fuel rather than carbs.
When the body cannot derive the glucose it requires carbs, the liver makes ketones using the food present in the stomach. By burning ketones for energy instead of glucose, inflammation in the body is reduced and this stimulates weight loss.
Health benefits of Keto: The Keto diet brings a lot of health benefits, such as:
- It burns fat: On this diet, you can lose a significant amount of weight as ketones suppress the hunger hormone ghrelin from acting. Instead, it increases cholecystokinin (CCK) levels, which gives you a feeling of fullness. By eating less, the body has no option but to use some of its fat reserves for energy.
- It reduces inflammation: This diet reduces body inflammation, so it protects the body against cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
- It provides the brain with energy: Ketones provide the brain with about 70% of the energy it needs. Apart from this, fats also nourish the brain and strengthen it. Since the brain comprises 60% fat, it needs a huge reserve of good fats to make it function optimally. Omega-3s & other vital fatty acids help with developing and nourishing the brain.
- It enhances energy: Due to the metabolic state, ketosis, the brain generates mitochondria that give more energy to your cells.
- It reduces blood sugar: This diet helps reduce blood sugar and normalize insulin levels. In the long run, therefore, one may be able to cure or reverse diabetes.
What the Keto diet contains
This diet is divided into fats (75% of your calorie intake per day), protein (20%) and a few carbs (5%). On this diet, you are permitted to eat in small portions the following foods: meat, vegetables, fish, eggs and beneficial fats, berries, cheese, avocados, and condiments. You should avoid grains, sugary foods, beans, legumes, tubers, root vegetables, and alcohol.
Types of Keto diets:
There are four main types of Keto diets:
- Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): This diet is low in carbs (5%), high in fats (75%) and has a moderate protein content (20%).
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): On this diet, you would have to eat Keto foods on five days, followed by a high carb diet on two days.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): Here, you eat fewer carbs during your intense workouts and follow it up by eating low carbs later.
- High-protein Ketogenic Diet: In this version of the Keto diet, you eat more protein in this ratio: Fats (60%): Protein (35%): Carbs (5%).
So, this is the Keto diet how it works. It is great for those who are obese or diabetic but perhaps may not suit athletes or anyone wanting to add more muscle. Of course, as with other diets, you can get the best results from it if you stick with it for long.