What is Ketogenic Diet?
Keto Diet, which derives its name from ‘ketosis’, has become quite popular in the past years but most of us do not know what it means. Is it simply a low-carb diet or is there more to it?
The goal of the keto diet is to send the body into ketosis, a state where the body burns fat in absence of glucose. Since glucose comes from carbs, keto diet dictates taking 60% of calorie intake from fat and limiting the carb intake to a minimum. Does it work? If you have a medical condition it might work, but we recommend that you follow this diet with guidance from a specialist or a doctor. If you just want to lose some weight? Maybe you should look for healthier options than keto diet.
How does keto diet work?
As you might know, the main source of energy for the body is carbohydrates, or in its simplest form: glucose. When the body cannot find enough glucose storage, it starts burning fat and as a last resort, protein. Keto diet aims to limit carb intake in order for the body to start burning fat.
Why keto diet?
Keto diet is not just another diet fad as the mainstream media wants us to believe but it should only be assigned by a professional such as a doctor.
Which diseases are treated with keto diet?
Keto diet in reality is a medical treatment. It is used in treatments of neurological diseases or other diseases and conditions such as diabetes, hypertension. Recently it has been pushed by mainstream media as a diet type but we believe it can be dangerous if followed without a medical guidance.
What does keto diet do to metabolism?
The claim that keto diet improves metabolism stems from the fact that it lowers the blood insulin levels. Because the diet limits the carb intake drastically, insulin levels in the blood decrease. As a result a diabetes patient who is having a hard time losing weight might see faster results with keto.
Does keto diet prevent obesity?
Obesity is a condition where the body fat percentage is much higher than healthy levels. (higher than 25% in men; 30%in women) However, obesity is not as simple as this, it is a disease with many underlying problems. Although some doctors might see fit to prescribe keto diet to their obese patients, it is not healthy for most overweight individuals to limit their carb intake to 75 grams a day. Why?
1. In the keto diet you need to take out many healthy food groups such as fruit, vegetables, legumes which help body function in a healthy manner.
2. When you let go of this diet eventually and it is inevitable that you will want to at some point, it is probable that you will have a higher-than-normal appetite for carbs.
3. A healthy person that wants to lose weight might disrupt their metabolism and cause their kidneys and liver to overwork due to all that fat.
4. In the long run serious problems might occur such as kidney failure or osteoporosis.
Do not fear healthy fat, lower your carb intake but
do not go ‘keto’ all the way!
It is the case for most people to lose weight when they go low card but low carb and keto are two different things. Consuming low amount of carbs might cause weight loss in the short run but this may be short lived. Healthy carbs such as those from fruit, vegetables and legumes is good for you and will not prevent you from losing weight in the long run.
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- Brehm BJ1, Seeley RJ, Daniels SR, D'Alessio DA., A randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women., J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Apr;88(4):1617-23.
- Dyson PA1, Beatty S, Matthews DR. A low-carbohydrate diet is more effective in reducing body weight than healthy eating in both diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. Diabet Med. 2007 Dec;24(12):1430-5. Epub 2007 Oct 29.
- Sumithran P1, Prendergast LA, Delbridge E, Purcell K, Shulkes A, Kriketos A, Proietto J., Ketosis and appetite-mediating nutrients and hormones after weight loss., Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jul;67(7):759-64.