Last Updated on December 17, 2020 by Smart Life Picks
What exactly is a ketogenic diet?
You’ve probably heard about the keto diet and its benefits. It’s the newest hype. All the papers are writing about it and the interest online is just exploding.
So what is the keto diet? What does keto even mean and how is it done? Today you will learn all you need to know.
First of all let’s get this out of the way.
What does the word “keto” mean?
Our body can run on two different fuels. One is sugar from carbohydrates in the food we eat which is what most people today primarily use and the other fuel is fat.
The keto diet is a very low-carb diet. So low in carbs that the body has to switch to mainly using fat for fuel and using for example fat from real foods like eggs, meat, avocados, butter, olive oil, nuts, etc.
Even the brain can become fueled by fat. When the body is out of sugar, fat is converted in the liver into energy molecules called ketones that fuel the brain.
To recap, the keto diet recommends a diet that is low on carbs, moderate on protein, and high in fat.
And the diet that results in this is called ketogenic, meaning it produces ketones. And that’s why the diet is called the keto diet.
So with a low on carbs, moderate on protein and high in fat, the idea is to fine-tune nutritional intake in order to send the body into the metabolic ketosis. Being fueled mostly by fat is a state called “ketosis”.
When the body enters a state of ketosis, it no longer has stores of glycogen sugar to fuel its energy needs.
With sugar out of the way, the body has no choice but to tap its stores of fat to get by. The liver converts fat reserves into ketones to present to the body as an energy source. This is why the keto program is a good way to lose fat.
The keto diet has many benefits including the fact that you become a fat-burning machine! Who will not love this!
It’s perfect for weight loss without hunger burning fat 24/7 even when you’re sleeping. Because it gives you tons of energy, you’ll basically never run out. This is why the keto diet has become super popular in the last few years. However Keto is actually not entirely new.
Old proven remedy
The foundation of keto is something old. It’s a strict low-carb diet, it’s a gluten-free diet, it’s similar to the paleo diet and it’s very close to the old and well-known Atkins diet.
The basic idea is super simple and based on real foods. You simply avoid most carbohydrates like sugar, processed junk food, bread, pasta, rice etc. And instead you eat meat, fish, eggs, vegetables and natural fats like butter.
What is different with keto is that it’s a supercharged low-carb diet where you can ensure you get the maximum benefits. You are in the driving seat of your weight loss efforts.
We’ll get to the details later.
Keto is a supercharged version of an old idea. Similar diets have been tried for decades, even centuries. These similar diets keep returning more popular than ever because they work. And this could be due to the fact that our ancestors did not eat refined carbohydrates or sugar like we do today, so our bodies may not be adapted to those foods.
Not a temporary fix
Modern science proves that it works. On a keto diet most people can lose excess weight without hunger and a number of health issues tend to improve. Most importantly a keto diet is not just used as a temporary fix.
Great long term lifestyle
Many people enjoy it as a long term lifestyle. Not just for weight loss, but for long-term health and well-being and staying fit year-round.
Many people feel:
- full of mental clarity and
- have stable blood sugar levels.
Most of the:
- hunger disappears,
- cravings for sweets foods are reduced,
- so there’s no need to snack all the time anymore.
- People save time by being happy with fewer meals
- They eat delicious food whenever they’re hungry and
- there’s not even any need to count calories.
Most people feel so satiated on keto that they can eat when they’re hungry and still eat less and lose excess weight.
They don’t even have to exercise. Now of course some exercise is good for you for health and feeling your best, but it’s not required for weight loss and certainly not on keto.
9 Benefits of the keto diet
Unlike other diets that offer practitioners a weight loss benefit and little else, the keto diet comes with several benefits.
1. Weight loss is the number one benefit of the Keto diet
Without a doubt, weight loss is the primary goal of the keto diet. It works because it makes the body look to its fat reserves to power its metabolism. It can be interesting to go deeper into the process, however.
When the body is deprived of carbs, it enters a state of ketosis. Blood sugar and insulin levels fall when that happens. As the body taps the energy in fat cells, they release considerable quantities of water, making for some great weight loss. The fat cells are then able to enter the bloodstream and make their way to the liver, where they are turned into ketones for energy processing. As long as your diet allows you to stay in a caloric deficit, you get to enjoy the weight loss benefits of the keto diet.
2. It takes the edge off your appetite
When your diet isn’t heavy on carbs, you’ll find that you don’t crave as much food as before. Many people who get on the keto diet are able to fast most of the day, and only eat at mealtimes. They are simply not as hungry as before.
3. Keto diet Improves ability to focus
When you choose a regular diet that puts carbs into the body, your brain has to deal with the rise and fall in sugar levels that happens as a result. Inconsistent energy levels can make it hard for the brain to focus. With the keto diet, however, the energy source is constant and consistent. The brain is better able to stay focused.
4. You feel more energetic
When you are on a regular diet, your body is always on the verge of running out of energy. You need to constantly eat and refuel. With a keto diet, however, the body taps its fat reserves, a nearly unending energy source. The body, then, is able to maintain constant energy levels throughout the day. The result is, you end up feeling a lot more energetic.
5. It helps you fight diabetes
When you suffer from Type II diabetes, your body experiences high levels of insulin. Since the keto diet takes excess sugar from your diet, it helps stabilize HbA1c counts, and reverse Type II diabetes.
6. You get improved levels of good cholesterol
HDL cholesterol helps get rid of the body’s bad cholesterol reserves. When you’re on keto, your body’s triglyceride levels fall and your HDL cholesterol levels rise.
7. You get better blood pressure
When you’re on the keto diet, it drops your blood pressure. Many people on the keto diet find that they are able to stop taking blood pressure medicine altogether.
The keto diet can change a person’s life. It isn’t a difficult diet to get on, either. There are plenty of great recipes for the keto diet. All it takes is the willingness to give it a shot.
8. Reducing risk of certain cancers is another benefit of keto diet
Researchers have examined the effects of the ketogenic diet in helping prevent or even treat certain cancers.
One study found that the ketogenic diet may be a safe and suitable complementary treatment to use alongside chemotherapy and radiation therapy in people with certain cancers. This is because it would cause more oxidative stress in cancer cells than in normal cells, causing them to die.
A more recent study from 2018 suggests that because the ketogenic diet reduces blood sugar, it could also lower the risk of insulin complications.
Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar that may have links to some cancers.
9. Improves acne
There are different causes of acne and may have links to diet and blood sugar in some people.
Eating a diet high in processed and refined carbohydrates may alter the balance of gut bacteria and cause blood sugar to rise and fall significantly, both of which can adversely affect skin health.
Keto which limits your carbohydrate intake could reduce acne symptoms and a 2012 study, confirms that by decreasing carb intake, a ketogenic diet could reduce acne symptoms in some people.
In conclusion if you struggling with weight loss, high blood pressure., diabetes type II, low energy and struggling to focus I will recommend you try keto.