The ketogenic diet should be understood as a form of diet in which carbohydrates and therefore sugars are almost entirely eliminated in favor of high-fat nutrition. Researches proved many benefits of the keto diet for health. This article will tell you everything about it.
The ketogenic diet is low-carb high-fat nutrition that is moderate in protein. In such a diet, your body is required to search for other fuel sources than carbs. If you eliminate glucose, then the body will use ketone bodies – cells that the liver produces, processing body fat.
The keto diet is relatively easy to follow if you can live without muffins, bread, apples, or honey. And unlike many other popular diets, it has many benefits except weight loss. In this article, we’ll give you the top six reasons to try the keto meal plan. Is keto safe? How to start a keto diet? Does it really work? Want to find the answers? Then let’s get started!
What is a keto diet?
The keto diet’s goal is to lose weight due to insufficient amounts of carbohydrates and, as a result, increased fat burning. But the ketogenic diet also plays a role in medicine – for example, it is used in the treatment of neurological diseases and epilepsy.
The human body produces energy from glucose and other carbohydrates converted to glucose. If you do not take any carbs for a long time, your body’s energy reserves are depleted, the body does not have enough glucose, and it rebuilds metabolism into so-called ketosis. It is “hunger metabolism,” in which the liver breaks down fatty acids into ketone bodies. They provide energy as a substitute for glucose for the body and especially for the brain.
There are different forms of the ketogenic diet. The instructions differ, in particular, by various information on the amount of fat in the daily energy requirement.
During a ketogenic diet, no more than 5% carbohydrates can be consumed. About 20-25% of the daily food should be protein and 75-80% fat. More restrictive forms of the ketogenic diet prescribe a dietary fat content of up to 90%.
Reasons to try the keto diet
On a keto diet, you are in ketosis, and it helps you lose weight. The body enters a state of ketosis when it lacks carbohydrates to use for fuel. Thus, it switches from burning sugar to burning fat to continue producing energy.
As a consequence, the body begins to produce ketones, which are obtained either from body fat or from the food you eat. The body is in the fat-burning mode, and naturally, following the strict keto diet plan, you can see that you are successfully losing excess weight without losing muscle mass.
Do not forget about keto supplements that can help you manage your nutrients during a diet. And learn more about the best exogenous ketones helping to enter ketosis state in the fastest way.
Another way the keto diet menu can help you lose weight is through appetite control. When you are in ketosis, the body produces ketones that nourish the body and brain.
Ketone production affects both appetite-suppressing hormones and appetite-stimulating hormones. In ketosis, ghrelin, the so-called hunger hormone, is suppressed, and you don’t feel like eating so much. This is what separates the keto diet from others, as usually, on any diet, you feel the exact opposite.
Another way that keto helps you control your appetite is by eating a lot of fat. The body does not absorb fat as quickly as carbohydrates, which makes you feel fuller longer.
And of course, don’t forget that if you don’t eat high-sugar foods, your blood sugar doesn’t jump up and down and force you to drag another muffin into your mouth once you’ve finished the first.
Traditional diets are often high in carbohydrates and sugar, causing insulin spikes. The rapid spike in insulin causes drowsiness, while the low-carb keto diet prevents it. It lowers blood sugar and stabilizes insulin levels. Simply put, if you do not eat carbohydrates and sugar – you do not feel energy swells from them.
Everyone knows the intense drowsiness after a heavy meal full of carbs. And if you also have to work after such a meal, it becomes incredibly difficult to concentrate. However, by consuming high-fat low-carb foods, you can forget about this condition forever.
Thus, by stabilizing insulin, you stabilize the amount of energy throughout the day. In our opinion, this is one of the main benefits of the keto diet.
Take control of type 2 diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body is unable to efficiently use sugar in the bloodstream. Type 2 diabetes occurs when insulin production is normal, but the body cannot deliver sugar to the cells. It is trying to solve this problem by producing more insulin to overcome this resistance. But in the end, the cells get tired.
At this point, insulin production decreases, leaving too much sugar in the blood. The keto diet helps in this situation so that you start using fat instead of sugar for energy. It does this effect by drastically reducing the number of carbohydrates in the diet. It happens because carbs are converted to blood sugar, which causes an insulin spike. Thus, by eliminating them, you also reduce the need for insulin. Easy, isn’t it?
It is widely known that a low carb diet can help you lose weight and manage type 2 diabetes. But can it help with mental activity?
We have already mentioned the spikes in blood sugar that occur when you eat carbs. These interruptions in the power supply make it difficult for the brain to maintain concentration over time.
While in ketosis, your brain uses ketones as fuel. They are a more stable source of fuel and allow you to improve your performance and focus. And yet your consciousness will not be clouded.
It is difficult to explain because by eating a certain way all your life and consuming a lot of carbohydrates, you do not even suspect that your mind is not working 100%. As you enter a state of ketosis and your body adapts to getting energy from fat, you will begin to notice a difference. It will be especially noticeable if you return to your usual high-carb diet for a couple of days and feel that it has become more difficult to concentrate again.
Increasing physical strength and endurance
Many athletes practice the keto diet for both competition preparation and routine workouts, whether you prefer yoga or bodybuilding, swimming, or boxing. Keto-friendly food allows the body to get more balanced energy levels. Carbohydrates, as we already know, give a spike and an equally dramatic breakdown, while ketones can provide more steady energy levels for a much longer period. The glucose stored in the muscles and liver is burned out quickly, while the fat stores can fuel your body during the longest marathon.
It usually takes five to seven days for the body to change its metabolism and reach a state of ketosis. In theory, you can use it for as long as you like. For many people, the ultimate goal is to lose weight. Therefore, the diet ends when the desired number appears on the scales.
Also, if you want to stick to the keto diet for a longer period, you should eat as varied as possible to not put your body at risk of nutritional deficiencies that threaten your health.
We hope this article has given you all the details you need to get started on a keto diet. We wish you success, no matter what your goal is. Be sure to share your experience of following the keto diet with us. What benefits of keto have you discovered?
Catherine Wiley is a healthy food enthusiast and fitness instructor from Dorking, UK. She’s been a lifelong student of health and enjoys staying active with her husband, 2 young children, and dog Bentley in the beautiful Surrey Hills countryside.