The importance of ketogenic dieting is one which has been in existence for many years. It is a tested and trusted means of losing weight while improving the overall health and well-being of the individual. Traditionally, when people embark on a weight loss program, the logical process is to reduce their fat intake, hoping to escape the adverse effects of cholesterol and other fat-related issues. The ketogenic diet, however, debunks this logic, and according to a recent study, people on a ketogenic diet lost over two times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet, also known as a keto diet is simply a diet which is low in carbohydrate, high in fat, and contains moderate protein content. The keto diet was originally designed to fight epilepsy and the astounding results engendered research which showed that the keto diet offers several benefits including weight loss and improved overall health. Our body is designed to be an efficient fat burner as opposed to a sugar burner, and this is seminal to the concept of the keto diet. The low carb consumption and high fat intake cause the body to go into a metabolic state known as ketosis.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a natural state which occurs as a result of a reduction in carb intake. Naturally, when we consume carbohydrates, our body converts it into glucose, and it is used as fuel. That is why we feel the need to consume soda or a candy bar when we feel enervated. When the body uses up this available glucose, it causes us to feel as tired as we felt and there is a need to replenish our reserve. When ketosis occurs, our liver breaks down available fat cells into fatty acids and ketones and this, in turn, fuels our body.
How does Ketogenic diet work?
As we have seen, the aim of the keto diet is to starve your body of carbohydrates, which produce glucose, and cause the fat cells in your body to be converted to ketones; an excellent alternative source of energy. You might ask why we are trying to eliminate fat by consuming more fat. The reason is due to the low satiating span of carbohydrates. Insulin is a hormone which enables the flow of glucose through your body. This hormone also prevents fat from being released. On a keto diet, your glucose level drops, and since your body is in a perpetual state of low carb consumption, there is no need for insulin to hinder the release of fat cells.
Once the body becomes keto-adapted, it switched from glucose to fat as its primary source of fuel. This enhances the body’s ability to increase fat breakdown and oxidation which has immense benefits. It is believed that our ancestors were in ketosis for extended periods, more so during winter, when food rich in carbohydrate was scarce, and the meat was readily available.
What do I consume on a Keto Diet?
This form of diet is not one which forces you to imbibe tasteless and tacky food all in the name of keeping fit. Many of the recommended meals in a keto diet are ones you readily enjoy. Since the watchword in a keto diet is to reduce carb intake and increase fat consumption with a moderate amount of protein, the general caloric routine is over 75% fat, 20% protein and less than 5% carbs. It would be advantageous to reduce your carb intake to as low as 20g per day. Foods like eggs, bacon, butter, a variety of meat, fish and seafood, oils, vegetables, chia seeds, flaxseeds, berries, and the likes are to be embraced. Food such as Bread, Pasta, Rice, Noodles, Cereals, Pastries, and Sweets should, however, be avoided.
Proven Health Benefits of a Keto Diet.
Appetite Control. Undoubtedly, hunger is concomitant with dieting; this is why many people who start a diet eventually feel miserable and decide to give up. Researchers have assiduously carried out studies which show that people who cut carbs from their diet and eat more fat end up consuming much fewer calories. This is because glucose; gotten from carbs satisfies you for a short span while fat sates your appetite for a longer period. It is a safe deduction that when you embrace a keto diet, there is no fear of dropping out due to the miserable feeling that comes with hunger.
Helps to Lose the Fat which matters. In the body, not all fat is the same. The location of the storage of that fat determines its deleterious or salutary effect on the overall health. We have visceral fat (abdominal cavity) and subcutaneous fat (under the skin). The former is that which stays around the vital organs, and it causes inflammation and insulin resistance. Keto diets are very effective at reducing the harmful abdominal fat, and embracing a keto lifestyle ultimately reduces the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Increases the Cholesterol which matters. Contrary to popular opinion, some cholesterol is good for the body. High-density Lipoprotein (HDL) is one of those, its misnomer; cholesterol is as a result of its job. It carries cholesterol away from the body to the liver, where it can be reused or excreted. Keto diet has a direct influence on the increase in HDL levels in the body and increased HDL levels lower the risk of heart disease.
Therapy for Several Brain Disorders. As earlier stated, the ketogenic diet is used to treat epilepsy. Ketones are a preferred fuel source for the brain and also for the cardiac tissue. Since its inception, keto diet has been extended to other conditions such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and even Parkinson’s.
Blood Sugar Control. As earlier stated, carbs increase our glucose levels, levels which drop as rapid as they rise. When you embark on a keto diet, it keeps your blood sugar level low and constant, and this eliminates the sudden insulin spike associated with carb-heavy diet. A keto diet inadvertently creates an environment which limits fat storage within our body and enhances fat lipolysis.
This is an ultimate guide to give you well-researched benefits of a keto diet and also ensure you get the best out of your keto diet.