How Does The Keto Diet Work
The Ketogenic or Keto diet is a form of dieting where you eat high fats and low carbs and moderate amounts of protein. Its aim is to deplete the body of it’s glycogen reserves. Once this happens the body has to use fat and protein for energy. This causes the body to undergo ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where your liver produces a lot of ketones as an alternative fuel source for the brain. The benefits of a keto diet have gained in popularity in recent years but the diet was in fact devised in the early part of the 20th Century by Dr Russell Wilder to treat patients with epilepsy. It was very successful and is still used for that purpose today.
Can You Lose Weight On The Ketogenic Diet?
Several studies have shown that people on a high fat, low carb diet burn fat at a faster rate than those with a high carb, low fat diet. This is aided by the lower insulin levels caused by the low carb ketogenic diet, helping to remove excess water from the body.
When you are experiencing ketosis, your hunger levels are usually reduced, which helps you control your calorie intake, and leads to weight loss. Low carb diets have also been found to reduce the visceral fat which is stored in your abdominal cavity. This hidden fat has major health implications. Obviously you still need to watch how many calories you are eating. If you are eating way more calories than you need, you will not lose weight.
Benefits Of Keto Diet On Brain Function
The ketones produced from a low carb diet are more efficient than glucose as a source of energy.. They have been found to improve cognitive impairment and help with diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The diet is still used for it’s original purpose to treat epilepsy.
The high-fat aspect of the diet helps in the balance of essential fats such as omega 3 and omega 6 which are vital for optimal brain function. Additionally, ketosis is able to boost mitochondria production and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) within the brain’s memory cells. This has a role in improving mental performance and clarity.
Does The Keto Diet Reduce The Risk Of Chronic Disease?
One of the health benefits of the keto diet is that it can boost the body’s defence against a number of health conditions. Reduction of inflammation, and improved mitochondrial function helps mitigate the risk of developing several chronic diseases. Cancer cells typically possess abnormal mitochondria, which need an increased supply of glycogen. These abnormal mitochondria can’t use ketones for energy so tumour growth is slowed. Normal cells can use ketones.
The reduction of sugar in the diet can also alleviate and protect against Type II Diabetes. In addition it can also decrease acne breakouts and give clearer skin.
Effect and Benefits Of Ketogenic Diet On Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a leading cause of deaths worldwide. It has been proven that when it comes to reducing blood pressure, a low carb diet is more effective than a low fat diet.
When you combine the weight loss that comes from a ketogenic diet with the reduction in blood pressure you have the recipe for improved cardiovascular health, one of the major benefits of a keto diet.
Is The Keto Diet Safe?
When people are searching for a way to lose weight they may read about the benefits of a Keto diet plan but have some questions. It’s a major change in eating habits for most people. Some even ask “Is the Keto diet safe?” or “Are there any dangers with a Keto diet?”
One problem that can occur in the initial stages is something called “Keto Flu”. This is caused in the first week because your body is detoxing itself of carbohydrates. This can leave you feeling a bit below par (hence it being likened to flu). It should only last a few days and just indicates that your body is changing for the better.
There are 3 important things you can do to limit the chance of suffering with Keto Flu.
- Drink plenty of water
- Add more salt to your meals
- Eat more fats
These 3 things will also help limit the problem of bad breath which is another side effect of the Keto diet in the early stages. this is because the ketones produced can have an acetone type smell often likened to pear drops.
Keto Recipes – What To Eat, What Foods Are Allowed
Fats and oils
Omega 3 fatty acids from fish such as tuna, shellfish, and
Monounsaturated fats such as egg yolks, avocado, and butter
Vegetable oils such as olive oil, coconut oil
Avoid starchy vegetables that are high in carbs like corn, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, and winter squash.
Other vegetables are allowed.
Most cheeses including soft, hard and full fat cottage cheese
Unsweetened whole milk yogurt in limited quantities because it is a little high in carbs
Full fat sour cream and heavy whipping cream
Nuts and Seeds
In moderation and preferably almonds, macadamias, pecans, and walnuts as these are lower in carbs than other nuts.
Nut flours like almond flour can be used for baking
Fish, Seafood and Shellfish
Grass fed meat
Your body will not retain as much water as usual. It’s important to drink plenty of water. Also consume more salt than usual as electrolytes like sodium will be flushed out with the water you are excreting.
Foods To Avoid On A Keto Diet
Avoid all grains so say goodbye to bread. crackers, cookies, pizzas and pasta
Avoid tropical fruits such as bananas, pineapples, mango
papaya and fruit juice
Avoid sweet drinks like beer and sweet wine
The biggest challenge is to find Keto recipes that you enjoy so that you will stick to the diet. When you start you may need some help to choose a plan that is customised to your taste and lifestyle. Non meat eaters may ask is the keto diet suitable for vegetarians? The answer is that it is. The main consideration is finding a protein source that is allowed and that you enjoy.
Take the complimentary quiz to get our personalized recommendations for a customised Keto plan for you
This form of Ketogenic dieting can have a positive impact on your overall health and bodily function. It is not suitable for a quick fix diet but needs to be adopted as a lifestyle change. Once you find out how it can fit in to your lifestyle you will see there are many benefits of a Keto diet.