As the keto diet trend continues to grow, more people are wanting to know what it’s all about. Here are some things you should know if you plan on trying this diet: what foods you can eat, potential side effects and how it works in the body.
What is the Ketogenic Diet? The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate and moderate protein diet that produces ketones in your system. These ketones replace glucose as your body’s main source of energy and keep your system running smoothly even when there is little food available.
While not a new approach, the ketogenic diet has been gaining popularity in recent years due to a growing body of research regarding its possible health benefits.
It is essential to understand the mechanics of this diet before diving in head first. In this article, we'll cover the basics of what the Ketogenic diet is and how it can potentially help you lose weight and improve your health.
The Basics Of Ketogenic Dieting
Researchers observed that fasting helped reduce seizures in epilepsy patients in 1921. The diet focuses on keeping intake of carbohydrates low, thus forcing your body to use fat as a primary source of fuel rather than carbohydrates or glucose. This process produces ketones which produce a state of ketosis — hence the name Ketogenic diet! Over time, it's been observed that people on this diet tend to die less frequently from heart disease, cancer and other life-threatening conditions.
What Are Ketones?
How it works: When you consume high amounts of carbs, your body produces glucose as a way to store fat. Using the glucose stores from carbs, your body will use the excess glycogen to store fat. Read more about this process here.
Ketosis refers to a metabolic state characterized by elevated levels of ketones in the blood, while hepatic ketosis is when insulin levels are very low. An elevated level of ketones indicates that there's an insufficient supply of carbohydrates in the body and that the body is using its own reserves for energy (instead of sugar).
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
When you go on a keto diet, your body turns fat into ketones for energy instead of glucose. When you run out of your own fat, you turn to your stored fat in your liver and muscles and convert that into more energy-boosting ketones. This is known as entering ketosis.
When you eat something high in carbs like sugar or bread, it causes blood sugar levels to rise quickly because there are no other sources at the time (other than protein). This means that your insulin levels rise, which signals your pancreas to pump out insulin to help bring down your blood sugar.
When your blood sugar drops and you need energy again, you eat more carbs. This cycle continues throughout the day until you eventually eat enough carbs for a large spike in blood sugar and insulin production.
The keto diet works differently because it helps slow that cycle down by eliminating most carbs from the diet, so there aren’t nearly as many spikes in blood-sugar levels. Meanwhile, your body goes into ketosis and starts using fat as its main source of energy. When this happens, you lose water weight and drop body fat very quickly.
Are you considering following a Ketogenic diet? You might be wondering what this high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan entails and if it is really the best option for you. Well, wonder no longer — we've got your answers right here!
With obesity at an all-time high in America today, more and more people are jumping on the Ketogenic bandwagon. However, before you embark on this journey for yourself it's important to know what you're getting into so that you can make an informed decision.