A ketogenic or a keto diet is a low-carb diet that helps the body in transforming into a fat-burning machine. This type of diet is said to have potential benefits, especially for enhancing work performance, losing weight and improving health.
A keto diet is comparable to a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet or simply a strictly low-carb diet. Both of these diets eventually end up resembling a keto diet.
However, a major difference still exists which is the restriction of protein content in a keto diet.
The basic aim of a keto diet is to induce ketosis in the body. You will be amazed to know that adapting your body to hit a particular level of ketones in your blood is achievable. This not only enhances weight loss and physical health but is amazing to boost mental performance.
What Are Ketones?
A keto diet is called so because of “ketones”, small molecules that serve as fuel and are produced in the body when you consume a keto diet. Ketones are an alternative source of energy to the body, secondary to glucose.
They are normally produced when your body is short on blood sugar and need to derive energy from another source.
Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs and a limited amount of proteins. This will deprive your body of the sufficient glucose and it will eventually divert to the production of ketones to fulfill its energy needs.
Ketones are manufactured from fat and their place of production is usually the liver. They are a good source of energy for the whole of your body including the brain and nervous system.
Your brain is a vital organ of your body and constantly demands energy. It cannot directly consume energy from fats and requires the presence of sugar or ketones.
What Happens When You Take Keto Diet?
As soon as you consume a ketogenic diet, your body responds immediately by switching its main energy source from glucose to fat.
The levels of insulin in your body drop and there is a drastic increase in fat burning. In this way, it becomes really easy for you to shed fat off your body.
This is an important aspect for you if you are consuming a keto diet just to lose weight. However, the consumption of keto diet is also associated with some other benefits such as providing the body with a constant energy supply and a decrease in hunger.
When your body is producing ketones, the condition is referred to as ‘ketosis’. The fastest way to achieve this state is by starving. Nevertheless, you cannot always starve to initiate ketosis in the body.
For this reason, consuming a keto diet is the best way to acquire this state. This diet can be eaten for as long as you like and always results in ketosis. The biggest advantage of following it losing weight without even fasting.
Advantages Of Consuming A Keto Diet
The advantages of consuming a keto diet are quite similar to those acquired by following a strict low-carb diet. However, a faster result can be obtained because this type of diet only allows a restricted amount of proteins to be taken.
Due to this reason, the production of ketones increases and the amount of insulin further declines. Following are some other benefits of the die:
As mentioned earlier, the ketogenic diet is particularly famous for converting the body into a machine that rapidly burns fats. This occurs because of the level of insulin- a hormone that stores fats- drops drastically.
Hence, ideal circumstances are created in the body where more fat loss can easily occur without having to face hunger pangs.
Different scientific researches of the high class have successfully shown that the effect of ketogenic diets for effective weight loss is more than that of any other diet.
Reversal Of Diabetes Type 2
A keto diet is a great way to cure yourself if you are a patient of diabetes type 2. This type of diet lowers down the levels of sugar in your body which is the main factor contributing to the disease in the first place. Moreover, it negatively impacts on the raised insulin levels.
Such diet results in weight loss and obesity control that is considered to be a trigger for diabetes type 2.
Improved Mental Performance
A ketogenic diet increases the process of ketosis in the body. It causes a release of ketones that serve as a fuel to the brain.
The abrupt rise in sugar level is avoided when you are following the diet and this causes an improvement in the focus and concentration of the brain. Many people switch to a keto diet for the purpose of boosting their mental capacities.
It is a common misconception that eating carbohydrates are important for maintaining the health of the brain. However, the statement is only true if there are no ketones in the body to compensate for carbs.
After a few days of getting adapted to a keto diet, the brain and the body can easily manage to run swiftly using ketones only. Such people experience in fact, observe improvement in focus and increment in their energy.
Enhanced Physical Capacity
Keto diets are said to increase your physical stamina by allowing you to access all the fat stores in your body for obtaining energy.
The supply of carbohydrates in the body is temporary and lasts for a few hours, but fat stores are capable of providing energy for months.
When your body is conditioned to derive energy from carbohydrates, it is not accessible to the fat stores. This is why you constantly need to eat before and after exercises and strenuous activities just to fuel up.
Upon diverting to a keto diet, this problem is solved as your brain is continuously being energized by ketones. Endless energy runs through you as you find yourself more capable of enduring harsh physical activities.
What Can You Eat in A Keto Diet?
You can try to incorporate the following food items in your ketogenic diet:
- Fatty fish such as trout, salmon, and tuna.
- Unprocessed cheese (goat, cheddar, cream or mozzarella).
- Eggs rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Vegetables low in carbohydrates such as onions, tomatoes, pepper, etc.
- Pepper, salt, and other healthy condiments.
- Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil.
- Grass-fed butter and cream.
- Red meat, bacon, ham, chicken, sausage, and turkey.
- Almonds, flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and other nutritious nuts.
Can Keto Diet Be Dangerous?
A keto diet is usually considered to be safe for the majority. However, if you find yourself in any one of the following situations, you might need extra help:
- If you are breastfeeding.
- If you are taking blood pressure pills.
- If you are taking medicines for diabetes.
Despite the immense advantages of switching to a ketogenic diet, there are some underlying risks. You might feel irritated, suffer from headaches and find it difficult to concentrate during the initial days.
This is because your body is changing its main source of energy and needs at least 2 weeks to completely adapt to the new circumstances. You also may need to retain a good level of salt and water in your body while continuing a keto diet.