Following specific diet plans for weight loss has become very common these days. There are hundreds of recommended diets intended to reduce weight, out of which one is the keto diet.
The word “ketogenic” is used for a low carbohydrate diet. The Keto diet is rich in fat and low in carbohydrates that have been used for a long time to treat medical conditions. It has been observed that keto diets have effectively treated several medical conditions like diabetes, epilepsy in children, cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.
Recently, keto diets have helped people lose weight much faster than other diet plans. Unlike other diet plans like Paleo, South Beach, and the Atkins diet plan, which are low in carbohydrates but rich in protein, the keto diet is exceptionally rich in fat, about 60-70% of the diet and a moderate amount of protein.
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
When a person is on a keto diet, their body is deprived of glucose due to the lack of carbohydrate sources. Glucose is the primary source of energy for our body. In this case, the keto diet produces an alternative fuel called ketones from the fats and proteins stored in our body as the primary energy source.
Our brain requires a maximum amount of glucose as it cannot store it. So, when glucose is deprived, the body pulls stored glucose from the liver and breaks down muscles temporarily to obtain glucose. When continued, the body’s stored glucose is depleted within 3-4 days, and blood levels of insulin decrease. This is when the body starts using fat as the primary fuel. The liver produces ketone bodies from the fats to be used in place of glucose.
This breakdown of fat is how the keto diet helps people reduce their weight. Apart from that, insulin secretion, which helps our body store sugar and use it, is also reduced. This is because ketogenic diets allow fuel to burn fast and don’t allow it to hold.
This significant decrease of insulin the blood benefits patients suffering from several diseases like-
- Cancer – The low amount of insulin reduces the rate of growth of cancer cells.
- Heart disease – The lower levels of insulin prevent the formation of bad cholesterol, which means we are less likely to have high blood pressure, hardened arteries, or any heart condition
- Epilepsy– Ketogenic diet helps in preventing seizures
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome is usually caused by high insulin content in the diets, and the keto diet contains that.
So, with keto diet foods and keto supplements, we can prevent such diseases and stay healthy.
What Are the Keto Diet Foods?
There is no one standard diet to follow as a ketogenic diet. It reduces the total carbohydrate content to less than 50 grams per day. As mentioned above, generally, a ketogenic diet consists of an average of 70-80% fat, 5-10% carbohydrate, and 10-20% proteins. The amount of protein is reduced in this diet because too much protein prevents ketosis.
Now that we have talked about the constituents of the diet, here are some suggestions of the food items you can have if you want to follow a keto diet plan.
- Seafood – Shellfish and fishes are very keto-friendly foods, they are rich in vitamins B, potassium, selenium, yet they don’t contain carbohydrates. Fishes like sardines, salmons are rich in Omega 3 and have been found to reduce insulin in people who are overweight and obese.
- Vegetables with low carbohydrate– Non-starchy Vegetables are soft in carbohydrates but rich in vitamins like vitamin C, A, and others.
Here are some keto-friendly vegetables –
- Green Beans;
- Cheese – Various types of cheese can be easily consumed when on a keto diet. They are rich in saturated fat, but they have not yet been found to have caused any heart disease. Also, they contain conjugated linoleic acid linked to fat loss and improvements in body composition.
- Nuts and seeds – They are low carbs, high-fat, and also high in fiber. Regular consumption of nuts and seeds reduces the risks of heart diseases, certain cancers, depression, and other chronic diseases. Example- almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and others.
- Butter and Fat – They are good fats and can be included in the keto diet. Like cheese, they also have conjugated linoleic acid, which promotes keto diet weight loss.
These are just some suggestions out of many. We recommend you consult your doctor or a dietician to plan a customized diet according to your needs.
Is The Keto Diet Healthy?
We talked about all the benefits of a keto diet, but there are dangers or cons to it too. Here we are listing some –
- If someone is on diabetic medication, which lowers blood pressure, that needs to be adjusted.
- If they are not aware of the healthy sources of fat, they might consume excess saturated fats, which might increase heart disease.
- It might cause constipation as it lacks fibrous foods like grains and legumes.
- When a person is on a keto diet plan, they miss out on a whole range of different fruits and vegetables, which results in nutrient deficiency.
- It may cause liver problems because of the pressure of metabolizing fat.
- The keto diet might overload the kidney while metabolizing proteins and result in kidney stones.
- It also increases the risk of osteoporosis and increases levels of uric acid in the blood.
They are a kind of weight loss supplement that helps your body enter the state of ketosis, which is the mechanism of the keto diet plan. They are designed to work without the keto diet or keto diet foods.
Keto supplements have exogenous ketones, which help lose fat faster and also increase energy levels. They do have their set of pros and cons. But the most effective point is that keto supplements help our body undergo immediate ketosis, which takes weeks or months when followed in the natural process by following keto diet plans.
We hope that this article was enough for you to understand everything about the keto diet. Like above, we would highly recommend you be under the constant supervision of your doctor and consult everything before opting for the keto diet.