THE KETO DIET- A FAD OR FACT
The ketogenic diet or the keto-diet is turning heads a lot of heads. With its popularity amongst celebrity and your favorite joints selling keto dishes and drinks, the keto diet is the next ‘In’ thing.
While many argue its true potential against diseases others cannot stop enumerating its benefits.
Is keto-diet really safe? Does it really help lose weight? To answer these questions we need to understand what a keto diet is and how it works
What Is A Ketogenic Diet?
A ketogenic diet is a low-carb and high-fat diet (somewhat similar to the Atkins diet). A keto diet consists of 80 % fat and little or no carbohydrates. The idea is to reduce the calories from carbohydrates and replace it with fats and proteins. This transforms the metabolism of the body from carbohydrate burning mechanism to fat burning.
The staple foods generally consumed in a ketogenic diet include fish, meat, egg, fats and oils, dairy and green vegetables. Carbohydrate-rich foods like fruits, rice, pasta, sugar, and white bread are to be strictly avoided.
Several studies are being carried out to assess the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet promotes weight loss helps reverse type 2 diabetes and is also found useful against Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and cancer.
What Does ‘Keto’ Mean?
The word “keto” in a ketogenic diet points comes from ketone bodies that are produced when fat is burned. Ketones are an alternative source of fuel that provides energy to the body and brain when carbohydrates are in limited supply.
On a ketogenic diet, the body runs on fat 24/7 and this helps burn stored fat in the body consequently promoting rapid weight loss. When the body starts producing ketone bodies, it enters a metabolic state known as ketosis. Ketosis can also be achieved on fasting but fasting is not a feasible option for the long term.
The ketogenic diet, on the other hand, can be pursued indefinitely and provides a steady supply of energy, keeps you alert and focussed and promotes a feeling of fullness. Both protein and fat are known to promote satiety.
Ketogenic Diet And Weight Loss
Ketogenic diet yields far better weight loss results compared to a low-fat diet, as depicted by several studies. One study demonstrated that people lost 2.2 times more weight on a ketogenic diet than those on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet. It also improved their triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels.
Ketogenic Diet And Diabetes
Diabetes is characterized by irregular blood sugar and impaired insulin response. The ketogenic diet is found to keep blood sugar levels more predictable and increase insulin sensitivity. This can be attributed to its fat burning property. High body fat and weight are associated with increased risk of, metabolic syndrome, Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
However, caution needs to be exercised and if you have diabetes especially type 1 diabetes than consulting your doctor before making such drastic changes in your diet is recommended.
Ketogenic Diet And Its Side Effects
There are not many side-effects of a ketogenic diet when done under expert supervision. Constipation, low blood sugar levels, indigestion are few symptoms one can experience. Other than that ‘keto flu’ affects some people, the symptoms of which include headache, weakness, and irritability.
If you choose to adopt a ketogenic diet than it is advisable to do it under expert supervision. Consult your doctor to gauge your nutrient requirement and any other underlying complication. Remember, you will be making radical changes to your body and its metabolism once you start a ketogenic diet.