What is a Keto Diet?
Keto diet or ketogenic diet is becoming a popular trend in the modern—day health regime. It is quite possible that you may have heard this term before but not familiar with what keto diet actually is and how does it work for our body. For a start, one of the most important reasons for which a person would opt to go for a keto diet is weight loss or tackling obesity. Keto diet is now being considered a practical and effective way to treat the overweight problem.
A keto diet is characterized by restricting the amounts of carbohydrates that we intake and increasing the level of our daily fat and protein consumption. Have you heard people saying “Eat more fat to lose fat or lose weight”? Well, that is what keto diet is all about. Essentially, you eat enough fats and restrict your carbohydrate intake so that your body gets into the fat burning mode. Here, the word keto comes from ketones, which are derived from the fats and stored in our body.
When we eat carbohydrates, our body produces glucose and insulin. Glucose is the molecule that our body uses when it needs energy, above other molecules. Insulin is produced to process glucose in the bloodstream.
Since our body takes glucose as the primary energy, fats accumulate if they are needed at another time (when there is no glucose).
What is Ketosis?
Normally, the human body needs at least small amounts of carbohydrates for the maintenance of individual body functions. Above all, the brain is dependent on carbohydrates as an energy source and cannot be sufficiently supplied by fats or proteins alone.
If there is a lack of carbohydrates (less than 50 g of carbohydrates per day), fats in the liver are converted into so-called keto bodies or even ketone bodies. These keto bodies serve as carbohydrate substitutes and are used instead of the usual carbohydrates for energy production in the body.
The state in which the body performs this necessary fat conversion for energy is called ketosis and forms the basis of the ketogenic diet.
Keto diet requires extremely low carbs
The ketogenic diet is more extreme compared to other dieting methods. It essentially involves eliminating carbohydrates largely from the diet and relying predominantly on fat. The body breaks down fat reserves to get vital energy. Glycogen in turn binds water, and one—part glycogen four parts water. An adult has about 400 grams of glycogen stored. With the ketogenic diet, the same person degrades it and loses this weight plus that of the bound water, about two kilograms.
The feeling of hunger fades and automatically the person eats less. Ketogenic diet lowers insulin levels and prevents heavy blood sugar fluctuations, the two main causes of cravings.
Benefits of Ketogenic diet
It is clear that every human being cope differently with the conversion process to the ketosis. Anyone who follows the ketogenic diet can definitely count on quick results on the scales. Where the first successes are clearly attributable to the loss of water, which brings any low carb diet with it.
These effects are not observed in other diets such as a low-fat diet. In addition, the high fat and protein content of the ketogenic diet can prevent food cravings.
In addition, the ketogenic diet has been and will be used as a therapy in some diseases such as epilepsy or metabolic disorders such as glucose transporter disorders under medical supervision. The medical use of the ketogenic diet, however, is a completely different topic and usually takes place only under strict medical supervision.