What is a Keto Diet?

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Keto Diet

Keto Diet, also known as ketogenic diet, low carb diet, or low carb high fat (LCHF) offers many health benefits with weight loss being the prominent one. The diet works by turning body into fat burning machine, which eventually results in loss of weight and better well-being. Some studies even prove ketogenic diet to be effective against diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and epilepsy. If you are new to this amazing diet, the post covers all the aspects in detail.

How Does Keto Diet Work?

Keto diet initiates a cleansing metabolic phase of cellular activities that are fueled by ketones. The diet focuses in diminishing the supply of carbohydrate in the body so that it starts using ketones instead of glucose as the main source of energy.

The Concept

The human body stores away fat and uses glucose as the preferred source of energy because it yields energy to the body more easily than any other molecule. Keto diet subjects the body to ketosis, a state where fat is converted to ketone for metabolic processes, when deprived of an adequate supply of carbohydrate. As a result, the body naturally switches to the metabolic state of ketosis, when there’s short supply of food. In this state, the body derives ketones from the oxidation of fats in the liver in order to fuel cellular activities. An optimal availability of ketones in the body enhances mental capacity, physical performance, and is also highly instrumental in weight loss.

What are the Typical Ingredients in Keto Diet?

Keto diet has high fat, moderate protein, and minimal carbohydrate contents. In more precise terms, the ratio is – 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate. Ingredient such as wheat, corn, and rice; tubers such as yam and potatoes; sugars like maple syrup and honey; as well as fruits such as bananas, oranges and apricots. But star fruits, avocado and berries can be taken at times.

Some of the foods that can be a part of Keto diet are:

Meat: Fish, poultry, BACON, venison, beef, etc.

Vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, etc.

Nuts and seeds: Walnuts, macadamias, sunflower seeds, etc.

High fat diary & other fats: High fat cream, hard cheese, high fat salad dressing, vegetable oils, etc.

Low carb sweeteners: Monk fruit, stevia, etc.

Recommended Limit of Reduction of Carbohydrate

The human body is capable of utilizing any available food particle to the max. In the absence of adequate carbohydrate intake, the body adapts itself to utilize the next available source of energy. It quickly converts fats to ketones to fuel its cellular activities, when deprived of adequate carbohydrate.

The transition, however, requires a lot of planning and patience. Typically, the speed with which the body switches to the ketogenic metabolism depends on the extent to which carbohydrates are restricted in the keto diet plan. Greater the restriction, faster the transition. The typical recommended net carb intake for keto diet plan usually falls between 20-30g. Net carb is deduced when the total fiber is subtracted from total carbohydrate. It is imperative to exercise a firm control over both total carbs and net carb intake when following keto diet.

Types of Ketogenic Diets

There are three different types of keto diets suited to various intensities of workout activities and various weight-loss goals:

1. Standard Keto Diet: This is the typical keto diet widely used for weight loss.

2. Targeted Keto Diet: This is a variation of the STD that allows for the intake of small quantities of carbohydrate in preparation for an intense workout session.

3. Cyclical Keto Diet: This is a more complicated variation of the keto diets used mostly by athletes and bodybuilders. In this variation, the dieter uses a day in a week to amass carbs in order to restore the appropriate levels of glycogen in the body.

Final Words

The human body is naturally wired to work with glucose and store away fats (which are an alternative energy source). Hence, it might struggle to cope with new demands for a change in energy source from carb-sourced glucose to fat-sourced ketone. In the initial stages of the transition, the body completely exhausts its glycogen stock to a point where it falls short of enzymes that convert fat to ketones. But this doesn’t hold for long, as the body eventually deploys ketones from fat to restore metabolic rates. When you start keto diet, it is recommended to speak to a dietician who can guide you more on the needs of your body and the foods that will be more beneficial for you when following the keto diet plan.

Disclaimer: The content on HealthTime is for educational and informational purposes only. Do not consider this as medical advice. Use the content in consultation with a certified healthcare professional.

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