Today I wanted to discuss the hype behind the Keto diet and why there is good reason to be excited about it!
The Keto diet, which is also known in full as the Ketogenic diet consists of a specific eating plan in which you’ll mainly consume foods that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates. The idea is to allow those that follow a keto diet to receive around 75% of their daily calories from fat, a smaller portion from protein and as little as 2-5% from carbohydrates.
The reasoning behind this is that after 3-4 days the body will reach a metabolic state called Ketosis which will allow it to become extremely efficient in burning fat for energy rather than carbohydrates. It will also lower blood sugar levels, as well as insulin levels which can have numerous health benefits.
One of the main reasons why people follow the keto diet is it can result in rapid weight loss, however unlike most diets, this diet will reduce weight through fat-loss over muscle-loss and will therefore maintain muscle mass. This can be very useful to those looking to reduce body fat percentage, which again has many health advantages.
After a very short period of being on the diet it can significantly reduce your appetite which means those looking to lose weight don’t need to count calories and continuously monitor where they are up to which often leads to people giving up due to the amount of logging required.
Some people find it difficult getting into the keto diet as the body is so used to obtaining energy from glucogens not ketones. In order to help with this some people choose to take keto supplements that can be used after a proper medical consultation. These products help the body get into a state of ketosis by enabling the ketone formation in the body. Once your body manages to get into ketosis successfully, you can ask your dietitian and stop their consumption.
It is also important to note that although this is a high-fat diet, it doesn’t give you free reign to consume as much fat as you can, or in what form. Fats are categorised between ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ ones and this should still be adhered to when following a keto diet. Consuming unhealthy fats in whichever form can result in poor weight-loss results and even take you out of your body’s state of ketosis.
Some foods that should be avoided on the keto diet would include (but not limited to):-
- Fruit – except for very small portions of berries such as blueberries
- Unhealthy Fats – such as mayonnaise and processed vegetable oils
- Alcohol – due to many alcoholic drinks having a high carb content
- Sugar-free ‘diet’ foods – these tend to be highly processed and can affect ketone levels
So who would find it useful?
It has proven to be very popular amongst those with type 2 diabetes who need to control their intake of sugars and carbohydrates, as well as those looking to reduce weight, however there are some risks associated with it. There is a small risk of ketoacidosis which is condition in which your blood becomes acidic as a result of the build up of too many ketones in the body. The side effects of this state can include cramps, headaches, constipation and in more serious cases coma.
You can read more about the Keto diet through Qlu Health who have put together a comprehensive guide on the subject and goes into great detail associated with the benefits and risks for someone who is completely new to the idea.