what is the ketogenic diet

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

What is the ketogenic diet? Recently, the keto diet has become extremely popular for its health benefits such as weight loss and preventing disease. The keto diet can be hugely beneficial, but how does it work to provide these benefits?

Keto is a diet where your body burns fat as it’s primary fuel source. Your body can only store a certain amount of carbohydrate at one time, and once that limit has been reached the rest will be converted to fatty acids for energy.

If you’re thinking about starting the Keto Diet, this article is a great start in finding out what you need to know about how it works and how to get started. The Ketogenic Diet (or Keto for short) has been gaining in popularity as more people realize its effectiveness at improving their health and helping them lose weight. But what exactly is the Keto Diet? What are its benefits? And should I try it out myself?

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

You may have heard of the high-protein, low-carbohydrate Atkins diet. The keto diet keeps carbohydrate levels low, but instead of ramping up the amount of protein in your diet, the keto diet increases the amount of fat. A typical keto diet aims for meals with 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrate.

Eating a high-fat diet can still mean eating healthy. Keto diet menu items often include seafood, meat, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, and nuts. With the increased popularity of the keto diet, keto recipes are widely available.

keto diet

How Does the Keto Diet Work?

It might seem counterintuitive that adding more fat to your diet can lead to weight loss. Normally, your diet is high in carbohydrates, which are broken down into glucose, or blood sugar, for use as energy. As glucose enters your bloodstream, your body releases insulin to store excess glucose as fat. The more carbohydrates, the more glucose. The more glucose, the more insulin, and the more insulin, the more fat.

The keto diet takes advantage of the fact that when your meals are high-fat and low-carbohydrate, there is no insulin spike, and you don’t add to your fat reserves. Instead, fat from diet and stored fat are broken down to ketones (“keto” is short for “ketogenic” producing ketones).

Like glucose, ketones can be used for energy, keeping your body running without increasing blood sugar or putting on excess fat. The benefits of the keto diet can be huge.

-Weight Loss

Overall, the keto diet is an excellent way to burn fat and lose weight. Eating fewer carbohydrates suppresses appetite, and studies have shown that keto diet participants eat fewer calories overall because of this. Burning fat for energy can lead to rapid weight loss.

-Reduced Blood Sugar and Insulin

Since carbohydrate intake is limited, blood sugar and insulin levels are lowered. This is particularly important for people with type 2 diabetes, which causes a buildup of glucose in the bloodstream. The keto diet can be used to reduce or eliminate the need for diabetic insulin injections.

-Reduced Triglycerides

Fat subunit molecules called triglycerides normally circulate in your bloodstream. High levels of triglycerides are a significant risk factor in the development of heart disease. In the keto diet, because fat is being burned for energy, the number of triglyceride molecules in the bloodstream decreases, reducing the risk of heart disease.

-Improved Cholesterol

“Bad” (LDL) cholesterol is another risk factor for heart disease. Too much bad cholesterol in your bloodstream builds up in your arteries, narrowing them and causing atherosclerosis, a type of heart disease. The keto diet reduces bad cholesterol levels while increasing the level of “good” (HDL) cholesterol in your body.

Keto Diet Summary

The keto diet provides many health benefits. This diet can not only help you quickly lose weight, but can also improve your overall health and help prevent disease.

The Ketogenic Diet Explained Video

From the Video: It’s official. The low carb diet craze is over. Hello New Year. Okay omniscient voice on TV, calm down. It seems every couple of years or so, there’s a new diet to try.

South Beach was popular during the early 2000s, then paleo took over towards the late 2000s. But around April 2017 you can see in this Google Trend graph, a new diet surpassing it. Celebrities like Halle Berry and Kourtney Kardashian are going nuts for this diet.

Keto devotees claim that if you banish carbs and eat lots of fat, your body will start to actually burn fat and you’ll lose weight and even reduce your hunger in the process. But what’s lost in this keto chaos: there’s no evidence that keto diets work better than any other diets for most people hoping to slim down.

Although keto may be the latest in fad diets, it’s had promising results elsewhere. It was used since the 1920s to treat epilepsy. Outcomes from this 2018 study showed its potential in treating subjects with type-2 diabetes. As a diet for weight loss, it’s been around for a while.

Keto’s most recognizable form is from the ’60s: the Atkins Nutritional Approach, pushed by the late doctor Robert Atkins.

RIP homie. The theory behind this diet, the insulin carbohydrate hypothesis, suggests that people start to burn more calories more quickly and burn off more fat.And several high quality studies have debunked these extra fat and calorie burning claims.

So exactly what foods can people eat on keto? People are supposed to get 5% of their calories from carbs, about 15% from protein, and 80% from fat.

That means staying away from things like bread, grains, rice, you know, cereals, chips. You’re definitely not going to be eating chips. And eating lots of fish, meat, eggs, don’t throw the bacon at me! Bacon, things like this. The goal is to get your body into a state of ketosis.

So basically our bodies are fueled primarily by glucose, which we get from carbohydrates. But when you eliminate carbs and you start to eat lots of fat, instead of burning glucose for fuel, your body starts to burn fat. To get into ketosis you need to eat less than 50 grams of carbs, or two slices of bread, per day.

And of course eat a lot of fat. Sounds simple, right?

Basically eat no carbs and the weight will come right off. And low carb diets like keto can sometimes give people the impression in the short term, they’ve lost fat. When in reality it’s rapid water weight-loss. Plus the more extreme a diet, the less likely a person is to stay on track. The average person can’t stick with the keto diet for even six months.

It’s especially challenging in a world with temptations of easy, over-processed, and high calorie foods at every corner. When you stack very low carb diets like Atkins or keto against other types of diets, in the long run people lose about the same amount of weight as they would on any diet.

There are always outliers, there are always people who do really really well and it’s possible you may be one of those people, who really benefits from a ketogenic diet. But on average, they don’t work for most people. There’s some hard truths about losing weight and keeping it off.

It’s really difficult. It takes a long time. And while keto may work wonders for some, like people with diabetes, the best diet overall is probably one you can stick with.

Take the Keto Quiz

The keto diet is easy enough for anyone to follow and is a sustainable way to lose weight without depriving yourself of your favorite foods or feeling hungry all the time. You just need to eat healthy fats- think avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds- instead of carbs for fuel. If you’re ready to give it a try, take the keto quiz so that you can find out if it’s right for you!

Learn more about keto by taking a simple quiz, click here.

take the keto quiz

Share on Pinterest

What Is The Ketogenic Diet

References:
  1. medium.com/@gschmaus/the-ketogenic-diet-and-chronic-disease-3695b2275edd
  2. healthline.com/nutrition/10-benefits-of-low-carb-ketogenic-diets
  3. drjockers.com/benefits-ketogenic-diet/
  4. medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319196.php

About the Author: Jenni M.

Are you ready to look and feel your best? I created this blog to help people learn how to be the best they can be. On this blog, I write about what has helped me achieve my goals in life so that you can do the same. I share natural skincare tips, how to let your inner beauty shine, keto diet recipes, and much more. We all want to look good and live a healthy lifestyle, keep reading to find out how you can improve your health and life!

You May Also Like