A keto or ketogenic diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, higher-fat diet that can help you burn fat more effectively. It has many benefits for weight loss, health, and performance.
A keto diet can be especially useful for losing excess body fat without hunger and for improving type 2 diabetes.
What is a keto diet?
The keto diet is a very low-carb, higher-fat diet. It’s similar in many ways to other low-carb diets.
While you eat far fewer carbohydrates on a keto diet, you maintain moderate protein consumption and may increase your intake of fat. The reduction in carb intake puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis, where fat, from your diet and from your body, is burned for energy.
What “keto” means?
A “keto” or “ketogenic” diet is so named because it causes your body to produce small fuel molecules called “ketones.” This is an alternative fuel source for your body that can be used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply.
When you eat very few carbs or very few calories, your liver produces ketones from fat. These ketones then serve as a fuel source throughout the body, especially for the brain.
The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day, and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose – or ketones.
On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run mostly on fat, burning fat 24-7. When insulin levels drop very low, fat burning can increase dramatically. It becomes easier to access your fat stores to burn them off.
This is great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there can also be other benefits, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy — without the sugar peaks and valleys that often occur when eating high-carb meals. This may help keep you alert and focused.
When the body produces ketones, it enters a metabolic state called ketosis. The fastest way to get there is by fasting – not eating anything – but nobody can consistently fast forever.
A keto diet, on the other hand, also results in ketosis and can be eaten indefinitely. It has many of the benefits of fasting – including weight loss – without having to fast long term.
What to eat on a keto diet?
What’s the most important thing to do to reach ketosis? Avoid eating too many carbs. You’ll likely need to keep carb intake under 50 grams of net carbs per day, ideally below 20 grams.
The fewer the carbs, the more effective the diet appears to be for reaching ketosis, losing weight or improving type 2 diabetes.
Counting carbs can be helpful at first.
Keto diet foods: Natural fats (butter, olive oil); Meat; Fish and seafood; Eggs; Cheese; Vegetables that grow above ground, soya products etc.
Try to avoid
In keto diet, you should avoid – foods containing a lot of carbs, both the sugary and the starchy kind. This includes starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. These foods are very high in carbs.
Foods to avoid on a ketogenic diet: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit, beer, soda, juice, candy.
Also avoid or limit highly processed foods.
You should also avoid low-fat diet products. A keto diet should be moderately high in protein and will probably be higher in fat, since fat provides the energy you’re no longer getting from carbohydrate. Low-fat products usually provide too many carbs and not enough protein and fat.
What to drink?
What can you drink on a ketogenic diet? Water is the perfect drink, and coffee or tea are fine too. Ideally, use no sweeteners, especially sugar.
A splash of milk or cream in your coffee or tea is OK, but beware that the carbs can add up if you drink multiple cups in a day.
Why eat a keto diet?
The benefits of a ketogenic diet are similar to those of other low-carb and higher-fat diets, but it appears to be more powerful than liberal low-carb diets. Think of keto as a super-charged, low-carb diet, maximizing the benefits. However, it may also increase the risk of side effects a bit.
2. Appetite control
3.Control blood sugar and reverse type 2 diabetes
4. Increased Energy and mental performance
5.Increased physical endurance
6. Therapy for Epilepsy
More possible keto benefits
A keto diet can also help treat high blood pressure, may result in less acne, and may help control migraine. It may also help improve many cases of PCOS and heartburn, while also often reducing sugar cravings. Finally, it might help with certain mental health issues and can have other potential benefits.
It might sound like a keto diet is a miracle cure for anything. It’s certainly not. While it can have many benefits, it’s not for everyone.
Potential side effects of a keto diet
When you suddenly switch your body’s metabolism from burning carbs (glucose) to fat and ketones, you may have some side effects as your body gets used to its new fuel, especially during days two through five.
Symptoms may include headache, tiredness, muscle fatigue, cramping, and heart palpitations. These side effects are short-term for most people, and there are ways to minimize or cure them.
To reduce potential side effects, you may decide to gradually decrease your consumption of carbs over a few weeks. But with a slower start you’ll likely not see results as quickly. While the short-term results may differ, the long-term results should remain the same.
Do, you stop sugar and starches all at once. You will likely lose a number of pounds within days. While much of the initial rapid weight loss is water weight (from reduced swelling), it’s still a highly motivating way to start your keto journey.