All you need to know about “The Ketogenic Diet”

Asesh K. Chowdhury
February 20, 2020
Views : 5070
All you need to know about “The Ketogenic Diet”

The keto diet or the ketogenic diet is a high-fat consumption and low carbohydrate intake diet that is known to offer a number of health benefits. This diet is beneficial in losing weight and improving the quality of life. According to a number of studies, a keto diet may also help against cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer's, and diabetes.

What is a Keto or Ketogenic diet?

This is essentially a low carb diet where the intake of fat and protein is increased. The focus is to attain energy from fats and proteins rather than from carbohydrates. This diet is similar to a normal low carb diet and Atkins diet.

The aim is to attain a metabolic state known as ketosis. This can be attained by drastically reducing the intake of carbohydrates and replacing it with fats and protein. When we reach this stage, the body becomes extremely efficient in burning fats and using them for energy. Energy is supplied to the brain as the fats turn to ketones in the liver. This is turn helps to lose weight more efficiently. Numerous benefits can be achieved by following this diet and can cause huge reductions in insulin and blood sugar levels. The body's metabolism is shifted away from carbs and towards ketones and fat. Usually a Ketogenic contains low- carb vegetables, cheese, eggs, butter, fish, avocados, nuts, heavy cream, etc. At the same time essentially all sources of carb are eliminated which would include high carb vegetables, milk, potatoes, rice, grains, beans, sweets, cereals, etc.

How can it help you to lose weight?

This diet is one of the most efficient ways that can help you to lose weight naturally. As you attain a healthy weight there is a lower risk of other diseases. The recommended low-fat diet is nothing compared to the ketogenic diet. This diet is far superior and filling at the same time. Unnecessary time is not wasted on keeping a track of the calorie count. Research shows that in comparison to a normal low-fat diet, people on a ketogenic diet are prone to lose more weight, approximately 2-2.5 times more. HDL cholesterol, as well as triglyceride levels, can also be improved. Another research shows that in UK itself people following a ketogenic diet lost 3 times more weight than the people following recommended diet plans. The weight loss is so efficient is because when you consume less than the required amount of carbohydrates the body tends to run out of fuel and then the body starts to breakdown proteins and fat for energy. This process which is known as Ketosis helps you to lose weight efficiently. In this process, the fats are turned into ketones that are essentially molecules that helps to supply energy to the brain. The insulin, as well as the blood sugar levels, are also reduced. Apart from helping the body to lose weight this diet can offer a number of health benefits as well.

Essential points leading to weight loss:

  • An increase in protein intake- following a ketogenic diet leads to an increase in the intake of protein which in turn helps to lose weight.
  • Eliminating certain food options- when you limit the intake of carbohydrates you also limit your food options. This can result in the reduction of calorie intake and lead to weight loss.
  • Gluconeogenesis(GNG)- since carb intake is lowered the body has on option but to generate glucose from certain non-carbohydrate substances.
  • Reduces lipogenesis- a ketogenic diet reduces lipogenesis which is the process of converting sugar into fats.
  • The rate of burning fat is increased- the amount of fat burned on a daily basis is increased substantially.

Ketogenic diet and Metabolic diseases:

Following a ketogenic may help eliminate or prevent my metabolic diseases. There are essentially five common risk factors that can lead to diabetes(type-2), obesity and heart diseases. The risk factors include abdominal obesity, high levels of bad cholesterol, low levels of good cholesterol, high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure. A ketogenic diet is beneficial for such cases in one way or the other. It helps to lower the insulin levels and this helps people who are diagnosed with diabetes(type2).

Benefits of Ketogenic diet for the metabolic system:

  • Reduced carb intake- a high carb diet leads to poor cell functioning as there is an increase in insulin and blood sugar levels.
  • Reduced insulin resistance- inflammation, fat gain, and high triglyceride are a result of reduced insulin resistance.
  • Consumption of healthy fats- good cholesterol levels are increased as a ketogenic diet requires the consumption of healthy fats.
  • Reduction in chronic inflammation- metabolic syndrome and various diseases are linked to inflammation. A keto diet helps in reducing chronic inflammation and preventing various diseases.
  • Helps to burn fats- this diet helps to get rid of unhealthy abdominal fat which is bad for a healthy metabolic system.

Basic rules to follow in a Ketogenic Diet:

  • Less than 50 grams of carbs a day- the cardinal rule of a ketogenic diet is to considerably reduce the intake of carbohydrates. The aim should be to consume less than 50 grams of carbs a day.
  • Don't run out of stock- most of the time when you do not stock up on the staples of a ketogenic diet, you tend to deviate from the diet. So always stock up on the staples like nuts, eggs, meat, fish, avocados, etc.
  • Consume lots of vegetables- eat lots of vegetables which are low in carbs but high in fiber so that it keeps you full and you don't start feeling hungry.
  • Keep it interesting- keep experimenting with your diet and don't let it becomes boring. You can eat the same food but try experimenting with the recipes.
  • Experiment with your diet- keep experimenting with your diet until you find your ideal blend.
  • Plan out- you are sure to fail if you don't plan out your diet beforehand.
  • Keep a track of your progress- it is essential to keep a track of your progress so that you feel consistently motivated.
  • Consistency is key- you have to be consistent with your efforts to achieve your goals. Do not give in to temptations and stick to your diet plan.

Is a Ketogenic diet for you?

There is no one single diet plan that is suitable for everyone. This is quite obvious considering the fact that everybody's anatomy is different, even the anatomy of identical twins is different. However, a ketogenic diet can be especially beneficial for people facing the problem of obesity and are at risk of metabolic syndrome. If you dislike having fatty food and love to eat carbs then this might not be the diet for you. But even then, if you want to try out a low carb diet then you can try out the normal low carb diets like carb cycling, etc. This diet requires a significant amount of self-control and discipline. You might even fall sick if you don't follow this diet properly. This may not be the best option for athletes or bodybuilders. Vegetarians and vegans may also find this diet quite challenging because of the important role played by the consumption of meat, fish, eggs and dairy products.

In addition, there may also be negative symptoms which are often referred to as keto flu. This mostly happens during the transition period from a regular diet to a ketogenic diet. During this flu phase, you may experience the following symptoms- loss of energy, poor mental functioning, sleeping problems, fatigue, nausea, digestive problems, increased hunger, and poor physical performance. Although this is a rare phenomenon, it might affect the morale and people might quite even before they've tried it properly. The first week will prove to be the hardest but it certainly gets easier after that. The Ketogenic diet might not be suitable for everybody just like other diets but if you stick to it, you'll reap amazing results.

Various other benefits of a Keto Diet

Following a ketogenic diet may have various health benefits and some of them are stated as below:

  • Healthy heart- a ketogenic diet lowers the blood sugar as well as the blood pressure levels and also helps to reduce bad cholesterol which is detrimental for the heart.
  • Used in the treatment of cancer- various types of cancer and slow tumor growth are currently being treated by incorporating this diet
  • Beneficial for Alzheimer's patients- this diet helps to reduce the progression of Alzheimer's disease and may also help to reduce its symptoms.
  • Reduce epilepsy- this diet is known to vastly reduce seizures in children
  • Treatment of Parkinson's disease- symptoms of Parkinson's disease is reduced by following the ketogenic diet.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome- as this diet considerably lowers insulin levels, it may play a pivotal role in polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Highly beneficial in cases of neurological, metabolic and insulin-related diseases.
  • Reduces acne- as the ketogenic diet reduces insulin levels by lowering the intake of sugar and processed food, it helps to reduce acne problems.
Asesh K. Chowdhury

Asesh K. Chowdhury

Asesh is a content writer at Healthmug. He's a voracious reader accompanied with a vivacious personality. Asesh is an aspiring sociologist with a love for sports. Simplicity is at his core and this is reflected in his writing which is effulgent and far from being sybaritic.

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