The ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet, has recently become popular after being pushed by fitness gurus and endorsed by celebrities. This diet has promised to help detox your body, along with helping people lose weight. It is a low carb, high-fat diet that reverses your body’s functions in how it produces energy. There have been questions regarding whether this will work long term or if it gives short term results that won’t necessarily last.
What is the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carb diet that consists of eating about 80 to 90 percent fat, and very little to no carbohydrates. You can eat dairy, meat, eggs, and vegetables and have to avoid grains like rice and pasta and fruits. This diet closely resembles the Atkins diet and the Dukan diet which are also low to no carb diets.
How does it Work?
When your body produces energy, it usually breaks down carbohydrates that are consumed. The food is broken down into glucose, fructose, and galactose, which is then produced into the body’s main source of energy. With the keto diet, when you eliminate the carbs, your body looks for another source of energy and enters a state of ketosis. When your body enters the state of ketosis, fat is released from cells and turned into ketones. These ketones are what your body will now use for energy.
Your body will experience some side effects when you begin the diet, but over time they will go away. Because your body is making a huge change to find another energy source, you will experience some discomfort. You can experience headaches, nausea, feel tired more often, and have bad breath and not so pleasant smelling urine. This is also known as the keto flu because a lot of the symptoms resemble the flu. You will lose a lot of electrolytes and water weight (from fat cells releasing water) when starting this diet, so it is very important to drink a lot of water.
All the of the bad side effects will go away after a certain amount of time. There have been links to positive side effects and benefits. Research shows that people doing this diet over time have enhanced focus and cognitive skills. Better mental performance is due to the ketones that fuel your brain, and the increased fatty acids. The keto diet gives you a fuller feeling through the day, helping you to snack less and curb cravings.
The keto diet has been used to treat epilepsy and seizures since the 1900s and still used today. Some doctors use this diet after finding a therapeutic connection for those with cancer, diabetes, acne issues, and even cholesterol and blood pressure issues. Studies show there is less buildup in arteries, helping blood flow better, as well as producing higher good cholesterol and less bad cholesterol.
Is it for me?
As stated, when you first start the diet, you will drop a lot of water weight as your body gets used to the diet and producing energy. If it is more energy you are looking for, this diet will help you feel more energized throughout the day without the crashing. It is important to consult with your doctor before starting this diet to make sure you get all the nutrients your body needs. Your health is most important, so make sure this will not affect it in a negative way, especially if you have cholesterol or heart issues.