The ketogenic diet, or simply “keto,” is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that has gained popularity in recent years for its purported weight loss benefits. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind the keto diet and how it works.
Definition of the Keto Diet
The keto diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that is designed to put your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis.
History of the Keto Diet
The keto diet was first developed in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy, but it fell out of favour with the advent of anticonvulsant drugs. It regained popularity in the 1990s as a weight loss diet.
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
The Science of Ketosis
When you eat a high-carbohydrate meal, your body breaks down the carbohydrates into glucose, which is used as the primary source of energy for your cells. However, when you restrict carbohydrates, your body starts to break down fat into molecules called ketone bodies, which can be used as an alternative source of energy.
The Role of Insulin
Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas in response to rising levels of glucose in the blood. When you eat a high-carbohydrate meal, insulin is released to help your cells absorb the glucose. However, when you restrict carbohydrates, insulin levels decrease, which can lead to a decrease in appetite and a greater ability to burn fat.
Benefits of the Keto Diet
One of the primary benefits of the keto diet is weight loss. Because the diet restricts carbohydrates, your body has to rely on fat as a source of energy, which can lead to a decrease in body fat.
Improved Blood Sugar Control
The keto diet can also help improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. By reducing carbohydrate intake, the diet can help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
The keto diet has been shown to improve several risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, and low levels of HDL cholesterol.
What Foods Can You Eat on the Keto Diet?
Foods to Eat
On the keto diet, you should focus on consuming foods that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates. Some examples include:
- Meat and poultry
- Fish and seafood
- Nuts and seeds
- Non-starchy vegetables
Foods to Avoid
You should avoid foods that are high in carbohydrates, including:
- Bread and pasta
- Sugar and sweets
- Potatoes and other starchy vegetables
- Beans and legumes
Potential Side Effects of the Keto Diet
The keto flu is a collection of symptoms that some people experience when they first start the keto diet. Symptoms can include headaches, fatigue, and irritability, and usually last for a few days to a week.
Because the keto diet is high in fat, some people may experience digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhoea, or nausea.
Increased Risk of Nutrient Deficiencies
Because the keto diet restricts many foods that are high in essential vitamins and minerals, some people may be at risk for nutrient deficiencies.
The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that can help you lose weight and improve your health. By limiting carbohydrates, the diet puts your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis, which can lead to a decrease in body fat and improved blood sugar control. However, the diet may not be appropriate for everyone,
my appetite, and I have more energy than ever before.”