Today, the keto diet is all the rage. People are going off the hook searching about the how-to of the keto diet and its effects on weight loss. But, before you experiment with keto to see if it lives up to the hype, read all about what dietitians have to say about the keto diet.
What is Keto Diet?
The Keto diet is short for the ketogenic diet. It is a low-carb and high-fat diet that induces ketosis in the body. Ketosis is the phenomenon when the body replaces carbohydrates- the body’s primary source of energy- with fats. The fats are broken down into ketones and used by the body for energy. A low-carb diet aims to reduce carbohydrates while increasing fat intake. The basic premise is that depriving the body of carbohydrates forces it to break down fats.
The keto diet comes in a variety of forms. Some keto diets allow for additional carbohydrates around workouts or keto days followed by high-carb days, high-protein keto diets, and a standard keto diet of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. Foods included are:
- nuts and seeds,
- oils and fats (avocado, coconut oil, ghee, butter, and olive oil),
- vegetables (limited to dark leafy greens and mushrooms),
- berries (in moderate amounts)
Starchy vegetables (potatoes, sweet potato, pumpkin, legumes, etc. ), grains (oats, rice, quinoa, corn), and fruits (banana, mango, pineapple, apples, oranges) are generally excluded from the diet.
Why is Keto Diet so Popular?
There are many reasons why the ketogenic diet has become so popular among the masses. Following are some reasons:
Getting to Eat Favorite Foods
Diets are always about giving up your favorite foods, such as fried chicken. With the keto diet, you can eat many of your favorite foods.
A low-calorie ketogenic diet has been shown to help people feel fuller and reduce hunger. While more research is needed, it is thought that this decrease in appetite is linked to changes in hunger hormones and an increased ability to burn fat for energy while in ketosis.
People who have a high BMI (body mass index) and are obese can benefit from the keto diet. It helps to reduce weight and burn fat.
Improves Insulin Sensitivity
The keto diet can help lower insulin levels and improve insulin sensitivity by reducing carb intake. Insulin resistance is linked to several chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and polycystic ovarian syndrome, to name a few.
Increased Fat Burning
The keto diet may also assist you in burning fat that has been stored in your body. During ketosis, your body burns fat rather than carbs for energy, and that fat comes from either your diet or your body’s fat stores.
Is Keto Diet Healthy?
Dietitians all over the World try and help their clients to opt for a healthy lifestyle instead of indulging in fad diets. But first and foremost, kudos to anyone attempting to change their lifestyle through any diet. Low-carb diets may help with weight loss in the short term, but there are no documented long-term benefits (more than a year). Following are some researches that show the effects of low-carb diets:
- A study about eating patterns showed that restricting carbohydrates and replacing them with fats can lead to premature deaths.
- Another study of low-carb diets and their relation with heart diseases show that those who consumed fewer carbohydrates had a higher chance of getting heart diseases.
- Studies on the Blue Zones (countries with a higher number of centenarians) of the World show that they consume a balanced diet instead of focusing on a single macronutrient (carbohydrates, fats, or proteins).
Although there is evidence that ketogenic diets can help with conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy, it is recommended that you eat a well-balanced diet that emphasizes plant foods for the majority of the population. Consider using cheese, butter, and meat as garnishes to transform your plate from a high-calorie, high-saturated-fat meal to a high-fiber, lower-calorie, nutrient-dense meal!
For people who have a very high BMI and are obese, they can refer to a specialist and consider bariatric surgery. It is vital to maintain a healthy body weight and a healthy lifestyle. To get authentic information regarding bariatric surgery and Keto diet, consult a nutritionist/dietitian.
1. Is keto safe during pregnancy?
Calorie reduction during pregnancy is not safe, so you must consult a medical professional before doing keto.
2. Can keto diet be done during breastfeeding?
Keto diet produces ketones (ketone bodies) in the body that may transfer into the baby’s body via breast milk. Always consult a nutritionist before following a diet.
3. Does keto diet affect the liver?
Yes, keto diet may induce hyperlipidemia and onset of fatty liver disease.
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