The keto diet is a high-fat, high-protein, low-carbohydrate dietary therapy. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates.
The keto diet Is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with Atkins and other low-carb diets. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic-like state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy to the brain. Ketogenic diets can cause significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has some health benefits.
One review of 13 studies found that following a very low-carb, ketogenic diet was slightly more effective for long-term weight loss than a low-fat diet. People who followed the keto diet lost an average of two pounds or more than the group that followed a low-fat diet. What’s more, it’s also led to reductions in diastolic blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
Another study of 34 older adults found that those who followed a ketogenic diet for eight weeks lost nearly five times as much total body fat as those who followed a low-fat diet. The increased ketones, lower blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity may also play a key role.
What are the health benefits of ketosis? (from clevelandclinic.org):
- Healthcare providers often put children with epilepsy on the keto diet to reduce or even prevent seizures by altering the excitability part of their brains.
- Research has shown the keto diet may help improve neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism and brain cancers such as glioblastoma.
- The keto diet can help people with type 2 diabetes lose weight and manage their blood sugar levels.
- The keto diet may lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by lowering your blood pressure, improving your HDL or good cholesterol levels and lowering your triglycerides.
- The keto diet may reduce your risk of developing metabolic syndrome, which is associated with your risk of heart disease.
- Ketosis has also been shown to increase your focus and energy. The keto diet delivers your body’s energy in a way that reduces inflammation. Researchers suggest your brain works more efficiently on ketones than glucose.
What can you eat on the keto diet? (from goodhousekeeping.com)
- Chicken, pork, steak, ground beef, lamb, bacon, turkey, ham, and sausage
- Salmon, snapper, tuna, cod, trout, catfish, and scallops
- Crab, clams, oysters, lobster, and mussels
- Eggs, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, lard, avocado oil, and mayonnaise
- Heavy cream, soft and hard cheeses, cream cheese, and sour cream
- Almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and walnuts
- Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, all in moderation
- Unsweetened coffee and black tea, dry wine, champagne, and hard liquor should be enjoyed sparingly
- Since carbohydrates and sugar must be restricted, both naturally occurring sources must be limited in tight moderation to maintain ketosis. Starchy vegetables contain more carbohydrates than others, like corn, potatoes, beets, and yams. On the other hand, some fruits are inherently sweet and can impede your progress towards ketosis. You’ll need to cut out bananas, mangoes, pears, and raisins altogether.
Disclaimer: I do not encourage or discourage the Keto Diet. I encourage anyone interested in the Keto Diet to decide if this way of eating is best for them.
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