What does Keto Diet mean by that?

All diets have some kind of premise, and in the case of Keto diet, the premise is that if you can teach your body to use fat instead of sugars for energy, it will help you lose more weight faster.

So, What’s the Keto?

This is short for “Ketogenic,” which describes a very low-crab/high-fat diet that shifts a person’s body to a “ketone-burning state. ( Ketones are chemicals produced by your liver after you break down fat that may help to suppress your appetite.) It sounds like a bit of science-fiction, but ketosis is really just an alternative way for your body to burn the food you eat for energy.


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Lesson of Quick Science:

  • Your body has three fuel options : Carbohydrate, Fat, and (in some cases) Protein.
  • Your body’s preferred form of engine gas is carbohydrate (think grains,fruits, and vegetables) because it is easily processed into glucose that provides energy to muscles and organs.
  • However , if you reduce your carbohydrate intake to a very low level, your body will be forced to look fat for fuel.
  • Your liver converts fat into ketones that your body uses as energy.

The theory which is still under discussion is that your body needs to work a little harder to burn ketones than it does glucose, boosting your metabolism a bit and resulting in more weight loss.

How did the Keto Diet get started?

Although the Keto Diet has a 21st century internet-trend written all over it , it debuted in the 1920’s , when doctors discovered that children with epilepsy had a sharp drop in seizures after their carbohydrates had been restricted. (Scientists are still not sure exactly why it works.) with the introduction of anit-epileptic drugs, the diet fell out of favor, although some doctors still use it for children with drug-resistant epilepsy.

In Ninty’s Robert Atkins, a famous cardiologist who has been exploring the idea of a low card diet since 1970, published a new diet book, the plan of which started the ketogenic phase in the first two weeks.

The Keto-Style program has been mainstream over the next decade and has enjoyed a good run, but has lost steam and support,partly because the plan has given green light to foods that could increase the risk of heart disease.  But the diet has made a comeback over the last few years.  Thanks to celebrities weight-loss endorsements, niche products, and a slew of keto diet tomes and cookbooks, it’s all the rage again.

What could make it stay in power this time?

Increasing numbers of physicians and registered dieticians have recommended low-carb and very low-carb diets for people with type 2 diabetes to help manage glucose and insulin levels, giving the keto plan a higher medical stamp of approval.

How is the Keto Diet working?

Despite all the hype around it, most people even those on the keto diet would be hard pressed to explain the exact mechanism by which weight loss is triggered.

Let’s Start with the basics of this.  If you keep your carbohydrate intake within the keto- required range of 20 to 50 grams per day, which is not much (one apple has about 20 grams of carbohydrate) and replace those missing carbohydrates with a high amount of fat ( 70 to 80 percent of calories) the body starts ketosis, a.k.a. fat-burning, after a few days.  The amount of protein in the ketoplane is also kept moderately low, as it can also be converted to glucose by your body, making it the preferred choice of fuel, and preventing your body from staying in ketosis. (Protein also increases insulin secretion, which inhibits ketosis.) Unlike many other diets , which have room for you to wiggle.

Divide your carbohydrate/protein/fat content (maybe focusing more on calories or portion sizes or carbohydrate quality), the fine-tuned ratios of keto diet mean that any carbohydrate “cheating” a cookie here , a rice bowl there will take you out of ketosis, undermining the chemical reaction that is at the heart of the diet.

So why do people lose their pounds on the Keto diet?

It depends on who you’re asking, some experts argue that when you’re in ketosis, your body’s metabolism is accelerating because it takes more energy than carbohydrates to burn fat.  In fact, some research has found that people spend about 200 more calories a day on a low-carb diet (20 percent carbs) compared to a high-carb diet (60 percent carbs) followed for about five months.

However, other research shows that there is a negligible amount of extra calorie burn in the keto diet compared to a high-carbon diet about 50 calories a day.  Some experts believe that most of the weight shed on keto over time is due to things like the satiating aspect of all that juicy fat that fills you up and makes you eat fewer calories overall.

Other researchers point out that the diet lowers blood sugar (glucose) , which helps control  your appetite, and it may lower insulin levels, which tell your body to hold on to fat rather than burn it.

What everyone agrees is that , if exactly followed , a diet can work in the short term, although not necessarily any better than other low-calorie plans.

What are the risks of the Diet of Keto?

Every person’s body will react differently to a keto diet or any diet for that matter so that doctors and nutritionists warn that what might be helpful to one person could pose a risk to another.

No one should start living a life of keto without first checking with their doctor, that said , it is generally considered safe in the short term,with a few caveats: Long-term safety is not known , the main concern of the medical community is that there are no solid showing the effects of keto diet after two years.

How come that?

Well, it’s tricky to study diets and dietary patterns scientists would have to literally control every bite a person eats and then tease the effects of those foods from other lifestyle factors , such as exercise.

We know more about other types of diets, such as high-carb diets or Mediterranean diets, because these eating patterns occur naturally in a number of people around the world.

That said,some observational studies have found that the rate of death from cancer and heart disease is higher for people who claim to have low-carb diets. It is nutritionally unbalanced.

The diet requires you to slash some of the very foods that nutritionists urge us to eat more, namely fiber- rich whole grains and high-fiber fruits such as apples and bananas. Moreover, because the carb limit on keto is so low, legumes and even some starchy vegetables carrots,potatoes,peas and corn are discouraged.

As a result , you may be missing out on cancer-fighting and heart-healthy nutrients and phytochemicals especially if you are not mindful of the healthiest keto-friendly options.

You may also be affected by side effects such as constipation due to lack of fiber. In fact , when children with epilepsy are given a diet, supplements, often including magnesium , potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc, must be taken to keep nutritional requirements in balance.

The bright side of carb-cutting: Many carbs that make up the standard American diet are nutrient poor processed foods such as chips, crackers and white bread foods that are associated with a higher risk of diabetes. Some doctors argue that the health related weight loss benefits of keto ( i.e. a drop in total cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure , as well as better insulin control for people with type 2 diabetes over ride dietary challenges for some individuals

Ketosis can be hazardous to undiagnosed diabetes cutting almost all carbs from your diet can cause glucose- a.k.a.  Blood sugar levels to drop along with insulin ( a pancreatic hormone that helps ferry glucose from your blood to the cells.).

This does not pose a danger to a person without diabetes. And it may even be desirable for someone with diabetes who monitors blood sugar levels and uses keto diet along with medical supervision to reduce the need for insulin medication.  But for someone who has no idea that they have diabetes or pre-diabetes , a sudden and sustained drop in blood sugar brought on a keto diet may, in rare cases, cause them to go away or (in vary rare cases) die.

It could raise your LDL cholesterol,  People with high cholesterol and high low density lipoprotein (LDL)levels in particular should have their cholesterol monitored , as some studies point to an increase in LDL or “bad” cholesterol on a keto-style diet, putting you at higher risk for heart disease.

However (drum roll) , not all LDL particles are created equally, and research suggest that the type of LDL particles that increase the keto diet is not the most dangerous ( a.k.a small , dence particles that stick to your artery walls).

However , if cholesterol is a concern,talk to your doctor. It could raise your kidney or liver trouble.  People at risk of kidney stones or family history of kidney disease should be careful to check with their doctor before they get keto.  Studies in children with epilepsy who have been following a keto diet for several years have shown that a small percentage of kidney stones have been formed, possibly because the uric acid that builds up from protein metabolism can lead to stones (reducing your dependence on animal proteins in favor of vegetable proteins may help).

However , for those with healthy kidneys and no history of kidney stones, the diet is likely to be fine; the amount of protein in the keto diet is not much higher than the average American diet , says experts, and what is more harmful to the kidneys than excess protein is high blood sugar and high blood pressure, both of which can be improved by keto diet and overall weigh loss.

As far as the liver is concerned,science is still young and experts are divided. Some practitioners maintain that the risk to the liver is not higher for keto, and research has even shown that people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are improving their diet. Other medical experts warn that each person is unique and have documented cases where a keto diet has resulted in a fatty liver disease.

This is restrictive , the Keto plan is a diet in the extreme sense not only does it prescribe what you can and can not eat, it restricts the whole food group. As a result, it may be difficult to stick to it, especially over any significant period of time.  And as soon as you reintroduce carbs to your meals (breakfast bagel,pasta at dinner), the weight can come back, especially the weight of water, because the carbs cause you to retain the water. Also, a restrictive diet can play head-to head games with eaters who tend to eat disorderly,putting them in a way of thinking where they’re fixated on what’s going on in their mouths and watching the scale like a twitter feed.

That said, there are those for whom the keto diet can actually feel easier, because it’s straightforward about what the rules are,and it can reduce feelings of hunger.

Has Side Effects :  Any major change in a person’s diet can lead to physical symptoms, and keto diet is no exception. In fact , it’s practically a diet because of the learning curve your body has to move from carb-burning to fat-burning.

Symptoms include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Dark thinking
  • Headache
  • The nausea
  • Diarrhoea

These symptoms are common in the first week thanks in part to the loss of water and elcetrolytes that cause extreme carb-cutting.  All of these together have been referred to as the “Keto Flu.”  Moreover, the lack of fiber can lead to constipation for some.  Symptoms usually go away after the first week or two (and can be a avoided entirely with adequate hydration and electrolyte intake).

Your focus may be on weight loss, but the keto diet can give away dollars from your wallet, too.  Most keto diets get their fat from valuable sources such as dairy and meat, which also contribute to the main causes of climate change (methane from cows and industrial plant pollutants that process all the meat and milk). For people who are passionate about environmental issues, keto is not exactly a poster child for a terrestrial meal plan.

Who’s supposed to consider the Keto Diet?

Good research shows that if you have certain chronic health conditions, a keto diet can help. If you check any of these categories , consult your family doctor to see if jumping on a keto train might be a good option for you:

The strongest evidence to get keto is for those with type 2 diabetes – a.k.a. People who do not produce enough insulin or are insulin-resistant. Some research has shown that after six months on a keto diet, blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics can normalize to the point that they can reduce or reduce insulin and other blood glucose-lowering drugs.

Diabetes of Type 2  ,  How about that?

Keto’s low carb count means that you naturally get less glucose through your blood, so you don’t have the greatest need for insulin to move glucose into your cells.

Another big big bonus:  Decreased weight loss alone from a keto plan can reduce a person’s dependence on blood glucose-reducing drugs (overweight can impair your body’s ability to make and use insulin,and weight loss can improve insulin sensitivity and use, which is not a small thing since one of the side effects of injected insulin is (cruelly),weight gain.

Heart Diseases :

A high-fat diet to fight heart disease?

It sounds crazy, but science is starting to show that keto diet( and other low-carb diets) can raise good cholesterol and lower triglycerides , a type of lipid that is closed linked to arteriosclerosis.

Some people with high cholesterol who have been on a keto diet for several months are seeing beneficial changes ( such as reduced triglycerides which can start to go down in weeks and increased good HDL) and are able to reduce the amount of statin drugs they are on or off.

Experts stress, however, that you should not go wild with saturated fats mostly found in animal products which are linked to an increase in LDL and lowering of HDL.

Obesity:  Anyone who is overweight (often referred to as BMI over 25) should change their eating habits in order to lose weight and reduce their risk of chronic weight-related illnesses.  For those who have tried and failed low-fat plans, the keto diet may be a winner. Most people lose weight on ketoes, especially at the beginning (albeit partly due to water-weight loss).

That initial speedy loss can be motivating and motivating dieters to keep going.

(Note: not all physicians believe that people with obesity should experience such an extreme diet; a more moderate approach may be more sustainable over a lifetime.)

Metabolism Syndrome:   A cluster of conditions that occur together with metabolic syndrome is characterized by high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL (good) cholesterol, high blood sugar and excess body fat around the waist.  Like a perfect storm, each condition has a biochemical impact on others and , together, significantly increases a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Because of the benefits of keto diet for people with these individual conditions , it can also help with metabolic syndrome.

There are different verions of Keto?

The OG plan relies on a finely calibrated equation of carbs , fat , and protein to generate ketones.  If you start messing with math,it’s pretty easy to get rid of ketosis. But staying in ketosis is not necessarily the end of the diet if you consider its other benefits: feeling fuller so you don’t snack your way through the pantry and weaning yourself off a high-carb feedback loop that keeps you looking for sugar all the time.  If you’re willing to play a little loose with the rules,you might find a keto-style plan that’s easier to commit to in the long run.

Let’s look at a couple of ways to live the life of the Keto:

SKD  ( Standard Keto Diet ):  This is the mothership, the version that doctors put on diabetic or epileptic patients to achieve full-blown , steady-state ketosis.

This is how the diet breaks down:

  • 70 to 75 percent fat
  • 20 percent of protein
  • 5 to 10 percent carbs (measured in grams, not more than 50 grams per day; some people may need to drop to 20 grams to achieve ketosis).

Experts recommend that you use your fat calories with at least some and preferably many unsaturated and monounsaturated sources, such as fish , avocados, nuts, olive oil and MCT ( medium chain triglyceride ) oil, an oil found in coconuts and which some adherents take as a supplement.  ( It creates more ketones than any other type of fat and allows you to take your carbohydrate up a bit without bumping out of ketosis).

People who are members of the SKD committee often use urine strips that detect ketones in your pee and turn a certain color when you are in ketosis.  And if your breath smells fruity or metallic , you’ll know that you’re in ketosis.

Cyclic or Targeted Keto;  For those who can’t handle a 24/7 keto existence or if you desperately need a carbohydrate boost on days when you want to watch an intense aerobic exercise session ( your body needs more glucose during aerobic exercise) doing keto for ,say, five days , two days off may work better with your lifestyle and schedule.

Atkins Diet (MAD) or High-Protein Keto Diet (HPKD) : You’re eating less fat and more protein on these tweaked plans , so it won’t necessarily keep you in ketosis.  It can, however, keep you calorie intake down because the protein is satiating ( even more than fat).

The breakdown seems like this:

  • 60 to 65 percent fat
  • 25 to 30 percent protein
  • 10 percent of carbohydrates

Keto has been modified:  This is a plan that many people default to when sticking to SKD becomes too difficult , too boring, or results in chronic health problems ( such as constipation).

A more generous allocation of carbs meant that you don’t have to track every bite as religiously.  And the low-fat , slightly higher-carb version allows for a few more options such as fruit, legumes and whole grains.

And that’s all right if your goal is moderate weight loss.  It’s not going to put you or keep you in ketosis, though.

Your Daily intake breaks up like this:

  • 55 percent of fat
  • 30 percent of protein
  • 15 percent of Carbohydrate

What’s Like

Living on the Keto Diet?

There’s no way around it if you’re going to have a proper keto diet, you’re going to give up a lot of foods that are usually combined with comfort: hot breads, cookies, pumpkin pie.

Youu might, say experts, find your taste buds to adapt, so you’ll eventually stop craving for sugar-laden fare.  But living in such a limited way can still make socializing  awakward ( and restaurant menu options limited).

If your primary goal is weight loss, there are other less restrictive options that may make it easier to integrate and sustain your lifestyle over the long term.  Then again, a lot of people tried the keto diet and found success with it.  If you tried other  methods of losing weight and failed , having a more regimented plan like keto could be what you need to stay on track and keep yourself accountable.

It may require planning meals well in advance and making food at home rather than eating out.  It could be a shock to your system but it’s a good way to jumpstart your commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

Will I lose weight with a keto diet?

Probably , but it might come back if you stop doing keto ( which is true of any diet , really).  Diets do not require people to confront one of the main reasons for overweight in the first place: emotional eating.

Learning not to reach cookies or chips when you’re stressed is hard, but once you flex your muscles, you have more freedom and control.

Can a keto diet help with my diabetes?

Yes Keto is a low-carb plan that can help you lower your blood sugar levels.  One study found that after six months on a keto diet , people were able to reduce their insulin medication significantly.

And any diet that helps you lose your pounds is also good for diabetes , because being overweight is a major factor in the disease.

If I Have Cancer should I try Keto?

There’s not enough research to know one way or the other.  Some research shows that cancer tumors feed on glucose,which could give keto on advantage over higher- carb plans; but for other cancers namely breast cancer , prostate cancer and colorectal cancer high-fat diets may increases the risk.  In addition , dietary elements of any new eating plan may interfere with or increase certain drug treatments.  Always consult your doctor before you start any cancer “eat to beat” regimen.

What’s a dirty keto?

This is basically the first phase of the Atkins plan, with any fat-laden fare on the menu greasy ribs, butter-sauteed steaks , three -egg omelets topped with a mountain of cheese without any attention paid to heal their fat or vegetables.

Experts do not, of course, recommend  this version of keto. Not only is it the antithesis of a well-balanced diet, but it’s way too easy to overdo calories, which defeats the whole purpose of a diet.

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