A diet that allows you to lose weight without having to give up your love for bacon isn’t that the stuff full of dreams? Well, that’s what the keto diet does. A ketogenic diet or “keto diet” as it is popularly called, is a low carb, high-fat diet that puts the body in a physiological state called Ketosis. Ketosis is a natural process where the body uses ketones produced in the liver as its primary source of energy instead of the usual glucose.
When the body uses glucose as its fuel – the most natural compound for it to break down, the body fat is not required in the metabolic process and stored away, accumulating and thus preventing weight loss. The body gets its glucose from the carbohydrates ingested. In the absence of glucose to be broken down for the body’s energy needs, it turns to stored fats breaking them down to produce ketones, its fuel alternative. It aims to direct the body to use ketones as its primary source of energy by depriving the body of carbohydrates and thus glucose, through low carb, high-fat diet.
Fats are your friends
The nutrient breakdown of a ketogenic diet would be composed of 70% fats, 25% protein and 5% carbohydrates. In a keto diet, you can include a wide range of meats from beef to bacon, pork, poultry, turkey and steak in moderate quantities. Factory farmed meat and fish high in Omega 6 are the few things that one should avoid. Fats like butter, coconut oil, avocados, eggs, cheese and mayonnaise can be included. You can load up your plate with all vegetables except starchy ones like potatoes, and only take them in small quantities. Fruits other than avocado and berries can occasionally be included as these are high in sugar which the body converts into glucose.
Grains like wheat and rice should be strictly avoided as these are high in carbohydrates, this means bread, even the brown one, breakfast cereals, pasta, pizzas and burgers are out of bounds too. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your burgers entirely, just replace the bun with your choice of meat, include veggies, cheese and mayonnaise as usual. You don’t even have to opt for low-fat cheese and mayonnaise, the regular hard cheeses, high fat cream and mayonnaise are perfectly fine. You have to see that your meal’s nutrient composition is high fat, moderate protein and low carbs. Double down burger anyone?
Benefits of keto diet
Weight loss is not the only benefit of this low carb, high-fat diet. It has numerous other benefits like keeping blood sugar and insulin levels in check, that promote overall health. Insulin is another by-product of ingested carbohydrate, and it helps the body to process the glucose in the bloodstream. By eliminating carbs and sugars, including natural sugars present in fruits, mainly from the diet reduces the production of insulin and glucose, thus helping to control blood sugar. Keto also helps to reduce acne and skin inflammations.
A diet that includes more fat and moderate protein keeps you fuller for longer; this helps to avoid cravings and over-indulgences. This factor is a significant difference that regular low carb or high carb low-fat diets do not provide. By merely cutting out carbohydrates or fats you will still feel the hunger pangs, leading to cravings and resulting in over-indulgence.
Overall, keto diet is the best option to lose weight and promote good health without having to give up most of your favourite foods! While this diet is perfectly safe for a majority of people, those with type 1 diabetes are advised to get your doctor’s nod before trying this diet.