Have you ever imagined what would happen if your body burns fats to fuel itself instead of carbohydrates?
The body breaks down carbohydrates into smaller sugars (glucose, fructose, and galactose), which is further used to provide energy and any unused glucose is stored in the muscles and the liver in the form of glycogen. In absence of carbohydrates, the brain has to depend on fats to acquire the energy instead of the liver.
This is how a Ketogenic diet or a Keto diet works.
A ketogenic diet is a low-carb high-fat diet and the supporters following it claims to have achieved many health benefits like improvement in blood sugar, weight loss, and performance.
Is ketogenic really worth it? Should you try the keto diet? Let’s learn more about it:
A ketogenic diet is based on cutting down the consumption of carbohydrates and increasing the intake of fats and proteins. Such a diet leads to “ketosis” i.e. the body will use ketones (fats) for energy. This type of diet is similar to the Atkins diet, introduced in the 1970s.
As per studies at Harvard, the body requires 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrate consumption per day for the production of ketone bodies.
There are various types of Ketogenic diets:
- Standard ketogenic diet: 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs
- Cyclical ketogenic diet: 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days
- Targeted ketogenic diet: Can add carbs around workouts
- High-protein ketogenic diet: 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.
The most commonly used Ketogenic Diet is the Standard Ketogenic Diet and the Cyclic and Targeted Ketogenic Diet is usually used by bodybuilders and athletes.
Benefits of Ketogenic Diet:
- Helps in controlling the blood sugar level for people with Type 2 Diabetes.
- Enhances weight loss
- A ketogenic diet may be beneficial for people suffering from epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease as per studies and research.
- As per studies a ketogenic diet aids recovery after a brain injury.
- Research has also stated that a ketogenic diet helps in improving the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
Risk factors of following a Keto Diet:
- Break down of fatty acids might lead to bad breath.
- Might lead to a deficiency of specific nutrients if the diet is not followed properly.
- As per research, it can lead to an increase in the level of LDL cholesterol.
Please note: The research into many of these areas is far from conclusive.
Disclaimer: this article is not intended to diagnose or treat. Please consult your medical provider, informing them of your medical history and current medications, prior to making drastic changes to your diet.