With all of the diet plans being offered, it's hard to understand which one is the best. Lately, the Keto diet has been making headlines. You may have also been noticing keto-related food products entering your local grocery store. Here is a rundown of the facts behind this trending diet and why you might consider it as a promoter to good health.
1. What is the Keto Diet?
Keto is short for ketogenic. It is a high-fat, low-carb diet that promotes weight loss. Studies have shown that this low-carb diet is more beneficial than other types of similar low-carb diets. Because of the high-fat content, seldom does anyone participating in the diet feel unsatisfied.
2. How Does the Keto Diet Work?
Jason Ewoldt is a wellness dietitian at Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. He has extensively studied the Keto diet and has determined that most Americans consume 50% of their carbohydrates diet. By increasing our fat intake, the body stops taking glucose for energy. It starts feeding off of fatty acids and ketone bodies.
3. Are There Other Health-related Benefits to the Keto Diet?
By stopping the glucose from transforming into energy, the sugar level in our bodies is stabilized. Diabetics have seen tremendous success in following the Keto diet. According to Ewoldt, this diet has been around since the 1920s when it was used in fighting epilepsy in children. This process is still used today to some degree.
4. What Foods Are High in Carbohydrates?
Many people think of carbohydrates as anything containing refined sugar, but the list is more extensive. Natural whole foods like milk, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables contain sugar. Starchy foods are another category that holds carbohydrates. Potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, and cereal are examples of starchy foods. In the Keto diet, carbohydrates are limited to less than 20 grams per day.
5. What Foods Are High in Protein?
Meat and seafood are the leaders in protein (and low in carbohydrates), but not everyone eats meat. There is still a big selection for protein from other foods. Eggs, cottage cheese, plain yogurt, and certain berries are filled with protein--minus the carbs. Blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries are lower in carbohydrates than most citrus fruits.
6. Are There Added Benefits That May Not Be Commonly Known?
Athletes have been studied for the past 4 years for the benefits of using the Keto Diet. It was discovered through studies that athletes burned 2-3 times the amount of fat as those using a regular diet. Also, there was more energy during exercise and less oxidative stress. Another area recently studied was mental clarity. Ketosis aids in clearing mental fog, improving mental clarity, and having more mental and physical energy.
7. What Does It Mean to Enter Ketosis?
Ketosis is when your body does not have enough carbohydrates to burn as energy. However, our bodies are resilient and will search for other areas to use. This is where ketosis begins. Because there are too few carbohydrates to use for energy, the body uses fat cells. Since you are filling up on protein instead of carbs, your body can produce plenty of ketones.
8. How do I Know if My Body is Adequately Balanced with the Keto Diet?
You do not want to overdo it by cutting out all carbs and adding too much protein. The balance is tricky but can be measured with test strips. Blood sugar meters can also measure your percentages.
9. Do You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms when Beginning the Keto Diet?
There can be adverse side effects when beginning this diet; some physicians liken it to the flu or withdrawing from sugar intake. Symptoms may include headache, cramps, bad breath, constipation, and fatigue. These are all temporary as your body adjusts to a new diet. However, these ill effects will subside within a week, and there are keto supplements available to help you transition and replace fuel burned in workouts.
10. Can I Live on a Keto Diet Forever?
Science is only starting to measure the results of long-term use. However, the results so far have been excellent. In addition to managing weight gain, the upside to staying on the Keto diet has decreased LDL cholesterol, blood glucose, and triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol.
You can obtain a happy medium. Discuss your personal medical issues with your family doctor, and you may find that the Keto diet is right for you.