Keto, short for the Ketogenic Diet, and a term you are most likely familiar with if you have spent any amount of time in the health and fitness world recently. The keto diet, not called this at the time, was developed in France in 1911 as a treatment for epilepsy in children. Added health benefits were eventually noticed, specifically in the realm of weight loss. Today promoters of this way of eating make claims of weight loss, hormone control, mood enhancement, reducing insulin resistance, and much more.
There are foundational basics with the ketogenic diet while some aspects may vary from person to person. It is best described as high fat, moderate protein, and very low carb. The normal recommended diet recommends almost the opposite of this at 45-65 percent of daily calories should come from carbohydrates, 20-35 percent from fat, and 10-35 percent from protein. The Keto Diet suggests 5-10 percent of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates, 15-30 percent from protein, and 60-75 from percent fat.
You may be shocked that a diet recommends eating more fat than any other macronutrient, but it is true. Healthy fats make the difference between this being an unhealthy diet and a health promoting diet. Healthy fats are high in omega fatty acids, as well as mono and polyunsaturated fats. These foods include fatty fish, nuts, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil, as well as others. They are known to have positive heart health benefits. If you choose unhealthy fats while taking part in the ketogenic diet it can result in unintended poor health such as high cholesterol.
How Does it Work?
The ketogenic diet works by putting the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. It takes place when the body has little to no carbohydrate/glycogen sources for energy, which is the body’s preferred source of energy, and begins to rely on fat as energy instead. This is thought to be good when attempting weight loss because the body will start to burn stored fat as energy. You know you are in ketosis when ketones become present in the body and urine. Ketosis typically begins in a health person around 3 to 5 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. It becomes dangerous when ketoasidosis takes place. This is when the blood becomes too acidic. Anyone considering the ketogenic diet should speak to their healthcare provider before starting.
Keto and Weight Loss
The keto diet produces weight loss by curbing the appetite and reducing cravings. The appetite is curbed as a result of the increase of fat intake. Fat makes you feel full for longer reducing and preventing overeating. A biproduct of feeling full and reducing calorie intake is naturally weight loss.