The ketogenic or keto diet is a diet characterised by foods that are low carb and high-fat. The keto diet results in the body producing ketones in the liver to be used as a source energy.
When we consume high carb foods our bodies produce glucose and insulin. Glucose gets converted into, and used as energy. It is an easy conversion for our bodies, so it is usually our bodies preferred energy source. Insulin is produced to process this glucose into our bloodstreams.
The glucose becomes the primary energy source. Our fats are not used, and therefore get stored.
With a higher carbohydrate diet, our bodies use glucose as the main form of energy. But by changing to a lower carbohydrate intake, our bodies’ energy store changes and the body is induced into a state known as ketosis. During ketosis, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver, when we are on a low carbohydrate diet. This is a result of starvation of carbohydrates not starvation of calories.
By changing to a keto based diet, we are changing what we put into our bodies. Our bodies adaptive very quickly to what we put in it so when we lower our carb intake and increase with fats, our bodies adapt to burning ketones as its primary energy source. Being on a keto diet and having optimal ketone levels in our bodies can offer have many health benefits.
Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
There are a number of benefits that can come from being on the keto diet:
The ketogenic diet uses our fat stores as the primary energy source, as a result we have less fat and therefore we have weight loss. A carbohydrate diet increased our insulin production, but on a keto diet, our insulin levels drop, as there is less carbohydrate being converted to glucose. Lower levels of insulin also result in more fat burning.
Control Blood Sugar
A keto diet is usually characterised with more protein and more fats. These foods usually lower our blood sugar levels more so than compared to high carbohydrate foods. Lower carbohydrate intake, results in less insulin. These two factors help control our blood sugar levels.
Control Cholesterol Pressure
Low-carb and high-fat diets can increase our HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease our LDL (bad cholesterol). The keto diet can therefore help to improve our triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels.
Foods to include on a Keto Diet:
Lean Proteins: fish, met poultry, and eggs
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: kale and spinach
Full Fat Dairy Products: yoghurts, cheeses and milk
Nuts and Seeds: walnuts, cashews and sunflower seeds
The nutrient intake on a keto diet is approximately: 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate.
No more than 30g of carbs is recommend each day.
Disclaimer: Results may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss. Consult with your health care processional before beginning any diet or exercise regime.