In recent times, the Keto diet has emerged as a new trend in the fitness world. It has been advertised as a weight-loss wonder and has grabbed the attention of many fitness junkies for its weight loss claims. Basically, a ketogenic diet or keto diet is a diet plan that changes the way your body converts food into energy.
Here, we are with some interesting information on the keto diet and its health benefits. Read on.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
Ketogenic diet a.k.a ‘keto diet’ is carb-deficient, adequate-protein and fat-rich eating plan that aims at forcing your body to use fat for energy, rather than sugars. A ketogenic diet puts your body on ketosis. It is a metabolic state in which your body uses ketones as fuel to keep working when it runs out of primary fuel source, glucose. Additionally, it can trigger weight loss by reducing your calorie intake and burning fatty acids for energy. People on keto diet claim that they feel more energetic, less hungry and experience weight loss as well.
What forms a Keto Diet?
A keto diet incorporates fatty and protein-rich foods. If you are planning to go on keto, base the majority of your diet on low-carb vegetables, meat, eggs, healthy oils, full-fat yogurt, unprocessed cheese, mushrooms, butter, avocado, and peanuts etc.
To get the best benefits out of a keto diet, one should stop consuming high-carb foods such as whole grains, starchy foods, root vegetables and tubers, legumes, fruits except a few like strawberries.
History of Keto Diet-
Although the keto diet gained popularity as a weight loss solution recently; the use of the Keto diet is not new. The origins of the keto diet can be traced back to the nineteenth century, when it was first used to treat symptoms of epilepsy, especially in children. In I920, researchers found that the elevated levels of ketones in the blood resulted in fewer epileptic seizures in patients. Even today, the keto diet is prescribed to the children with epilepsy who show a little or no response to anti-epileptic drugs.
How it Works-
The Keto diet works by forcing your body into the process of Ketosis. It is a metabolic state in which your body produces a large number of ketones. These molecules are used by your body as an alternate fuel source to produce energy when the glucose levels are relatively low.
Ketone production is an important function of the liver. In this process, your liver gradually converts fats into fatty acids and ketones. On a ketogenic diet, your body switches its fuel source and uses fat for energy. Being low in carbohydrates, the ketogenic diet reduces the levels of insulin in your body, which in turn, transforms your body into a fat burning machine. Superb!
Health Benefits of the Keto Diet-
Since centuries, the keto diet is being used as an effective remedy to cure epilepsy. But its health benefits are not limited to combating this debilitating disease. In fact, it can benefit your health in several ways. Some of its most impressive health benefits as follows-
Aids in Weight Loss-
When you are on a keto diet, your body is burning fat day and night. This constant fat-burning process not only fuels your body but aids in weight loss as well. Besides, it allows you to curb hunger pangs by suppressing ghrelin (hunger hormone). In addition, it elevates the level of cholecystokinin (CCK), a chemical that imparts you a feeling of being full.
Controls Blood Sugars and Insulin Spikes–
When you consume high-carb foods, it causes a rapid increase in your blood glucose and equally rapid insulin rush from the pancreas. The insulin cuts down excessive glucose in the blood, which in turn, can make you feel hungry after a few hours.
On the other hand, consuming a low-carb diet helps in keeping the blood sugar levels low and reduces insulin spikes as well. Low insulin spike is a paramount success for any kind of diet as higher levels of insulin makes your body to store more fat.
Improves Brain Functions-
Ketones form an excellent fuel for your brain as it provides an instant splash of energy. They are more powerful than carbs and fulfil around 70% of your brain’s energy needs. Besides, it feeds your brain with nutrients and improves its ability to work efficiently. Your brain is made up of 60% of fat cells and it is essential to feed it with healthy fats to keep it in good condition. Studies revealed that switching to the keto diet enhances memory and reduces the risk of cognitive decline as well.
Boosts Energy Levels-
When your body is running on ketones for energy, you don’t experience the same energy slumps as you do when you consume a high-carb diet. On keto, your body remains in a fat-burning mode which results in a steady supply of energy to the brain. It results in no energy slumps and brain fog.
Besides, keto helps the brain to produce a high number of mitochondria which are also known as the powerhouse of the cells. Your body needs strong mitochondria to provide your organs with the energy they require to work best. Also, you should keep in mind that the keto diet may make you feel sick or show some health-related symptoms known as ‘keto flu’ in the initial stages. Once it passes, you will swear by the positive effects of the keto diet.
Inflammation is your body’s natural ability to fight against a foreign particle that invades your body for all wrong reasons. However, too much or chronic inflammation is bad for you. Consistent production of anti-inflammatory chemicals in your body can result in serious ailments such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes and many more.
Keto diet, on the other hand, switches off your inflammatory pathways and protects your body from harmful effects. Additionally, it is important for you to incorporate unprocessed foods in your keto diet to get its best benefits.
We hope you find this information useful and interesting. Thanks for reading. We wish you good health!