When it’s the months leading up to the holidays, a lot of people – especially those who are conscious about their health and weight – might be excited but also worried about all the food they will be eating. After all, a lot of food does mean potential gains, which also means extra working out after the New Year. Interestingly, those who may have heard about the ketogenic diet, keto diet, might have a solution up their sleeve. For starters, the idea of almost completely eliminating your carbohydrates can be scary, but it can help with your body’s development and weight loss. In fact, keto diet appears to have more benefits than what was previously revealed. In this article, you’ll have a keto diet 101 – what it is and its health benefits – so you will know if you should do it for your health.
Keto Diet 101: How Does It Work?
In its most basic sense, the ketogenic diet is a diet that focuses on consuming low amounts of carbohydrates and compensating with high fat food. Before it became a dietary program that a lot of people follow, it has been already recommended to people with Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, cancer, and diabetes.
The point of the diet is to reduce the carbohydrate intake of the body to a drastic extent, to the point where the body undergoes ketosis. This state forces the body to be more efficient into producing energy by burning fat. This also allows the body to transform fat into ketones inside the liver, which can then be the brain’s energy supply. Given the reduction of carbohydrates in the body, the insulin and blood sugar levels decrease. Interestingly, there are actually multiple kinds of keto diets that you can try. For instance:
- Standard keto diet, or SKD, is the most common version of the keto diet. You consume high fat, moderate protein, and extremely low carbohydrates. The ratio is 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
- Cyclical keto diet, or CKD, is a lighter version of the SKD. This involves going into spurts of high carbohydrate intake after keto diet days. This means a CKD pattern can consist of two (2) high carbohydrate days after five (5) keto diet days.
- Targeted keto diet, or TKD, allows you to work out while undergoing a keto diet.
- High-protein keto diet is similar to the SKD. However, it reduces fat intake for more protein. As such, instead of the usual ratio above, it becomes 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
Keto Diet 101: What Benefits You Can Get
With the above taken into consideration, doing keto diet might seem a bit overwhelming and intense for a lot of people considering this as a fitness option. Websites such as KetoDomain.com offer a lot of resources for your keto diet concerns.
It might also help to have a better idea as to how a keto diet might benefit you should you start following it. Here are some of the benefits you will reap:
- Going for low carbohydrates can result in weight loss: If you’ve ever talked to someone who’s working out, cutting carbohydrates really helped them lose weight. Those who are on low-carbohydrate diets really tend to lose more weight faster, especially since this removes a lot of extra water in the body. As this lowers insulin levels, the kidneys will begin to shed excess sodium in the body. This means you can already see results just within the first two (2) weeks.
- Lose huge amounts of fat from the abdomen: Remember that not all fat in the body is stored the same way. This is why there are such things as brown or white fat. They’re most commonly known as subcutaneous fat and visceral fat, where the former is just under the skin and the latter is in the abdomen area. It’s the latter that is dangerous, as it can move around the organs and can therefore be harder to eliminate. This is what leads to insulin resistance and inflammation. Low-carbohydrate diets can actually help remove abdominal fat.
- Get yourself good cholesterol to move: Did you know there’s such a thing as good cholesterol? This is called the HDL, or the high-density lipoprotein, which carries cholesterol in the blood. There’s also LDL, which is the low-density lipoprotein, which is responsible for carrying cholesterol to the rest of the body. It’s HDL’s job to carry cholesterol to be used in the liver. It’s observed that the higher your HDL levels, the less your risk of heart disease. One of the ways to increase this is to eat a low-carbohydrate diet and food loaded with healthy fats.
- Reduce symptoms of type 2 diabetes as insulin and blood sugar levels decrease: When you take a low-carbohydrate diet, it lessens the carbohydrates the body uses to create energy. These carbohydrates contain sugar, which can increase insulin levels and blood sugar levels in your system. Cutting this off will force the body to utilize fat instead, which means there’s less sugar but still enough energy for the body to work with.
- Combat blood pressure and metabolic syndrome: With blood sugar and insulin levels down, your blood pressure goes down as well. This reduces the risk of diseases such as kidney failure, stroke, and heart disease. Not only that, a low-carbohydrate diet can also help reduce risks of metabolic syndrome, which is highly associated with heart disease and diabetes.
- Going for a low-carbohydrate diet can curb your appetite: It sucks to be hungry when you’re on a diet, and a lot of people on a keto diet are actually on an advantageous position. Why? Interestingly, eating a low-carb diet reduces your appetite compared when eating a calorie-restricted low-fat diet.
The Bottom Line: Keto Diet Has Its Own Share of Benefits
It’s interesting how you can achieve health benefits by doing the ketogenic diet. In fact, not only can it help reduce weight; it also does allow the body to utilize both fat and carbohydrates for energy, which is helpful if you’re at risk with diabetes. However, before you participate fully in a keto diet, do make sure you consult a physician and dietician so you’re aware of the extent of the keto diet you can participate in.