The Keto diet may be on many of the latest internet blogs and vlogs, but it isn’t new. In fact, it’s rather old. For hundreds of years there was no treatment for seizures, except to control them by fasting. You simply couldn’t fast forever, so it wasn’t very efficient. In the 1920s the Mayo clinic tried a new way. They put people with seizures on an extremely low carbohydrate diet with high fat and it helped control the seizure like fasting did, but still allowed the person to eat. The knowledge learned from using that diet was then discovered by body builders in the 1980s who found it allowed them to lose weight, while still eating normally forbidden foods like bacon and butter.
What is the keto diet?
The keto diet is a way of managing macronutrients and force the body to burn fat for its energy source. It contains approximately 20% of the daily calories from protein, 5% from carbs and about 75% from fat. The normal diet is approximately 40% protein, 10% carbs and 50% from fat. The fat comes from nuts, cheese and avocados. If you want to know how many carbs 10% of the average person’s dietary intake is, think of it as about 10 to 15 grams of carbs. It’s a fist size serving of cooked carrots or 15 grapes, but it’s also about 15 cups of shredded leaf lettuce. You have to choose your fruits and vegetables wisely with this diet.
How it actually works and why it’s called ketogenic.
Normally, when you eat carbs, they break down fast, so the body fuels with glucose by breaking down carbohydrates. On the keto diet, it uses ketones instead of glucose for energy. Keytones are created by breaking down fat in the liver. When there’s not enough glucose the body uses those keytones instead. Since there’s not a lot of glucose in the bloodstream, insulin levels are also reduced. That also lowers inflammation that can occur and reduce the potential for insulin resistance that can make fat harder to lose.
The more sugar you eat, the more you want.
Sugar is addictive and the more you eat, the more you want. Sugar is also a simple carbohydrate. When you reduce the amount of carbs in your die. You need vegetables and fruits for a healthy diet. These are also carbohydrates. That means you have to be selective and cutting out sugar is the first step in that process. When you cut out sugar, many of your cravings for it are diminished. This diet also adds healthy fat, which is necessary to burn fat on the body. It also improves skin, hair, brain functioning, cholesterol levels and heart health.
- While the diet may be good, it’s not for everyone and needs monitoring to ensure that it contains all necessary nutrients, many of which come from fruits and vegetables, which are carbohydrates.
- The keto diet may have some side effects at first. They include headache, fatigue and nausea. Constipation, hypoglycemia and dehydration may be longer term side effects.
- The keto diet should never be considered without the supervision of a doctor if you have either type 1 diabetes or type 2. It also may cause loss of muscle mass and reduced athletic performance.
- One reason the keto diet may work is the fat takes longer to digest, so you feel full longer. However, it can also leave you feeling stuffy and out of sorts.
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