How Does Keto Work? Is the High-Fat Diet a Fad?

The keto diet came to life a long time ago. It was used in the 1920s by medical doctors to control epilepsy seizures in children. More than 100 years have passed, and it is still one of the most popular and sought-after diets.

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat eating plan designed to kickstart a process known as ketosis, in which your body burns fat for energy rather than carbs.

Let’s dive in to learn about the health benefits and drawbacks of the keto diet and get a grip on the dos and don’ts.

Lifelong Guarantee: After reading this blog post, you’ll start appreciating the yummy foods brought to you by the keto diet and will definitely lose weight.

does keto work, dietary carbs

What is a Keto Diet?

The ketogenic or keto diet restricts carbohydrate intake while encouraging a high intake of healthy fatty foods and a moderate protein intake.

It revolves around ketosis. So, what exactly is ketosis?

Your body will usually enter ketosis after 2-7 days of following the keto diet. When you restrict carbs, your body turns to other energy sources. Your liver produces ketones and begins to burn stored fat instead of carbs.

How many Types of Keto Diets are there?

  • Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): Is a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high fat diet. It is typically composed of 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbohydrates.
  • Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet consists of 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high carb days.
  • Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to eat carbohydrates in between workouts.
  • High protein ketogenic diet: Is similar to the standard ketogenic diet, but it contains more protein. Typically, the ratio is 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.

Only the standard and high-protein ketogenic diets have received extensive research, whereas the cyclical and targeted ketogenic diets are primarily used by bodybuilders or athletes.

Keto- Dos and Don’ts

When following a keto diet, you have to stick to the list of allowed foods and restricted foods to make sure your body breaks fat—and thereby accelerate your weight loss journey.

Simply change your mindset from “deprivation” to “I can still enjoy some of my favorite foods while on keto.” Also, keep in mind that there are numerous keto food recipes available to use.

You can do it and join the ranks of healthy people who enjoy food and life!

keto meal and blood sugar

Foods to Eat

Plan your meals around high fat foods:

  • Fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel.
  • Eggs.
  • Meat: chicken, turkey, red meat, steak, ham, sausage, and bacon.
  • Butter, heavy cream, sour cream, preferably from grass-fed animals.
  • Full fat cheese: cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella.
  • Nuts and seeds: pecans, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, , chia seeds, etc.
  • Healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or MCT oil.
  • Avocados.

In addition:

  • Low carb veggies: green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
  • Condiments: table salt or pink salt, pepper, different varieties of herbs, and spices.

Foods to Avoid

  • Sugary foods: soda, fruit juice, candy, smoothies, cake, ice cream, etc.
  • Sugar-free diet foods: sugar-free candies, syrups, puddings, desserts, etc.
  • Grains/whole grains, or starches: wheat, oat, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
  • All fruit, except small portions of berries (e.g., strawberries).
  • Legumes: chickpeas, peas, kidney beans, lentils, etc.
  • Starchy vegetables including root vegetables and tubers, such as parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, etc.
  • Low fat or diet products: low fat mayonnaise and salad dressings.
  • Some condiments or sauces: barbecue sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, etc.
  • Unhealthy fats: processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
  • Alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks.

Do I have to Track my Daily Calories while on Keto?

track calories on keto, ketone bodies

Certainly not! On the ketogenic diet, you don’t have to count calories because proteins and fats provide satiation and help control blood sugar, reducing cravings. As the body sheds excess fat, the resting metabolic rate rises slightly but does not continue to fall. Calories burn more quickly as you become more keto-adapted.

When you follow a keto diet, your body weight is self-regulated by emphasizing food types over quantity consumed.

However, if you’re not losing weight, you can count your daily calories for 2–3 weeks.

To begin your calorie-tracking experiment, you’ll need the following tools:

  • A food scale—This eliminates the need to guess how much you’re eating.
  • An online keto calculator — By entering your information, you’ll get science-based estimates of how much you should eat to achieve your goals.

What are Keto Health Benefits?

The keto diet was developed a long time ago to treat neurological diseases such as epilepsy, especially in children. Recent research suggests that the keto diet has many potential health benefits; however, the findings are not conclusive yet.

Accelerates your Weight Loss and Fat loss

Several studies found that the low-carb diet “keto” was slightly more effective for long-term weight loss than a low-fat diet. The keto diet resulted in an average weight loss of 2 pounds (0.9 kg) more than the low-fat diet. Another study of a group of elderly people discovered that those who followed a ketogenic diet for 8 weeks lost nearly five times as much total body fat as those who followed a low-fat diet.

Lowers the Risk of Some Diseases

The keto diet may lower a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

May Reduce Insulin Levels

The ketogenic diet may reduce insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes patients. Insulin levels may drastically drop due to the restricted carb intake.

Has the Potential to Treat some Health Conditions

Several studies have now shown that keto can benefit a wide range of different health conditions:

  • Cancer– it may help slow tumor growth, the diet is currently being investigated as an additional cancer treatment.
  • Alzheimer’s -it may help reduce Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and slow its progression.
  • Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder. one study discovered that the diet helped improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)- it may help lower insulin levels, which may be important in polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Injuries to the brain– it may improve the outcomes of traumatic brain injuries. Keep in mind, however, that research in many of these areas is far from conclusive.

What are the Health Concerns Related to Keto?

Every thing in life has its pros and cons, and keto is no exception. In addition to constipation, fuzzy thinking and mood swings, there are more serious associated potential health risks, as summarized.

Deficiency in Nutrients

If you don’t eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, and grains, you may be at risk for micronutrient deficiencies, such as selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins B and C.

Liver Problems

With so much fat to metabolize, the diet may aggravate any pre-existing liver conditions.

Kidney Problems

The kidneys aid in protein metabolism, and the keto diet might overburden them by giving you kidney stones. (The current protein recommendation is 46 grams per day for women and 56 grams for men).

Keto Flu

The keto flu is a set of symptoms that can appear two to seven days after starting a ketogenic diet. Headache, foggy brain, fatigue, irritability, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and constipation are just a few of the symptoms of this undiagnosed condition.

Some people may experience these symptoms after cleaning up their diet. However, the exact cause of the keto flu remains unclear.

You can overcome the keto flu by drinking plenty of water and sleeping well.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetes patients (type 1 and type 2) who follow a keto diet must carefully monitor their ketone levels. Ketoacidosis can occur when levels become too high. Ketoacidosis is a condition in which the body is poisoned by extremely high levels of ketones. It is a severe and dangerous condition that can manifest itself quickly, sometimes within 24 hours.

Ketoacidosis is most commonly caused by illnesses that cause increased levels of hormones that work against insulin. It can also be caused by issues with insulin therapy, such as missing scheduled treatments or not receiving enough insulin.

Some early symptoms of ketoacidosis include abdominal pain, difficulty concentrating, frequent urination, rapid breathing, nausea, and vomiting.

Diabetes patients can avoid ketoacidosis in a variety of ways, including:

  • Monitoring their blood sugar levels three to four times per day, discussing insulin dosage with a specialist, and adhering to a diabetes treatment plan.
  • Using a ketone test kit to monitor their ketone levels, especially if they are ill or under stress.

Heart Disease

The keto diet is high in saturated fat and may raise cholesterol levels. An increase in “bad” LDL cholesterol is also linked to cardiovascular issues.

All in all, It is crucial to seek medical advice from a doctor, one of the trustworthy wellness professionals, or a registered dietitian, who will prepare an eating plan that suits your body to avoid potential associated health risk factors, especially if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes.

Conclusion- Keto is not a Fad Diet!

A true keto diet is a restrictive diet that requires a lot of self discipline. It works wonders for people who should eat fewer carbs, as well as for those who want to burn fat quickly and speed up their weight loss journey.

Even though there are some undesired drawbacks, they can be manageable, and you’ll be amazed at how your body adapts.

keto foods and plant foods, enough glucose

It is not a one-size-fits-all regimen, though. I highly encourage anyone to seek medical advice, before making dietary changes. And always remember to enjoy the foods you eat- food for the soul.

Ahmed Matar

Not just food lover, I also like to write about foods and diets, especially keto! Finding low-carb food is fun for me regardless of how others find it difficult. Besides having an interest in foods & diets I also like exercising and walking long distance regularly :)

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