Keto diet or ketogenic diet is one of the highly Googled diet plans of current times. Celebrities like Halle Berry and Kourtney Kardashian are among those who swear by this ultra-low carb and high-fat diet plan.
Basically, in this diet plan, the metabolic process or ketosis of the body is induced by reducing the carbohydrate intake and replacing the same with fat. This transition makes your body a fat burning machine. This burned fat not only gives energy to your body but turns fat into ketones in the liver, which gives energy to the brain.
With weight loss, this diet plan also controls type 2 diabetes and epilepsy. Some researches show that ketogenic diet improves the glycemic control and causes the reduction in the A1C test – a test to measure a diabetes patient’s average blood sugar level over two to three months. All this, in turn, reduces the medicines of a diabetes patient.
According to a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2013 – keto diet also helps to clear up the skin because the high carb food items many times promote acne.
However, there are a few downsides of this diet plan as well and one of which is eating a lot of fat, which may be unhealthy. Since this fat can be saturated and hence may cause more risk to diabetes patients as they are on the higher side of having cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the saturated fat can increase the LDL or bad cholesterol in the body and hence can result in heart problems. Therefore, it is suggested to consult your doctor before starting a keto diet plan.
Whether you follow keto diet or any other dieting plan keeping healthy and maintaining optimum weight is what that is recommended always. This not only leads you to live a healthy life, but also increases your ‘no claim bonus’ if you have taken a health insurance policy.
How Does Keto Diet Work?
Originally, the keto diet was not designed for weight loss, but for handling epilepsy. In the year 1920, doctors of epilepsy realized that keeping the patients on a diet low in carbs forced their bodies using body fats as the first source of fuel in place of glucose. When the body only has fats to burn, it converts the fats into fatty acids and then converts it into a compound known as Ketones, which is used as fuel for the body cells.
Even though the reason is still not clear, but fueling the body with ketones reduces the risk of seizures. And some people with epilepsy even today rely on a keto diet and get benefits.
On the other hand, for weight loss, keto diet is the descendant of few low carbohydrate diet plans like Atkins diet. Atkins got popularity during the 2000s. Both these diet plans restrict the intake of carbs and promote eating meatier meals. There is no specific blueprint for keto diet plan but it prohibits eating more than 50 grams of carbohydrates in a day.
In this way, keto forces your body to go into the state of ketosis, which means the cells of your body start depending heavily on the ketones for getting energy. According to Ann Carson, a professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center and the chair of the Nutrition Committee of American Heart Association (AHA) – it is still not clear why keto diet leads to weight loss, but it blunts the appetite and affects the hormones such as insulin to regulate the hunger. Moreover, proteins and fats also keep one fuller than the carbs.
Types of Keto Diet
There are different versions of the ketogenic diet and some of which are:
- Cyclic Ketogenic Diet: In this keto diet plan periods of high carbs are included between ketogenic days. For example, after five keto diet days, there will be two high carb days.
- Standard Ketogenic Diet: In this diet plan of keto, 75% fats, 20% proteins, and only 5% carbs are taken in a day. In this way, it is high-fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet plan.
- High Protein Ketogenic Diet: This is more or less similar to the standard ketogenic diet, but here the protein intake is higher. The ratio here becomes 60% fats, 35% protein, and only 5% carbs.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet: In this type of keto diet, you are allowed to add carbohydrates during your workout days.
Note: It is to be noted that only high-protein and standard ketogenic diets are studied extensively. The targeted and cyclic keto diets are comparatively advanced ones and are preferred by athletes and bodybuilders.
Side Effects of the Ketogenic Diet
On one hand, where a ketogenic diet is a good option for healthy people to reduce weight, on the other hand, there may be some side effect. During the initial days of your keto plan, you may encounter few issues or symptoms which are referred to as keto flu. This flu usually gets over within a few days. The keto flu may also result in low energy and mental function, nausea, sleep problems, increased hunger, and digestive dysfunction. Moreover, you can regain weight as soon as you start your normal diet plan and thus it is good for those who stick consistently with ketos.
People suffering from diabetes or other lifestyle disease are as well not allowed to start ketos without consulting their doctors.
The Bottom Line
We can say that the ketogenic diet is great, but it is not for everyone. It is a good way to reduce weight by improving your metabolic rate. However, if you are an athlete who is wishing to add muscles, it is not your cup of tea. Apart from this, the fats eaten during the diet can cause cardiovascular problems especially in patients of lifestyle illnesses like diabetes. Therefore, any diet plan that is as extreme as the Ketogenic diet must be followed under the supervision of the medical practitioner.
In this way, it is better to maintain a healthy lifestyle than following any strict diet plan in order to reduce or maintain optimum weight. Regular walking or exercising, cutting down sugar intake and high-carb foods are some of the changes that anyone can make easily in day to day life. Moreover, to safeguard self and family at the time of a medical emergency from the financial crisis, it is suggested to take a health insurance plan. There are various types of mediclaim insurance policies available, and you can opt for the one that meets your need.