One of the latest diets being touted is actually quite old. It’s the Keto diet—which is short for ketogenic diet. Originally, it was used as a substitute for fasting to control epileptic seizures. For 1400 years there’s been a hypothesis that fasting helped control seizures, but you simply can’t fast away your life. In the 1920s, doctors at the Mayo clinic found that super low carbohydrate and high fat meals helped control seizures just like fasting did. By the 1980s, body builder’s latched onto the diet and it became their tool for boosting weight loss and building a great body, while still enjoying the once forbidden foods like bacon, cream and butter. Today, it’s a viable tool for weight loss, but it isn’t for everybody.
The keto diet contains 20% protein, 5% carbohydrates and 75% fat.
If you’ve been on a low carb diet, you’re close to a keto diet, but the protein and carbohydrate numbers are lower. Instead of 40% protein, 10% carbs and 50% fat, you’re cutting carbs and protein in half and throwing those calories into the fat category. That translates to approximately 10 or 15 grams of carbohydrates a day. If you translate that to food, it’s about 15 grapes or a fist-size serving of cooked carrots. That’s not just for one meal but for the entire day. The fat comes from nuts, coconut milk or oil, cheese and avocado. It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure.
The body normally uses carbs for fuel but with this diet, it uses keytones.
That’s important because ketones come from breaking down fat. They’re formed in the liver and used as energy instead of glucose. In fact, you can even measure the amount of ketones by using urine and ketone strips. It burns ketones because there’s less glucose available. So basically, it reduces the body’s insulin levels and the inflammation that occurs when they’re high.
It helps you shed pounds and eliminate the sugar urge.
You’ll definitely feel fuller with the extra fat in your diet. A few weeks off sugar will also help you curb the sugar cravings, since you won’t have the blood sugar spikes and drops that occur with a high carb, high sugar diet. It also puts more healthy fat into your diet, something many people lack. Healthy fat, like avocados, can boost your mood and improve everything from your skin and hair to cholesterol, heart and brain functioning.
- One big problem with the keto diet is that it’s hard to follow. You have to carefully plan each meal to ensure you get the right proportions.
- People often don’t choose the healthiest fat content for their diet. Instead of turning to nuts and avocados, people often turn to bacon and animal fats that don’t come from organic, grass fed beef. That doesn’t promote good health.
- The weight you lose may not be significant or long lasting.
- There’s limited fiber. That can slow digestion. Just the very nature of the diet, low carb, can leave you feeling stuffy and out of sorts.