The Keto diet has lost a little bit of press over recent years, but there is still plenty of evidence that this low carbohydrate, high fat diet can give you some excellent results if used correctly.
Officially called the Ketogenic diet, it is similar to the Atkins diet but focuses on higher fat content, versus the Atkins system which promotes higher levels of protein.
Without making things too complicated early, there are four different types of Keto plans.
– The Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It is as high as 75% fat, and is designed to be a constant program compared too…
…the Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds for variety (having five “keto” days and two high carb days) but isn’t crafted around your daily needs…
…that is the Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This plan allows you to consume extra carbohydrates around your workouts.
Finally, there is a high-protein ketogenic diet which has a lower percentage of daily fat consumption (in the 50 to 60 percent frame) with higher protein (between 35-45%).
All forms of Ketogenic dieting involve dramatically reducing carbohydrate consumption and in all cases replacing it with fat.
This reduction of carbs results in a metabolic state called ketosis.
Two primary things occur:
– The body becomes more efficient at burning fat for energy.
– Fat is converted into ketones in the liver, which supplies energy for the brain.
The last point regarding ketones is why there is plenty of controversy over the keto diet.
Ketones are chemicals made by the liver, and are produced naturally when the body doesn’t have enough insulin to use glucose (the body’s preferred source of energy) – if ketones build up in the blood too much, they become acidic and can cause serious illness.
This can make the diet problematic for diabetics if not administered correctly.
But equally it can be something of a miracle diet as it improves overall blood sugar (having approximately 5% daily intake of carbs) and reduces the overall need for insulin.
Remember every diet has it’s pros and cons.
The Keto diet’s other flaw is that long term heavy reduction of carbohydrates can lead to issues when it comes to exercise (carbs provide sustained energy) and the high fat content can cause heart rhythm issues.
It also can generate acetone breath (basically stinky breath).
This unfortunately common side effect is actually a sign that the diet is working effectively.
However outside of these facts, the Keto diet is arguably the most single effective change you can make to your life which in turn results in fat loss.
The liver’s overall health generally improves while at the most extreme end, a Keto diet can help prevent cancer.
This is because cancer cells have insulin receptors on them, which in turn makes them flourish within environments high in blood sugar.
It has been popular due to scientific evidence that these diet changes result in fat loss.
Lack of carbs will often lead to a loss of cravings.
Last and not least, brain health has been reported to improve due to the fact that the brain operates more efficiently on ketones as opposed to blood sugar.
Overall, like most well published diets, the positives far outweigh the negative.
The goal, like most diets, is to lose weight and the keto diet covers this across the board.
The other bonus, is that often diets are hard to stick to, but the keto diet’s high allowance of fat makes it an uniquely appealing way of eating food.