Are all your friends raving about the keto diet? Maybe you too want to try it out just to understand what all the fuss is about.
But what is a keto diet?
Is it even safe for you to try out?
You must have heard your friends talk about the benefits of a keto diet and how it did wonders for them. But what you need to understand is that there is no single diet that is suitable for every single person.
So, let’s try to understand what exactly a keto diet is and then proceed to figure out if it is suitable for you.
What Exactly Is The Keto Diet?
Keto diet is short for the ketogenic diet, which is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers numerous health benefits. Wait a minute, a high-fat diet? Isn’t that bad for you? Well, it’s not that simple.
When you are on a keto diet, you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and replace it with fat. This puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. In this state, it is the fat content in your food that provides most of the fuel for your body.
Why does that happen? It’s because right now, your body is used to burning carbohydrates for energy. But when you cut down on your carbohydrate intake, your body has no choice but to burn fat for energy.
Your body might take a couple of days to get used to this change, but once this happens, your body will become incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. Essentially, your body will turn into a fat-burning machine.
Ketogenic diets can significantly reduce your blood sugar and insulin levels. It can also increase the number of ketones in your blood, which is where you will get your energy from once your body enters ketosis. An increased amount of ketones in your body has numerous health benefits, including increased brain cell activity.
If you want to know how the diet changes your body’s functioning, you can watch the below video, which explains the science behind the keto diet in less than 5 minutes.
Can A Keto Diet Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, absolutely! A keto diet can help you:
- Lose weight effectively
- Preserve muscle mass
- Lower your risk your particular diseases
When it comes to losing weight, the most common advice you will hear is to cut down on fatty foods. But scientific research has shown time and time again that the keto diet is far superior to the traditional low-fat diet.
The reason people love the keto diet so much is that they are sick of tracking calories and their food intake. A keto diet helps people lose weight fast without counting calories or starving themselves.
Studies have found that people who are on a ketogenic diet lose 2-3 times more weight than those who are on a low-fat calorie-restricted diet (1). Its other benefits include improved levels of Triglyceride and HDL cholesterol.
On a keto diet, your protein intake is much higher than usual, which has quite a few benefits for your metabolic health, and it also speeds up your weight loss.
One study found that the insulin sensitivity of people on a ketogenic diet improved by 75% compared to the people on a high-carb diet (2). Another study found that 95.2% of the ketogenic group were able to completely stop or reduce their diabetes medication, compared to 62% in the higher-carb group (3).
How Safe Is A Keto Diet?
According to award-winning dietician Susie Burell, there is no scientific evidence that ketogenic diets have any harmful side-effects to the human body. In fact, a keto diet could also resolve various health issues.
A keto diet can substantially reduce risk factors such as body fat, blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, and insulin levels, which could lead to heart disease (4). This diet is also being used to treat several types of cancer and slow tumor growth (5).
Generally, this diet is not suitable for children, but under the supervision of a medical professional, it has been shown to reverse the symptoms of various health conditions.
Research has shown that a ketogenic diet can considerably reduce seizures in epileptic children, and is used to treat the same (6). However, the research into many of these areas is far from conclusive.
Is The Keto Diet Right For You?
Diets are not just for people who are overweight. Even if you are just trying to get rid of some extra fat on your body, a keto diet can help you jump-start your weight loss journey.
Regardless of why you are getting on a diet, not just the keto diet, but any diet, you must consult your doctor before you begin with the plan.
The keto diet offers a wide range of health benefits. With a little bit of effort and preparation, anyone can follow this diet. This diet is ideal not only for people who are struggling to lose their weight but even those who suffer from medical conditions.
Keto diets produce superior weight loss results for most people and help them bring down their blood sugar. It surely is one of the healthiest ways to jump-start your weight loss journey. However, following a keto diet comes with a lot of preconditions, and it is NOT easy.
For your ketogenic diet plan to be effective, you must limit your daily carbohydrate intake to 30 grams per day. Remember, that also includes the carbohydrates that you get from fruits and vegetables.
What does this mean for you?
You will have to cut out all bread, cereals, grains, starchy vegetables, fruit, and sugar from your diet. Since your body is not used to this lack of carbs, it is very common to get headaches and feel fatigued during the initial stages of this diet.
While you do not need to be worried about the safety and side-effects of this diet, you might want to ask yourself if this diet is practical for you. Why would a keto diet not be practical for you? All you have to do is reduce your carbohydrate intake till your body enters ketosis, right?
Yes and no. First of all, it could take a couple of weeks of not eating carbohydrates for your body to even reach ketosis. Once this happens, your body will begin to burn fat instead of carbs. But for this diet to be effective, your body must stay in this state. For that, you must not eat carbohydrates above the maximum daily limit even after you reach ketosis.
A keto diet will require you to change your lifestyle completely. For this to work, you will have to go all-in without cheating on the diet. This means that you cannot give in to your cravings and have a pizza even if it is just one night in a week.
Unlike most other diets, if you cheat on this diet, you will have to start all over again.
Though it takes a lot of effort to stick to a keto diet, if you look at the overall benefits it offers, you will understand that it is worth the effort. The results that you get from keto will speak for themselves and be superior to other diets.
But if you are new to these low-carb diets, you might want to start out with a less-restrictive low-carb diet.
If you just want to give it a try to see for yourself if this diet works for you, check out our article on 7 Keto Dinner Recipes that your family will love.