What Is Keto Diet? – For Weight Loss, Benefits, Is It Healthy, Safe?

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Everyone is talking about the Keto Diet Plan for Weight loss. Here’s what you need to know when comparing Weight Watchers Best Keto Diet Meal Plan

what is keto diet

Everybody’s doing the keto diet or trying to find out what is keto diet. It’s a cultural craze that’s captured our imagination. But let’s remember that the ketogenic diet is a medical, or therapeutic, diet. So while it’s extremely beneficial for people with certain conditions, it’s not for everyone.

The idea is that you can lose weight by replacing the body’s typical go-to energy source — carbs — with fats. That means its followers are downing things like whipped cream, mayonnaise, butter, and cheese.

What do you eat on the keto diet?

The keto diet is essentially a high-fat diet — your meals are 70 or 80 percent fat; about 20 percent protein; and about 5 percent carbohydrate. It is not an Atkins high-protein diet.

The keto diet switches you from burning glucose (which carbs provide) to burning ketones (which fat produces) for energy. When you do this, interesting things happen:

  • Your metabolism speeds up.
  • Your hunger goes away.
  • Your muscle mass increases.
  • Your blood pressure and heart disease risk profile improve.

Why will eating fat help you burn fat?

Biology is smart. Historically, it allowed our bodies to adapt to times of abundance or scarcity by shifting from carbohydrate metabolism to fat metabolism.

When we found lots of wild fruit, we’d store the carbs as belly fat. Later, in lean times, we would use the fat as a backup source of fuel.

The key is this: Eating fat does not make your insulin go up, as eating carbs or protein does. So the keto diet does not spike your insulin, and you don’t store fat. Instead, you burn it, creating the ketones that give you an effective and efficient metabolic jolt.

If that sounds too good to be true, that’s because, well, it just might be. We talked to an expert about how it works, how it’s done, and whether or not it’s worth a try.

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What exactly is a Ketogenic diet?

The keto diet is an eating plan that consists of 80 percent fat and little to no carbohydrates. Staples of the keto diet are fish, meat, eggs, dairy, oils, and green vegetables. Pasta, rice and other grains, potatoes, and fruits are strictly prohibited.

Keto works by changing the way the body turns food into energy. Typically, during digestion, we break down carbohydrates — like those found in the verboten foods above — into molecules of fructose, galactose, and glucose, the last of which serves as the body’s primary source of energy.

When the body can’t draw it from carbohydrates — either because they’ve been cut out of the diet or because a person hasn’t eaten for a long time — it looks for other forms of energy. The keto diet deliberately places the body in a state of ketosis, where fat is released from cells and turned into ketones, the body’s plan B for energy production.

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Where did the keto diet start?

The keto diet is most assuredly not a fad, at least not in the usual sense of the word. It’s been around for nearly a century, and has its roots in the medical world: In the 1920s, epilepsy researchers found that increased levels of ketones in their patients resulted in fewer seizures, and the diet is still a widely accepted treatment for epilepsy today.

There’s also some evidence that a ketogenic diet has therapeutic potential for a wide array of symptoms and diseases, including cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome, neurological conditions, diabetes, and even acne.

So how did it become a trendy weight-loss diet?

Though keto has been gaining popularity recently thanks to celebrity endorsements and a wealth of diet-adherent Pinterest recipes, this is not the first time a form of it has gone mainstream. “We have been seeing different variations on the low-carb diet for decades,” says Abbey Sharp, a registered dietician and nutrition blogger.
“The Atkins diet and the Dukan diet are two variations of a ketogenic diet. The idea of ketosis is definitely not new — we’ve just seen it repackaged in a new, sexy way as of late.”

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What can I expect on the keto diet?

You’ll likely experience a rocky start as the liver begins to turn fat into ketones to be used as energy. “At the beginning, it is very uncomfortable, since our body is not used to this form of fuel,” Sharp says. “You tend to experience brain fog, headaches, nausea, and fatigue, along with bad-smelling breath, sweat, and urine.

We also tend to see a big drop in our electrolyte levels as we lose water weight, which also makes us feel crummy.” This condition is sometimes called the “keto flu.”

As your body levels out over time, many of these symptoms will subside, and things get better. Some research even points to enhanced cognitive activity and focus as the brain gets used to running on ketones.

In the first days of the diet, your regular workout might prove exhausting without carbs to keep you going.

Should you try the keto diet?
Here are a few reasons why you might think about doing the keto diet:

Type 2 diabetes. One study found that being on the keto diet for one year reversed diabetes for up to 60 percent of participants. With an average weight loss of 30 pounds, they dramatically reduced or eliminated their need for insulin and no longer needed oral hypoglycemic drugs. The keto diet is also easier to sustain than the calorie-restricted diet or the protein-sparing modified fast.

Morbid obesity. If your body mass index is over 40 — or if you have insulin resistance without type 2 diabetes — the keto diet can be very helpful as well. It can be used as a short-term strategy to reset your metabolism; you don’t have to be on it forever.

Clearly, the ketogenic diet is the standard of care for treatment-resistant epilepsy. But we’re also seeing its benefits in other neurological conditions. Research suggests the keto diet can bring improvements for those with Alzheimer’s disease; autism; or brain cancers such as glioblastoma.

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So the keto diet can be a powerful intervention. People with type 2 diabetes and or/morbid obesity can do phenomenally well on it. (And the truth is, this describes many Americans; one in two of us are now are either prediabetic or type 2 diabetic, and 70 percent of us are overweight.)

But it’s vital to work with a doctor or health professional who can treat and follow you while you’re on the keto diet.

Who should not do the keto diet?

Our responses to the ketogenic diet are individualized. They’re based on our biology, our metabolism, our numbers and the way we feel.

Some people can sustain the diet for decades. Others don’t do well on it. For example, if I eat too much fat and too few carbs, I lose too much weight.

If you happen to be very thin, if you have an eating disorder, or if you have certain metabolic issues, the keto diet will also be risky for you. I would be very careful; check with your doctor before trying this diet.

We also don’t want to put kids on the keto diet, unless they have type 2 diabetes and are overweight. However, I would still check with your pediatrician.

Is the ketogenic diet safe long-term?

Keto diet is effective and safe. If you’re overweight or diabetic, this diet can help get your system out of metabolic crisis and put it in a healthier state. You can try one of the top rated Keto Diet meal plan – South Beach Diet KETO

One thing I want to stress: It’s vital to eat real, whole, fresh foods when you’re on the keto diet. This includes non-starchy vegetables (the carbs from broccoli are pretty different from the carbs in cola which you will find in South Beach Diet KETO meal plan). Frozen food is OK but should not be processed.

So whether you’re doing the keto diet, the Mediterranean diet or a low-fat diet, what matters most is the quality of the food you eat.

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Should I Try Keto Diet Meal?

Let’s put it this way: as popular diets go, it doesn’t have a great track record. The South Beach Diet KETO, hugely popular in the early aughts, has since been proven more effective for weight loss.

For some people, though, a keto diet has one big perk: Its high-fat foods leave adherents feeling sated without needing to snack between meals. And while it can be difficult to get all the nutrients and fiber you need without whole grains and fruits, “it is definitely possible,” Sharp says. “You will need to be well in tune with the micronutrients in the foods you’re including in your diet to ensure you’re covering all of your bases. You may also want to consider a supplement.”

Okay, but does it work?

At first, yes. In the early weeks of the diet, you’ll drop a noticeable number of pounds while eating a satisfying amount of food.

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And if it’s increased energy you’re after, studies of cyclists and professional gymnasts have found no significant change to performance or muscle mass over several months of a ketogenic diet.

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