Table of Contents
THE FOUNDATION OF THE KETO DIET 5
HOW DOES THIS WORK? 5
WHAT IS KETOSIS? 6
BENEFITS OF EATING KETO 7
WHY IS IT TRENDING? 9
WHO SHOULD CONSIDER KETO DIET? 10
WHO SHOULD AVOID IT? 11
WHAT TO EAT 13
WHAT FOODS TO AVOID 15
UNDERSTANDING MACRONUTRIENTS 17
GETTING STARTED 21
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The Foundation of the Keto Diet
The keto (ketogenic) diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that is designed to change your metabolism. When you eat carbs (Sugars, sweeteners, breads, etc.) your body burns that for energy. Any fats that are consumed with the carbs (meats, cheeses, etc.) are stored in the body as fat for future needs. If there are no future needs, the fat remains stored. This storage of fat is what makes you heavier.
The keto diet is designed to remove the source of the body’s fuel – carbohydrates. The body then begins looking for alternative sources for fuel – namely the stored fat. This metabolic state is called ketosis. The body becomes effective at burning fat, turning it into ketones in the liver to supply energy to the brain.
While this sounds like a lot of scary chemistry, ketosis is a good thing. It not only brings a new source of energy into play that uses up those old fat reserves, but it can also cause a reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels. These three factors when including ketosis can have some remarkable health benefits.
How does this work?
Carbohydrates become glucose when digested. Because glucose is the easiest thing to use for energy, the body will naturally gravitate to the simplest source of energy. Burning fat takes more effort, so it’s stored until some future date.
When food becomes scarce, the body begins to use the reserves stored up. This is called ketosis.
Imagine this: a simple change of selected foods can make a big difference in your overall health and body. That’s because a Ketogenic diet is more than just a diet, it’s a way of “reprogramming” your system to burn fat, not carbs.
What is ketosis?
As mentioned, ketosis is the state of the body when the metabolism changes from burning glucose to burning fat. This can be done temporarily and with some risk by fasting, but that is not sustainable past a few days. Rather than run the risk of ruining your health, the Keto diet is a controlled and satisfying way to create this metabolic switch. When the body switches to burning fat instead of glucose, it creates ketones in the blood. When the number of ketones reaches a certain state, the body reaches ketosis, meaning a quick and consistent weight loss to a healthy weight.
Ketones are the product of the liver breaking down fat into fatty acids and glycerol. From there, fatty acids are further broken down into the energy-rich ketones. It’s a cleaner and less saturated feeling energy source than glucose.
If you’re panicking because you know someone who has diabetes and heard of ketoacidosis, this is very different. Ketoacidosis is a serious consequence of diabetes when the liver produces blood acid. That is a very different physical state. Don’t confuse them; ketosis is a natural and healthy state.
Benefits of Eating Keto
Among other things, this state of ketosis can help control type 2 diabetes and help to turn around a pre-diabetic condition. Burning glucose is a process of peaks and valleys, never having a steady consistency, whereas the keto diet is a steady pull on fats leaving a constant flow.
For that reason, it’s better for the mind as well. There are those who take the ketosis diet specifically for the brain boost it gives.
Since burning fat is steadier than burning carbs, your hunger becomes “normalized,” that is the sudden rush of energy, and the resulting crash right after is no longer the norm.
The keto diet has been used since the early 1900s to control epilepsy and is still being used to help children control their seizures today. In the past few years, there have been numerous studies indicating the positive effects ketosis has on adults with epilepsy as well.
There are numerous research studies to indicate that ketosis helps with: Cholesterol and high blood pressure. Ketosis has been shown to improve triglycerides and cholesterol associated with a build-up in the arteries. The same studies show a reduced instance of blood pressure problems and, as most high blood pressure is related to being overweight, ketosis helps on that end too. When the body adapts and loses weight, the blood pressure reduces.
Lower cholesterol and triglycerides mean a lower risk for heart disease, even for people who are obese.
Insulin Resistance. The cause of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance has been shown in a great many studies to have been curtailed with a moderate-fat, low carb diet. Insulin is the key to burning food into fuel for the body to use, so even if you’re not overweight, a more efficient and effective use of insulin is going to give you better results in sports and daily living.
Healthier skin. One of the most common and immediate results of ketosis is clearer, healthier skin. There are studies that include acne, lesions, and inflammation all reduced or eliminated with ketosis.
Weight loss. Ketosis turns your body into an efficient fat-burning machine. Using fat for fuel is cleaner, more efficient and gives a better mental clarity than burning carbs. Also, diets high in healthy fats are more filling and feel less like starvation, meaning less hunger and less eating to assuage that hunger.
Cancer. While there are many markers that determine cancer, ketosis can “starve” cancer cells, according to some studies. Although more research is needed, there is a theory that while all cells can use glucose for fuel, cancer cells are unable to process any fuel other than glucose. Thus burning fat in the form of ketones means that cancer cells cannot proliferate and “starve.”
It’s not coincidental that some of the best known cancer-fighting foods are featured on the keto diet list.
Brain and neurological disorders. Additional to epilepsy mentioned above, ketosis has been proven effective in fighting Alzheimer’s symptoms. Patients with impairments in cellular pathways can find that their brain takes in the ketone energy in a different way, therefore bypassing the damaged cells. A European study suggested that a therapeutic use of ketogenic diet can alleviate symptoms in headaches, neurotrauma, Parkinson’s disease, sleep disorders, brain cancer, autism, and multiple sclerosis.Other Details
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