HAVE YOU HEARD THE TERM ‘KETO’ OR ‘KETOGENIC’ BEFORE?
This trendy low-carb diet gained popularity over the past few years due to its many potential health benefits and passionate devotees all claiming to experience substantial weight loss and improved overall health. In 2020 it was actually the most googled food-related topic!
But is a keto diet really worth the hype?
Although more research is needed, there have certainly been many recent studies revealing the benefits of low-carb diets over low-fat diets. Whether or not a low-carb diet is the right choice for your personal needs, you can find a few examples of these studies listed here.
When it comes to the hype, it begs the question, is the keto diet still as popular as ever? Are we just used to hearing about it? Let's get into what the ketogenic diet is all about and find out if it's still a popular and beneficial weight management program.
What does ‘keto’ actually mean?
There’s a pretty easy explanation behind the possible health benefits of this popular diet. The term ‘keto’ is actually just a shortened version of the word ketogenic.
These terms refer to ‘ketosis’, a particular metabolic state in the body that can be reached by following a specific diet. When your body achieves this state, it is forced to burn fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. This is the basis for the keto diet. Your body burns fat because that is what it is using for energy.
How does your body enter ketosis?
The majority of us get our energy from eating carbohydrates. But when you go keto, you have to drastically change the way you eat, by cutting out carbs almost completely and replacing them with high fat, low-carb foods instead.
When all of the existing carbs in your body have already been used up for energy, your body resorts to burning stored fat for fuel. This is the basis of the ketogenic diet; burning fat for energy.
It is important to keep in mind that you still want to eat healthy foods. Healthy fats like olive oil and avocados give you clean fuel to burn throughout the day. In other words, you don't want to load up on processed fats or you won't feel as healthy throughout the day.
If you're used to changing your eating habits based on diet trends you might know more about which food groups to choose from. However, if you're making a drastic change from your current way of eating, you may want to do a bit of research to make sure you're still getting a balanced diet within the keto range.
These types of foods are considered to be optimal for putting your body into a state of ketosis:
Meat and poultry
High-fat vegetables like avocado
Non-starch vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower
What happens when your body enters ketosis?
When your body is in a state of ketosis, it becomes far more efficient at burning stored fat for energy, resulting in a multitude of benefits. It also causes your body to turn fat into ketones in the liver, helping supply additional energy to the brain.
You will know your body has entered ketosis when you start experiencing a few symptoms including bad breath, short-term fatigue, and short-term decline in performance. You may be thinking, why would I want to experience these symptoms?
Well, these symptoms are just the beginning of your body adjusting to being in ketosis. You will also experience increased focus, weight loss, and higher energy levels as you get used to being in ketosis.
If you want a more accurate way of measuring if you're in ketosis or not, the keto market offers a variety of ways you can test ketones within your bloodstream and urine.
What are the benefits?
Some of the most well-known and commonly studied benefits associated with a low-carb, high-fat diet (specifically a keto diet) include:
Constantly burning stored fat for fuel
Faster and more effective weight management
Can help target stubborn, harmful abdominal fat
What are the risks?
It’s important to remember that trying a keto diet is not a one-size-fits-all lifestyle. If not done carefully and correctly, a keto diet can do more harm than good and can be potentially dangerous.
When putting your body into an extreme state, it’s important to plan ahead and have all the facts ahead of time. It's also important to consult with a personal physician before making any big diet or lifestyle changes.
There’s a specific formula that should be followed if you want to see results on a keto diet. In general, a healthy keto diet should contain approximately 20% protein, 75% fat, and 5% carbs (50 grams or less) per day. These percentages are referred to as ‘macros’.
Can supplements help?
The good news when it comes to trying a keto diet for the first time is that, although it may seem complicated, certain supplements may actually support your body in reaching ketosis.
For example, supplements containing nutrient-dense, healthy fat ingredients like MCT (usually derived from coconuts). Ingredients such as MCT are excellent choices that can be taken alone or combined with other popular supplements, such as the collagen peptides in our Keto Collagen powder.
What are experts saying about the ketogenic diet today?
The truth is, the ketogenic diet is still going strong. People love the way it benefits weight loss and still allows them to eat foods they love. However, some experts are hesitant to suggest the keto diet because there are risks involved and it is not easy for everyone to get into ketosis.
Low carb diets are popular for people who want to lose weight quickly, but we do need carbohydrates for a well-balanced diet. Healthy eating typically involves whole foods that are nutrient-dense. You should be able to eat from all food sources if you are listening to what your body needs.
However, if you are excited to start the ketogenic diet, that's not to say that you can't do it healthily. And there are known benefits to the low carb, high-fat diet.
Any weight loss program that involves eating your way to health and wellness should be considered by your physician before getting started. Most doctors can show you how to get started and if it will be good for you long-term. So, we hope this article was helpful if you're deciding to try the ketogenic diet, but remember to consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your nutrition.
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