Ketogenic Diet - A Better Diet for Better Health

Ketogenic Diet, also known as Keto Diet, is a low carb diet. Its main objective is to reduce weight which helps in several medical conditions such as diabetes and blood pressure. The benefit of Ketogenic Diet is that a person can easily reduce weight without going through starvation and living a normal life, while the other ways of reducing weight include tough workouts to burn excess calories on daily basis.

Science behind Ketogenic Diet

In a normal diet when we eat carbohydrate, it is transformed into Glucose by our body to act as instant energy. This Glucose is put into blood to reach every cell in body. High glucose level in blood triggers release of insulin hormone, which let cells absorb glucose molecules and then converts extra glucose into fat and deposit it in different parts of body as an extra source of energy which can be used in emergency.
In a Ketogenic Diet we starve our body for carbohydrates only, so that our body can utilize the fat stores and help in reducing weight.

Why do we call it Ketogenic Diet ?
Ketosis is a natural process, during which our body releases Ketones to extract energy from fat stores. Ketosis is initiated only when our body is not getting enough diet. Ketogenic Diet is named so only because it fools our body to initiate Ketosis. We do it by restricting the carbohydrate intake, and making our body rely on fat stores.

How to plan Ketogenic Diet ?
A Keto diet should have 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate. Diet chart should be planned accordingly. Monitoring your net carb and total carb intake is most necessary. Usually most of the carbohydrates contain some fiber. If we subtract the fiber content from total carbohydrate, then we get the net carbohydrate. 20 to 30g of net carbohydrate is recommended in a Ketogenic Diet.
Do not eat grains, sugar, fruits and tubers.
You may eat above ground vegetables, leafy greens, meats and high fat dairy products. Avocado and berries can also be used.
Snacks are usually not recommended is a ketogenic diet, but if you can't resist then you can rely on nuts, seeds, cheeses, or peanut butter.

Benefits of Ketogenic Diet

You must have understood by now that Ketogenic Diet reduces weight and saves you from obesity, which is itself a disease and connected to various others. Here we have listed a few other benefits of Ketogenic Diet.

  • It reduces blood insulin level, which makes your body utilize fat stores and thus reduces weight.
  • Blood Sugar level is controlled due to lesser amount of carbohydrate in diet. A ketogenic diet can benefit more than a low-calorie diet, if you are a patient of Diabetes. Weight loss due to this diet also helps in long term treatment of diabetes.
  • Some researches have shown that high amount of fat hormones in body creates insulin resistance, which results in diabetes. Lowered amount of body fat due to Ketogenic diet can get you relief from Insulin Resistance as well.
  • Ketogenic Diet burns the fat stores in body, which reduces the blood cholesterol and blood pressure is also controlled.
  • Ketones are good fuel source for brain and increases mental performance and result in better focus and concentration.
  • Epilepsy, a condition of disturbed nerve cell activity in brain, can be controlled through keto diet.  
  • Fats are better fuel for our body and keeps you running for longer duration and makes your stomach feel full. Thus Ketogenic diet is more satisfying and don't let you urge for snacks in between.
  • Lesions and skin inflammation are reduced by Keto diet.

Side effects of Ketogenic Diet

  • During the first week of Keto Diet our body adjusts to the new type of diet and takes time in generating engymes for the digestive process. During this time our body consumes the blood glucose and existing glycogen stores, which makes us feel less energetic. Some people report headaches, mental fogginess, dizziness, and aggravation during this period. 
  • Ketogenic diet is diuretic which makes you urinate more often. It can cause water and electrolyte loss. Drinking plenty of water and maintaining sodium intake can help during this condition.
  • Some people find it harder to transition into Ketogenic Diet and above symptoms appear more worse. Such people should reduce their carbohydrate intake gradually, instead of jumping suddenly into complete ketogenic diet.
  • Ketoacidosis, a rare medical condition with very high level of ketones, can occur and some people may need medical intervention. However reaching this level of ketosis is very unlikely.
  • Loss of magnesium cause cramps in the morning or at night.
  • Frequent urination causes loss of water, which can also result in constipation. So drink plenty of water and add fiber in your diet.
  • Physical performance will be reduced in the beginning of Ketogenic Diet. So reduce your workout during this time. You may go back to normal workout after few weeks, when you feel sufficient energy level.
  • Hair loss during first few months is usually temporary, unless initiated by some other medical condition.

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