The Real Deal on The Keto Diet
Every couple of years a new diet trend seems to appear promising easy, rapid weight loss or health benefits. Have you heard of the Keto Diet – short for Ketogenic Diet? The Keto Diet has much to offer and is backed by scientific evidence. The Keto Diet is not simply trend, but a sustainable change in lifestyle. Many “diets” offer short-term weight loss that require much restriction, suffering, and poor nutrition. With the Keto Diet, the idea is to consume healthy, substantial foods that satisfy hunger and fuel the brain and body. With typical/traditional American diets, which are high in carbohydrates, the body is fueled by sugar. In contrast, the Ketogenic Diet, which is high in healthy fats and protein, uses fat as its primary fuel source. When the body uses fat as energy, the body enters a state of “Ketosis.” The body and brain use fat consumed, as well as the body’s stored fat, while in Ketosis. There are numerous health benefits to Ketosis, including Type II Diabetes prevention and reversal, Heart Disease prevention, cognitive improvement, increased energy, inflammation reduction, as well as weight loss.
How does it work?
The Keto Diet guides individuals to change their eating pattern to Low Carb, Moderate Protein, and High Healthy Fats. Individuals should strive to consume 20 grams of net carbs or less per day. By following the Ketogenic Diet recommendations, individuals will feel full, satisfied, and energized. No more calorie counting, hunger pains, or diet-related suffering!
Isn’t fat bad for you?
Yes and No. Processed fats (ex. vegetable oil, sunflower oil, canola oil) are damaging to your health. However, many fats that we were told are unhealthy are actually good! Sources of healthy fat include butter, full fat dairy/cream, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, eggs, fat from meat, ghee, and lard. Healthy fats are a vital source of energy for our bodies and brains!
Most of keto’s recent burst of popularity has to do with its aforementioned fat-burning boost, which comes from the manipulation of insulin and from the increased satiety of dietary fat. But keto boasts other serious health benefits too. It’s a trusted therapeutic treatment for epilepsy, and there’s also promising research showing its ability to enhance neurological function, protect against cognitive decline, reduce inflammation and oxidative damage, and slow or stop the growth of cancerous tumors. The difference between running on sugar and running on ketones is often likened to the difference of a gas vs. hybrid car. Glucose is quick to burn, but it produces excessive free radicals (exhaust) as it does. Ketones are more efficient, providing more cellular energy than glucose.
Other benefits include reduced hunger & cravings, improved insulin sensitivity & better blood sugar control, improved energy levels, and fat loss. It’s important to note that benefits will vary depending on the person and their unique health and lifestyle factors. There are also many different ways to keto, from carnivore-based eating to a more plant-based approach, and this can impact potential benefits as well.
As with anything else, there is no one-size-fits-all. The keto way of eating may not be for you, and that’s totally okay. Sometimes, you’ve got to try out a few different things to find your perfect fit.
If keto sounds like something you can manage, then go for it! Load up on plenty of non-starchy veggies, especially greens, and vary your sources of plant- and animal-based fats.