So…What Is The Keto Diet Exactly?

Now you won’t have to just smile and nod when people talk about it.

The Keto Diet Is Popular, But Is It Safe?

WEDNESDAY, June 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Fatty cuts of meat. Thick slabs of cheese. Stacks of bacon.

These are a few of the keystones of the trendy “keto” diet, a high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan that’s sweeping the nation.

The diet is intended to alter your body’s metabolism, putting it into a state called ketosis, explained Melanie Boehmer, a registered dietitian at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

The human body normally relies on carbohydrates for most of its quick energy, but in ketosis the body shifts its primary focus to burning fat.

“When you put your body intentionally in ketosis, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy,” Boehmer said. And that translates into lost pounds.

But nutritionists caution that the diet is challenging to follow and doesn’t include many nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits.

Also, it may pose possible heart risks, especially for folks who have heart disease.

Origins in epilepsy care

The keto diet is newly popular, but it really dates back to the 1920s, when it was developed as a treatment for epilepsy, said Cat Taylor, a registered dietitian with Nutrition on Demand, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm.

Back then, doctors figured out that forcing people with epilepsy into ketosis through a low-carb diet appeared to help reduce seizures, possibly by altering the energy supply to the brain, Boehmer said. This dietary approach to seizure management is still being used today, although most patients opt for effective anti-seizure drugs.

“We’ve used very low carbohydrate diets to treat epileptics in a clinical setting for a very, very long time,” Boehmer said. “Now is the first time we’re seeing it used by a more general population for weight management and diabetes.”

The standard ketogenic diet involves eating a lot of fat with moderate amounts of protein and very little carbohydrate, Taylor said. The traditional breakdown is 70 percent of calories from fats, 25 percent of calories from proteins and 5 percent of calories from carbohydrates.

“I see a lot of people assuming that the keto diet includes all the fat and protein you want, but in actuality even proteins have to be monitored because the body can break down protein and turn it into carbohydrates,” Taylor said. “Fats are the only nutrient that the body cannot turn into carbohydrates for fuel.”

Tough to follow

The diet sounds like a meat-eater’s dream, but it’s actually very complicated, Boehmer and Taylor said. People following the diet require intricate eating plans to get the correct amount of fats, proteins and carbs to put them into ketosis.

Because of this, people really need to approach keto eating as a full-fledged lifestyle rather than a quickie diet if they want long-term weight loss, Boehmer said.

“Any time we talk about diets, where there’s a beginning and an end, then automatically we’re kind of setting ourselves up to fail,” Boehmer said. “I would say if people want to try a keto lifestyle, that would be a better way to approach it, knowing that you need to educate yourself in terms of what those foods look like. There’s definitely a healthy way to do this.”

Entering ketosis is no picnic, either.

People adopting the diet develop what’s called the “keto flu” as their metabolism shifts from carbs to fats, Boehmer said. Symptoms can include fatigue, foggy mental function, increased hunger, difficulty sleeping, nausea, constipation or diarrhea.

The keto flu usually sets in three days to a week after starting the diet, and lasts a week to two weeks, Boehmer said.

“If it lasts longer than three or four weeks, you’re probably not in ketosis and you’re teetering back and forth” between the two metabolic states, she noted.

The mistake people make that extends keto flu is reintroducing carbs back into their diet too soon, Boehmer said.

“The recommendation is to be in ketosis for two or three months before you even start to try and do that,” Boehmer said.

‘Cardiologist’s nightmare’

There are some concerns about the effectiveness and healthiness of the keto diet, mainly because there’s not much scientific evidence regarding it, Taylor said.

“While there are some small studies supporting the benefits of the keto diet, no substantiated evidence-based research has been published and, most concerning, the long-term impact of the keto diet is unclear,” Taylor said.

Some nutritionists are worried that by shunning carbs, people will miss out on crucial nutrients found mainly in carb-laden fruits and vegetables, Taylor said.

“Several nutrients vital to health are contained in carbohydrate-dense foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains,” Taylor said. “Just one medium apple contains about 17 grams of net carbs. This is concerning because these vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients contained in the above foods are vital to heath, immunity and disease prevention.”

The keto diet also can be a cardiologist’s nightmare, Taylor added.

“The keto diet’s focus on fat-dense foods is concerning especially if individuals choose a high amount of saturated or trans fats, which are linked to a rise in LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol that has been connected to higher rates of heart disease,” Taylor said.

Foods that can contribute to a healthy keto diet include seafood, grass-fed beef and poultry, nonstarchy vegetables, avocados and berries, Boehmer said.

“You should focus on whole foods that are naturally low in carbs,” Boehmer said.

One last warning — people taking up the keto diet should not be fooled by quick weight loss early on, Boehmer said. If they start adding in carbs too soon, they will regain the weight and potentially extend their keto flu.

“When you transition to a ketogenic diet, people lose a lot of weight very quickly,” Boehmer said. “That’s not actually because they are losing physical weight. It’s usually because carbs hold more water, so they’re losing water weight. That’s another thing to recognize. You need consistency to see actual weight loss and change.”

Keto Diet For Diabetes – Does It Work?

Nowadays, many people get type 2 diabetes, mainly because of the improper diet. Of course, sedentary lifestyle and stress are also major contributors. When talking about diet for people with type 2 diabetes, the focus is on weight loss. If you already know about keto diet, you will feel that it is not suitable for diabetics. The main reason for this thought is that it is high in fat content. But, in reality, this diet can change the way your body saves and uses energy. In turn, it will help with easing diabetes symptoms.

When you take up the keto, your body will convert fat into energy. It is something against the normal process of converting sugar into energy. You might have heard that this diet was created for epilepsy treatment in 1924. However, the eating pattern in this diet program helps type 2 diabetes patients as well. It will improve your blood glucose while reducing the need for insulin.

Most people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. As the goal of keto is to use fat for energy, the fat will automatically reduce. This diet program does not mean that you should load up on saturated fats. But, you should take fats that are healthy for your heart. In turn, you will achieve overall health. In this diet, some healthy foods are suggested. The foods include seeds, nuts and nut butter, olive oil and olives. Even, other foods like avocado, cottage cheese, fish like salmon and eggs are part of this diet.

 

How about keto diet’s effect on blood glucose levels?

It is a diet program that will bring down your blood glucose levels. In general, people with diabetes are recommended to reduce carbohydrate consumption. The reason is that carbs quickly turn into sugar. So, when taken in large quantities, they can cause sugar spikes in the blood. When you switch the focus to fats, you can reduce blood sugar.

In ketosis diet, the blood sugar levels are kept at low. However, it happens in a healthy manner. In turn, it will encourage the body to break down fat. The fat will break down into a source of fuel called ketones. This process where the fat burning happens is referred to as ketosis. If you are on insulin, with the keto diet, you can reduce the insulin doses. This diet will help people in pre-diabetic stage as well. Further, it will also help people, who fall into the high-risk category to get diabetes.

How to follow the keto diet?

The idea behind ketogenic diet is to reduce carbohydrate consumption. Even, the carbohydrate content is lower than the traditional low-carb diets. Further, it will include moderate protein and high-fat content as well. It means that your diet should be very low in carbohydrate content. You should take less than 50 grams of carbs per day to maintain ketosis. Even, some individuals restrict themselves to less than 30 grams of carbs per day.

In the case of protein, it should also be moderate. If you are a woman, your protein can be between 40-50 grams per day. In the case of men, it can be around 50-60 grams per day. The thing to remember here is that these are just rough values. Let us consider that you have difficulty in losing weight. It happens even after following a low-carb diet. In this case, you should further reduce your protein intake.

In keto, there is no restriction on your fat intake. But, remember that you should not snack in-between meals. Vegetables are generally a stable food in any diet program. It holds true in Ketosis diet as well. You will get a good range of nutrients from veggies with low carb content. You can consume vegetable after every meal. Even, you can include more fat into your diet using vegetables. For instance, you can use butter, olive oil, nuts and avocados as the vegetable salad dressing. When it comes to low-carb veggies, broccoli, asparagus, and tomatoes are examples. However, you should have an eye on starchy root vegetables. Examples include beetroot, parsnips, and potatoes.

When you are planning for ketogenic recipes, you can include meat. Meat includes fatty meats like poultry with the skin on, lamb, and pork belly. Eggs always form an important part in keto. They are a good source of protein besides being low in carbs. But, you should take meat in moderation. The reason is that if you take more protein, the keto diet will not work. The reason is that high protein intake will force the liver to convert the protein into glucose. This process is called as gluconeogenesis and not ketosis. How about fish consumption in keto diet? You should take oily fish like herring or trout, sardines and tuna. Also, you can take salmon and mackerel that contain essential omega-3 fatty acids. Consumption of these fish will ensure not just heart health, but also longevity. Using a highly rated CBD oil as a side supplement can also boost overall results. Check out the best CBD oils 2019 guide by HerbMighty.

Is keto diet right for you?

Keto has brought a great change in the conventional view about low fat and high carb diets. Studies show that diet with low carbs is highly suitable for patients with diabetes. In fact, studies show that keto is highly effective for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Not just with the management, it is also identified as the best for preventing diabetes. Even, these days, most doctors recommend diet as the best practice for type 2 diabetes. Rather than being on medication, they suggest diet control for their patients. Particularly, it is the most effective way to control diabetes in younger patients. Even in the case of individuals with excess weight as the reason for diabetes, it will work. Ketosis weight loss is already highly popular. It is familiar among those interested in achieving weight loss results. When the strict regimen is followed, overall improvement in the lifestyle is possible. Further, this diet will help patients with diabetes with effective management of symptoms. Most diabetes patients accept and realize that the symptoms of highly debilitating. They can get the best results for sure with this user-friendly diet program.