what is Keto Diet?

Keto diet is a new thing. Right? Wrong, the keto diet dates all the way back to the 1920s. The low-carb, high-fat diet gained traction after it was demonstrated to lessen seizures in pediatric epilepsy patients

12/20/20228 min read

what is Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet, commonly known as the keto diet, is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that has gained popularity for its potential weight loss benefits. The main principle of the keto diet is to drastically reduce carbohydrate intake and replace it with fat, which puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis.

Normally, when you consume carbohydrates, your body converts them into glucose, which is the primary source of energy. However, when you limit your carbohydrate intake, your body begins to burn stored fat for fuel instead. This metabolic shift leads to the production of molecules called ketones, which are used by the brain and body as an alternative energy source.

Here are the general guidelines of a standard ketogenic diet:

  1. Low-carbohydrate intake: Typically, the diet restricts carbohydrate consumption to around 20-50 grams per day, although the exact amount can vary depending on individual needs and goals.

  2. High-fat intake: Healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, and butter, form the majority of the calorie intake in a keto diet. The exact fat-to-carbohydrate ratio may vary, but it generally involves consuming 60-75% of daily calories from fat.

  3. Moderate protein intake: Protein is an important component of the diet but should not be consumed excessively. Around 15-30% of daily calories are typically derived from protein sources like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and tofu.

  4. Avoidance of high-carb foods: Foods high in carbohydrates, such as grains, sugar, fruits (except for small portions of low-carb fruits), starchy vegetables, and processed foods, are generally restricted on the keto diet.

  5. Emphasis on low-carb vegetables: Non-starchy vegetables, like leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms, are encouraged as they provide essential nutrients and fiber while keeping carbohydrate intake low.

The ketogenic diet has been primarily used to aid weight loss, improve insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes, and support certain medical conditions like epilepsy. However, it's important to note that the diet may not be suitable or necessary for everyone, and it's always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.

Keto diet is a new thing. Right? Wrong, the keto diet dates all the way back to the 1920s. The low-carb, high-fat diet gained traction after it was demonstrated to lessen seizures in pediatric epilepsy patients. While the diet is still prescribed for that reason today, it is now promoted as a major strategy for weight loss by diet doctors around the country Dissecting the Keto Diet

The keto diet is all about reducing carb intake and increasing fat consumption. The following is the daily carbohydrate, protein, and fat breakdown:

Carbs account for 5% of calories, which includes low-carb, non-starchy veggies and tiny amounts of leafy greens. The ketogenic diet eliminates carbohydrate-dense foods such as grains, beans, fruits, and starchy vegetables.20% of calories should come from protein sources such as meat, eggs, and cheese.75% of calories come from fat sources such as oils, raw nuts, butter, and avocado.

According to Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital diet specialist Richelle Gomez, MS, RDN, LDN, the keto diet is meant to burn fat by restricting carbs. "For energy, your body converts carbohydrates to glucose," she explains. "When you eliminate carbs from your diet, your body begins to burn fatty acids, or ketones.

"Ketosis is the metabolic process by which lipids are broken down for energy. It takes approximately three to four weeks of carbohydrate restriction for your body to enter ketosis helping burn weight faster

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of the keto diet.


Accelerate Weight loss"

Anecdotal data suggests that people who follow a keto diet lose weight," says Melinda R. Ring, MD, director of Northwestern Medicine's Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. "In addition, individuals report feeling less hungry than they do on other forms of restrictive diets. "According to Gomez, people feel less hungry when they consume fatty foods because they take longer to break down in the body. Weight loss occurs not just as a result of ketosis, but also as a result of calorie restriction through the elimination of dietary groups.

Low-Carbohydrate Diets Suppress Appetite

Hunger is frequently the most unpleasant side effect of dieting. It is one of the primary reasons why many people are unhappy and ultimately give up. However, low-carbohydrate diet results in an automatic decrease in appetite. Consistent research indicates that when people reduce their carbohydrate intake and increase their protein and fat intake, they consume much fewer calories.

Goodbye to Low-Fat

On paper, the concept of burning fat by consuming more of it sounds appealing, which is why the diet has gained popularity. Many people find that the keto diet enables them to consume the types of high-fat foods they prefer, such as red meat, fatty fish, nuts, cheese, and butter, while still losing weight.

Could Help decrease Blood Pressure

Hypertension, or elevated blood pressure, is a major risk factor for a variety of disorders, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. Low-carb diets are an excellent strategy to lower blood pressure, which should help you live longer and minimize your risk of developing certain conditions.

Health Benefits

The keto diet is effective at reducing seizures in pediatric epilepsy patients.

Endurance athletes and bodybuilders also utilize it to quickly burn fat. The ketogenic diet is being explored for its potential to alleviate symptoms in individuals with degenerative neurological illnesses such as Parkinson's disease, although scientific study has yet to validate these advantages.

Effective in the Treatment of Metabolic SyndromeMetabolic

syndrome is a disorder that significantly increases your chance of developing diabetes and heart disease. Indeed, metabolic syndrome is a combination of symptoms that includes the following: Obesity of the abdomen Hypertension Elevated blood sugar levels while fasting Excessive triglycerides Low levels of "excellent" HDL cholesterol A low-carbohydrate diet, on the other hand, is extremely helpful at treating all five of these symptoms.


Its hard to keep it going for Many years

Due to the restrictive food restrictions, many people struggle to adhere to the keto diet."When taken for a brief period of time and followed by the adoption of healthier eating habits, the ketogenic diet can be helpful for weight loss," says Cardiologist Kameswari Maganti, MD, of Northwestern Medicine's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. "Unfortunately, it encourages yo-yo dieting, which contributes to increased mortality. "Ketosis is challenging to accomplish because it operates similarly to a light switch: it is either on or off. Individuals who track their food consumption on a regular basis are more likely to remain in ketosis. However, the only way to determine whether your body is in ketosis is with a blood test.

Diabetic ketoacidosis

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, Kizer advises that you should avoid the keto diet unless you have your doctor's authorization and are well monitored. "Ketosis can actually be beneficial for patients who struggle with hyperglycemia, but you must be extremely vigilant with your blood sugar and monitor it multiple times a day," she explains.

This is because ketosis can precipitate a hazardous disease called ketoacidosis in patients with diabetes. This occurs when the body accumulates an excessive amount of ketones—acids created as a consequence of fat metabolism—and the blood becomes excessively acidic, causing damage to the liver, kidneys, and brain. It is potentially lethal if left untreated.

Ketoacidosis has also been documented in individuals who did not have diabetes but were on a low-carb diet, but this consequence is quite unusual. Ketoacidosis symptoms include a dry mouth, frequent urination, nausea, poor breath, and difficulty breathing; if you suffer any of these while on the keto diet, contact your doctor immediately.

Depletion of Calories and Nutrient Deficiency

"Some individuals report feeling nauseous when they first enter ketosis," says Kristen Kizer, RD, a nutritionist at Houston Methodist Medical Center. "Occasionally, vomiting, gastrointestinal distress, extreme weariness, and lethargy may occur." This so-called keto flu, she adds, typically subsides after a few days. According to Josh Axe, a doctor of natural medicine and professional nutritionist, approximately 25% of people who follow the keto diet experience these symptoms, with exhaustion being the most prevalent. "That occurs when your body runs out of sugar to burn for energy and must switch to fat," he explains. "That adjustment on its own is enough to exhaust your body for a few days."" Because the keto diet is so restrictive, you are missing out on the nutrients — vitamins, minerals, and fibers — found in fresh fruits, legumes, veggies, and whole grains," Dr. Ring explains. Additionally, people report feeling disoriented and weary as a result of these nutrient deficiencies. The keto flu" has been coined to describe these symptoms.

Constipation is also a common side effect of the keto diet, owing to the deficiency of fiber.

On paper, the idea of burning fat by consuming more of it sounds appealing but in realty you are eating bad fat.By drinking enough of water and getting plenty of sleep, you may be able to mitigate the effects of keto flu. Axe, who sells keto-related supplements on his website, also suggests supplementing with natural energy sources such as matcha green tea, organic coffee, or adaptogenic herbs to combat weariness.

Decreased athletic ability

Certain athletes swear by the keto diet, not only for weight loss, but also for enhanced performance in their sport. However, Edward Weiss, PhD, an associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University, does not subscribe to this view. "I constantly hear bikers say they're quicker and more efficient now that they're on the keto diet, and my first question is, 'How much weight did you lose?'" he explains. Weiss and diet doctor colleagues discovered that after four days on a keto diet, individuals performed worse on high-intensity cycling and running tasks than after four days on a high-carb diet. According to Weiss, when the body is in ketosis, it is in a more acidic state, which may impair its capacity to perform at top levels.

"While lowering a few pounds can provide a significant advantage on the bike, I'm concerned that individuals are attributing weight loss benefits to something particular in the ketogenic diet," Weiss writes. "In actuality, the benefits of weight loss may be offset in part by decreased performance.

Bad Fats

The high-fat content of the diet may also have a detrimental effect on heart health. The American Heart Association recommends that saturated fat intake be limited to between 5% and 6%. "In practice, many people consume an excessive amount of saturated fat, which may raise their risk of developing cardiovascular disease," Dr. Maganti explains. "Within six to eight weeks, we detect an increase in lipids, or fats, in the blood of patients on the keto diet." Renal Peril "Patients with kidney illness are at an increased risk of requiring dialysis when they follow a strict keto diet," Dr. Maganti explains. Additionally, some people experience dehydration while on the keto diet because glycogen, which stores water, is being eliminated from their system.

Obsession with Food"

When you micromanage your food intake by tracking how much you consume, you get disconnected from what your body requires," Gomez explains. "You begin relying on external factors to determine what to eat rather than listening to your body." Such strict monitoring of food can result in psychological turmoil, such as shame and binge eating. Restriction can result in bingeing, which frequently results in guilt, which then results in another round of restriction.

"You can still benefit from ketosis while eating a varied and balanced diet," Dr. Ring who is a diet doctor explains.

Gomez recommends making incremental modifications to your lifestyle based on your health goals. "All items can be included in a balanced diet," she explains. "It's a matter of moderation and figuring out how to enjoy the meals you enjoy without going overboard.

"Consult our weight loss physician or a dietician if you're considering making dietary changes.

Running stomach

If you're experiencing increased frequency of bathroom visits while on a keto diet you're not alone. This could be because the gallbladder—the organ that produces bile to aid with fat digestion—is feeling "overwhelmed," according to Axe. Diarrhea can also be caused by a deficiency of fiber on the keto diet, This can occur when someone drastically reduces carbs (such as whole-grain bread and pasta) without supplementing with other fiber-rich meals, like as vegetables. It may also be caused by an intolerance to dairy or artificial sweeteners—both of which you may be consuming more of as a result of your switch to a high-fat, low-carb lifestyle.

keto diet
keto diet