What is the Ketogenic Diet and Is It Safe?

The word “ketogenic diet” is ‘in’ these days for every celeb posting about his or her weight loss mantra on social media. Everyone seems to be losing weight while being on the ketogenic diet. Sounds alien right? A ketogenic diet is actually a highly effective diet for weight loss which includes food that is high in fat and low on carb. This kind of a diet is said to have loads of positive benefits like a decrease in weight and fat as well as improvement in concentration and memory. Let us know all about it in details.

What is a ketogenic diet?

As already mentioned, the ketogenic diet is a diet containing adequate amounts of protein, very low carbs and high quantity of fat.

How can a high-fat diet be useful?

You must be wondering what the benefits of eating a high-fat dietcould be and how it can, in fact, contribute to weight loss. It goes against the popular conception that eating fats makes you fat. The ketogenic diet, being high in fat and low on carbs causes the body to enter a state called ketosis. In this state, the body oxidises ketones or fats for energy instead of burning glucose.

The process of weight loss through a keto diet

When the body gets high amounts of carbs, these get converted into glucose which signals the body to produce insulin and makes the glucose reach various parts of the body through the blood. However, when the body gets glucose, it stops burning the fat, and they keep on getting stored. When the body receives only fat and not carbohydrates, it is forced to burn the fat for energy. This stage is known as ketosis when the body burns fat for fuel. Low carb intake lowers the blood glucose levels and makes the fat reach the liver through the bloodstream. Fat is broken down in the liver and ketones are produced.

Benefits of a Ketogenic diet

A ketogenic diet has a lot of benefits for your body and people who say it has worked like a miracle and not at all exaggerating about it. Here are some of the benefits you can expect from it.

•    Weight loss-

As already explained, the keto diet is one of the best diets to lose weight in a healthy and effective manner without depriving your body.

•    Controls Blood Sugar levels-

The body is unable to handle insulin in case of patients with type 2 diabetes. The body is starved of carbohydrates, and thus the blood sugar levels are naturally lowered when glucose is not produced.

•    Mental Focus-

The ketones produced in the body act as fuel for the brain and increases concentration and mental focus.

•    Increased energy-

When the body gets fuel through glucose, it causes a spike in the levels of sugar in the blood. But when the levels drop, you experience a drop-in energy levels, and you need to intake more glucose. Keto diet provides better energy sources through the burning of fats which keeps you energetic all day.

•    Appetite control-

Eating a high-fat diet does not let you feel hungry too often, unlike a high carb meal.

•    Increase in good cholesterol-

Studies have shown that this kind of a diet spikes up good cholesterol and lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.

What to eat in a keto diet?

•    Fish and meats- chicken and other lean meat, occasional lamb and turkey, tuna, salmon, sardines, trout.

•    Oils- butter, olive oil, coconut oil.

•    All kinds of nuts

•    Whole eggs

•    nuts and seeds (whole or as butter)

•    Full fat cheese

•    Unsweetened yoghurt

•    All kinds of low carb vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, asparagus and leafy green vegetables.

•    Small quantities of all sorts of berries

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What to avoid in a keto diet?

•    Rice

•    Wheat and flour products

•    Bread

•    Processed Meats

•    Sugar

•    Alcohol

•    Bananas

•    Starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes

•    Kidney beans

Is a Ketogenic Diet safe?

While the Ketogenic diet is said to have benefitted a lot of people and is more or less considered healthy by all, there may be a few side effects if your body cannot cope up with the change.  A better way to be on a keto diet is to reduce the sugars at once but not stop the carbs all at once. You can cut them little by little so that your body adapts to the change. Experts say that you should try a keto diet only for a brief period under the supervision of your nutritionist.

Some of the side effects are:-

•    Cramps

•    Fatigue in the early days

•    Constipation

•    Rashes

•    Hair loss

•    Indigestion

•    Headache