The ketogenic diet or keto diet has gained a tremendous amount of popularity for the past few years. That said, keto diet was first invented in the year the 1920s to treat epilepsy. It has proved that many epilepsy patients showed fewer seizures due to low blood pressure.

To understand what exactly is ketogenic diet and why it is useful to lose your weight, let’s delve into this article.

What is the Keto Diet?

Keto diet consists of low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet that “tricks” your body system to burn fat instead of glucose obtained from carbohydrates.

As the definition states, keto diet requires you to cut most carbohydrates intake and instead focus on protein and fat. Not only supporting weight loss, but keto diet also benefits your brain, and also numerous other health benefits.

Keto diet is divided into four types, which are:

  • Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD). This type of keto diet cuts down most of carbs intake to 5%, protein intake to 20%, and fat intake to 75%.
  • Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD). This type combines higher carbs intake with regular ketogenic diet per week.
  • Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD). This type of keto diet allows you to consume carbs before exercising.
  • High-protein Ketogenic Diet. The ratio of protein intake is higher than SKD such as 60% of fat intake, 35% of protein intake, and 5% carbs intake.

How Does Ketogenic Diet Work?

When you take very low carbs, your body fat starts to produce small fuel molecules called ketones. Ketones consist of acetoacetate and 3-hydroxybutyrate.

These ketones are not produced when there is high levels of glucose stored in the body. In an average day, the human body burns glucose which is obtained from carbs rather than burning off the fat.

When you start following the keto diet, your body will run short of glucose which will then begin to burn the remaining stored glucose in the form of glycogen.

After running out of glycogen, the body starts to convert oxaloacetate from the liver into glucose. While this process is happening, the liver receives body fat to metabolise acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA then breaks down into what we know as ketones. The ketones then go into the Krebs cycle to produce energy. This is how keto diet works and why it is so effective in reducing your weight.

Benefits of the Keto Diet

Aside from weight loss, the ketogenic diet also provides numerous health benefits and the three main benefits are:

  • Better mental focus. When you are on the keto diet, the ketones used as the source of energy is constant compared to the instability of blood sugar levels that depend on the glucose. This stability allows your brain to focus longer.
  • Fight off type-2 diabetes. Diabetes type-2 is not genetical, and it relies heavily on your lifestyle. The exceedingly high level of insulin also indicates Type-2 diabetes. By cutting down glucose, diabetes can be reversed.
  • Increased level of HDL cholesterols. HDL cholesterols or known as the good cholesterols carries the cholesterols away to the liver where it can be reused or excreted.

Is Keto Diet Safe?

There are also specific takeaways of a keto diet. When keto diet goes overboard, your body is producing too many ketones or goes into the state of ketoacidosis.

Another takeaway is keto flu that will happen to everyone that starts the ketogenic diet. Keto flu is not necessarily a bad thing; it is just your body beginning to adapt to the low carbs intake and usually lasts not more than five days. Symptoms of keto flu include a headache, stomach pain, fever, and nauseousness.

Side effects of keto diet are heart palpitations and lower productivity. Heart palpitations occur when your body starts transitioning to keto. If heart palpitations continue for a long time, ensure that you consume more water and eat enough salt.

For a better understanding of the ketogenic diet, ask your nutritionist, or you can book a doctor’s appointment online at Okadoc.