What You Should Know About The Ketogenic Diet

If you haven’t heard about the Ketogenic Diet, or Keto for short, you’ve probably been living in a closet of the last couple of years. Whenever a new fad diet seems to spring up, there seems to be a group of die-hard fans that can’t keep their mouths shut on how they lost weight. These people usually waver back and forth between different diets, trying to maximize body confusion and end up gaining more weight than they started with.

But the Ketogenic Diet is not all bad. The pathway is backed by science. The better question to ask is, is it healthy?

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

Simply put, the keto diet is a high fat, medium protein, and extremely low carbohydrate diet. This was first developed to treat epilepsy patients.

Because the body relies on carbohydrates as fuel, normal people constantly have glucose in their blood stream (blood sugar). What keto takes advantage is the pathway in which we deprive our bodies from carbohydrates. Our bodies will then begin using fats and transform them into fatty acids and ketones bodies. Fatty acids are broken down for energy (as opposed to glucose) and the by-product is ketone bodies. This process when we have higher levels of ketone bodies in our bloodstream is called ketosis. The reason why this has been effective to treat epilepsy is studies have shown that a high level of ketone bodies in the bloodstream reduces epileptic seizures.

Advantages of Ketogenic Diet

1. Epilepsy Seizure Reduction

Based on the above description, the obvious advantage of the ketogenic diet is a reduction of epileptic seizures and a management program for epilepsy. Not all people have seen success, but we should all do what we can do to help our body.

2. Fat Loss (Weight Loss)

Generally speaking, lots of fat people have seen success with the ketogenic diet. This is usually because on this diet, they have to restrict themselves of super calorie dense sugary starches such as bread, rice, etc. What is usually happening is people are being more conscientious about what they eat and are eating less. The diet deprives them of the carbohydrate sources so they must rely on meats and fats for their caloric intake. They’re not eating as much as they ate before their diet.

Ketone bodies also cannot be converted into fats. When they don’t eat enough, their bodies still require a source of energy. Thus the body will feed off the fat. Because there is no glucose to convert into glycogen and there is no glucose for insulin to store as fat, they begin to lose their fat.

People who often engage in Ketogenic Diet combine it with some form of exercise or physical activity that was not being done prior to them starting the diet. This is also another reason for weight loss.

Disadvantages of Ketogenic Diet

1. Restrictive Diet

Obviously, to adhere to this diet, your choices of foods are dynamically limited to high protein and high fat foods. You’ve completely eliminated one category of macronutrient. Most “sweet” foods are also eliminated. Unfortunately, a number of high fat foods contain carbohydrates within them (like avocados, almonds, etc.) so the consumption of these also have to be strictly limited.

2. Reduced Participation in Social Events

From the above point, because your limitations of foods, your likeliness to engage in social events where you can eat foods that adhere to your restrictions are virtually eliminated. Most restaurants do not have a ketogenic friendly entrée.

3. Strain on Kidneys and Liver

Eating too much of one macronutrient is hazardous for the body. If you’re eating too much protein for too long, then your kidneys can be damaged. If you’re eating too much fats for too long, your liver can be damaged. Also, too much saturated fat results in high cholesterol and an increased risk of coronary heart disease. If you’re combining high fat and high alcohol consumption, then your livers will surely be damaged.

In Conclusion

Try to avoid diets that deprive your body a crucial source of fuel unless your doctor recommends. If your body is healthy, I advocate my nutrition program where you cycle different foods, but eat anything and everything!

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