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What’s a Ketogenic Diet?

The keto diet explained

Our body burns carbohydrates for energy.  Carbohydrates in our diet is converted to sugars and then burnt down by the body for energy. But, when the body does not have enough sugars, it starts to burn stored fat instead. This results in a build-up of an acid called ketones and puts the body in a metabolic state known as ketosis.

A low-carb, high-fat and adequate protein diet, generally called a ‘ketogenic diet’ or ‘Keto Diet’, encourages body to stay in a continual state of ketosis.

Burning ketones for energy brings a lot of positive changes in the body when compared to burning sugars. Ketones provide a more efficient energy source and help protect neuron cells in the brain. This is partly because burning ketones for fuel decreases the production of reactive oxygen species and enhances mitochondrial function and production. This in short is the essence of a keto diet.

Is the keto diet for you?

The keto diet is great for anyone who is concerned about their well-being and wants to lead a healthy, wholesome and active life. It is thus the ideal solution, where the diet is by itself, the medicine.

But, If you are in the high risk group with metabolic syndrome, a condition associated with high risk of diabetes and heart diseases, the keto diet is highly recommended for you.

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of symptoms which include

  • Abdominal Obesity
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Elevated Fasting Sugar Levels
  • High Triglycerides
  • Low ‘good’ HDL Cholesterol Levels

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is recommended to consult a doctor and explore the benefits of changing over to a keto diet.

Benefits of a Keto diet.

The ketogenic diet has proved its worth the world over as healthy and beneficial.

It is known to boost brain function as the brain cells become more efficient by burning ketones. Research has shown that a keto diet improves mitochondrial function which equates to more energy for your cells and an increase in energy efficiency, leaving you feeling more energetic. The keto diet is also particularly helpful for people with chronic pain as they notice a sharp reduction in pain. The Keto diet improves overall body composition by helping lose fat and gain muscle.

The key benefits of adopting the ketogenic diet: 

  1. Reduction in appetite. – Eating more protein and fats satiate the hunger pangs sooner and you usually end up eating far less calories during a keto diet.
  2. Weight loss – Studies show that those on a low-carb keto diet tend to loose much more weight, faster, than those on other diets.
  3. Lose that Apple belly – The Keto diet is very effective in burning down the visceral fat, or the fat accumulated in the abdominal cavity and lodged around organs. This type of fat is more dangerous as it ups the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.
  4. Lower blood Triglycerides – Keto diet brings about a dramatic decrease in triglycerides in the blood which lowers the risk of heart diseases.
  5. Increase the ‘good cholesterol’ – Eating more healthy fats increases the ‘good cholesterol’ HDL levels in the blood and the Low-Carb, High-Fat Keto diets yield impressive increase in High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) levels.
  6. Reduced blood sugar and insulin levels – Keto diets are immensely beneficial for people with diabetes and insulin resistance. A low-Carb Keto diet can treat and even possibly reverse type 2 diabetes. On starting with the keto diet, patients have reduced or even eliminated their glucose lowering medication.
  7. Lower blood pressure – A low-carb keto diet lowers hypertension which is a significant risk factor for many diseases including heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.
  8. Improved ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels – The Low-Carb keto diet reduces the number of LDL particles in the blood, drastically reducing the risk of heart attacks.
  9. Treating Epilepsy – Low-Carb and keto diets have proven beneficial in treating epilepsy in children.
  10. Treating Alzheimer’s - Recent studies on the keto diets provide evidence that it may be able to reverse Alzheimer’s disease. Other benefits of a keto diet on the brain function include prevention of neuronal loss, preservation of neural function and protection of brain cells against multiple types in injuries.
  11. Reduction in the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease - The keto diet improves the quality of life and reduces the symptoms of patients with Parkinson’s disease.
  12. Reverse PCOS – The keto diet lowers insulin levels which can reverse Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) that is the main cause (up to 70%) of infertility issues in women.
  13. Compliments cancer treatment – The keto diet is recommended for cancer patients as it deprives the cancerous cells of their primary source of energy, glucose. These cells starve as they cannot use ketones to meet their energy requirements. Second, the ketogenic diet suppresses insulin like growth factor (IGF-1), a molecule associated with the formation and progression of cancerous cells. IGF-1 levels are increased when we eat more carbohydrates. Because the ketogenic diet is much lower in carbohydrates, scientists suspect that this suppresses IGF-1 production, slowing the formation of cancerous cells.

What goes into a Keto Diet?

A keto diet is typically a High-Fat (about 75%), Moderate protein (about 20%) and Low-Carbohydrate (about 5%) diet. Use These simple rules to determine what you can eat and what you should avoid

  • Vegetables that grow above the ground are usually low-carb while those that grow below the ground are not so.
  • Fruits like Avocado, plum, cherries and berries are low-carb and can be eaten in moderation.
  • Egg, Meat and sea food is rich in proteins and can be included in moderation. Vegetarians can include Tofu in their diet for their protein requirements.
  • Healthy fats like coconut oil and olive oil should be used.
  • Eating healthy does not mean torture for your taste buds. KetoFresh offers delicious Keto dishes that rate high on nutritional macros and even higher on taste.