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Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet (also known as the keto diet) is a low-carb, high-fat and moderate protein diet.  It encourages you to exclude grains, sugar, fruit and tubers.  When we eat a high amount of carbohydrates the body will produce glucose which it will use as its primary energy source.  Since any fats we eat are not needed for energy the body will store them.  By lowering our carbohydrate intake the body goes into a state of Ketosis which is when the body begins burning the fat we eat for energy.

PROS

Weight-loss: The keto diet definitely helps one lose weight.  The body is now burning fat instead of storing it as it will be using fat as an energy source.  Some studies show that those following the keto diet lose even more weight than those following a low-fat diet.

Controlled blood sugar: The keto diet naturally controls our blood sugar levels which can reduce the risk of diabetes or help regulate diabetes.

Mental benefits:  Many say that when following the keto diet they are more focussed and are able to concentrate for longer periods of time.  This is because when the body is in a state of Ketosis, burning fat produces ketones which provide energy to the brain.

More energy:  When the body is using fat as an energy source you will feel more energised throughout the day

You won’t feel hungry:  No part of this diet requires you to feel hungry and snacking is allowed, just be vigilant about what your snacks are.  You are lowering your carbohydrate in take but this does not mean you eat less it just means you replace carbs with fat.  Fat is generally more filling than other foods so if this makes up the majority of your diet you are going to feel more full and stay full for longer.

Better skin:  Many notice improvements in their skin and reduction in acne when following the keto diet.  There are studies suggesting that the keto diet also assist with a number of other conditions or diseases but more research has to be done to make these findings conclusive.

Large variety of options:  Though this diet requires you to lower the amount of carbohydrates you eat there is still a large number of foods you can eat while following this diet.  This means you can still have variety in your diet and situations like eating at a restaurant are not made difficult.

CONS

You will initially experience ‘keto flu’:  As your body adapts to your lower carb intake and your increased fat intake you may experience reduced energy levels, grogginess and headaches.  This is known as ‘keto flu’ and should only last for a few days.

Increased urination:  It is common to urinate more often when following the keto diet.  Just ensure you drink enough water so that you do not become dehydrated.

Bad breath:  When the body goes into a state of Ketosis it is normal to experience bad breath.  This is not a long-term effect and can be combatted in the usual ways such as chewing gum as long as it is sugar free.

Research will be required:  As you begin his diet you will need to do some research on the foods you eat and read labels before you buy foods.  Many foods that seem keto-friendly actually contain ‘hidden’ carbs.

CONCLUSION: The keto diet encourages you to reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat and replace them with fat.  This will result in the body burning the fat you eat instead of storing it.  There are many mental and physical benefits to following the keto diet including weight loss.  There are still many foods one can eat while following this diet and therefore it is easy to maintain in the long-run.