Have you heard of the famous Keto diet?
A lot of people have started following this diet to lose those extra pounds and improve your brain functions but many are still skeptical to use it.
Well, a Keto diet is nothing to worry about and is absolutely effective if followed properly. In this article, we will discuss a few benefits of following a keto diet and how you can get started yourself.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
Let’s start by defining a keto diet and what all entails in it.
In layman terms, a Ketogenic diet is found to be high in fat but low in carbs and proteins. As a result, your body is forced to use fats as its source of energy instead of carbohydrates and proteins.
This diet will put your body in the ketosis state where the primary source of energy is ketone bodies which are broken down from fat. You can induce a ketosis state by simply reducing the carbohydrates in your diet or by fasting. Your liver is responsible for making ketone bodies which require the breakdown of the fatty acids from the fat you consume or the body fat that you possess. Usually, your body breaks down carbohydrates to produce glucose which acts as your main source of energy.
6 Primary Health Benefits of Keto Diet
Now, you might wonder how beneficial a Keto diet is. Well, if you do it correctly then you can experience the following advantages:
A Massive Help in Weight Loss
One of the main benefits of following a Keto diet is that it can help you lose weight by burning the fat stored in your body. As you make fat your primary source of energy through this diet, it starts burning fat instead of searching for glucose to provide you with energy.
Improves your Mental Focus
One major problem with glucose as a source of energy is that it causes drastic changes in your blood sugar level. So, this type of energy is not constant which makes it difficult for your brain to maintain its focus. However, once your body is in the ketosis state, your brain uses only ketones as its energy source which is consistent energy fuel so you are able to concentrate for longer periods of time.
Reduces Appetite and Food Cravings
Yes, ketone bodies can prevent you from unnecessary eating and can help you keep your daily calories intake in check. The ketone bodies act on the hypothalamus in your brain to reduce your appetite while your stabilized blood sugar helps in eliminating the food cravings. Also, the high-fat meal helps in the stimulation of a hormone which will make your stomach feel fuller.
Helps against Type II Diabetes
Since Keto diet ensures that you have no sugar in your diet, it can help in lowering down the Hba1c count which is responsible for Type II diabetes. In fact, studies conducted show that keto diet can eliminate other key causes of Type II diabetes as well and can help you in managing the insulin level in your body.
Lowers Blood Sugar Level
Using glucose as your energy source can cause your insulin and blood sugar to vary a lot which can also affect your brain health. However, once you start using ketones as your energy source, you will find that your blood sugar level is more stabilized which helps in relieving stress from your body and reducing the chances of a metabolic syndrome. In some cases, the acne on your skin can get cleared up too.
Offers More Energy to You
Another great benefit of following a Keto diet is that it can provide you with a constant flow of energy as it has plenty of fat to use. Unlike glucose, you don’t need to continuously fill yourself up with carbohydrates so you will find that you have sufficient energy to carry out your entire day’s work.
How to Start a Healthy Keto Diet
In order to get started with a keto diet, you will have to first plan your Keto meals. Ideally, a ketogenic diet consists of about 80% calories from fats, 10% from proteins and the remaining 10% from carbohydrates. It is important that you use only a liberal amount of carbohydrates and proteins in your diet if you wish to reach the ketosis state. For example: in a 2000 calories diet, you need to have about 180g of fat, 50g of protein, and 50-120g of carbohydrates if you exercise. The daily intake of carbohydrate will need to be less than 50g.
One thing to note is that your Keto diet should abstain from starchy foods and should only contain vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc. for carbohydrates. Here are a few things that you can eat on your Keto diet:
- Fish and Seafood
- Non-Starchy Food like green leafy vegetables
- Healthy fats (butter, ghee, bacon fat, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.)
How To Follow it Correctly
If you want your Keto diet to be successful then you have to follow it correctly and avoid making these 3 common mistakes:
Mistake #1: Insufficient Intake of Salts
When you start a Keto diet, you often end up with reduced sodium amount because you aren’t eating processed foods anymore. This can result in fatigue and food cravings so ensure you take all the essential salts of sodium, magnesium, and potassium in the right quantity.
Mistake #2: Insufficient Intake of Greens
A lot of people skip the vegetables because they assume eating fewer carbohydrates means avoiding veggies. This is now true and can actually be harmful. Vegetables and fruits are responsible for vitamins and minerals and avoiding them can result in fewer nutrients in your diet.
Mistake #3: Insufficient Exercise
While not exercising when you try a new diet might not seem important, it can often slow down the effects of your diet. Also, exercising is a great way to burn the additional carbohydrates and keep their amount in check when you are on a keto diet. You can start by just walking daily.