What You Should Know About The Keto Diet
Chances are you know someone that’s on the keto diet. You may find yourself questioning if it’s a good fit for you. Before you head into a major diet overhaul, here’s what you’ll want to know:
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
One of the major misconceptions is that low carb diets are virtually the same as the keto diet. Though it may share similarities with past low carb fads, the true ketogenic “keto” diet differs in that it focuses on fats, not proteins, to lose weight.
The ketogenic diet is based on a high fat, low carb meal plan that puts your body into a ketosis metabolic state. Your body is forced to rely on fat for energy, instead of the carbs it once used. When glucose isn’t available (due to lack of sugary and starchy foods in the diet), the body will begin to break down fat stores and rely on ketone bodies produced by the liver to provide you with energy.
What is Required on Keto
Your body won’t hit ketosis right away. A strict diet is required to force your liver into creating ketones. You’ll have to limit your daily carbohydrate intake to 20-50 grams per day. Fat must be present at every meal, too. Keep in mind, many vegetables and fruits have high carbohydrate counts. Small portions of berries and leafy greens can still be consumed.
There are several risk factors that you’ll want to consider before diving into the keto diet.
- Kidney problems: Patients with kidney disease need to be cautious as this diet may worsen their condition.
- Keto Flu: As one of the most commonly known complications, the adjustment to a low-carb diet can leave you confused, irritable, and overall feeling ill.
There’s evidence that a ketogenic diet is as effective as medications in treating children with seizures. A ketogenic diet has also been shown to improve blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. You’ll want to discuss the pros and cons with your doctor before making a decision.
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