What is Keto?
The ketogenic diet (commonly called keto diet) refers to the practice of a high-fat, low-carb diet. It is a trending diet mainly focused on weight management, but also possesses various overlooked benefits to all body types. Differences among other types of diets were also discussed in the previous article.
This diet mainly focuses on increasing ketone levels in the blood which is the product of lipid metabolism. Ketones are an alternative fuel source that instills various health benefits including improving cognitive functions and appetite management.1 This fuel source is basically a cleaner, more efficient source of energy compared to sugars derived from carbohydrates.
Benefits of Keto Diet
Initially, the ketogenic diet was adapted for the treatment of epilepsy due to the improved utilization of ketones by brain cells. Since then, various studies have shown its vast potential in general health improvements.
Among its various benefits includes23 ;
- Reduced appetite leading to weight loss and management
- Improved blood glucose tolerance leading to lowered insulin dependence
- Increase in “Good” (HDL) cholesterol levels
- Improved cardiovascular health and function
- Improved low and medium intensity activity endurance
- Improved inflammation response
- Reduces the risk of certain cancers
Stepping into Ketogenic Diet
Keto diet requires the restriction of carbohydrates to below 25-50 grams, proteins to 50-75 grams, and fats to 156-180 grams per day. This would ideally maintain a 70-80% fats intake while keeping the carbohydrate intake down to 5-10 %.
This is particularly difficult to achieve in Asian countries due to their high carbohydrate intake in their daily diets. The fondness of rice, potatoes, noodles, and refined sugars has deterred the Asian population from adopting the Keto diet despite its various benefits.
Initially, implementing a keto diet may produce some side effects (keto flu) due to the changes in the overall diet. Some side effects include lethargicness, increased hunger, nausea, and decreased exercise performance. These effects quickly dissipate as the body adapts to the new diet.
Thus, a transition period is highly recommended to help prevent side effects and adhere to this diet.
Is Keto for Me?
The benefits of this diet are not exclusively attainable by only overweight individuals but apply to all body types. This diet benefits individuals who are focused on weight management, improving general wellbeing, diabetic patients, endurance athletes3, and more. Urban-dwellers always on the go can highly benefit from them.
Individuals with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurological disease, and pregnant women should always consult a licensed medical doctor prior to starting a keto diet. While this diet is generally safe, individual experiences may slightly vary due to physiological and lifestyle differences.
Its a Wrap!
New interesting diet plans emerge daily in this age of social media and discovery. Yet, this fabled diet once believed to possess very little benefits is starting to emerge on top.
Not too sure if this diet is for you? Learn about more flexible options here.
Grab a Lettuce Chicken Wrap for your next meal and eat your way to a new better you!
1. Walczyk T, Wick JY. The Ketogenic Diet: Making a Comeback. Consult Pharm. 2017;32(7):388‐396. doi:10.4140/TCP.n.2017.388
2. Masood W, Annamaraju P, Uppaluri KR. Ketogenic Diet. [Updated 2020 Mar 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/
3. Paoli A, Bianco A, Grimaldi KA. The Ketogenic Diet and Sport: A Possible Marriage?. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2015;43(3):153‐162. doi:10.1249/JES.0000000000000050