Fashionable eating practices have come and gone over time, from subsisting on the liquid fare and pre-packaged dishes to the Mediterranean diet and the ketogenic diet. In the 1990s, people who were looking to reduce their weight and improve their well-being preferred to eat egg whites, margarine instead of butter, and no-fat biscuits, driven by the notion that reducing cholesterol and fat was imperative for getting fit and living healthily.
At present, different fashionable dietary plans suggest the consumption of more beneficial fat alongside protein while reducing the consumption of carbohydrates, especially refined types (like foods made with white flour or sugar). Keto! Keto is the trendiest high-protein, high-fat, low-carb eating plan at the moment. Certainly, the ketogenic diet, often shortened to keto, is undeniable.
What Is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is not a transient trend; it has been around for some time. It was during the 1920s that the technique of treating epilepsy was initiated by a team of medical professionals at Johns Hopkins, as circulated by Laurie Steelsmith, a naturopathic doctor and administrator of the advanced Steelsmith Natural Health Center, a hub for natural healing.
“The ketogenic diet inverts the triangle of the standard American diet,” Dr. Steelsmith notes, referring to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Guide Pyramid, which suggests eating six to 11 servings of grains (bread, rice, cereal, etc.) and fats “sparingly.”
Instead of mainly counting on starch from fruit, sugar, and grains, Dr. Steelsmith suggests increasing the intake of fat and reducing the intake of protein. Specifically, it is recommended that approximately 75% of daily calorie intake should come from healthy fats, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbs. Even though the ratio of macronutrients may vary slightly depending on the source, they usually stay within a similar range.
How Does the Keto Diet Work?
The interesting science that underpins the keto diet provides justification for the potential advantages of the plan.
Without carbs as is typical in a ketogenic diet, since the body needs power for everyday physical movements, mental abilities, and essential metabolic processes, the physiology begins to break down fat – also acknowledged as lipolysis – and uses fatty acids and produces ‘ketones,’ as identified by Sharon Zarabi, RD, Bariatric Program executive at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Your body is said to be in a state of ketosis when this transpires. In this condition, the body stops depending on its favored source of fuel, glucose – which is created through carbohydrates – and uses ketones as an alternative.
Who Is a Good Candidate for the Keto Diet?
Although we may usually consider any dietary plan as a means to lose weight, Dr. Steelsmith attests that the keto method is especially beneficial for those dealing with numerous medical issues.
Individuals who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), impacting between 5 to 10 percent of all females of childbearing age, have the potential to gain a lot from a ketogenic diet, in Dr. Steelsmith’s opinion. This health disorder is linked to infertility, abnormal menstrual cycles, cardiovascular problems, resistance to insulin, and the possibility of diabetes, as reported by the Office of Women’s Health. She states that it helps to regulate insulin levels and promote hormone equilibrium. Female individuals who have difficulty getting pregnant may also find an advantage, as it can help regulate insulin levels.
She suggests the keto diet for individuals who have difficulty keeping track of their caloric intake or those wishing to kick start their weight loss journey. Studies have indicated that it may protect against cancer as a result of its capability to reduce insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 is a hormone responsible for cell growth and may be connected to the emergence and advancement of tumors. It has been demonstrated that by decreasing the levels of IGF-1, a ketogenic meal plan can decrease the danger of cancer and retard the enlargement of growth over an extended period of time.
Dr. Steelsmith believes that the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet can be a suitable and successful choice for those living with Type 2 diabetes because it can help to reduce their blood sugar levels. Nutrition & Metabolism has released information that suggests those dealing with this condition who stick to a diet lower in carbohydrates experience better glucose control and frequently no longer require medication.
It was concluded that making changes to lifestyle habits by following a low-carb diet can be effective at managing and reversing Type 2 diabetes.
Anyone taking medication for Type 2 diabetes and/or hypertension ought to consult with a doctor to adjust the dose accordingly, cautions Alexandra Sowa, MD – a specialist in internal medicine, preventative health, and nutrition/obesity care based in NYC.
Do You Really Need Carbs?
The definition of carbohydrates is that they are substances like sugar and starch that provide the body with energy.
Foods consisting of white flour and excess sugar become glucose quickly when digested, meaning they convert to blood sugar quickly. Grains and beans that are considered complex carbohydrates break down and are digested at a slower rate. No matter what, all carbs are changed into glucose during digestion – and when you eat a lot of carbohydrates, your chances of putting on weight increase.
You have always been told that carbs are essential for energy and that your brain needs glucose, a specific kind of sugar, to work properly. There is no truth in the rumors that people on low-sugar or low-carb diets can’t be in good health and good spirits, as there are many examples of individuals on such diets who are in good health and high spirits. Rather than relying on carbohydrates for energy, you can power your body with fatty acids and ketones created through fat burning. Your body requires only an insignificant measure of glucose (sugar) in order to operate, but has the ability to produce all the necessary glucose from fat and protein, rather than carbohydrates.
The only carbohydrates your body needs are vegetables, which provide essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Except for special circumstances, carbohydrates are not needed for good health. In fact, the opposite is true. Eating too many carbohydrates, especially ones that have been processed, can drain your body of important nutrients and have a bad impact on your overall well-being. Other forms of energy such as carbohydrates are transformed into fat in your body and make it difficult to burn fat. The reason why you have not been able to slim down while consuming a lot of carbohydrates is clear.
The body undergoes a process of turning fat into energy referred to as ketosis. When a diet is referred to as “ketogenic,” it means that specific foods are eaten that cause the body to go into ketosis, a metabolic state achieved through the process known as ketogenesis. This food combination is:
Fat – 70%
Protein – 20%
Clean carbs – 5%
Other carbs – 5%
*Clean carbs refer to non-starchy vegetables
The purpose of the ketogenic diet is to put your body into a state of ketosis and sustain it. When you are in a metabolic state known as ketosis, your body produces an improved energy source both for itself and your brain.
It is quite easy to deduce that consuming too many carbohydrates and added sugars along with a large amount of protein will cause one to fall out of ketosis. So too will frequent eating.
Switching from the use of energy derived from carbohydrates to fat is analogous to getting your body into a state of ketosis. The consequence is that your body begins to break down fat cells on its own while you go about your day-to-day activities.
The Truth About Fat
In the late eighties and early nineties, various media reports on the possible advantages of having a reduced-fat diet triggered the increase of a multitude of unrecommended reduced-fat foods in our supermarkets. Processed foods with a low-fat content were (and still are) filled with sweetness and additives to ensure they had a pleasing taste since they did not possess flavorful fats such as butter or coconut oil.
Be assured that an aspect of a wholesome diet is to include essential dietary fat. Your body needs it! Fats play an important role in cell development, the formation of hormones, the assimilation of vitamins and minerals, and more. MCT oil can be beneficial to your health, helping to put the body into ketosis and maintain this state. Our physiques can utilize ketones as an energy source without requiring them to be broken down in the liver. It is permissible to take MCT oil while practicing intermittent fasting without jeopardizing the fast, as long as it is taken in moderation.
Seventy percent of your calorie intake may seem like a lot of fat, however, this doesn’t mean you are consuming more than what is considered normal. Fat is two times as energy-dense as protein and carbohydrates, so a smaller amount of fat takes up a much bigger portion of the size of weight. Let’s consider the volume of food rather than the 70 percent when filling up our plates.
I suggest you build up to your daily intake of fat over time. If you ingest excessive amounts of fat in a short amount of time, it can be too much for your gallbladder to handle, leading to shoulder discomfort and a feeling of fullness. Adapting to a ketogenic diet involves consuming higher amounts of fat, which will result in the body making more bile. This is a progression that will not happen instantaneously, so if you sense any negative changes with the addition of more fat to your diet, scale back a bit and add it in more slowly.
The 6 Most Vital Keto Hacks
Here are some suggestions to help you adjust to ketosis.
- Use a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting at the same time.
- Add apple cider vinegar and lemon to your water.
- Supplement your diet with electrolytes and nutritional yeast.
- If you get intensely hungry between meals, only add a small fatty snack, no protein.
- Add more fat to your meals.
- Add more greens to your diet.
Side Effects of a Ketogenic Diet and How You Can Eliminate Them
If you have extremely realistic dreams or bad dreams, consider getting more B1 from nutritional yeast.
Cut down on fat. Drinking two servings of apple cider vinegar while fasting will not disrupt your fast; another advantage is that it comes with many health benefits. It can help to add bile salts. If your bloating is resulting from eating vegetables, then reduce your consumption of them as well. Bouts of bloating may be caused by consuming certain vegetables. For example, I can’t eat broccoli without feeling cramps. Just avoid it then. It is recommended to steam or cook cruciferous vegetables as this can increase the phytonutrients present in them.
Cholesterol too high
Cholesterol is present in your fat cells. As your body sheds weight, the fat cells that have been storing fat and cholesterol are now being flushed away. This is why there may be an increase in your cholesterol levels, at least in the short term, when you start following the ketogenic diet. However, most people find their cholesterol reduces.
This can mean too much meat or cheese. Increase vegetables and potassium. If you are already consuming considerable amounts of veggies, it might be wise to switch up the vegetables you are eating. Adding more fermented vegetables can help your digestive system. In certain scenarios, an overindulgence in vegetables may lead to constipation. A situation may arise specifically when someone is diagnosed with an affliction known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome (SIBO).
Flu-like symptoms, popularly known as the keto flu
One may experience the symptoms of keto flu such as headaches, bodily discomfort, hunger pangs, cognitive difficulty, and exhaustion. This reflects the change from utilizing sugar as an energy source to consuming fat as an energy source. It is essential to obtain additional electrolytes and B vitamins from nutritional yeast.
This is usually a low blood sugar situation. Your brain has not gotten used to operating on ketones yet. Introduce an additional meal for a period until your metabolism adjusts to work better, thus enabling your body to sustain a more constant blood sugar level for longer.
Menstrual cycle changes
Ensure that your diet is adequately providing you with nourishment and the right number of carbohydrates. If you are working out heavily, take it easy while your body is adapting to this diet.
Palpitations of the heart
When your body starts to use up the extra sugars that it doesn’t need, you lose a great deal of fluids and this expels essential minerals. Add more potassium.
Performance in exercise decreased
Make sure you are supplying your body with enough nutrition, but don’t consume more proteins than what is recommended. Do not reduce protein below the recommended amount. Usually adding B1 (natural and or nutritional yeast works).
It is possible that your body is necessitating an increased intake of B vitamins from the yeast used in nutrition, or your liver could be flushing out toxins. Eating a lot of vegetables is a great way to give your liver a boost.
If your breath smells like ammonia, reducing your intake of protein-rich foods and eating more salads may help. Including a bit of apple cider vinegar can help with digestion.
Cut back on your intake of protein and make sure to eat plenty of veggies. Drink a lot of liquids to stay healthy; this includes more than just water. Also make sure you are getting enough electrolytes from food sources, such as vegetables.
Include iodine derived from premium ocean-sourced kelp in your intake when you are following an intermittent fasting plan. When you undertake intermittent fasting, you can experience periods of coldness due to your body not receiving the same regular meals it once did. As a result, it doesn’t have to expend as much energy and your thyroid is in an adjustment phase.
This usually means you need more salt (sea salt).
Take more vitamins B1 and B5. Nutritional yeast supplies a wide range of B vitamins.
Monitor your calorie intake and make certain that you are consuming nutritionally dense food. You may need to increase your protein. Sometimes you need more trace minerals as well.
Hunger and cravings
Add more fat to your meal. This usually takes care of itself after your body has finished adjusting to being in ketosis. It might be necessary to maintain your intake of vegetables.
Consider including a potassium supplement in your diet and make certain you’re consuming foods with a high potassium content, such as green vegetables. There could be an absence of magnesium, and, rarely, a lack of sodium.
Pain, low back or abdominal
If you began to suffer from discomfort when beginning the ketogenic diet, it is possible that a kidney stone is forming. Add more potassium citrate from an electrolyte powder. Consume significant amounts of liquid with a mixture of 3 to 4 ounces of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Another good solution is to drink a mixture made up of 1 teaspoon of baking soda and some water in the morning, but not shortly before you eat. This adjustment of the pH level will assist in lowering the amount of uric acid in the body.