The ketogenic or keto diet has grown in popularity in the last few years. However, keto diet plans have been in existence for nearly 100 years. In particular, this diet dates back to 1921 when a Mayo Clinic physician pioneered the concept of using a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. The keto diet plan revolves around consuming food items that help the body replicate the fasting state.
Understanding Keto Diet
Normally, the level of glucose in the blood starts to decline several hours after taking a meal. The drop in glucose levels in the blood reduces insulin secretion and causes a surge in glucagon production. Glucagon is a hormone that regulates the levels of blood glucose. It does this by triggering the breakdown or metabolism of glycogen, a stored type of glucose.
The metabolism of glycogen enables the body to increase glucose levels in the absence of adequate dietary intake of carbohydrates or glucose-containing foods. Thus, the objective of the keto diet plan is to add a small proportion of carbohydrates to starve the body off glucose and encourage glycogen breakdown.
On the other hand, the purpose of the high-fat diet in a keto diet is to increase ketones and chances of reaching ketosis. Ketosis enables the body to burn excessive fat and reduce appetite levels. The process begins once the body exhausts all glycogen in its stores.
Facts About Keto Diet
There is a lot of information about keto diet on the internet and other sources. However, some of this information is not factual and may mislead people who want to try this diet.
Keto diet plans accelerate weight loss
The low carbohydrates levels in a ketogenic diet cause a significant drop in blood glucose, activating glycogen metabolism to raise glucose levels. The glycogen stores become depleted, triggering ketosis. Ketosis causes the body to break down fats into ketones to supply energy for physiologic function, contributing to weight loss.
Keto diet plans help treat certain diseases
A Keto diet has been successfully used to manage diseases. For instance, the keto diet is widely used in treating pediatric epilepsy by reducing the duration of seizures and improving recovery.
Keto diets have also been found to be beneficial in managing diabetes due to their ability to improve blood sugar control. The diet may also help manage and prevent Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer.
Foods to include in keto diet plans
The foods to add to a keto diet range in variety and include fatty fish (salmon, sardines, and tuna), poultry, unprocessed cheese, avocados, eggs, butter,coconut oil, tomatoes, pepper, olives, meat, cream, berries, cocoa, as well as unsweetened tea and coffee.
Some keto-friendly nuts and seeds consist of peanuts, macadamia nuts, chia seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, pecans, hemp seeds, hazelnuts, fennel seeds, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, coriander seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Low-carb and keto-friendly vegetables to include in your keto diet comprise broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, asparagus, kale, cucumber, eggplant, cabbage, and carrots.
Myths About the Keto Diet
Occasionally, the keto diet is associated with different myths or misconceptions. Such myths undermine proper implementation of ketogenic diets and may lead to poor results.
One of the most common myths is that the keto diet requires high protein intake. Instead, the consumption of proteins is moderate at best, with high fat intake.
There is also a misconception that one can take any fats in high quantities. However, the intake of healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, is recommended.
Keto Diet Safety and Precautions
The adoption of the keto diet is largely safe. However, it might have unintended consequences for some people. For instance, the keto diet might cause kidney stones, constipation, mineral deficiencies, and dehydration. People who have kidney disease or problems should exercise caution or avoid the keto diet because it is likely to exacerbate their condition.