What is the Keto Diet?
You’ve probably heard the phrase a lot but have no idea what it means. Your friends are all talking about it. Chances are, someone on your Facebook feed has posted a picture of some dramatic weight loss, giving credit to something called a ‘keto diet.’ But what is it?
The Ketogenic diet is a low carb, moderate protein diet designed to create a state of ketosis within the body as a means of losing weight. This probably didn’t clarify things very much so let’s go through this a little slower.
Bodies run on fuel. Usually, that fuel is found in blood sugar or glucose which comes from the food we put into our mouths. But the body can also run an alternative fuel called ‘ketones.’ Ketones are made in the liver, from fat.
The Ketogenic Diet then is a method by which we convince the body to switch gears – that instead of running the body on blood glucose, instead, it works off the fat stores, turning them into ketones which then do the job of running the body instead.
This sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? The problem is, it’s not as easy as you think to convince the brain to switch gears and start using ketones over glucose. The only way to get there is through a process called ‘ketosis.’
How do we get there?
Ketosis happens when we fast. But we can’t fast forever (not without keeling over), and so we have to use different methods to get us where we want to go. In the Keto Diet we reduce the carbohydrates coming into the body, because, quite simply, carbs become sugar when digested. By cutting carbs down exponentially to very low amounts, and then increasing fat intake (with a focus on the good fats, not the bad kind) you can convince your body to go into ketosis without fasting at all.
So, it makes sense then that there are very specific things you can eat on a keto diet, and also very specific things to avoid.
We start with dropping the GPS – Grains / Potatoes/ Starches. And then put our focus on fresh fruits and veggies (though careful of the carbs) and the good fats, especially those found in proteins (various meats) and nuts and dairy.
With so many fad diets out there trying to convince you that they’re the one true path to losing weight, the Ketogenic Diet comes out as being one of the more logical choices. Based on the actual chemistry of your body, it just makes sense. And the success stories can’t be argued with.
(As with any diet, check with your doctor before beginning.)
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