What is a Keto Diet?

Keto is short for the ketogenic diet.

The ketogenic diet is  a low-carb/high-fat (LCHF) diet that consists of a large proportion of healthy fats, moderate amounts of protein, and a small amount of healthy complex carbohydrates. 

The aim of the keto diet

The aim of the keto diet is to get our bodies into what is called a “state of ketosis”.

How to achieve Ketosis?

Ketosis takes place when your body is producing ketones — a byproduct of breaking down fat for energy when carbohydrate intake is low. Here’s how it all works:

Glucose (derived from sugar) is the body’s main source of fuel for one reason: It’s the easiest molecule to break down and convert into energy. That may sound like a good thing, but it creates a dietary imbalance that causes your body to store fat rather than burning it off. Ketosis shifts this imbalance by depleting your body’s available glucose, and in turn, decreases blood sugar and insulin levels. By doing so, it shifts your internal metabolic processes back to using fat as their primary fuel.

Ketosis and ketone production have officially been initiated once your body begins breaking down fats for energy. This process can be induced through methods such as fasting or prolonged exercise. The ketogenic diet seeks to induce ketosis to make your body a lean, mean, fat-burning machine.How does the keto diet works?

When you eat a diet rich in carbohydrates, your body converts those carbs into glucose.

Glucose is your body’s preferred energy source. As long as you keep eating carbohydrates, your body will keep turning it into sugar, thereby burning that sugar for energy. In other words, when glucose is present, your body will refuse to burn off its fat stores.

Since carbs are your body’s preferred energy source, the only way to start burning fat is by removing carbs.

And with no glucose available for energy, your body has no choice but to start burning its fat stores. Your body starts converting fatty acids into ketones, a metabolic state known as ketosis, and the basis of a ketogenic diet.

What are Macros?

Macronutrients, or macros, are the three ways our bodies produce energy.

They are Carbohydrates , Protein, Fat

These are the general macro guidelines for a ketogenic diet:

  • 70-80% of calories from fats
  • 20-25% of calories from protein
  • 5-10% of calories from carbohydrates

Your macronutrient goals will vary depending on your particular lifestyle.

What is Net Carbs?

Most people following Keto opt to track net carbs instead of total carbs. The term "net carbs" simply refers to carbs that are absorbed by the body. To calculate net carbs from food, you subtract the dietary fiber and  sugar alcohols from the total carbs

    Net Carbs = total carbs - (dietary fiber + sugar alcohol)

Net is generally allowed because of how your body reacts to the fiber and the sugar alcohols. On Nutrition Labels, the grams of dietary fiber and sugar alcohols are already included in the total carb count. But because fiber and  sugar alcohols are carbs that your body can’t digest, they have virtually no affect on your blood sugar levels and can be subtracted in most cases.

What are the benefits of the Keto diet?
  • Lessens reliance on carbohydrates and sugar for bodily fuel
  • Helps lower blood pressure and improves cholesterol
  • Fights epilepsy and other seizure-inducing illnesses
  • Increases weight loss
  • Improves energy level
  • Reduced triglycerides
  • Increased levels of good cholesterol
  • Helpful in treating metabolic syndrome
  • Helpful in treating brain disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Provides a natural remedy to many diabetic-related ailments
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved patterns of LDL cholesterol and genes.

Sources

For more information about  keto or low-carb diet, please go to:

  • https://www.dietdoctor.com
  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenicdiet101