As long as you are looking to improve your health through diet, chances are good you are always going to wonder whether or not the latest diet trend is just a fad, or something with a big more science and fact behind it.
One of the most popular diets right now is the ketogenic – or keto – diet. It is a highly restrictive diet in terms of what you can and cannot eat. It has also been shown to come with some pretty impressive results.
So, what is the keto diet, and why is it more than a fad? Continue reading to find out.
Before we go into the specifics of why the keto diet is here to stay, let’s go over what exactly it is. In a nutshell, the keto diet is a high-fat, extremely low-car diet with a fair amount of protein thrown in as well.
It actually isn’t a new diet at all. It was first developed in the 1920s to help treat children who struggled with epilepsy. To this day, it is still being investigated as a possible breakthrough approach to treating a range of serious neurological disorders and diseases.
The primary goal of the keto diet is to put your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. This takes place when you restrict the amount of carbohydrates your body is taking in. As a result, your body will start to break down stored fat, creating molecules called ketones to use as the fuel it needs. The important thing to remember is that ketosis is a natural physiological state and there is nothing dangerous about being in ketosis.
What can I eat?
There are numerous versions of the keto diet, but the main goal is to get about 75 percent of your daily calories from fat, 20 percent from protein, and the remaining 5 percent from carbs. That’s an incredibly low amount of carbs.
It means you won’t be able to eat things such as bread, pasta, rice, processed foods, alcohol, starchy veggies, and most fruits. It is not an exaggeration to say that for many – the keto diet is not just a change in what you eat, it’s a change in how you live your life.
There’s a lot of delicious things you can eat, though. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, butter, and cream are all on the table. So too are nuts and seeds, avocados, low-carb veggies like greens, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and more are also allowed.
What are the health benefits?
The primary reason why people engage in the keto diet is to lose weight, and a lot of it! The reason why is because – as previously mentioned – once your body goes into ketosis, it will start to burn the excess fat you store in your body for energy. Proponents of diet also say that the keto diet can lead to increased energy and reduced food cravings.
On to the more long-term benefits, research has shown that the diet has the potential to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance in diabetics. There are also growing findings that point to the keto diet being beneficial in treating Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and some types of cancers.
If you’re interested in learning more about the long-term health benefits of the keto diet, Greg from The Keto Kettle runs a fantastic blog where you can learn more about keto. Greg lost 55 pounds from the diet and used that as motivation to spread the word about it’s health benefits.
Why it’s more than a fad
If your goal is to lose weight and you have done the research necessary to discover how much you will eat, and you are able to stick to the diet, you will almost certainly lose weight.
The one thing to keep in mind is that because the keto diet can pose such an extreme change in daily diet, it is highly likely that you will feel pretty crummy when you first start out. That is your body adapting to a lack of the sugars and carbs that it is used to. For some, it can prove to be quite difficult to maintain.
That being said, if you are able to maintain it and get over the initial hump of feeling crummy, your weight loss goals will thank you for it. While this diet is not necessarily nourishing to your body – as you do ultimately lose out on some important vitamins and minerals that you would typically get from fruit and starchy vegetables – it can be a real way to open the door to weight loss if that is what your body needs.
If you are interested in the keto diet, now is the time to start your own research, or talk to your nutritionist – about the benefits of the keto diet. You may find, that it is just the lifestyle change you need to get to a healthier you!