Ketogenic diets have been in use since 1924 in pediatrics as a treatment for epilepsy. A ketogenic (keto) diet is one that is high in fat and low in carbs. The design of the ketogenic diet is to shifts the body’s metabolic fuel from burning carbohydrates to fats. With the keto diet, the body metabolizes fat, instead of sugar, into energy. Ketones are a byproduct of that process.

Keto Diet Overview

Over the years, ketogenic diets have been used to treat diabetes. One justification was that it treats diabetes at its root cause by lowering carbohydrate intake leading to lower blood sugar, which in turn, lowers the need for insulin which minimizes insulin resistance and associated metabolic syndrome.

In this way, a ketogenic diet may improve blood glucose (sugar) levels while at the same time reducing the need for insulin. This point of view presents keto diets as a much safer and more effective plan than injecting insulin to counteract the consumption of high carbohydrate foods.

What are the benefits of a ketogenic diet plan?

• Burn Stored Fat – By cutting out the high levels of carbohydrates in your diet that produce glucose (sugar), a ketogenic diet plan tells your body to burn stored fat by converting this fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies in the liver. These ketone bodies replace the role of glucose that was being filled by carbohydrates in the diet. This leads to a rapid reduction in the amount of fat stored in the body.

 

• Retain Muscle Mass – By including the right fats in your diet, a ketogenic diet plan provides your body with the energy it needs to convert existing fat stores into useful sugars and ketones (through gluconeogenesis), which are an essential source of energy for the brain, muscles, and heart. This has the added benefit of preserving muscle mass, because the healthy fat in the diet gives the body the energy it needs without having to tap into muscle protein to create more sugar. This creates the best of both worlds – burn fat while maintaining muscle mass!

 

• Eliminate Excess Fat – Even better, if your body creates too many ketone bodies by converting existing fat, it will simply eliminate those ketones as a waste product, which means you will basically pee out unwanted body fat!

 

• Reduce Appetite – Lastly, by regulating the powerful metabolic hormones in your body, a ketogenic diet plan will actually reduce your appetite. By lowering your body’s insulin resistance and increasing ketones, you will actually feel less hungry on this diet, which is an amazing advantage over other low-calorie, carbohydrate-rich weight loss diets that come with the expectation of lingering hunger.

Start burning fat today without more exercise! Take control of your metabolism naturally by adopting a ketogenic diet plan. Your body was designed for this style of nutrition. Your metabolic state can be optimized by consuming the (delicious) foods that our genetic forefathers thrived on, and this does not include carbohydrate-rich, processed foods loaded with sugars and bad fats. It involves a luxurious and fulfilling diet based on bountiful foods from paleolithic times, including lean meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats that your body will thank you for.

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Limitations of the Keto Diet

A keto diet is actually a very restrictive diet. In the classic keto diet for example, one gets about 80 percent of caloric requirements from fat and 20 percent from proteins and carbohydrates. This is a marked departure from the norm where the body runs on energy from sugar derived from carbohydrate digestion but by severely limiting carbohydrates, the body is forced to use fat instead.

The Keto Diet Lifestyle

A ketogenic diet requires healthy food intake from beneficial fats, such as coconut oil, grass-pastured butter, organic pastured eggs, avocado, fish such as salmon, cottage cheese, avocado, almond butter and raw nuts (raw pecans and macadamia). People on ketogenic diets avoid all bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, flour, starchy vegetables, and dairy. The diet is low in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients and require supplementation.

Low carbohydrate diet is frequently recommended for people with type 2 diabetes because carbohydrates turn to blood sugar which in large quantities cause blood sugar to spike. Thus, for a diabetic who already has high blood sugar, eating additional sugar producing foods is like courting danger. By switching the focus from sugar to fat, some patients can experience reduced blood sugar.

Changing the body’s primary energy source from carbohydrates to fat leaves behind the byproduct of fat metabolism, ketones in the blood. For some diabetic patients, this can be dangerous as a buildup of ketones may create a risk for developing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is a medical emergency requiring the immediate of a physician. DKA signs include consistently high blood sugar, dry mouth, polyuria, nausea, breath that has a fruit-like odor and breathing difficulties. Complications can lead to diabetic coma.

One of the hottest approaches in weight loss that is sweeping the industry is the idea of ketogenic diet weight loss programs. These are extreme low-carb diets where the aim is to be in a state of ketosis, meaning that the body is burning fat as fuel as opposed to glucose. This state is achieved, largely, by simply depriving the body of glucose via the food source is available through the dieters nutritional plan.

When you introduce carbohydrates into the diet, hyperinsulinemia and blood sugar swings may occur. This is due to the change in the levels of enzymes in the body. The enzymes that are primarily affected are the ones that are involved in carbs or fats burning. Since the body was not fed with carbs, ending a ketogenic diet will also mean that the ‘down regulation’ will be changed. Staying on the ketogenic diet will keep your insulin needs in balance. Carbohydrates have always created problems for people with diabetes.

To prevent these things, the person concerned should be encouraged to perform exercises regularly. To minimize the weight gain side effects, the carbohydrates should be introduced into the regular diet gradually. Never change your diet abruptly because this can have drastic effects to the body. You can also get gastric upset by gradually introducing the changes. Once the carbohydrates are re-introduced, you also have to decrease the consumption of fats. Your body will not like a source of excess calories. You can start with vegetable recipes with breads, rice, or pasta.

The case is different between a bodybuilder or athlete and the children suffering from epilepsy. The latter has been used to the ketogenic diet for around two years and ending a ketogenic diet can have drastic effects especially when not performed properly. Just like when you started out with the diet, the weaning period also needs a lot of support and guidance from the parents. You have to make your child understand that there are going to be changes once more but this time, the child will no longer go back to the ketogenic diet. Ask your doctor about it.

Normal Diet vs Keto Diet

In a normal diet, humans need to consume higher amounts of carbohydrates as this acts as energy source for the body to be able to function well and less of fat as fats are only stored in the body as a reserve for when the body needs more fuel. As the body needs more carbohydrates, it processes the food group first and thus one feels hungry after a while which is not so in the case of breaking down meals that are high in fat content.

In the ketogenic diet, this theory is reversed. One will need to consume higher amount of fats and trick the body into realizing that it has insufficient amount of glucose so that it would breakdown the fats first and convert these into energy. The first diet which is the LCT deals with high fat – low carbohydrates with adequate protein. Calories are restricted and fluid intake may be taken into consideration as well. The strict diet usually makes use of strict meal plans taking into consideration the dieter’s calorie and protein needs per day. These are then divided into several meals for the day which are designed by dietitians.

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