Everyday, we are surrounded with different health plans and diets claiming that they are the best way to lose weight or increase overall health. However, many of these plans are not backed by research and can actually be quite unhealthy. When choosing a diet plan to follow it is important to understand the benefits of the diet and exactly it requires.
The ketogenic diet is low-carb, high-fat based. Similar to the Atkins diet, when you reduce the amount of carbs you consume, your body is placed in a metabolic state called ketosis. In this state, your body becomes increasingly efficient at burning fat to use for energy. In addition to boosting your metabolic state, this diet also helps convert fat into ketones in the liver. This helps supply energy to the brain.
Significant research has been done to prove that switching the body’s main source of energy from carbohydrates to fat fuels can help treat many medical conditions. Some of the conditions that the ketogenic diet is a treatment for are diabetes, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
A common misconception about the ketogenic diet is that it is a high protein or low carb diet. The main difference is that amount of carbohydrates and proteins allowed on a daily basis. In order to properly follow the ketogenic diet, the carbohydrate intake must be limited to 20-60 grams per day. While many diets encourage followers to eat a substantial amount of protein to make up for the lack of carbohydrates. However, consuming too much protein can actually interfere with ketosis. The ideal ratio for the ketogenic diet is about 70-75% of calories from fat, 20-25% of calories from protein, and 5-10% from carbohydrates.
Many believe that increasing the amount of fat and saturated fat in their diets will increase the overall fat in their body. However, this is not true. Choosing a high carb diet increase your blood sugar which has inflammatory effects on the body. While foods that are high saturated fat have been blamed for the cause of inflammation, it is because they have been studied in combination with a high carbohydrate diet. When combined with low carbohydrate amounts, the ketogenic diet will reduce inflammation.
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Before starting the ketogenic diet, as any diet plan, consult your physician to determine if it is right for you.