What is keto and how does it work?

On a ketogenic diet, you restrict carbohydrates and protein, which means you eat a high-fat diet. A lack of carbohydrates or protein means you don't have a lot of glucose for fuel. Your body uses that backup fuel, converting the fat you eat and body fat into ketones. Ketosis is a process that occurs when the body doesn't have enough carbohydrates to burn them for energy.

Instead, it burns fat and produces things called ketones, which you can use as fuel. When the body doesn't have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats. This causes a buildup of acids called ketones in the body. Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to use or store sugar for fuel.

Ketogenic diets cause you to consume this fuel quickly, so you don't need to store it. This means that the body needs—and produces—less insulin. These lower levels can help protect you against some types of cancer or even slow the growth of cancer cells. However, more research is needed in this regard.

Studies of children with epilepsy who followed the ketogenic diet for several years found that a small percentage developed kidney stones, possibly because uric acid that builds up from protein metabolism can cause stones (reduce dependence on animal protein in favor of protein). vegetable can help). Most people lose weight on keto, especially in the beginning (albeit partly due to water weight loss). Some research finds that after six months on a ketogenic diet, blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics can normalize to the point that they can lower or lower insulin and other medications to lower blood glucose.

Other side effects may include ketogenic flu, which may include headache, weakness and irritability, bad breath and fatigue. Drastically reducing calorie and carbohydrate intake, exercising for extended periods, or being pregnant can trigger ketosis. The ketogenic plan is a diet in the extreme sense, not only prescribing what you can and can't eat, but it restricts an entire food group. Everyone's body will react differently to the ketogenic diet or to any diet, so doctors and nutritionists warn that what could be useful to one person may pose a risk to another.

Rather than relying on sugar (glucose) that comes from carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits), the ketogenic diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat. Any major change in a person's diet can lead to physical symptoms, and the ketogenic diet is no exception. Unlike other low-carb diets, which focus on protein, a ketogenic plan focuses on fat, which supplies up to 90% of daily calories. However, for people with healthy kidneys and no history of kidney stones, the diet is likely to be OK; the amount of protein in the ketogenic diet is not much greater than the average American diet, experts say, and what harms the kidneys more than excess protein is high blood sugar and high blood pressure, both can be improved with the ketogenic diet and weight loss in general.

Talk to your doctor first to find out if it's safe for you to try a ketogenic diet, especially if you have type 1 diabetes. People with diabetes should monitor their ketone levels with a test kit, especially when they are sick or under stress. The rapid weight loss that people initially experience with the results of their ketogenic diet is also partly due to water weight loss: your body stores carbohydrates with water, so when you deplete your carbohydrate stores, you lose weight in water. We turned to the experts to learn more about the science behind how keto works, and what are the pros and cons of trying it out in real life.


Oscar Collari
Oscar Collari

He lives an active healthy lifestyle, traveling the world, cooking and lifting weights. His mantra is simple: Live, Love, Laugh, Lift... and Keto!

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