By Dr Sajimon George BAMS, AAA, ATMS
While the buzz around the ketogenic diet seems to be charging up, this diet isn’t something that is new. In fact, it’s been used as a treatment for epilepsy patients since the 1920s, which from epilepsy treatment went on to become a weight-loss trend in the recent years.
But what is this ketogenoc diet? It is a low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet which puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
Ketosis is a state in which the liver produces ketones which become the main source of energy for the body uses the stored fat in the body as energy.
The ketogenic diet is also referred to as keto diet, low carb diet, and low carb high-fat diet.
So why is the diet taking the globe by storm? Because it turns your body into a fat burner than a sugar burner.
Not sure what ketogenic diet foods are? Here’s a quick food list:
- Fats & Oils – fats like coconut oil, butter, and olive oil.
- Protein – Organic meat as most meats don’t have added sugar in them.
- Vegetables. Higher carb vegetables like onion, garlic and mushrooms. Nightshades, Berries and citrus fruits.
- Dairy – full-fat dairy items
- Nuts and Seeds – Fatty nuts like macadamias and almonds Walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, and pine nuts in moderation.
When you eat carbs your body produces glucose and insulin but the problem is when glucose is used as a primary energy source, the fats are stored as they are not needed for energy.
But when your body is in ketosis stops relying on glucose and to starts relying on fats. Sounds pretty potent, right? But as with any diet, there are always pros and cons.
The main pro of keto diet is that it aids in weight loss but it also has other benefits like it Reduces insulin levels, reduces apatite, improves cognition, lowers the risk of PCOS and cancer, and the reason the diet was introduced in the first place- it decreases neurological diseases.
Although the keto diet may seem like a boon for those who suffer from body fat, there are some drawbacks. Since carb foods contain the highest amount of water and dietary fibers, there are immediate side effects like constipation, decreased immune function, and crabbiness. But the real reason why the diet might not work is that it not sustainable for the long term.
Any diet especially the one that’s as extreme as keto that is often implemented under the careful supervision of a medical team might not translate into the daily life. The healthy way to weight loss is to set realistic goals and nourish yourself well, engage in plenty of physical activities and eat fresh, whole, minimally processed and organic foods. Because a healthy body should make us feel adequate never inadequate.