What is the Ketogenic Diet? Why Is It Good?
The ketogenic diet, also known as “the keto diet”, has been quite a trending topic lately. It is said to be a modern type of diet where people don’t need to feel hungry, yet they can still trim their body weight. But before “going keto”, it is better for you to understand the concept first.
Overview of Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet is an eating program with low or even zero carbs. The diet suggests people replace carbs with fat instead. This concept is actually not a new idea. Long before the term “keto” became popular, there had been several diet programs with the idea of low-carb and high-fat/protein. Some of these were the Atkins diet and the Dukan diet.
How Does It Work?
Carbohydrates usually work as a source of energy for our body. Our digestive system will break carbs into smaller molecules called glucose. Glucose is then converted into energy to fuel up our body. When we already have enough energy but there are still some carbohydrates left in our body, our digestive system will store it as fat under our skin. That is how we end up having a chubby figure. It is also unhealthy because those stacked up fats can narrow your veins, causing coronary heart disease.
On the other hand, when our body doesn’t have enough carbs, our system will have to find an alternative way to produce energy. And the alternative source of energy is fats. Fats from the food we eat will be directly converted into energy. Our body will also take out the fats stored in cells (the fats we keep from excess carbs earlier) and turn them into energy.
Why Is It Good?
Keto is good because your body gets an even more effective source of energy. People who devote themselves to the new keto lifestyle state that they lose weight effectively, for good.
Since carbohydrates are basically sugar, ditching carbs like this will also lead to lower blood sugar level and insulin level. We all know that high blood sugar can cause many health problems. So, going keto can reduce those health risks.
Recent studies also found that the ketogenic diet can help fight cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy. Generally, the ketogenic diet will improve your health if you apply it as a constant lifestyle.
Starting keto means you are changing the process of producing energy in your body. Since your body is not used to this new process, you should expect to experience some “glitch” such as a headache, nausea, and exhaustion. But, those symptoms should go away after your body fully accepts the process. How long does this transition last? Well, it is different for each individual.
To minimize the side effects that may occur during the first two weeks of starting the diet, you should consider ingesting extra fluid and salt, perhaps in the form of bouillon.
Another important thing you need to remember is that you should only rely only on good fats when eating keto. You must ditch saturated fats and trans fats, as those can cause you cardiac problems.
As good as it sounds, you still need to be cautious if you plan to go keto. Feed yourself with information first to fully understand the concept of this program. You also need to talk with your doctor, since keto might be not suitable for people with certain medical conditions.