Many celebrities in recent years have sworn by a ketogenic diet for weight loss and optimal health. It's recommended by physicians for certain neuro-degenerative disorders. But what exactly is a ketogenic diet?
Put simply, a ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that leads to your body using fat as a primary fuel instead of sugar and carbohydrates. When you follow a diet with a lot of fat, a moderate amount of protein, and little to no carbohydrates, you enter a state called ketosis, where your liver breaks down fat to make energy for the body and produces ketones as a by-product, hence the name "ketogenic" diet.
Health Benefits of Ketogenic Diet
A ketogenic diet is one of the most effective ways to promote weight loss and fat loss without having to do much exercise or cut calories excessively. Your body sees your stored fat as a source of energy and burns it, instead of leaving it stored for another time.
If you suffer from inflammatory disorders, a ketogenic diet may also be a good choice for you. When your body burns fat it produces ketones, which are cleaner by-product than when your body burns carbohydrates. Burning fat produces fewer free radicals, which are linked to inflammation.
Ketogenic diets are also useful for people genetically prone to Type 2 diabetes or people in a pre-diabetic phase. When your body breaks down carbohydrates into blood sugars, it produces insulin to counteract these blood sugars. Eventually, these insulin spikes can lead to insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes. With a ketogenic diet, there are no carbohydrates to turn into blood sugar and therefore no corresponding spike in insulin. Some researchers have even found that following a ketogenic diet can reduce and even eventually remove the need for diabetic medications.
The Ketogenic Diet Plan
The standard ketogenic diet consists of high fat intake, moderate protein intake, and low carbohydrate intake. The standard division is 70%, 25%, and 5% of daily calories. This means that on a 2,000 calorie diet, you should eat 156 grams of fat, 125 grams of protein, and no more than 25 grams of carbohydrates in a day.
While on a ketogenic diet, you need to avoid sugary foods, starchy foods, most packaged and processed foods, and milk. You should also avoid nearly all fruits and many vegetables. All of these contain high levels of carbohydrates which will prevent your body from entering ketosis and gaining the health benefits of this diet.
Instead, replace these items with high fat, low carbohydrate options including meat, fish, coconut oil, cheese, and eggs. You can use romaine lettuce leaves to replace bread or rolls in many of your favorite recipes, such as using them as hamburger wraps or taco shells.
A ketogenic diet can be both healthy and tasty! You can lose weight and improve your overall health by following a low-carb, high-fat diet. It goes against what we've been taught is healthy eating by relying on fat for energy, but it is proven to work.