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December 03, 2019 | Farah Jassawalla

Weight Loss Due to Keto Diet: Myth or Reality

The ketogenic diet - or more popularly known as the Keto diet - is used for weight loss as well as other health benefits. The diet consists of food with a high content of fat but low carb content, which makes it similar to Atkins Diet and other low-carb diets. The diet replaces the low carb intake with fats, which puts the body in a state of ketosis - a metabolic state where the body produces ketones using fat. The fat is then used to produce energy that replaces the carbs. In the state of ketosis, the body efficiently burns fats into ketones in the liver and supplies energy to the brain.

Benefits

A keto diet helps reduce insulin and blood sugar levels. Among other advantages of the keto diet, it helps in reducing the risk of heart disease as the body fat is used up, which then reduces the level of cholesterol. Research has also shown that it is hugely beneficial for people who have epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease and the diet is also being used to cure different types of cancer. The keto diet is also used to help treat acne as it reduces insulin level and overall intake of less processed food and food having high sugar content.

Types of Keto Diet

● High Protein Ketogenic Diet: This diet consists of food having more protein in your diet, mostly using a ratio of 5% carbs, 60% fats and 35% protein.

● Targeted Ketogenic Diet: This diet is more for health benefits, and it allows you to add carbs to your diet but only around workout. 

● Standard Ketogenic Diet: This diet includes high fat, low carbs and moderate protein using the ratio of 5% carbs, 20% protein and 75% fat. 

● Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: This diet has cyclical periods of the keto diet, for example, that you may adopt a keto routine for five days and then the rest of the days having food with high carb content. 

The standard high-protein diet is mainly adopted for general health benefits, whereas the cyclical keto diet and the targeted keto diet are primarily used for fitness purposes.

Myth or Reality

It is a proven, research-backed reality that the ketogenic diet is more effective for weight loss and reducing the risk for health disease compared to other low-fat diets. It also enables you to lose weight without counting calories or keeping track of your food as high-fat food fills you up quicker. One research found that you can lose weight 2.2 times faster than those individuals who are on a low-fat diet. The diet also proves to be beneficial for health because of the positive effect of the high protein content in the food, which positively affects the body. The ketones are also great for the body as they help with the insulin and blood sugar levels.

However, the ketogenic diet may not work due to numerous reasons. One of the reasons is that you are not keeping track of the carbs you are consuming;  the main purpose of the keto diet is to have low carb content. However, if the carbs are not kept track of, the whole diet plan may lose its purpose, and you may instead end up gaining weight. It is also as important to track fat and protein intake in your diet as the diet may only work if the low carb intake is replaced by a high fat and protein diet in order for the body to produce ketones and provide energy to the body. It is also essential to focus on the quality of food that you eat.  This entails that you should not consume low quality and highly processed food items that may also have lower protein and fat content than a better-quality version of the same food. Planning ahead is also highly essential when it comes to adopting a keto diet, as high fat and protein may not be available all the time. Your food should also contain high magnesium content along with sodium and potassium as they are energy minerals and make up for low carbs which usually provide you with energy.

Overall, the ketogenic diet may only work if it consists of a balanced diet as this is not a particularly extreme dietary routine and also allows you to have low carbs. With that said, your diet should still be mapped out in a way where other minerals and foods should replace the purpose of carbs in your body so that they can provide energy to the body by producing ketones.

Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and a healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.

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