Foods with high carbs make our bodies produce insulin and glucose. In simple terms, glucose is the smallest molecule that can be assimilated by the human body and used as energy hence can be chosen easily over any other source of energy in the body. On the other part, insulin is secreted during glucose production and released into the bloodstream. With glucose being stored as the main energy source, fats will not be used hence will be stored.
A low intake of carbs induces your body into state commonly known as ketosis. Basically, this is a natural state where your body produces ketones by breaking down fats in your liver. This prompts your body into a metabolic state. It is usually done through the starvation of carbohydrates and not of calories. The effort to create this balance has led to the founding of a ketogenic diet as would be discussed herein.
What is a ketogenic diet
A ketogenic or keto diet is a low carb diet taken to cause your body produce ketones in your liver for the breakdown of fats to release energy for it. Keto diet comes in many names and can sometimes be referred to as a low carb high-fat diet or simply a low carb diet among other names.
When keto diet may be useful
There are quite a number of occasions when keto diet may be useful and here are just some of them.
For weight loss: The keto diet uses the body fat as a source of energy. In this way, the conversion of these fats will lead to a direct body loss. In this state, the body is turned into a fat burning system through occasioned by a drop of insulin levels. Ketone diets have been believed to produce better results than high-carb and low-fat diets.
To Control Blood Sugar: Keto diet helps you lower blood sugar level in the body. Research shows a significant impact on blood sugar through the use of keto diet over low-calorie diets especially on the management and control of diabetes.
To enhance mental focus: With keto diets, users have reported increased mental performance. With a low carb intake, you evade huge spikes in blood sugar. This leads to improved concentration and focus.
When you need the energy boost and normalized hunger: A ketone diet will cause you to use your fats to gain energy. Fats are considered to be an effective fuel for the body and more than that, it is satisfying leaving you satiated for a longer time.
To mitigate epilepsy: Keto diet has been used for a long time to treat epileptic conditions. Up to date, it still is one of the commonly used therapies for children with epileptic conditions. Through the use of keto diet, only a few medications are used and still help the patient get excellent control.
To Lower Insulin levels: The resistance of insulin leads to attack by type II diabetes. However, keto diet is believed to help in addressing this issue particularly with the intake of foods with good content of omega-3 fatty acids.
Treating Acne: A keto diet is useful in the improvement of your skin by dealing with inflammation of skin and lesions.
Beware of Ketoacidosis
The production of ketone can rise to very high levels. This state is known as ketoacidosis. Usually, it is not under normal circumstances. The number one exception for ketoacidosis is a condition known as type 1 diabetes. It could happen following a decline in insulin levels and this condition is rare if you have a normally working pancreas.
Very high levels of ketone lead to the production of insulin. There are a number of misconceptions on how low carb diets work. Therefore, it is important to be aware of how a keto diet is used and when. Important facts to note is that a lot of fatty foods will make you high in sugar and that means getting yourself into problems.
It is important to have these facts with you before you engage in a keto diet. Taking foods that are high in fats and carbs will cause your body to produce glucose naturally. Carbs are the easiest for your body to process. Consequently, it will result in health problems and weight gain in your body. You cannot indulge in such foods thinking a keto diet, later on, would help you. Should a keto diet lead to overproduction of ketone in your body, there is a high chance to lack sufficient insulin in your body. Diabetic ketoacidosis will most attack if you are a type I diabetic.
Therefore, consult with a physician to know whether you have any issues with regards to doing a keto diet. Be careful particularly if you are under medication for an existing health condition. Breastfeeding mothers should take extra care for the fear of increased intake of carbs.
Truth about Saturated Fats
Fats form 70% of the ketogenic diet macros implying that they are very important. However, you should know the type of fat that you choose for your diet because there are a lot of myths around this matter, especially on saturated fats. Saturated fats are commonly found in eggs, cream, coconut oil, red meat, lard, butter and ghee among others.
Well, saturated fats effects on health have been a misconception of the past where they were termed harmful. But it is important to note that they are a fuel of some sort.
While that is true, it is important to make sure that you take quality meat. Again if you have problems with digesting carbs as you manage your blood sugar, you may need to go low carb for some time and then increase it when more insulin sensitive can be useful.
Losing muscle mass
As you go low in carbs, remember that they are needed for building muscles. Therefore, check on how you can gain muscle mass while on the ketogenic diet. You can actually achieve this while on Keto. First, you need to eat sufficient protein between 1-1.2g/lb of lean body mass. Again, eat a calorie surplus that would come from fats in a Keto diet. Lastly, you need to train right.
The idea of having a Ketogenic diet is a brilliant one and its establishment was after a well-thought-out process. However, everything in life should be taken with a lot of caution hence the need to liaise with a doctor to know to what extent you need a Keto diet in your life. It is possible that the production of Ketones in the body could be harmful. This is especially if you don’t adapt well to low carb making you glucose deficient.