Have you heard of the Keto diet?
If you haven’t, it’s possible you live under a rock under the sea like SpongeBob Square Pants. The Ketogenic diet is the current trending diet. The one that’s helping people shed pounds easily, and even more importantly helping some improve their health. The keto diet can help many health issues, ranging from epilepsy to diabetes. But do you know what it is and what happens to your body on this diet?
Top 5 Keto diet facts
- Your body will enter ketosis. This means your body will use fat as it’s main source of energy. This happens because glucose is the easiest to convert into energy and hence is the body’s main source of fuel, especially during exercise. By taking away the glucose supply (from carbs) the body turns to the next best thing: fat. (Most keto diets are 70% fat / 20% protein / 5% carbohydrates)
- Low carb = low energy. Going low carb can be tough on your exercise regime. When there’s inadequate glucose in the bloodstream or muscles during exercise we tend to ‘hit a wall’ and exercise gets harder. Eventually, on the keto diet, your body will learn to burn fat more efficiently.
- You will have to read food labels. All the time too! In order to keep your carbohydrate levels low enough you’ll need to do a lot of label reading. We’re talking under 50 grams a day, so every gram counts! You will see most dairy products are high in carbs, as well as many fruits, some nuts, legumes and vegetables.
- Weird side effects! The ketogenic diet can be tough on the mind and body. Physical responses, other than weight loss, can include headaches, lethargy, sleepiness and even sometimes nausea. A combo of these symptoms has been described as the ‘keto flu’. Not everyone experiences all these things, but for those who do the best option may be to temporarily increase your carb intake then decrease back to ketogenic amounts in stages.
- Bad breath. Burning fat instead of carbs produces ketones. In everyday diets ketones provide your brain with energy, but when there is an excess of them the body excretes the extra ketones through breath and urea, often giving you a rather unpleasant smell. There’s no good way around this other than masking it with mints or fresheners, or upping your carbohydrate intake.
Since the majority of what you eat on the keto diet is fat, make sure you’re eating mostly healthy fats! I.e. Avocados and eggs are great, healthy fat options. You want to stear clear of too many unhealthy fats. I.e. high fat dairy foods and fatty cuts of beef, pork and lamb.
Have you tried the keto diet?