What Is The Keto Diet And Is It Safe?

The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, consists of a food and beverage intake with very low carbohydrates and high fat.  Eating very little carbohydrates, or carbs, will put the body in what is known as a state of ketosis.  Ketosis is when the body burns fat for energy which is a natural part of metabolism.  It enables you to lose weight very quickly.  When we eat and drink items high in carbs such as fruits, starchy vegetables, pasta and grains it causes insulin levels to spike.  This in turn locks the fat and the body burns glucose instead of fat.

So, what is considered a low consumption of carbs?  This will vary from person to person but a good rule of thumb is between 0.7 and 0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight.  It is also important to take into consideration how much dietary fiber is being consumed.  When calculating your total carb intake you should subtract any dietary fiber from the carbs to get an accurate reflection of your carb intake.  In other words, if the total carbs you should be consuming for the day is 50 and you have eaten food with a dietary fiber content of 10 grams you have actually only consumed 40 grams of carbs.

And what about the high fat?  Wouldn’t it be healthier to cut the fat from your diet?  When cutting carbs you need something additional to compensate for this, which is fat.  Otherwise you will end up being hungry all the time which we all know is the number one reason diets fail.  Being hungry leads to binge eating and impulsive unhealthy choices.  Plus, you will not be providing enough nutrition to your body.

When incorporating fats you should avoid trans fats and instead choose monounsaturated or omega-3 fats, which are healthy fats.  Your fat intake should account for approximately 70% of your total calories.

Is the keto diet safe?  The keto diet IS safe however it isn’t for everyone.  Some people experience wonderful benefits on a low carb diet such as people with obesity, type two diabetes and children with epilepsy while others have better results from a higher carb diet.  It is important to eat unprocessed, real foods and ensure you don’t eat too much protein.  If you eat more protein than your body needs, some of the amino acids will turn into glucose and prevent you from going into ketosis.  Your diet should be high in fat and moderate in proteins.

It is extremely important to consult your physician before trying any diet especially if you have any medical conditions.

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