Healthy diets was the new fad of 2016. One diet which took the world by storm was the keto diet. Such is the popularity of this diet that top athletes and even the rough and tough Navy Seals soldiers swear by it. So what exactly is this, you ask? It’s a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. The idea is to drastically reduce carbohydrate intake in the body and replace the carbohydrates with fats. This process puts the body in a state of ketosis. During ketosis, our body burns fat for energy efficiently. Fat is also turned into ketones in the liver, which also supplies energy to brain. Here is a list of some benefits that this diet provides.
1) Low levels of Insulin (type 2 diabetes): Ketosis results in lower levels of insulin in the body. It’s beneficial for people who have type 2 diabetes because they don’t have to worry about excessive blood sugar levels. When insulin levels are brought down, then beneficial hormones such as the growth hormones are released in the body.
2) Controlled hunger levels: In a state of ketosis, when the body is functioning on high fat, high protein and low-carb diet, your appetite goes down. A high carb diet on the other hand tends to increase your hunger levels. Therefore it’s not necessary to be hungry or to consume food at regular intervals when you are on the diet.
3) Weight loss: One of the major benefits of this diet is weight loss. Keto diet retrains the body to use fat as an energy source. When you use carbs as an energy source then, when your body runs out carbs or when carbs are not consumed, your body starts to crave carbs.
4) Low blood pressure: Low carb diets such as keto diets are incredibly useful in decreasing your blood pressure. However, if you are on any medication for blood pressure than you might want to consult a doctor first. Keto diet also reduces your dependency on blood pressure medications.
5) Low cholesterol and inflammation: On keto diet one tends to consume less sugar creating food, this tends to reduce the load on your arteries and also reduces inflammation. Cholesterol level in the body drops as the glucose level goes down.
6) Increased brain function: High carb diets tend to make your brain foggy. Keto diet increases brain function such as memory recall, and clear thinking.
7) Improved gut health: The reduction of grain and sugar in the Keto diet leads to an improved gut health. It leads to a decrease in bloating and gas.
Things to keep in mind before opting for keto diet
1) It takes time for your body to adjust to keto diet as it goes through a metabolic shift. You might face dehydration, fatigue and brain fog due to water loss that happens in ketosis. Make sure you hydrate yourself.
2) Preferably centre your diet around healthy unsaturated fats since the diet is based on high fat consumption.
3) Even though the diet focuses on low carbs, don’t totally cut them off. Cutting them off completely means you might face micronutrient deficiencies. Consume carbs in moderation.
- Before going on this diet, get your blood test done and your cholesterol levels checked. Experts suggest that you should go on this diet only under supervision and not for long continued periods.
Inputs by Tripti Tandon and Kavita Devgun, Nutritionists