Ahh, the day has finally come. We’ve been awaiting this WTF post with
bated keto breath. Today, we’re dishin’ on the the diet that keeps the dishes full of fat…Keto! Over the past year or so, there’s no debating that keto has taken the dieting world by storm. We’ve been watching from the sidelines, experiencing a range of emotions—awe, horror, curiosity, etc. Now, we finally take to the blog to report the facts on the keto diet. #KetoGuido (…anyone else?)
What is keto?
Keto is short for the ketogenic diet. Keto is a low-carb and high-fat diet, similar to the Atkins diet. Keto dieters significantly reduce carb intake and replace said carbs with fat, for the primary purpose of facilitating weight loss via fat burning.
There are varying types of the keto diet, but the most popular and most thoroughly researched is the standard ketogenic diet (SKD). This method of dieting prescribes that 75% of daily calorie intake come from fat, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbs.
How does keto work?
The drastic reduction in carbohydrate intake puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. Ketosis burns stored fat because the body cannot rely on carbs, or glucose, it’s usual and primary source of energy.
Additionally, during ketosis, ketones, a type of acidic chemical, are produced by the breakdown of fat stores. High levels of ketones, or acid in the blood, can lead to a fatal condition called ketoacidosis. This condition is typically associated with diabetes and results when your body can’t produce enough insulin.
Who should observe the keto diet?
There is a lot of research in existence for specifically who should be a keto dieter. As alluded to above, there’s a lot of support for keto to be helpful for individuals with varying health concerns, such as diabetes, specifically diabetes type 2.
People with type 2 diabetes, or non-insulin dependent diabetes, produce insulin, but cannot properly use the insulin to process glucose for fuel. Generally, people with type 2 diabetes are encouraged to reduce carbohydrate consumption, since carbohydrates are converted to glucose and increase blood sugar level. That being said, keto, or a low-carb diet, could be helpful for people with these health concerns.
Many studies have also proven the keto diet as effective treatment for individuals with epilepsy, specifically for children whose seizures have not responded to medication. In these cases, the diet is typically prescribed and monitored by a physician. Research promoting the idea that keto helps epilepsy became prominent when fasting (a practice that also burns fat stores) was seen to have anti-seizure properties.
Will keto help me lose weight?
There may be no surprises here, but when it comes to long term weight loss, there is not a lot of research to support keto’s success. Keto is recognized for producing short term weight loss, and for speculated reasons at that. For example, some sources say people feel fuller, because the diet is filling in nature, and therefore eat less calories, resulting in weight loss. This weight loss arguably could happen on any diet or lifestyle with conscious food choices. Weight loss is also speculated to occur on keto as a by product of just making healthier choices while on the diet.
What are the [additional] health benefits of keto?
As with any WTF topic, there are many speculated health benefits of keto, but the research is not conclusive. Studies have shown that keto can:
- lower risk of heart disease by lowering body fat (a risk factor)
- treat several forms of cancer and lower rate of tumor growth
- improve acne through lower insulin levels and eating less sugar/processed foods
- improve symptoms and slow progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
- increase endurance (burning fat stores for energy provides energy able to last for weeks, whereas glucose only lasts for a couple of hours)
- increase energy, mental clarity, and performance
What do keto dieters eat?
Keto dieters eat a variety of foods such as meats and fatty fish, eggs, avocados, cheese, nuts and seeds, healthy oils, butter and cream, and low-carb veggies such as onions, peppers, tomatoes, greens, etc.
Keto dieters avoid sugary foods (candy, soda, etc.), grains or starches, fruits (sad times, IMO), beans, low-fat processed foods (usually high in carbs), unhealthy fats, alcohol, root vegetables (like sweet potatoes… more sad times), etc.
Now, we want to know…
Have you tried any the keto diet? Why did you embark on your keto journey? What was your keto experience like? We’re interested in likes/dislikes/results/anything! As always, leave us a comment or shoot us a DM on Instagram—we’d love to hear from you.
“Keto breath” is a common side effect reported by dieters. Because of elevated ketone levels, breath may take on a fruity smell, due to acetone, which exits the body through urine and your breath. #themoreyouknow
This post is part of our WTF series—where we’ll break down some of the latest food, fitness, and health + wellness trends blowing up your Instagram feed.