Keto is a diet that forces your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis means that ketone levels are high, which start to break down fat to fuel normal functions instead of energy from food calories. A ketone is a byproduct of turning fatty acids into fuel.
Benefits of Keto
Ketosis increases the body’s ability to use the body fats for fuel. Instead of the body expecting a continuous influx of carbohydrates, ketosis forces the body to use its own fat instead. When the body is forces to use fat for energy, you’ll see a decrease in body weight and body fat. Many people find the keto diet works well for helping them to lose weight. In addition, this diet helps to lower insulin levels, which can help manage diabetes and also release growth hormones. There is also some research to suggest that keto helps to suppress appetite.
Most diet plans reduce your calorie intake, which gives you less energy from foods. To make up for this, most diets break down protein and fat in the body to make up for the restricted energy. Keto is different. Because the body prefers ketones over glucose while in a state of ketosis, the body doesn’t need to break down protein for energy. This makes it a great option for keeping lean muscle while dropping fat.
On a high fat keto diet, your energy levels are more consistent with less blood sugar spikes. On the opposite end of the spectrum, high carb diets where you’re eating more simple carbs and sugars that can cause sugar spikes and crashes. On a regular diet, your energy is dependent on your eating schedule. But on the keto diet, you’re consistently burning ketones creating constant energy.
Warnings about Keto
As with any diet, keto has side effects that you should be aware of.
Metabolic Shifting Period
The first few weeks of the keto diet cause a metabolic shift that causes fatigue, brain fog, and dehydration. Once the body gets used to producing and maintaining ketones instead of glucose, the body reorientates itself and you’ll find yourself with more energy with less crashes. Throughout this entire process, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
Cholesterol and Blood Lipids
It’s interesting that there’s no set reaction by the body in terms of the amount of blood lipids due to the keto diet. Some people see a drop in cholesterol levels, while some people see it rise. Most likely, this is due to genetics. You can help support healthy blood levels by eating more unsaturated fats – nuts, healthy fats and oils, and seeds.
Lack of Micronutrients
Because you’re limiting your carbohydrate intake, your micronutrient intake that normally comes from carbs is reduced. Examples of these micronutrients include thiamin, folate, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Supplementing with a great multivitamin can help support your daily values.
Ketoacidosis happens when ketones get out of control and the pH level of the blood drops and gets too acidic. Nondiabetics don’t usually have this issue, as they have a better ability to control ketone production. Diabetics need to carefully monitor for ketoacidosis, as it is a severe medical issue.