The ketogenic diet has been in fashion for a few years. However, this type of diet has long been used to treat pathologies such as epilepsy.
What are the characteristics of the ketogenic diet and what are its benefits? In this article, find out everything you need to know about the ketogenic diet.
What is the ketogenic diet?
A high-fat diet known as the ketogenic diet has gained popularity recently.However, it has been used to treat some pathologies, including epilepsy, for almost a century.
This diet aims to significantly reduce carbohydrate consumption in favor of lipids to cause a state of ketosis. In addition to significant weight loss, there would be numerous health advantages.
Features of the ketogenic diet
Here are the different characteristics that make up the ketogenic diet:
- a very high consumption of lipids (75% of intake);
- unchanged protein intake;
- a considerable reduction in carbohydrate intake;
- causes unpleasant symptoms in the first weeks (ketogenic flu);
- rapid weight loss;
- The state of ketosis would have many health benefits (energy boost, protection against certain pathologies, etc.).
The main principles of the ketogenic diet
The ketogenic diet, also known as Keto, was created in the 1920s and was first used to lessen seizures in children with epilepsy.
In epileptics, this diet was the first to show anticonvulsant effects. The keto diet has also become more well-known recently as a quick way to lose weight.
Additionally, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease symptoms can be reduced with the ketogenic diet.
How does the keto diet function?
Consumption of the following foods is indicative of the ketogenic diet for weight loss:
- 50 g of carbohydrates maximum per day. This represents about 5% of the total calories consumed during the day. A normal diet usually provides between 45 and 65% of our calories in the form of carbohydrates;
- 75% lipids;
- 20% protein.
This diet completely reverses our traditional food pyramid and its main principles.
How does the ketogenic diet to weight loss?
Usually, the body gets its energy from carbohydrates consumed during the day and which are necessary for the proper functioning of the body.
In the ketogenic diet, since carbohydrates are extremely limited, the body begins to draw on its reserves of carbohydrates stored in the muscles and liver called “glycogen” stores.
Since the body binds each gram of glycogen to 3–4 grams of water, the initial significant weight loss from the ketogenic diet is primarily due to water loss.
The body naturally starts to use lipids or fats to produce energy when glycogen stores are depleted.
However, when the body utilises lipids without any carbohydrates, ketone bodies are produced as waste. Once this happens, ketone bodies start to build up in the blood and emit a nail polish-like odor that can be detected in the breath.
This is the primary sign that the body is in a “ketosis” state. This state of “ketosis” causes a marked decrease in appetite which helps to reduce the amount of food consumed. Along with weariness and nausea, this illness might cause them.
Although this diet does not focus on calorie counting, those who follow it actually absorb fewer calories, because they are not hungry and this leads to weight loss.
Duration of the ketogenic diet
The ketogenic diet specific to weight loss does not have a limited duration in time. It is more of a way of life than a temporary diet.
When the ketogenic diet is practiced in the therapeutic area, it has a variable duration from a few weeks to several years depending on the expected results.