If you’re looking for a new diet, it’s best to review the potential benefits before commencing — so let’s take a closer look at the current keto craze.
Keto is one diet where you don’t have to feel hungry and you can still eat fatty foods.
The keto diet is high-fat, adequate-protein and low carb – by cutting out carbs you force your body to start sustaining itself by burning fats rather than glucose.
The keto diet is great for those looking to lose weight, but also could help with your diabetes, or simply help you live a healthier life. Find out if a keto diet is the right one for you with our top five benefits.
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The top benefit of a keto diet is weight loss and it is the main reason why so many people follow it. In basic terms, you eat food that is high in protein and fat, and low in carbohydrates.
Under normal circumstances, the body gets most of its energy from glucose, provided by sugar and carbohydrates in your food. When this isn’t available, the body goes into a state called ketosis, meaning that it starts breaking down body fat via the liver into ketones.
As protein can also be broken down into sugars, you should only eat a moderate amount on a keto diet, living off mostly fat. On the keto diet, your body turns into a fat-burning machine. It suddenly becomes very easy to shed pounds while not feeling hungry.
The diet has also been shown to have numerous health benefits including reducing blood pressure and improving mental performance.
If your doctor has told you to lose weight because you have or are at risk of having type 2 diabetes, it may seem odd to go for a high fat diet such as keto.
However, in the keto diet, as you are drastically reducing the amount of glucose your body uses for fuel, it also means that your blood sugar is kept low. The need for insulin is drastically reduced as you simply aren’t eating the food that insulin needs to be pumped out for.
It’s important to talk to your doctor before making any big changes to your diet.
Certain foods are digested by the body far more easily than others. For example, simple carbohydrates and sugars are digested very quickly, being broken down by the body into glucose for quick energy. When you eat foods containing simple carbohydrates and sugars, your body gets a big flood of energy and your blood sugar spikes. While this is great as a quick fix, your energy will go down as fast as it went up. You will have a sugar crash, leaving you feeling drained.
On a keto diet, you will have eliminated these crash-causing carbs and sugars, meaning that your mood and energy levels remain level throughout the day. Find some balance on a keto diet and put an end to the rush/crash cycle.
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Many other diets require you to drastically cut down on your total calorie intake. They want you to live off salad and cabbage soups that leave you hungrier than you were before you even started eating. The keto diet is different — it recognizes that different foods do different things to your body. Different macros are processed by the body in different ways, meaning that you can still eat (some) of the food you love without feeling like you have to restrict yourself.
As you stop having the peaks and dips in energy that are associated with the consumption of carbs and sugar, you’ll find that your appetite is reduced when on a keto diet. Your body takes longer to digest fat and protein, meaning that you feel fuller for longer. Let your meals carry you throughout the day as you no longer feel that lack of energy that makes you crave something sweet.
On the keto diet you are encouraged to drink plenty of water. Did you know that often when your brain tells you that you’re hungry, what it actually wants is hydration? If you find that you’re still wanting to snack, drink some more water and you’ll be good to go.
All the label-reading and carb-checking that comes with the keto diet may feel like a chore at times, but it really gives you the chance to take a long, hard look at your food choices and make better decisions for the future. Not a lot of people take the time to know what exactly they are putting into their bodies, but on the keto diet you have to!
Take this opportunity to explore new food. Just because you can’t eat as many carbs as you used to, it doesn’t mean your diet has to be boring.
There are plenty of great cookbooks for keto dieters out there, including:
The keto diet isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires some serious commitment and a sprinkling of mathematics to make sure you don’t go over your carb allowance for the day. But for the people who keep it up, it can be revolutionary. Your body turns into a fat burning machine, and you no longer crave chocolate – what could be better?!
If you have any health concerns about the keto diet, make sure you consult with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet.
EHI Primary Care is run by Cathy, a 20-something fitness guru and yoga enthusiast. This is my blog, where I cover all sorts of topics around my healthy lifestyle.