What is a Keto Diet?

Background

The Keto or Ketogenic diet is a high fat and low carb diet. This diet has increased in popularity because of its ability to help people lose weight and suppress their hunger. In addition to this diets ability to help you lose weight, research has shown that it has therapeutic potential for treating diabetes, acne, cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases1.

How Does it Work?

When someone eats a food containing carbohydrates, their digestive system breaks down the carbs into sugar which enters the blood. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas releases insulin which signals to the cells to either absorb the blood sugar for energy or to store it as fat2. When there’s an absence or a reduced amount of carbs in the diet, the body stops creating new fat storages and burns old fat deposits for energy. However your brain can not use fat as an energy source, so your body enters into a metabolic state called ketosis which is where fat is turned into ketones by your liver to supply your brain with energy3.

Benefits of The Keto Diet

The keto diet has been studied extensively on its health benefits and its effectiveness for weight loss and appetite control. Results have shown that a low carbohydrate and high fat diet is an effective weight loss method4. When compared to traditional low calorie or low energy diets, the Keto diet was shown to help reduce individuals appetite and hunger due to the bodies ketosis state5. In addition to its weight loss benefits, individuals who are on a keto diet are shown to have an improvement in several cardiovascular risk parameters such as lower blood pressure, less risk of hardened arteries, and less risk of heart failure6.

Keto Diet Breakdown

The keto diet focuses on eating high fat, moderate protein, and low carb meals. Your meals should be 55-60% fat, 30-35% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates7. This means that on a 2000 Cal per day diet, you should have between 20-50g of carbs per day.

Sample Menu for One Day on Ketogenic Diet

Breakfast

  • Quiche with bacon

Lunch

  • Belgian Salad with Avocados, Pineapple, and Pecans

Dinner

  • Sausage, Potato, Sauerkraut
  • Milkshake

Snacks

  • Cheesecake with Blueberries

Total Calories for Day 2000

References

  1. Paoli A, Rubini A, Volek JS, Grimaldi KA. Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2013;67(8):789-796. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.116
  2. Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar. The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/#:~:text=When%20people%20eat%20a%20food,sugar%20for%20energy%20or%20storage. Published August 5, 2013. Accessed September 12, 2020.
  3. Westman EC, Mavropoulos J, Yancy WS, Volek JS. A review of low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets. Current Atherosclerosis Reports. 2003;5(6):476-483. doi:10.1007/s11883-003-0038-6
  4. A very low carbohydrate ketogenic diet improves glucose tolerance in ob/ob mice independently of weight loss | American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism. https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpendo.00357.2009. Published 2010. Accessed September 12, 2020.
  5. Gibson AA, Seimon RV, Lee CMY, et al. Do ketogenic diets really suppress appetite? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews. 2014;16(1):64-76. doi:10.1111/obr.12230
  6. Paoli A. Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014;11(2):2092-2107. doi:10.3390/ijerph110202092
  7. Wajeed Masood, Pavan Annamaraju, Uppaluri KR. Ketogenic Diet. Nih.gov. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/#:~:text=A%20ketogenic%20diet%20primarily%20consists,5%25%20to%2010%25%20carbohydrates. Published June 22, 2020. Accessed September 12, 2020.

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