24 February 2022
Keto Your Way: A Customizable Approach to the Low-Carb Lifestyle
When it comes to the ketogenic diet, there seems to be a lot of confusion. Some people think it's a diet that focuses on high protein and moderate fat intake, while others believe it's a diet where you can eat as much fat as you want. In reality, both are wrong.
New year, new you, right?
For many people, that means resolving to lose weight and get in shape by following a new diet. This year, the trendy diet du jour is the ketogenic, or "keto," diet, which slashes carb intake in favor of eating more meat, seafood and non-starchy vegetables.
Keto is said to help with weight loss and also reportedly helps people control blood sugar levels and reduce their risk of heart disease.
But can you really customize a diet to fit your lifestyle? To find out whether this low-carb lifestyle is right for you, we asked our experts to weigh in on some frequently asked questions about the keto diet.
The keto diet is all about cutting carbs and increasing fat. It's a very low-carb, high-fat dietary plan. The goal of the diet is to force your body into a process called ketosis. This happens when the body begins burning fat for fuel instead of its usual source carbs.
Most people's diets are carb-heavy. When you eat carbs, your body turns those carbs into glucose, or blood sugar, which it then uses for energy. If you eat more carbs than your body needs, your body stores the extra glucose as glycogen in the liver but only enough to last a couple of days (3).
This is where the keto diet comes in: When you eat fewer than 50 grams of net carbs per day, your body eventually runs out of fuel (blood sugar) it can use quickly. This typically takes 3 to 4 days. Then you'll start to break down protein and fat for energy, which can make you lose weight. This is called ketosis. It's important to note that the ketogenic diet is a short term diet that's focussed on weight loss rather than the pursuit of health benefits.
The ketogenic diet has become extremely popular recently. Studies have found that this very low-carb, high-fat diet is effective for weight loss, diabetes and epilepsy (1, 2, 3).
There's also early evidence to show that it may be beneficial for certain cancers, Alzheimer's disease and other diseases, too (4, 5, 6, 7).
However, most people find it very difficult to follow.
What Is a Keto Diet? The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet that turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many potential benefits for weight loss, health and performance.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that sends your body into ketosis, a state in which your body uses fat as its primary fuel source instead of carbs. When your body enters ketosis, it produces ketones (also known as ketone bodies) that cause you to lose weight in a short time. Because they're so effective at burning fat, ketones have become popular among people looking to lose weight quickly. The benefits of ketones are also linked to higher energy levels and improved mental performance.
The keto diet aims to force your body into using a different type of fuel. Instead of relying on sugar (glucose) that comes from carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits), the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat.