Unless you have spent the last year or so living on a deserted island, you have likely heard the term keto diet, formally known as the ketogenic diet. Although the diet has been around since the 1920s, it was originally created as a way to treat both diabetes and epilepsy. Today, according to Business Insider, it has evolved into a diet embraced by virtually anyone wanting to get healthy.
What Eating Keto Looks Like
Business Insiders states that in general, following a keto diet means limiting your carbohydrates to 50 grams or less throughout the day. As a point of comparison, consider that per the US Department of Agriculture, healthy adults can consume anywhere from 225 to 325 grams of carbs on a daily basis. The measly 50 grams of carbohydrates equates to around a cup of white rice or one plain bagel. Conversely, healthy fats, like butter, eggs, avocados, nuts, and cheeses are completely acceptable. This differs from other diets like Weight Watchers where such fats are extremely restricted.
The Theory Behind Why a Keto Diet Works
The keto diet causes the body to go into starvation mode by cutting down carbs. When the human body doesn’t get the number of carbs it is accustomed to, it will use up all its glucose reserves. Then it moves on to fatty acids and stored fat. When the fatty acids move to the liver, there are then converted into ketones, hence the name of the diet. The organs and brain feed on the ketones using a process called ketosis. Following a keto diet means individuals consume lots of fat and very little carbs to maintain this ketonic cycle.
Long-Term Effects of Keto Eating
According to a Business Insider article, the long-term effects of following such a diet are unknown in healthy individuals. However, many doctors, like Dr. Pryanka Wali, who is an internal medicine physician with specialty training in obesity swears by the results of the keto diet.
As with any diet, it’s important to consult your doctor before beginning. Although there don’t seem to be adverse effects in people who have embraced this way of eating, long-term studies have not yet been completed. Therefore, it’s important to get the go-ahead from your physician before changing your eating habits so drastically.
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