What is Keto Diet

Origin: Keto diet was primarily designed to treat seizures not for weight loss. In 1920, Doctors came to know that when the body is provided low carbs and high fat then body uses fat as main fuel. Fat is broken down and converted into ketones bodies as the end product. These ketone bodies are then metabolized by each of the cells by the aerobic pathway and the energy is produced. Since 1920, a variety of drugs are discovered for epilepsy but for drug-resistant seizures, Keto Diet is recommended even today also. Later on, Keto diet is further studied and it is now recommended for weight loss and other health benefits.

What is Keto Diet?

What is the Keto Diet

Keto Diet is mainly descendent of Low carbohydrate diet like Atkins diet. Keto diet includes consumption of low carbohydrate, high fat and a moderate amount of protein. There is no blueprint for the keto diet, but it is recommended to consume less than 50 grams of carbohydrate in a day and even less than 20 grams is best recommended.

You might be thinking that Why to consume an even small amount of carbohydrate? Why not delete the carbs from the diet completely? The answer is quite simple that we need to keep running the glucose breakdown machinery in our body, we don't want to shut them down completely. Another reason is that each cell can not utilize ketone example is Red blood cells, RBC doesn't contain mitochondria for aerobic oxidation and hence ketone consumption isn’t possible, as ketones can be consumed only in aerobic respiration. So RBC depends solely on the glucose for energy. That's why this small amount of carbohydrate is necessary.

Types of Keto Diet:

1. Standard keto diet: It is a very low carbohydrate, high fat and moderate protein diet. It involves 75% fat, 20% proteins and just 5% of carbs.

2. Cyclical Keto Diet: It involves frequent high carbs refeed in between keto diet. For example keto diet for 5 days and high carb for 2 days in a week.

3. Targeted Keto Diet: It permits you to take carbs around workout. If you are not working out and trying to follow a strict diet plan only. Then this type of keto diet is not for you.

4. High protein keto diet: It is similar to the standard keto diet, but the quantity of protein in this diet is increased from 20% to 35%. And the proportion of fat is reduced from 75% to 60%.

Note: Do not consume much protein, otherwise it will ruin your dieting by forming glucose via gluconeogenesis.

How Does Keto Diet Works?

Keto diet propels the body to consume fat as the first line of energy source and the simplest breakdown product of fat is ketone bodies. The increased level of ketone bodies in the body is known as Ketosis. These ketone bodies are used as the energy source by cells in the body instead of glucose.

Keto diet works by two main different mechanisms:

  1. The total amount of consumed carbs is decreased in the body and the fat is utilized for cellular metabolism for energy. The consumption of fat as primary fuel leads to weight reduction.

  2. Low carb in diet decrease the level of insulin in the blood. The insulin increases the glucose uptake by cells, the excess of carbs are converted to lipids by fat cells. But the level of insulin in the keto diet is all time low even after the meal. This makes sure that fat is only broken down in keto dieting, but not forming or depositing at all.