Keto Diet Overview
The ketogenic diet, much less to people’s knowledge, was created back in 1923 by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic for the treatment of epilepsy, called nowadays the classic keto diet.
It is a strict diet where the individual adopting it consumes 90% of his caloric intake from fats and splitting the 10% left between protein and carbohydrates (6% for protein, 4% for carbohydrates).
Dr. Wilder discovered that a change of diet consisting of a high intake of fat (4:1 ratio compared with the other macronutrients) yielded promising results in the treatment of diseases with metabolic imbalances such as epilepsy.
The diet started out as a therapeutic treatment for individuals with diseases falling under the category listed above. However, noting the impressive weight-loss capabilities of the dietary regimen, it turned into a weight management fad.
The process behind weight loss is as follow: keeping the carbohydrates intake beneath the 50-grams mark, the body runs out of its favorite and immediate source of energy, glucose. This is where fat reserves come into play. Fatty acids turn into ketones in the liver, which are used as a source of fuel instead of glucose. The body then goes into a state of Ketosis.
Sugar cravings are bound to strike hard for individuals starting the diet, which is why it is recommended to stock up on ketogenic snacks like dark chocolate with nut butter.
The Keto diet went through some modifications in the ratios simply because the classic one is too strict. The following table illustrates the mentioned modifications:
First and foremost, the most obvious benefit of the Keto diet is fast weight loss due to consumption and usage of body fat (ketones) as the primary energy source. Paired with exercise, you get even faster weight-loss results.
Because the carbohydrates consumption is low, insulin production and, consequently, insulin levels in the blood drastically drop down. This is one of the arguments backing up that the keto diet helps pre-diabetic people and people with type 2 diabetes.
Other than the treatment of epilepsy, research has shown the diet’s potential in treating brain conditions such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and tough-to-handle seizures in children.,
Weight loss is to be expected by week 4 especially if the diet is paired up with consistent exercise.
For starters, the keto diet slows the metabolism. The issue with not satiating the body’s need for calories is that it slows the metabolism to hold on to energy sources. Eventually, weight loss is hindered.
In addition, it can cause a state called the Keto Flu. It’s an interesting term but it makes sense. It also has to do with cutting carbs. The whole body loves carbs. It’s an addiction and once you cut out or reduce the dose of substance you’re addicted to, withdrawal symptoms kick in. Keto flu symptoms include brain fogginess, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, and hunger.
Moreover, Constipation is bound to strike. Gut health is important but don’t expect this diet to help with that. Cutting whole grains, fruits, and certain vegetables lowers fibers’ intake resulting in restroom issues.
Also, people with eating disorders or people who are thin are not advised to incorporate this diet in their lifestyle.