A Ketogenic Diet is a high fat, sufficient protein, and very low carb diet that is typically used to treat children who suffer from Epilepsy. This Diet forces your body to burn Fat for energy instead of burning Carbohydrates.
When you consume something high in Carbohydrates, your body produces Glucose (Sugar) and Insulin (Sugar Processor). Glucose is the easiest form of energy for your body to produce, so it’s your most prevalent energy source. The issue with this is your body can’t store that much glucose. Any extra glucose that can’t be used is then converted to fat and stored. When your body runs out of the glucose storage, your body tells you that you need more and instead of burning fat for energy, your brain tells you that you’re hungry.. It’s easy to grab a sugary snack to help boost your energy quickly, but you’re not doing your body any good.
By lowering your Carbohydrate intake, your body begins to not have the Glucose that it would normally use to create energy and instead, pulls from the fat storage to receive the energy it needs. This is called Ketosis. When you get your body into a state of Ketosis, the liver produces Ketones which become the main energy source from burning your fat storage. Ketosis is one of the body’s many natural survival tactics. If you’re deprived of food input, your body burns fat for energy in order to survive. Ketosis doesn’t have to be achieved by starving your body of nutrients, it is achieved by starving your body of Carbohydrates.
There are plenty of benefits of this diet; weight loss, better skin, improved triglyceride levels for lower cholesterol and blood pressure, gives your body a steady source of energy, blood sugar control, helps increase mental strength, etc. There are also some downfalls to this diet; takes your body 1-2 weeks to adapt to this diet, you can get dehydrated quicker, and can easily be changed to an unhealthy diet by consuming the wrong fats. As long as you stick to the Keto Diet, it is a good way to cut unwanted fat.
Foods to avoid consist of grains, sugars, high carb fruit, soda, processed foods, potatoes, sugary alcoholic drinks, etc. Foods to consider are meats, healthy fats and oils, non-starchy vegetables, diary, nuts and seeds. There are plenty of dietary guides online to find good recipes and grocery lists for a Keto Diet. See the diagram above for an ideas on food items that are included and exempt from the diet!