Why The Keto Diet Works

What Are The Risks Of The Keto Diet

Why the Keto diet WORKS for me..

Every persons body will react differently to the keto dietor any diet for that matterso doctors and nutritionists caution that what might be helpful for one person can pose a risk to another. Bottom line: No one should start living the keto life without first checking with their doctor. That said, its generally considered safe in the short-term, with a few caveats:

Make Certain Your Keto Diet Is Well Formulated

While like any diet, you need to find the right proportion and balance of macronutrients in order for your body to begin burning accumulated fat rather than stored glucose.

The amount of fat you eat when following a keto diet is quite a bit higher than on most other diets. Youll want to aim to consume about 60 to 75% of your calories come from dietary fat and 15 to 30% protein, with the remaining calories for carbs, says Sharon Zarabi, RD, director of the bariatric program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“There is still some debate on the effects of saturated fats and what constitutes a healthy dose. There has been quite a bit of buzz around grass-fed cows producing cream, dairy, and butter. Ghee has been popular on the market as well, as a clarified form of butter,” Ms. Zarabi says. “It’s really the trans fats that I think people need to understand and the harmful effects on the heart and cholesterol.”

It’s really the trans fats that you’ll want to avoid completely. “Trans fats are highly processed, and heated to a point where they create free radicals in the body, which increase your risk of cancer.,” she says, “Trans fats are found in hydrogenated oils , and these are mostly used in the preparation of processed crackers and packaged foods.”


Once youve reached ketosis, you will gain the benefits and be able to take a keto holiday , which is necessary to manage for as long as you need to.

Benefits Of The Keto Diet

At least in the short term, studies show that keto diets get amazing and quick results for weight loss. They can also improve conditions like type 2 diabetes.

These benefits come from many factors, including:

  • Lower insulin levels. When you eat foods with carbohydrates and to a lesser extent protein, you raise your blood sugar levels. Insulin steps in to lower those blood sugar levels, delivering glucose to your cells for energy or to store for backup fuel called glycogen. But high insulin levels which can happen when you eat too many carbohydrates can prevent fat loss. On a keto diet, you keep insulin levels lower. Low insulin means that your body can more easily access fat stores for fuel.
  • Hormonal balance. Keto diets help balance other hormones besides insulin. Among those hunger-regulating hormones is leptin, a hormone that tells your brain to stop eating. Ghrelin has the opposite effect: This hormone tells you to eat more. When these and other hormones stay in balance on a keto diet, youre less likely to have hunger and cravings.
  • Lower inflammation levels. Chronic inflammation plays a role in obesity but also diseases including diabetes. Sugar, in all its many disguises, is an inflammatory food. On a keto diet, you keep your sugar and overall carbohydrate intake very low. When you combine that approach with whole, unprocessed foods, you lower inflammation levels.
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    What Is The Keto Diet

    In a nutshell, it’s a high-fat, extremely low-carb diet with an “adequate” amount of protein thrown in, says Heather Mangieri, a Pittsburgh-based registered dietitian, sports nutrition specialist, and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

    The keto diet isn’t new. Developed in the 1920s to treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children, it’s still used in that capacity today and is being investigated as a potential breakthrough treatment for a range of neurological disorders and diseases. In other words, it’s not just a celebrity weight-loss trend!

    I Came Down With Keto Flu

    Pin on Infographics

    The “keto flu” is a term you’ll see on keto blogs and forums. For me, it was a very real event, but not everyone will experience it.

    As your body breaks through the carb cycle and enters ketosis , you may experience fatigue, mental fogginess, even irritability. My “keto flu” only lasted a day, and once I passed it, I never experienced the symptoms again. I even ate a cookie one day during the diet to celebrate my birthday. I certainly came out of ketosis when I ate that treat, but I didn’t experience any repercussions for it. .

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    How Does It Work

    The theory behind keto is that the diet tricks your body into burning fat for fuel, instead of sugar. Our cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the bodys main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from carbs, the body starts breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketonethis process is called ketosis. During ketosis, most cells will use ketone to generate energy. The shift usually happens over four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. But this process is highly individualizedsome people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones.

    Everyones physiology and biochemistry is different, says Dr. Zentner. Saying this diet, or any diet, will work like this for you is like prescribing one chemotherapy for every cancer on the planet. In a way, the keto diet seems easytheres a list of food to eat, and if its not on the list, dont eat it. But remember, you have to do it forever, she says. Its like medicationif you stop taking your blood pressure pills, your blood pressure goes right back up. And, more importantly, if theres something wrong with your biochemistry thats led to weight gain or obesity, following keto or any other diet plan will not fix the underlying problem, even if you shed pounds. Thats a big misconception about weight regulation.

    What Does A Typical Day Of Eating Look Like

    Here’s a nutritionist-suggested sample day’s menu:

    For lunch, more bacon! Six slices, plus 2 ounces of grilled chicken, 5 cherry tomatoes, 1 ounce of Monterey Jack cheese, and 2 tablespoons of mayo, all wrapped up in 3 romaine leaves.

    And for dinner, a 4-ounce baked salmon fillet and loaded “potatoes,” as in 3/4 cup of cooked, mashed cauliflower, 2 tablespoons sour cream, 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon of scallions, 1 1/2 ounces of Cheddar, andâyayâ1 slice of bacon.

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    Other Health Benefits Of Keto

    The ketogenic diet actually originated as a tool for treating neurological diseases such as epilepsy.

    Studies have now shown that the diet can have benefits for a wide variety of different health conditions:

    • Heart disease. The ketogenic diet can help improve risk factors like body fat, HDL cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar (

    Any food thats high in carbs should be limited.

    Heres a list of foods that need to be reduced or eliminated on a ketogenic diet:

    • sugary foods: soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
    • grains or starches: wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
    • fruit: all fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries
    • beans or legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
    • root vegetables and tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
    • low fat or diet products: low fat mayonnaise, salad dressings, and condiments
    • some condiments or sauces: barbecue sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, etc.
    • unhealthy fats: processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
    • alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks
    • sugar-free diet foods: sugar-free candies, syrups, puddings, sweeteners, desserts, etc.


    You should base the majority of your meals around these foods:

    Its best to base your diet mostly on whole, single-ingredient foods. Heres a list of 44 healthy low carb foods.

    To help get you started, heres a sample ketogenic diet meal plan for one week:

    Is The Keto Diet Healthy

    Why Does Keto Work For Weight Loss? With Health Coach Tara

    Wellness Dietitian Mary Condon, RN, LDN, said the keto diet may result in weight loss and lower blood sugars, but its a quick fix. More often than not, its not sustainable. Oftentimes weight gain may come back, and youll gain more than what you lost, Condon said.

    Condon said you should always consult your primary care doctor before starting any new diet.

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    What Are The Risks

    The keto diet emphasizes protein and fat but doesnt distinguish between lean protein food and food thats high in saturated fat or overly processed . Honestly, its easy and convenient to order a burger from your favourite take-out, minus the bun, and think youre nailing the keto credo. And yet, a diet too high in animal protein, in study after study, has been associated with cardiovascular disease and some cancers. The keto diet can also lead to nutrient deficiency , liver problems and kidney problems .

    So What Is The Keto Diet

    The keto diet was originally designed not for weight loss, but for epilepsy. In the 1920s, doctors realized that keeping their patients on low-carb diets forced their bodies to use fat as the first-line source of fuel, instead of the usual glucose. When only fat is available for the body to burn, the body converts the fats into fatty acids, and then into compounds called ketones, which can be taken up and used to fuel the body’s cells.

    For reasons not entirely understood even today, fueling the body on primarily ketones reduces seizures. However, with the development of anti-seizure medications, few people with epilepsy rely on ketogenic diets today, according to a 2008 paper in the journal Current Treatment Options in Neurology, but some people who don’t respond to medications can still benefit.

    For weight loss, today’s keto diets are the descendants of low-carb diets like the Atkins diet, which peaked in popularity in the early 2000s. Both types of diets reject carbs in favor of meatier meals. There is no single blueprint for the keto diet, but plans usually call for eating fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day. Celebrity adherents to the diet include Halle Berry and Kourtney Kardashian.

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    Are There Side Effects Of The Keto Diet

    At first some can experience some stomach issues and GI distress. Ninety percent of calories from fat is probably going to be a shock to the system, said Dr. Linsenmeyer.

    Its crucial, doctors say, to consult with a dietitian or physician, have cholesterol levels regularly checked, and replenish the fluids and sodium lost by increased urination and the severe restriction of carbohydrates. If not, within two to four days of beginning the diet, that depletion can bring on the keto flu symptoms like dizziness, poor sleep and fatigue in some people.

    Carbohydrates have a lot of nutrients that can help us maintain our body function, said Dr. Prado. On the diet, some people experience keto breath, a halitosis likely caused by the production of acetone, which is one of the ketone bodies.

    Possible side effects for patients with epilepsy starting the diet include constipation from reduced fiber intake, vomiting, fatigue, hypoglycemia, worsening reflux and increased frequency of seizures. The National Lipid Association review urges that patients with lipid disorders , a history of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease , heart failure and kidney and liver disease take caution if considering the diet. People on blood thinners should take extra care.

    The Process Of Going Into Ketosis

    The Keto Diet Explained

    Asyour body moves from using carbs for energy to using ketones for energy, youmay notice a lot of big changes in the first month, like:

    Duringthe first few days or weeks of the diet, you might feel tired or have troublewith your brain.

    Ketobreath is an odor that comes from the release of ketones, and it smells bad.Most of the time, it will go away on its own over time, but good oral hygienecan help until then.

    Thishappens as the body adapts to not having carbohydrates for energy.

    • Digestiveproblems: Constipation and diarrhea can happen in the beginning when the bodylearns how to process different amounts of food. Low-carb vegetables can help.
    • Insomnia -This usually gets better after the first month.

    Theysay these symptoms are temporary and show that your body is making and usingketones as you want. Over time, dieters say that their symptoms go away, andthey have more energy and focus.

    No,not for long-term use.

    Inthe short term, the keto diet can help, but we don’t know what the long-termeffects will be yet. Researchers say that a very low-carb diet can be hard to stayon for a long time, which can lead to “yo-yo” dieting and more weightgain. There are some experts who say that the keto diet can help people loseweight quickly, but they should follow it up with healthy eating plans that canbe kept up for a long time.

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    So What Can I Eat On The Keto Diet

    Meat, poultry, and seafood, especially fatty fish like salmon and sardines. Eggs, cheese, butter, cream, and other full-fat dairy. Nuts and seeds. Avocados. Lower-carb vegetables such as greens, tomatoes, onions, and peppers, but in limited amounts. Those carbs add up.

    Better-for-you versions of the diet suggest you focus on the so-called good fatsâextra-virgin olive oil, grass-fed beef and dairy, and so onâbut Mangieri says it’s really anything goes in terms of fats and cooking oils.

    Going keto? You’re going to be eating a lot of these.

    Are There Side Effects To The Keto Diet

    Yes, especially initially, as your body adapts. Constipation is to be expected. You’ll be dehydrated, crabby, nauseous, dizzy, and/or fatigued.

    Also: your breath will smell bad. Blame ketones for that we breathe out one type in particular, acetone.

    How long you’ll feel this crappy depends on the person and what his or her previous diet was like. Here’s how low-carb eater and blogger Melissa Sevigny of I Breathe I’m Hungry puts it: “Iâm not going to lie, depending on how carb-heavy your diet is when you start, you may wish you were dead by day three.”

    According to Maria Emmerich, co-author of The Ketogenic Cookbook, you’ll start feeling better and more energetic anywhere from four to six weeks after starting.

    But unfortunately, bad breath is a longer-term characteristic of keto dieters, says Mangieri.

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    It’s Advertised As A Weight

    In the world of weight-loss diets, low-carbohydrate, high-protein eating plans often grab attention. The Paleo, South Beach, and Atkins diets all fit into that category. They are sometimes referred to as ketogenic or “keto” diets.

    But a true ketogenic diet is different. Unlike other low-carb diets, which focus on protein, a keto plan centers on fat, which supplies as much as 90% of daily calories. And it’s not the type of diet to try as an experiment.

    “The keto diet is primarily used to help reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children. While it also has been tried for weight loss, only short-term results have been studied, and the results have been mixed. We don’t know if it works in the long term, nor whether it’s safe,” warns registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

    How Keto Diet Works

    The Real Reason Why Keto Diets Work

    Like all diets keto works by making you eat less calories. Keto achieves this by eliminating carbs from the diet. This means that most calories from your diet will come from fat and some from protein. The high protein, simplicity and lack of liquid calories from soda means youll probably feel less hungry on a keto diet , making it easier to eat less calories.To get energy from fat, your body breaks down the fat into molecules called ketones. The body is always producing some ketones, but will produce more of these when you are on a keto diet. These ketones can be detected in your blood and urine and if the levels are high enough the state is referred to as ketosis.

    Keto gurus will claim that ketosis i a unique fat burning mode where easily burn fat, but this is a myth. Theres nothing magic about ketosis. Theres even ketone supplements, claiming to burn fat, but instead they trick the body into thinking its already burning fat and REDUCE fat burning . These supplements also contain calories, so if anything they make it harder to lose fat.

    While research on keto is limited, we know that a low carb diet will cause the same amount of fat loss as any other diet as long as calories and protein intake are equal . You will lose some extra WATER weight on keto though, but this is not fat loss . If you want to learn more about low carb diet,read our full article on the topic here.

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    How Do I Figure Out Net Carbs On The Keto Diet

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