I am sure by now everyone has heard of “going Keto”. It has been probably one of the most popular diet trends in the last five years. It is a diet that consists of eating a very low amount of Carbohydrates. And eating a high amount of fat and proteins. Paleo, Atkins and the South Beach diet are also forms of a Keto diet. They focus more on consuming lean proteins where Keto wants you to consume more fats. There are many opinions amount this type of eating. A lot of positive and a lot of negative. Along with studies that have been done on individuals which resulted in many positive findings and many negative findings. One of the findings is that it has helped people lose weight. And this is the reason it has become so popular. I also think people see the results of others and assume it would also work for them. So what is Keto? Why has it worked for people? Would it be good for you?
What is Ketosis?
The Keto Diet wants us to consume 90% of our daily calories from a fat source. Crazy right? Everything we think we know about eating healthy out the window. Can this be true?
Our bodies use glucose (sugar) from grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes as its fuel. Carbohydrate’s is our bodies first choice for an energy source. When following a keto eating plan. We cut the carbohydrates way back. Like 20 – 50 grams or less a day depending on an individuals energy needs. When we reduce the amount of carbohydrates in our diet. Our body goes into survival mode. When there is low levels of Carbohydrate the body will naturally choose fats as fuel before protein. When following a keto plan that consist of 90% calories from fat. The body can adapt to burning the fat we are consuming and also the fat that we have stored.
Our bodies have many different mechanism for survival. That is the bodies number one job, to live. One of which is the ability to use our body stores as energy and fuel. When we consume Carbohydrates (sugar/glucose) we release insulin into the bloodstream to help transport and store the glucose. When we are lack carbohydrates in our diet we don’t produce insulin. In response to the lower levels of insulin our liver will then release a chemical called ketones. Our liver creates ketones from our fat stores. These fats stores are released by the hormone glucagon and transported into the liver. They are turned into the chemicals known as ketones. The ketones are then released into the bloodstream. They become the source of fuel for muscles and tissues. When the body does this you said to be in a state of ketosis.
When our body is producing ketones. And fat is being used as our source of fuel. We are then in a state of Ketosis. Ketosis takes a few days of following the Keto Diet. 90% calories from fat and less than 20-50 grams of carbohydrates. Our body will go into this state. Ketones can be found in our bloodstream and in our urine. So it is very common for people practicing keto to test using urine strips. Aiming for a high amount of ketones in their system is the goal. But it is not easy to get there.
Keto diet is based on the chemistry of our body. It is a science and has to be consistent. If you have more carbohydrates than you should. Or have a “cheat” day. If you don’t eat the right amount of fats. It will all be for nothing. It has to be followed everyday all day. Lets say you have been working hard to get yourself into a ketosis state. Then you have a piece of cake. Your body will automatically leave the ketosis state. Use the glucose in the cake as fuel. And you will have to start from the beginning. The state of ketosis is very sensitive. And the keto diet will only work when you are in ketosis.
Is Keto a Good Choice?
If you research keto diet you will find many studies and opinions. Weight loss is one of the most common reasons people choose this pattern of eating. And there are many stories out there of people having amazing success with weight loss from Keto Dieting. But there is major risk along with benefits.
When we see people getting weight loss results. It is easy to not look at some of the risks attached to it. As we all know I am a big fan of eating all of mothers natures foods in healthy quantities. And I am for sure one of the people out there that has a negative opinion on Keto Dieting. The reasoning for that comes from research. That being said it is not something I will promote or suggest to anyone coming to see me. If you are interested in Keto, please consult your doctor first. It can have many risks.
You are consuming high amounts of fats. And it promotes red meats and bacon? Okay these are tasty stuff if your into it. But they also contain very high levels of not just fats but saturated fats. These are the fats that promote Low Density Lipoprotein. “Bad” cholesterol that is linked to heart disease.
If you are restricting you intake of carbohydrates. Grains, Vegetables, Fruits and legumes. There is a very high chance you can become deficient in micronutrients. These foods contain endless vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and don’t forget fiber. There are endless benefits to consuming a diet rich in these foods. Keto does not want you to consume these in high amount.
Issues with Digestive Organs
Liver conditions. Our liver has to work so much harder to get create ketones from fats. Over working the liver in this way is bad and can cause irreversible damage. The same goes for our kidneys. They help us to digest proteins. With a keto diet you need to consume high levels of animal proteins to meet you fat needs. This can over work the kidneys and also cause irreversible damage to your kidneys.
These are just a few of the risks of following a Keto Diet. Its putting your body into survival mode. And that stresses the body. Stress wears down the body.
Some professionals see the benefits that come from the weight loss far out weigh any of the risks. And for some cases that may be true. Knowledge is power and it is very important to do your research or talk to a medial professional if you are considering Keto.
If you would like to come chat with me about your nutritional health send me an email at [email protected] or click the link below.
As always thank you for your time and healhty reguards