Keto Diets are increasingly popular as various myths are being debunked about it. If you are wondering, “Is the ketogenic diet the right one for me?” read on! We will provide you a briefing on what the diet is and how it works. You will also see some popular myths about the Keto diet being debunked.
What is a ketogenic diet?
The purpose of the high-fat, low carb ketogenic diet is to force the body into a ‘fat-burning’ state. Normally carbohydrates are converted into glucose for energy as fuel. This leads to a spike in sugar levels and excess fat storage.
However, in the case of ketogenic diets, your carbs are so low it cannot be converted into glucose and therefore your body is sent into a ketosis state.
How does the Keto diet work?
In the state of ketosis, your body converts fats to ketones and this becomes your new energy source. So, basically, keto diets starve your body of carbohydrates, convert it into a fat burning machine and keep your nutritional levels optimum. It is for this reason that the likes of Kim Kardashian and Rihanna are great fans of the ketogenic diet. So for optimum results from the keto diet, this should be your intake percentage.
For those apprehensive about various myths surrounding the Keto diet, here we try to debunk it for you. These are the most common ones we’ve heard and we would love to state the actual facts acquired from the expert themselves.
MYTH 1: Keto is only for weight loss
There’s no doubt that the number one reason why people follow the ketogenic diet is to lose weight, but that doesn’t mean that keto diet isn’t for others who need to maintain it. If you aren’t in a ketosis state, you can actually gain weight. Remember, irrespective of the type of diet, piling calories more than required causes weight gain. And when followed rightly, it not just aids in weight loss but also in maintaining sugar levels, prevention of various heart diseases, improved cognitive function and so on.
MYTH 2 – The Keto Diet may result in nutritional deficiencies due to low intake of proteins and carbs
The advantage of the keto diet is that you are not severely restricted in your food intake. No more sticking to proteins like grilled chicken only. Keto diet allows you to intake fats and moderate quantities of protein. It only regulates your carb intake to enter the state of ketosis. When you attain ketosis the right way by regular eating of quality meat, tofu, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, dairy and plenty of greens, this diet will do you a world of good with its nutritious dense nature. There’s no need to worry about carbohydrates since they do not offer anything of value to the body.
MYTH 3 – Increased fat intake of keto diet causes risk of heart diseases
A common misconception is that increased fat consumption can cause high cholesterol and clog your arteries. No, you couldn’t be more wrong. Again, take the help of experts to know the right fat to consume. HDL cholesterol is good for the body and a low-carb diet with the right fats actually raises healthy HDL cholesterol levels. Recent studies have shown an increasing number of men and women with low levels of HDL cholesterol, which affects cardiovascular health. A low-carb, high-fat diet like Keto helps raise them to an optimum level.
MYTH 4 – Ketosis may develop into the complicated condition, Ketoacidosis
Both are different conditions, period! People often confuse one with the other and are misinformed regarding Ketoacidosis. Unless you produce zero insulin from the pancreas or have a serious metabolic dysfunction, you aren’t vulnerable to Ketoacidosis which is a dangerous condition that occurs when the body produces excess ketones.
This can be avoided by diabetes by always monitoring their Ketone and glucose levels in times of illness. Diabetics especially those with Type I diabetes should seek advice from a medical practitioner before embarking on a keto diet and should always be monitored.
MYTH 5 – You can’t escape Keto flu on a Keto Diet
Every individual is different! How one’s body reacts to external stimulants and the environment varies from person to person. So if you’ve heard one person state that they have the keto flu (stomach cramps, dizziness, fatigue and some minor health issues), on embarking on the Keto diet, do not be put off.
While some transition into the state of ketosis smoothly, others might deal with keto flu for a few weeks. However remain patient since this temporary condition slips away even before you realise. With a health intake of vegetables, supplements and consuming enough water, you will experience minimal side effects.
MYTH 6 – You Can Eat Any Type Of Fat
Healthy fats are encouraged since the body needs to break down fats for energy. Avoid processed meats which contain high fats like bacon, sausages etc. Settle for lean meats, grass-fed butter, and meat, organic fruits, and vegetables, healthy country-raised poultry, cold pressed oils etc. This way you not only gain the benefits of weight loss, but your nutritional levels are optimal too.
MYTH 7: Brain needs carbs for functioning
It’s right if you’ve heard that the body need glucose for energy. However, medically, the brain can derive its energy from ketones too. In fact, ketones are better sources of fuel and hence the brain can work sharper with 75% of energy derived from ketones. The remaining 25% is obtained from glucose obtained from dietary protein which is very much a part of Keto diets.
MYTH 8 – You should give up on alcohol in Keto
Giving up on alcohol is tough, right? Especially when you enjoy your occasional drink and would love to toast someone! Here’s what we heard when we spoke to Keto dieters. They do consume low-to-moderate quantities of alcohol like red wine or hard liquor. However, it’s best to combine it with your regular keto diet to avoid sugar levels spike. Avoid drinks like beer which are high in sugar and carbs.
The key is to find out what’s good for you. If staying in ketosis is tough with alcohol intake, it’s best you avoid it.
A good, balanced Keto diet, with supplements and moderate exercise, would great for your body. Now that we have debunked some myths, you know the dos and don’ts. Happy dieting!!