What is keto?
Keto is short for ketogenic or “nutritional ketosis”. Our bodies can run fueled by either carbohydrates or fat. We run on carbohydrates by default. The goal of the keto diet is to reduce carbohydrates to such a low level that the the body is forced to use fat as fuel, which is known as being in ketosis. Thus, it is a low carb diet.
However, since the body will turn protein into carbohydrates once you go over a certain amount, the keto diet also restricts protein. The amount of protein you can eat varies by person.
That leaves us to get the rest of our energy from fat. So, the keto diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat diet. Carbs, fat and protein are known as macros. An example ratio of calories from different macros on this diet would be: 5% carbs, 20% protein, 75% fat.
To measure whether or not you are in ketosis, and thus being successful with a keto diet, you have measure the ketones in the blood. Ketosis is achieved when you have a level of ketones in the blood between .5 and 3.0 millimolar. Please note that this is NOT the same thing as ketoacidosis, a debilitative condition that occurs in diabetics when their ketone levels go above 20.0 millimolar in the blood.
Why should I go on a keto diet?
There are many health improvement reasons to go on a keto diet. Keep in mind that the diet will not work for everyone, but has been and can be beneficial for many people. Several studies (available in the keto research section) have shown the following to be true:
- Keto & Weight Loss: A keto diet helps you lose more weight, faster than a low-fat diet, and do it with a decreased appetite.
- Keto & Heart Disease: Keto has been shown to decrease triglycerides, decrease blood pressure and increase HDL, the good cholesterol.
- Keto & Diabetes: Keto has helped type II diabetics reduce or eliminate their diabetes medication, by decreasing insulin and blood sugar levels.