What does eating Keto or low carb mean and what do the experts say?
A low-carb diet is one that restricts carbohydrates, primarily found in sugary foods, pasta, and bread. Instead of eating carbs, you eat whole foods including natural proteins, fats, and vegetables.
Studies show that low-carb diets can result in weight loss and improved health markers. These diets have been in common use for decades and are recommended by many doctors. A low-carb diet means that you eat fewer carbohydrates and a higher proportion of fat (with adequate amounts of protein as well). This can also be called a low-carb, high-fat diet (LCHF) or a keto diet.
When you avoid sugar and starches, your blood sugar tends to stabilize and the levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin drop. This helps increase fat burning and may make you feel more satiated, thereby naturally reducing food intake and promoting weight loss. Studies show that a low-carb diet can make it easier to lose weight and to control your blood sugar, among other benefits.
Who should NOT do a strict low-carb diet? Most people can safely start a low-carb diet.
Are you taking medication for diabetes, e.g. insulin?
Are you taking medication for high blood pressure?
Are you currently breastfeeding?
Discuss any changes in medication and relevant lifestyle changes with your doctor.
A keto or ketogenic diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, higher-fat diet that can help you burn fat more effectively. It has many benefits for weight loss, health, and performance, as shown in over 50 studies. A keto diet can be especially useful for losing excess body fat without hunger and for reversing type 2 diabetes.
While you eat far fewer carbohydrates on a keto diet, you maintain moderate protein consumption and may increase your intake of fat. The reduction in carb intake puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis, where fat, from your diet and from your body, is burned for energy.
A “keto” or “ketogenic” diet is so named because it causes your body to produce small fuel molecules called “ketones.”This is an alternative fuel source for your body that can be used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply. When you eat very few carbs or very few calories, your liver produces ketones from fat. These ketones then serve as a fuel source throughout the body, especially for the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day, and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose – or ketones.
On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run mostly on fat, burning fat 24-7. When insulin levels drop very low, fat burning can increase dramatically. It becomes easier to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there can also be other benefits, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy.
When the body produces ketones, it enters a metabolic state called ketosis. The fastest way to get there is by fasting – not eating anything – but nobody can consistently fast forever. A keto diet, on the other hand, also results in ketosis and can be eaten indefinitely. It has many of the benefits of fasting – including weight loss – without having to fast long term.