Is Keto For You?
One of the number one complaints we hear about those trying to manage low-fat or calorie restricted diets are how hungry they feel all day. And anyone who’s seen a Snickers commercial knows the kind of mood that puts you in. Well, we may have some good news for anyone looking for an alternative to traditional dieting!
Weight-Loss Is Not the Only Benefit
Other benefits include long-lasting energy, improved concentration, heightened cognition and countless neurological benefits.
In the past several years we’ve seen the emergence of a highly effective, energy producing, high-fat, low-carb diet offers quite a few benefits including the ones above. The fact that people are seeking out high fat groceries and losing weight has led to many experts scratching their heads; and these twenty three studies depict very different results than you may be expecting (Study 1).
Let’s delve into what exactly the diet is anyway!
Similar to the Atkins diet and many other low-carb diets the Keto Diet involves a heavy intake in protein and fats while consuming minimal carbs which leads many to looking to pre-designed Keto Packages such as Keto Boxes. Deals like these can be a great deal, especially when they provide new Keto-Approved Snacks delivered right to your door every month for only $39.99!
By essentially replacing your normal intake of energy producing carbohydrates to fuel your body with fat, your body transitions into a metabolic state known as ketosis.
When your intake of carbs drops to under 50 or under 20 carbs (There’ a debate on which is the best approach but more on that later), and Ketosis is taking place; your body is forced to find energy elsewhere. Thankfully, your body’s second choice just happens to be fat. Not only does it burn fat for energy but it turns fat deposits into ketones within the liver. This is said to provide energy for brain functions (Study 6 & 7).
Many studies have concluded the effects resulting from a ketogenic diet often lead to heavy reductions in insulin/blood sugar levels providing a number of health benefits other than significant weight loss (Studies 6, 8, 9, 10, 11).
Four General Types of Ketogenic Diet
In the standard version the Keto Diet, you’ll take in around 150 G’s of fat per day, or about 3 X what the average American consumes on a daily basis. This is done to ensure your metabolism switches from burning carbs to burning fat for energy. Planning around this dietary change offers several options but is commonly done via planning for all meals/snacks around fatty foods such as olives & olive oil, fatty fish & meats, avocados, butter and Ghee. Now, you’ll need to limit your carb intake to no more than 50 grams per day (or around the amount contained in your morning raspberry muffin).
Most manage to do this by relying on non-starchy vegetables, low-carb/sugar fruits such as melon or various berries, plus leafy greens to substitute for their snacking needs. Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you’re consuming an adequate amount of protein. Most choosing the SKD rout get around 90 gs of protein each day spacing out about 30 gs with each meal (about four ounces of fish, chicken or red meat).
Many people with active life styles and athletes alike choose an alternative path coined Targeted Keto Diet (TKD), which normally allows for 20 to 30 more carbs per day. While it is debatable whether these individuals are still able to get into ketosis; the idea behind it is for those with active life styles to consume these additional carbs before or after workout to mitigate high-intensity workouts to enhance recovery.
Meaning those choosing this version of the diet are totaling their carb intake from 50-80 carbs a day depending on what your initial limit was. A common strategy is to use sports supplements, grain-based foods, or dairy products to do this since these are usually burned off quickly and won’t end up stored as fat.
Many choose to cycle through their Keto experience by balancing with days ‘on’ and ‘off.’ One of the more common approaches is where somebody would have 5 days ‘on’ with 2 ‘off’ days each week. Many keep their off days for special occasions such as birthdays, events, holidays or going on a trip somewhere.
However, you’ll want to combine this approach with utilizing wholesome high-carb foods in your “off” days. This includes many of the suggestions above such as whole grains, high-starch vegetables, dairy, and low-sugar fruits!
Possible Benefits of Going on A Keto Diet
Many Studies Show Effective & Rapid Weight-Loss
- Leading Research indicates the Keto Diet as much more effective than traditional Low-Fat diets (Studies 2, 14, 15, 16).
- Many Government studies tend to agree with this thesis and even suggest the diet helps prevent the likelihood of disease (Studies 6, 8, 11, 13).
- One particular instance cocluded that those on a ketogenic diet lost up to 2.2x more weight than people on a low-fat calorie restricted diet. It was also shown that good (HDL & Triglyceride) cholesterol levels improved as well (Study 17).
- Many find this diet to be their favorite because it doesn’t involve having to keep track of calories tracking your meals (Study 16).
- One other study found those regularly entering into Ketosis came to lose 3 X more weight that being on a diet that was suggested by Diabetes UK.
- It is said there are a number of benefits to maintaining a diet low on fat and high on protein. Leading more and more professionals claiming the ketogenic diet is preferable to calorie restricted diets (Study 14, 19, 20)
- Most government studies suggest the better insulin sensitivity resulting from lower blood sugar and rising ketones play a big part in many of the benefits listed (Studies 22, 24, 25, 26).
Medical Benefits While Maintaining Keto Diet
Acne: Studies have shown that by keeping insulin level low & decreasing your sugar intake may help with acne problems (Studies 41).
Brain Injuries: On a study done on animals; it was found the Keto Diet helps with brain injury recovery and even help decrease chances for concussions (Studies 40).
POS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome): Lowering insulin levels could play a significant role in treating the condition (Studies 40).
Parkinson’s Disease: Negative symptoms often found with those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease show improvement while on the Keto Diet (Studies 39).
Epilepsy: Studies have found the diet can greatly impact the conditions known to trouble those with epilepsy such as seizures (Studies 4).
How Many Carbs Can I Eat and Stay in Ketosis?!?
Unfortunately, there is no exact limit for how many carbs to consume a day to remain in Ketosis. No evil doctor who’ll flip the switch to banish you to a ketoisisless existence for eating a roll of sushi. But depending on how many carbs you eat during an “on” or “off” day could prolong the amount of time it’ll take to get back into Ketosis.
How Long Does it Take to Get Into Ketosis
It can be difficult to say exactly how long it’ll take for your body to get into (or back into) Ketosis. But there are a few reliable ways to measure your ketone levels and many factors to consider. This includes your overall nutrition, whether you have a fast metabolism, or other cheat codes such as fasting or supplements.
Experiences vary greatly however. For instance, if you’ve been in ketosis for a long period of time and have one ‘off’ day, chances are you’re going to be able to back into Ketosis in as little as 24 hours. But lets say you’ve never (at least purposefully) gotten into Ketosis and you’re trying to shock your body into this process it could result in tipping on the other end of the scale.
Why People Differ for Time Needed To Enter Ketosis
This is because everybody has a different rate at which their body metabolized food. Other Factors include previous diets as that determines the way we metabolize glucose or Insulin Resistance. There are of course supplements that help enter into ketosis quicker or even intermittent fasting which can help speed up the process.
Foods You’ll Want to Avoid
Any and all food showing a high number of carbs should be avoided unless there is an equal or comparable amount of carbs. This results in a low amount of net carbs.
- Sweets- Such as milk chocolate or gummies
- Starchy Foods- such as potatoes
- Alcohol (Especially Beer)
- Sugar Free Foods- Many sugar-free diet food have too much sugar alcohol which cab result in decreasing your ketones
Net Carbs Explained
Many experts claim there are various types of carbs in which your body does not process in the same manner. ‘Net Carbs’ refers to the amount of carbs your body actually absorbs.
Although sugar and fiber are included in the grams of carbs listed in the nutrition label, they are not processed by your body in the same way.
Digestible (or net) Carbs:
Also sometimes referred to as ‘impact carbs’, these are the carbs which are absorbed by your body and converted into glucose. These include both Complex and Simple Carbs.
Simple Carbs have 1-2 units of sugar linked together usually found in fruits, many vegetables, honey, sugar, maple syrup, and milk
The reason complex carbs are, well complex; is because they contain more a couple sugar units which are linked together and often high in starches like potatoes.
What happens as the food is digested through your small intestine is that the foods are separated into single units of sugar by the enzymes which are produced there. This is done because your digestive system can only absorb individual units of sugar.
But there’s a caveat. There are types of carbs which aren’t able to be separated into the individual sugar units that are able to be absorbed by your body including fiber and sugar alcohols.