The keto diet has been popularized over the past few years and has a wide variety of benefits for achieving certain health goals. In this article, you will find an overview of the basics of this specially planned diet and how it can affect your goals for better health and performance.
The Keto Basics
Foods that are high in carbs allow the body to enjoy the production of glucose which is one of the most important energy sources for the body. Carbs also allow the body to produce the insulin necessary to process glucose into energy.
Glucose is the primary fuel for a wide variety of bodily processes and is widely available since carbs have taken a central role in the human diet over the past 20,000 years since the agricultural revolution.
Insulin plays a central role in processing glucose into a fuel that can be used by the muscles to perform their functions. As long as the diet is replete with carbs, there will be no need to tap into stored fat supplies for energy expenditure.
But, if carb intake is lowered, fat supplies will be greatly reduced as they will be converted into fuel for the body to operate. If carbs are all but eliminated from the diet the body enters a survival mode. If there is no glucose available to power the body, it will enter a state of ketosis.
The keto diet reduces carb intake to this point. When the body is in ketosis, ketones are produced as an alternative energy supply from fat stored in the liver.
Important Keto Basics to Keep in Mind
Ketosis should be considered a rather extreme form of dieting which many top athletes and those with specific physical conditions will use to improve their physical condition. If you are trying to lose weight, there are far better diet plans than the keto diet for achieving these goals.
As with any adjustment to your health plan, you are advised to counsel with a qualified dietitian before beginning the keto diet. But in case you have good reason to believe the keto diet is for you, here are some things you will want to know.
The first thing to know is that ketosis could be described as a state of starvation. This can cause considerable strain on the body if not initiated correctly. The best preparation is to have a wide selection of your favorite ketogenic food on hand to stave off the hunger as you ease your way slowly into ketosis.
The foods you choose will decide how quickly your body enters ketosis. So if you were to drop all carbs overnight, you would enter ketosis fairly quickly. But the shock to your system may be more than you can manage and this is why it is highly recommended to speak with a professional dietitian who can provide you with expert guidance through this process.
Another important reason that expert advice is important before beginning ketosis is that it may not be best to use it for a long period of time depending on why you are using it. For some people, it is used as a short term solution to shocking the metabolism into high gear. This would allow a marathon runner to access extra energy (ketones and glucose/insulin) for an upcoming marathon for example.
An expert can help you figure out a plan to reach your goals in the shortest time possible without affecting your health.