By Zainab Hassan
What is a Ketogenic /Keto diet?
Keto diet is a biggest trend these days referring to diet low in carbs, moderate protein and high in fat. The main idea is to take more calories from fat and protein and very less from carbs. It is a medicaltherapeutic diet that was originally created in 1920 for Epilepsy patients especially to treat epileptic seizures in children.
How does it work?
In very simple words, We need energy to function the entire day and for that we need carbohydrates to fuel our brain that turns into glucose and then energy. In keto, if little carbohydrates remains in the diet, liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies that pass into the brain and replace glucose as energy source. So instead of carbohydrates, you are using stored fat in your body for energy, hence you lose fat and shed weight. Also, fats and protein may keep you fuller than carbs leading to lower calorie intake overall.
Is Keto diet Healthy?
Normally you don’t go on a keto diet to become healthy. Main purpose is to lose weight or reverse an illness which might be the first step towards Health. However, you should not maintain it as a healthy lifestyle. Anything in which you are depriving yourself from natural healthy foods like fruits, legumes, grains, cant be healthy for life. Once your target is achieved ( Losing weight or reversing an illness), you should maintain it by keeping a healthy life style ( Eating everything in nature and in balance).
Keto can be considered healthy for a short term as compared to other diet fads because you are not depriving yourself from energy or nutrients as it has been replaced by fat which is great for brain that is 70% fat.
Is it safe to do it for longer time?
No particular diet, be it low carb or low fat, stands out as a winner. No matter which diet it is, it isn’t sustainable to do it for longer time. Like I wrote in my last week’s article, you have to listen to your body. If your body is feeling great on a keto diet then continue doing it but when your body gives you a signal that something is not right and you need to eat something which keto doesn’t allow then please eat. The only safe thing to do it for longer time and for life is a normal healthy lifestyle, which I have explained, thoroughly in my previous article.
Does Keto diet affect cholesterol levels in your body?
This is a complete another topic to write on because people really need to understand the role of cholesterol in the body as well as the difference in LDL-P, LDL V and HDL. Also cholesterol is not only related to food but various other factors in your life eg Stress.
According to most of the researches done on correlation between high fat diet and cholesterol, it has been proved that Ketogenic diet raises HDL (good cholesterol) levels in the body as compared to low fat diet. Also it decreases the amount of harmful VLDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood.