The Real Deal on Keto Diet

If you’re thinking about getting into a new eating plan to lose weight and optimize your health, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the keto diet and the wonders it may do for your body.

The continuous advancement in the medical world did not stop the increasing cases of obesity/ Most chronic illnesses common to men like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease are connected to an excessive amount of body fats, and that’s when eating plans like Keto comes in.

But, what’s the real deal with Keto? This diet is well-known for its low-carb strategy focused on protein instead. When your body goes into ketosis, that’s when you burn fats and shift your primary source of energy. This is the process of this eating scheme. 

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute promotes quality life through a healthy gut, diet, and lifestyle. In this article, we’ll discuss the real deal about Keto and the implications it may have on your body.

What is a keto diet

In the early 1920s, medical practitioners developed the ketogenic diet for epilepsy therapy. At the time, this was considered as an alternative to fasting to help manage and control epileptic episodes. Later on, Greek and ancient Indian physicians continued studying the role of fasting to cure epilepsy. 

Eventually, the “water diet” became a popular approach to help patients from getting seizures. Avoiding food and drink or following a strict fat-rich diet without sugars and starch helps a patient’s liver produce ketone bodies. This exists because starvation helps dissipate toxins away from the body.  

Hence, over time, experts found that a diet consisting of low carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high, healthy fats can benefit human health. Essentially, this diet will force your body to burn fats instead of carbohydrates.

Ketosis

Whenever you eat fewer carbohydrates, your liver will convert fat into ketone bodies, as mentioned above, and fatty acids. Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy. However, since there are more fats instead, these are used for fuel. This natural metabolic state is called ketosis.

It may not be easy for some people to shift to a keto diet because their bodies will need to rely on fat for energy. At the same rate, it’s not easy to keep your body in ketosis because carbohydrates are usually the primary energy source.

Plus, you have to limit your protein intake in a keto diet. Why? Too much protein can cause your body to convert the excess into carbohydrates (also called gluconeogenesis).

Therefore, some nutritionists may suggest intermittent fasting to go into ketosis successfully. You don’t necessarily have to go on many days without eating anything at all. Instead, you have particular periods when you can eat, with recommended calories, and when you should fast.

However, prolonged states of ketosis may stress your liver and cause total starvation and dehydration, which could be detrimental to your health. Thus, it’s essential to seek help from doctors before jumping into this diet.

Types of ketogenic diets

  • SKD – standard 
  • CKD – cyclical 
  • TKD – targeted
  • HPKD – high protein

There are, in fact, other keto diets such as very low-carb ketogenic diet, well-formulated ketogenic diet, medium chain triglycerides ketogenic diet, etc. However, the four (4) types above are the more commonly used ones we’ll focus on in this article.

Standard ketogenic diet 

Fat-Protein-Carb Ratio: 70 / 20 / 10 or 75 / 20 / 5

Recommended daily portions:

20-50g sugar

40-60g protein No set cutoff for fat

Cyclical ketogenic diet

(also called carb backloading, usually for athletes or those regularly working out to replenish glycogen lost from muscles)

Recommended cycles:

5 ketogenic days (20-30g of carbs or less) then 2 higher carb days (100-500g of carbs) within a week 

Targeted ketogenic diet

The Targeted Ketogenic Diet, or TKD, is not very far from the standard and regular keto diet. The only difference is that you only eat carbs during your workout time. So, whenever you exercise, you’ll consume carbs on any schedule that you prefer.

The TKD is in-between the Cyclical Ketogenic and Standard Ketogenic Diet. It would still allow you to withstand high-intensity exercises even if you’re on a low-carb eating plan. Some studies believe that carbs may give power to strength training. 

SKD keto-ers attest that this kind of keto, when consumed as pre-workout carbs, improves strength and endurance. It makes sense as the muscle needs glucose to fuel anaerobic training.

Macronutrient breakdown:

10% carbs, 60% fat, 30% protein

(a mix between standard and cyclical ketogenic diet but emphasis on carbohydrates to be consumed around times of working out)

Recommended portions:

15-50g of fast-absorbing carbs (before, during, after workout)

High protein ketogenic diet

(also known as modified Atkins diet, a variety of standard ketogenic diet)

Recommended daily portions:

Fat-Protein-Carb Ratio: 60 / 35 / 5

Keto diet advantages

As shown in the examples and types of ketogenic diets above, choosing this diet should get more calories from fat rather than carbohydrates. When you deplete your body from sugars, it will depend more on stored fat for fuel instead.

Here are the advantages and benefits of this diet:

Weight loss

Losing weight is one of the main reasons many people go into a keto diet. Ketosis helps reduce hormones that stimulate hunger, too. Hence, it can support weight loss, reduce your appetite, and boost metabolism.

Risk of cancers

Ketogenic diets naturally reduce blood sugar. Hence, you can enjoy the benefits of not having any health risks involving insulin complications. This diet approach is sometimes used to complete other radiation therapy and chemotherapy treatments.

Skin health

Any diet with highly refined and processed carbohydrates can drastically affect your gut microbiome. That could lead to significant fluctuations in your blood sugar which often causes acne. With reduced carb intake, skin problems may also decrease.

Brain functions

Ketones have neuroprotective benefits, such as protecting the nerve cells and the brain. Hence, the keto diet can help strengthen your brain and its functions. It also aids in preventing brain damage or managing conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, for example.

Seizures

As discussed earlier, the keto diet originally started as a treatment for epilepsy management. To this day, this diet approach is effectively used, especially for children, to reduce seizures and epileptic symptoms.

Heart health

Even if the keto diet is high in fat, it’s important to note that you should choose healthy fats all the time. For instance, you can get healthy fats from avocado and avoid pork rinds. You can minimize bad cholesterol from your body and introduce more “good” cholesterol to avoid cardiovascular diseases.


Is keto diet really effective? 

A study revealed that the ketogenic diet produces changes in the metabolism, most especially on a short-term basis. Besides weight loss, there are also improvements in the health parameters that are often connected with excessive weight, like high cholesterol levels, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure.

Risks:

Constipation

The body is designed to break down three macronutrients – fats, carbs, and protein. When you suddenly shift to keto, your body would have to transition from digesting many carbs to lots of fats. Your gut needs time getting used to this. 

Liver problems

The ketogenic diet is concentrated in fats and moderate in protein. Going low in carbohydrates would induce weight loss and control glycemic. However, this may elevate liver enzymes and the onset of fatty liver, which can be problematic.

Kidney problems

Some studies reveal that ketosis taxes the kidneys, leading to stones and low blood pressure. They also mentioned how this diet hastens kidney failure or worsens a condition because it is high in protein that could overload the kidneys, which impacts the elimination of waste from the body.  

Nutrient deficiency

The body is expected to consume a wide array of grains, fruits, and vegetables. Since you are limiting your carbs, you’re at risk of missing crucial micronutrients like magnesium, selenium, vitamins B, C, and phosphorus. 

Mood swings

The brain benefits from the sugar it gets from carbohydrates. So, when you cut carbs, you may have some mood swings like irritability and confusion as a consequence. You might feel these, especially during the beginning of the process.

Is keto diet good for weight loss

Due to its low-carb approach, a keto diet is a popular approach for those trying to lose weight. However, as we’ve seen in this article, it’s not as simple as that. There are complex mechanisms involved that may affect your metabolism while in the keto diet. Generally, though, the keto diet can help you feel less hungry while you can also keep your muscle.

However, like any diet approach, it is of utmost importance to consult your doctor before starting your keto diet. For instance, people who have hypoglycemia, heart disease, or diabetes are generally not allowed to consume too much fat. 

Moreover, just because you’re restricting your carbohydrate intake doesn’t mean they are wrong. Carbs have health benefits, too. In a ketogenic diet, you need to maintain your body in ketosis without compromising health safely. But, if you need to transition again to a less restrictive diet, especially if you’re not meeting your goal (e.g., weight loss), seek help from a nutritionist. That way, you’re not adding too much stress to your body with these drastic changes.

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute has developed a comprehensive treatment plan to reduce chronic inflammation to improve quality of life and cognitive function. Message us at [email protected] to know more!

ketogenic diet - myths and facts

Ketogenic Diet – Myths and Facts

The ketogenic diet has created a solid following, especially for people trying to lose weight. 

According to an analysis by Supplement Place, it is the most popular diet in America, and it’s a worldwide trend on Google searches too. 

But of course, with great popularity comes lots of criticisms with some which can be misleading.

So, in this article, we’ll guide you through the keto facts and myths before hopping into the ketowagon.


The ketogenic diet – more than just a newfound trend

Myth 1:  Weight loss in keto is permanent, so you can do it inconsistently

Like any other diet, weight loss in keto may be ineffective if you stop it and go back to your unhealthy eating habits. If you have a goal in mind, it is best to focus on this routine until you’ve achieved the results you want for your body. 

It’s easy to notice the difference the keto diet does once you are in ketosis. Some of these changes are brighter moods, fat loss, and longer satiation. However, some of its advantages may take time to surface. So, you have to be patient. 

Fact: If your goal is to lose weight with this process, the same rule of thumb applies – healthy weight loss is still about one to two pounds weekly. Don’t rush the process because that’s when the yoyo weight loss effect happens. Keto is a big lifestyle adjustment!

is keto diet a high-protein diet?

Myth 2:  Keto is a high-protein diet

While we have established that keto is a low-carb diet, it is far from a high protein. Spiking this muscle-building macronutrient can be counterproductive in your keto journey. 

Fact: Most of the amino acids in your body become glucose due to gluconeogenesis when you consume more protein. This process could pose problems on your diet because it prevents your body from shifting to full-blown ketosis. 

A keto diet is high in fats, moderate in protein, and very low in carbs. Thus, for the 2000 kcal daily calorie requirement, the carbs should go about 20 to 50 grams. Don’t let your body get stuck in the sugar-burning process because you take an excessive amount of protein. 

Is eating too much fats in the ketogenic diet making you gain?

Myth 3: Eating fats makes you gain weight

“I am on a low-carb diet, and I’m still gaining weight. Is it because I’m overeating?” the truth is, overconsuming any macronutrient, or any food, would make you gain weight. Calories are still calories. So, checking your consumption still applies.

Fact: Fats have twice the calories of carbohydrates and protein per gram. A gram of protein or carbohydrate has four calories, and a gram of fat has nine. This fact shows how easy it is to go overboard with fats. And that is what’s making some gain weight. 

It isn’t enough that you are in full ketosis to lose weight. If you’re binging other macronutrients, you’re sabotaging your progress. You still have to observe calorie deficit so that your metabolism runs smoothly and your body burns your stored fats. 

Thus, if you think you can go for a bacon spree on your keto diet, you got it wrong. 

Is keto diet only for weight loss?

Myth 4: Keto is only for weight loss

We’ve heard many successful keto diet stories, and most of them are due to the significant number that went down when people step on the scale. However, its wonders don’t end in reducing your body fat or mass index. 

Fact: Undergoing a ketogenic diet decreases LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood glucose level. It also lowers blood pressure which is beneficial for people with hypertension. 

A low-carb diet limits your carbs in bread, pasta, and sugary foods to go for their high-quality substitute. And this has an impact not just on your weight, but on improving your health as well. 

Should you eat the amount of carbs as everyone in ketogenic diet?

Myth 5: There is the same amount of carbs for everyone

Yes, we know that ketosis only takes place when we consume 5% to 10% of carbs, but it doesn’t mean that the number of grams will be precisely the same for everyone. 

There is a keto carb calculator to determine your macros efficiently. After all, there is not much research supporting that the 20 gram of carbs suggestion is for everybody. While the majority opt to go for their “net carbs,” which refers to the total carbs minus fiber, there are various factors that could calculate your carb requirement for ketosis.

Fact: There are things to consider before settling on the number of carbs you’d take on this diet: your calorie requirement, daily activity, previous diet, goal, and your net or total carbs counting.

How much carbs are you not allowed to eat during ketogenic diet?

Myth 6: You are never allowed to eat carbs

There are people who totally restrict carbs from their diet, but it doesn’t mean that you have to when you are in keto. 

Fact: As a low-carb diet, you are only limiting your intake to cut off glucose storage and activate ketosis. Eat nuts and fresh veggies that are full of vitamins, fiber and minerals. Go for your net carbs – subtract the fiber from the total carbs of your food!

Your choice of quality carbohydrates would allow you to focus on whole sources of carbs including nuts and veggies. Doing so enables you to fill up essential nutrients while keeping your carb count at the suggested level. 

Should you ditch veggies and fruits during the keto diet?

Myth 7: You can’t eat veggies and fruits because they are high in carbs

There’s a misconception that you can’t eat veggies and fruits while on a low-carb diet. Since your only carb requirement is 20 grams, it’s easy to believe that this is true.

Fact: Fruits and veggies are generally not bad, but some won’t fit the goals of the keto diet. So, only go for those that would help you meet the purpose of this regimen. 

Avocados, watermelon, strawberries, lemons, tomatoes, raspberries, peaches, cantaloupe, star fruit – these are the options you can incorporate in your daily meals instead. 

Can you still exercise in a keto diet?

Myth 8: Exercise and keto don’t go together

Many people brag about losing weight on a keto diet without exercising. While this could happen, it doesn’t mean that you can’t work out while on a keto diet. 

Fact: First, If you want to work out even on a keto diet, give your body enough energy to do so. Don’t cut your calories. People who undereat may feel sluggish during physical activity. So, nourishment is crucial! Second, consume enough fats during your meals. Ensure that they are only coming from quality sources. 

Lastly, when you are working out during a keto diet, you can recomposition your body. Many studies suggest that moderate-intensity exercise positively impacts your physique. If you have this kind of goal, keto could help you. 

Are ketoacidosis and ketosis the same in the keto diet?

Myth 9: Ketoacidosis and ketosis are the same

In a keto diet, people interchangeably use the terms ketoacidosis and ketosis. But, they are not the same. They have critical differences that you should know.

Fact: Ketosis is a safe body response after a highly low-carb diet. Whereas ketoacidosis is threatening and dangerous for it may cause complications that could be bad for your health. 

How these two processes differ depends upon the level of your ketone in the blood. It would be best to get a meter to determine yours.

Will you lose your muscle mass during a ketogenic diet?

Myth 10: You lose muscle mass in keto

Any drastic diet in general, without resistance training, makes people lose weight, including their muscles. This change could be your body’s initial reaction as you change your eating habits, but you could be good at managing it eventually. 

Fact: When you’re just starting with a keto diet, you will most likely notice a drop in your strength and performance, especially if you have been working out for quite a long time. But it is only temporary. It is your body’s way of adapting to ketones. 

Optimally building muscle is still possible, nevertheless. Determine the right amount of calories that your body needs. Eat enough protein to support your workout. Once you incorporate regular resistance training and proper nutrition with this diet, you’d gain muscles. Working out for muscle growth twice or even more a week could make you leaner!

Are cheat days okay in a ketogenic diet?

Myth 11: Cheat days are okay with keto

It isn’t a secret that keeping up with a strict diet is not easy. 

Even the actress Halle Berry swore in 2019 that she gets cheat days while on keto. Are you willing to risk your hard work for that slice of pizza?

Fact: If your priority while in this venture is to lose weight, keto diet cheat days may hinder your progress. They’d kick you out of your ketosis. 

Cheat days could help you sustain a strict diet, and if you decided to dip in and out of keto once in a while for your sanity, planning is the key. What are keto-friendly food swaps for anyway? Whether you’re craving choco-chip cookies, ice cream, or pizza, there indeed is an alternative. 

It would help if you also kept your portion small because overeating would disrupt your progress. Unlike other diets where you can throw in a cheat meal every week, you have to make it rare in this lifestyle. So, before you cheat, ask yourself – is it worth the cost?

Should you do intermittent fasting while you are in a keto diet?

Myth 12: You should do intermittent fasting while on a ketogenic diet

Are you on a keto diet and have been doing it for a long time? You’ve undoubtedly heard of intermittent fasting for many who combine these two eating patterns to maximize their progress.

IF is a new craze that you can supplement to your diet. It’s a meal timing that lets you fast for hours daily, depending upon your current mental and physical state. 

Fact: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Pairing these two approaches makes a lot of sense, yes. But at the end of the day, it is still not for everyone. So, where are you in this?

When you are only starting your keto, diving into IF can be extreme. It could be a shock to your whole system. So, it’s best to start with keto for a few weeks first before changing your eating window. The correct timing is also vital. Consider gradually transitioning into this lifestyle! 

Ready to commit to a keto diet?

It’s easy to get lured into the newest diet in town. But, you don’t have to fall into a trap at the expense of your health. It takes discipline and commitment to have a healthy relationship with food. 

Using fat as fuel helps your body fight inflammation. Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute is committed to giving the tools to be successful in your journey toward better health. It is important to do your own research, consult with your doctor, and enjoy a happy, healthy life!  

References:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945587
https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-ketogenic-diet
https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto/myths