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Ketogenic Diet: The Beginners Guide

Diet fads are nothing new. Whether it’s the Mediterranean diet, Atkins diet, or even a juice cleanse, they all have aspects that appeal to a wide swath of the dieting world. Every person is unique and so is their dietary needs, so how do you know which diet may be appropriate for you and your lifestyle? We here at HPFY can shine a light on the Ketogenic Diet and hopefully answer some questions you may have as to whether it’s appropriate for you.

Ketogenic Diet Chart

What exactly is the Ketogenic Diet?

There have been numerous different diet fads throughout the years and the ketogenic diet is one of the latest, but what does it entail? It is a diet that is rich in fat, an adequate amount of proteins, and low carbohydrates that forces the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are normally converted into glucose and can be stored throughout the body. If your diet is low in carbohydrates, your liver converts fats into fatty acids and ketone bodies. These are substituted for carbohydrates as an energy source for your body. This diet was originally developed in the 1920s to help those with pediatric epilepsy. The difference between this diet and, say the Atkins diet is the amount of proteins ingested. On a ketogenic diet, you should avoid foods such as sugary foods (soda, ice cream, candy, etc.), grains such as pasta and cereal, fruit, and alcohol. These and other processed foods are a no-no in the ketogenic diet world.

How and Who Benefits from the Ketogenic Diet?

So, the million-dollar question is, is the ketogenic diet right for you? To make things more complicated there are actually three different types of ketogenic diets. They include:

  • Standard Ketogenic Diet: This version is very low carbs, moderate amounts of protein, and a high-fat content diet. Roughly 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
  • Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: This version includes periods of higher carbohydrate intake, such as five ketogenic days followed by two higher carb days.
  • Targeted Ketogenic Diet: Dieting this way allows for carbohydrates to be ingested around workouts or exercise.
  • High-Protein Ketogenic Diet: Very similar to the standard ketogenic diet, except that there is a higher amount of protein consumed. This diet has ratios of approximately 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.

The most common of these diets followed are the standard and high-protein ketogenic diets. The other two are sometimes employed by specific individuals, such as bodybuilders to achieve specific results. As you can imagine, the ketogenic diet is very effective in helping dieters lose weight, but there are other benefits to it. Some studies have found that ketogenic dieters lost 2.2 times more weight than those on low-fat diets. There were also improvements in triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels as opposed to calorie-restricted, low-fat diets. The ketogenic diet also does not require the counting of calories or tracking your food intake as well as being “more filling” than other diet options. Easy and convenient!!

Ketogenic Diet Benefits for Diabetes

Okay, weight loss is great, but does a ketogenic diet benefit those with diabetes or who are prediabetic? Changes in metabolism increases in blood sugar and reduced insulin function in the body are all characteristics of diabetes. Since the ketogenic diet can help you lose excess fat, studies have shown a benefit to those with type II diabetes, prediabetes, and even metabolic syndromes. Even though the ketogenic diet was conceived with benefiting epilepsy there are other disorders that can benefit from the ketogenic diet. Some are:

  • Heart Disease: Risk factors such as body fat, HDL cholesterol levels, and blood sugars all benefit from a ketogenic diet.
  • Cancer: Several types of cancer can benefit from a ketogenic diet and some tumor growth can be slowed.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Lower levels of insulin brought about by a ketogenic diet can help with this syndrome.
  • Acne: Acne breakouts can benefit from eating less processed foods and sugars in a ketogenic diet.

No matter your reason, the benefits of the ketogenic diet may be plentiful for you. Before starting any diet plan, you should check with your physician in order to ensure it’s for you. The ketogenic diet can be an easy and convenient method for weight loss, as well as heading off potential health issues down the road.

 

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