Q. My pal says I ought to do a keto diet to help with my weight reduction. What is it, and is it higher for weight reduction?
A. A ketogenic (keto) diet is excessive in fats and protein and low in carbohydrates. Most of the physique’s cells want to make use of blood sugar (glucose) as their fundamental supply of vitality. The keto diet forces your physique to make use of a special kind of gasoline. Instead of offering your physique with glucose from carbohydrates, the keto diet depends on the liver to interrupt down saved fats into molecules known as ketones. (This course of is known as ketogenesis; that is the place the diet’s identify comes from.)
For most individuals to start utilizing saved fats as gasoline, they should restrict each day carbohydrate consumption to fewer than 20 to 50 grams relying on physique measurement. (For comparability, a medium-sized banana has about 27 grams of carbs.) But it is a extremely individualized course of, and a few individuals want a extra restricted diet to start producing sufficient ketones. It sometimes takes two to 4 days to succeed in a state of ketosis (when fats turns into a fundamental supply of vitality).
There’s no scarcity of keto-inspired diets. The Atkins, South Beach, and Paleo diets are a few of the best-known examples. But a real ketogenic diet is totally different and requires as much as 90% of your each day energy to come back from fats. That is commonly arduous for individuals to keep up. However, analysis has proven that individuals can obtain sooner weight reduction with a keto diet in contrast with a calorie-reduction diet. In the quick time period, a keto diet might be protected. But over time, it is robust to maintain off the weight this fashion.
If you do strive a keto diet to jump-start weight discount, select more healthy sources of fats and protein, akin to olive oil, avocados, and nuts (almonds, walnuts). But after a number of weeks, swap to a reduced-calorie Mediterranean-style diet and enhance your bodily exercise. This will help handle your weight reduction for the long run.
— by Howard LeWine, M.D.
Editor in Chief, Harvard Men’s Health Watch
Image: © ThitareeSarmkasat/Getty Images
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