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Ketogenic Diet: Too Good to be True

Have you ever thought of losing 4 kg in a week without exercising? Adapting a ketogenic diet allows you to do so. Ketogenic diet achieved what conventional wisdom believes would take hours of exercising and sweating to achieve by just changing the diet habit. It might sound too good to be true. But while you are doubting if there is such an effortless way to lose weight, not only is ketogenic diet a scientifically proven method to lose weight, it also has other proven benefits as well.

What is ketogenic diet?

You might think that in order to be “thin”, you should avoid eating fats, so ketogenic diet must be a “low fats” diet. However, you might be shocked that the reality is the opposite. Ketogenic diet is a low carbs, high fats diet.

A person on keto diet can intake up to 50g of carbohydrates per day, and replace high carbs food with fatty foods, to achieve a75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs diet. [1]

However, as you might know, carbohydrates are the major energy source for people with a normal diet. It is because glucose, a sugar produced from carbohydrates, is the easiest molecule for our body to convert and use as energy.[2] So, with such a low carb diet, won't the person lack energy?

The truth is fats are also energy sources. But when the body has enough glucose to produce energy, our body seldom utilizes fats as energy sources. When a person has low carb diet, the body has to use fats as energy sources, and our body enters a state called ketosis.

Ketosis is a natural metabolic process the body initiates to help us to survive when carbs intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from thebreakdown of fats24-7 in the liver for energy use.[3] In sho2rt, in ketogenic diet, your body switches its energy supply from glucose to ketones, from carbohydrates to fats.

Why should I start?

Do you know that in 2014, basketball star Lebron James tried a 67 days, modified, ketogenic diet. And he lost weight successfully.

In 2020, ketogenic diet is the most searched diet on google.[4] But why should a person switch his or her fuel source from carbohydrates to fats?

There are many scientifically proven benefits for adapting ketogenic diet. So the reason for adapting ketogenic diet could vary for different people. One of the major reasons is it helps people lose weight.

As mentioned above, ketosis produces ketones from fats, effectively burning the fats we stored in adipose tissues, including belly fat, resulting in a slimmer body. Ketogenic diet allows you to utilize your existing fats to produce energy. You can get the energy you need while burning fats! What a good deal!

Besides, research shows that lowering weight will reduce the risk of some chronic conditions as well, such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.[5]

Apart from benefits related to weight loss, keto diet also benefits us in other ways, such as acts as an adjuvant cancer therapy and reducing seizures.[6] [7] For more information, please check this article out.

How do I get into ketosis?

First, you need a ketogenic meal plan. Apart from having the right nutrients ratio of 75% fats, 20% protein and 5% carbs, you should also make sure that you have a meal plan that you can stick with for a sustainable period. Some high fats-low carb foods that keto dieters can consider are cheese, avocados and eggs. For more food choices recommendations.

In addition, it is extremely important to stay in ketosis. Getting out of ketosis can result in problems such as weight gain, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.[8] [9] So, it is vitally important to monitor your progress, and a breathalyzer could help you.

Why breathalyzer?

A keto breathalyzer can detect the amount of acetone in our breath, while acetone is one type of ketones that will be broken down from fats in the liver.[10] So, acetone level in breath correlates with ketogenesis effectiveness. The higher the breath acetone, the more fat is broken down to form ketones in the liver.

All testing our blood, urine and breath are feasible methods to test our ketone levels, they test our acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetone level respectively, the three different types of ketones. While all three tests could reflect the ketone level of the keto dieter, testing our breath is the most convenient way. As you can imagine, measuring the ketone level in blood or urine will involve multiple steps and the process will be slower than that of breath, while breathalyzer just requires users to take a breath.

Tips for staying in ketosis?

In order to stay in ketosis, apart from monitoring your progress with a breathalyzer, you might want to pay special attention to foods that are touted as “healthy” food. It is because many foods that are touted as healthy have high carbohydrates content. For example, most fruits like apples and bananas have high sugar content, as well as legumes, such as beans. The foods that you perceive as healthy might be unexpectedly high in sugar/carb content, and they are destructive to keto dieters.

With an aim of having an easier keto journey, doing a little bit of research on the food composition of the foods you eat will be worth your time. It could be even better to buy foods that have “keto-friendly” labels. Checking out our website regularly could be a wise choice!

Who should not practice keto diet?

While ketogenic diet brings many benefits to our bodies, some people should consider carefully before they practice keto diets.

Firstly, people who have kidney damage should think carefully before practicing keto diet. Keto diet decreases the amount of citrate in our urine while citrate could bind with calcium oxalate crystals, a common source of kidney stone, and prevent its growth. [11] Keto diet might increase the chances of forming kidney stones for people who have weakened kidneys.

Secondly, pregnant women and nursing women might not want to adopt ketogenic diets. It is because a strict diet like ketogenic diet might lead to the deficiencies of many nutrients that are essential for growth, for example, calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and phosphorus.[12]

Besides, there are some other individuals that should think twice before adapting ketogenic diet as well, such as those who are at risk for heart diseases, who have type 1 diabetes, eating or digestive disorder, pre-existing liver or pancreatic condition, or who have removed their gallbladder.

Disclaimer: This guide is for general information and reference only, it does not constitute medical advice. Individuals should have different needs and should closely discuss with your healthcare team.

#keto #ketogenicdiet #ketodiet #lowcarbhighfat #weightloss #vegan

Reference 1. Wirrell, E. C. (2008). Ketogenic ratio, calories, and fluids: do they matter?. Epilepsia, 49, 17-19.
2. Akram, M. (2013). Mini-review on glycolysis and cancer. Journal of Cancer Education, 28(3), 454-457.
3. Cahill Jr, G. F. (1981). Ketosis. Kidney international, 20(3), 416-425.
4. 10 Most Searched Diets of 2020 on Google. (2020, Dec 30). US News & World report. https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/slideshows/10-most-searched-diets-of-2020-on-google?slide=2.
5. Hruby, A., & Hu, F. B. (2015). The epidemiology of obesity: a big picture. Pharmacoeconomics, 33(7), 673-689.
6. Allen, B. G., Bhatia, S. K., Anderson, C. M., Eichenberger-Gilmore, J. M., Sibenaller, Z. A., Mapuskar, K. A., ... & Fath, M. A. (2014). Ketogenic diets as an adjuvant cancer therapy: History and potential mechanism. Redox biology, 2, 963-970.
7. Kossoff, E. H., & Rho, J. M. (2009). Ketogenic diets: evidence for short-and long-term efficacy. Neurotherapeutics, 6(2), 406-414.
8. Poirier, P., & Eckel, R. H. (2002). Obesity and cardiovascular disease. Current atherosclerosis reports, 4(6), 448-453.
9. HAVLIK, R. J., HUBERT, H. B., FABSITZ, R. R., & FEINLEIB, M. (1983). Weight and hypertension. Annals of Internal Medicine, 98(5_Part_2), 855-859.
10. Kohlmeier, M. (2015). Nutrient metabolism: structures, functions, and genes. Academic Press.
11. Penniston, K. L., Nakada, S. Y., Holmes, R. P., & Assimos, D. G. (2008). Quantitative assessment of citric acid in lemon juice, lime juice, and commercially-available fruit juice products. Journal of Endourology, 22(3), 567-570.
12. Zupec‐Kania, B., & Zupanc, M. L. (2008). Long‐term management of the ketogenic diet: seizure monitoring, nutrition, and supplementation. Epilepsia, 49, 23-26.

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