By: Dr. Keith Kantor
The “keto diet” has gained mainstream popularity in the past few years due to its high success rate and unlike many fad diets that come and go with very limited rates of long-term success; the ketogenic (keto) works and is safe for almost everyone. It has always been popular among the bodybuilding community for its ability to shed body fat quickly while maintaining optimal amounts of lean muscle. The keto diet has been practiced for more than nine decades (since the 1920s) and is based upon a solid understanding of physiology and nutrition science.
The keto diet works for such a high percentage of people because it targets several key, underlying causes of weight gain including hormonal imbalances, especially insulin resistance, coupled with high blood sugars especially in those who have type 2 diabetes or hypoglycemia.
The keto diet is a great weight loss strategy for long-term results because it does not require any calorie counting; the restriction is virtually eliminating all foods that contain sugar and starch (carbohydrates). These carbohydrate dense foods are broken down into sugar (disrupting insulin and glucose) in our blood once we eat them, and if these levels become too high, extra calories are much more easily stored as body fat and results in unwanted weight gain. However, when glucose levels are cut off due to low-carb dieting, the body starts to burn fat instead and produces ketones that can be measured in the blood.
Rather than drawing energy from glucose, a person in ketosis stays fueled off of these circulating ketones or ketone bodies — essentially, burning fat for fuel. This is the principal goal of the ketogenic diet, which can be achieved by adhering to the macronutrient targets.
The keto diet is low carbohydrate, high fat and moderate protein.
Macronutrient percent ranges:
Like any nutrition plan the quality of food can impact the success rate. Aim to consume all high quality organic, free range, etc. meats, seafood, poultry, vegetables and fruits. Also for many people dehydration can occur during the first month so drink one half of your body weight in ounces of water per day, preferably pure alkaline hydroxide water for the best results.
The ketogenic diet is not recommended for those with compromised kidney and liver function, it is not forbidden but it is important to be under your doctor’s supervision and approval before starting a diet like this one.
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