In the past few years, low-carb diets have become massively popular. These diets are effective in helping people lose weight and improve their health outcomes.
Researchers and nutritionists have been analyzing the effects of low-carb diets ever since they became famous for figuring out how they work and whether they're healthy. The ketogenic diet is one variation of a low-carb diet—but what exactly does that mean? Let's take a closer look!
What is the keto diet?
The ketogenic diet (or keto) is a way of eating that puts the body into a state of "ketosis," which means that your body is using fat as its primary energy source rather than carbohydrates. The keto diet is very high in fat and low in carbohydrates, with moderate amounts of protein.
The ketogenic diet aims to switch your body's energy source from carbs to fat. The keto diet can also be called a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet.
Keto is a nutritional approach focusing on high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrates. When you eat something high in carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose and insulin.
Glucose is the body's primary energy source and is obtained from carbohydrates in the diet. While insulin is the hormone that controls blood sugar, consuming too many carbohydrates can lead to increased insulin and fat storage, leading to weight gain.
When you reduce your carbohydrate intake, your body must adjust to using another energy source. To convert fat into energy, the body needs to be in a state called ketosis.
Keto is short for ketogenic, a very low-carb diet initially used in medicine to treat seizures. This diet became more widely known in the 1990s as a way of losing weight.
How does the Keto Diet work?
A keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that can help you lose weight. Getting your body into a state of ketosis (burning fat for energy) is the goal of this diet.
And being in ketosis is the key to bringing your body into a weight-loss state. People who eat a keto diet eat fewer carbohydrates and more fat. When you reduce your carbohydrate intake, your body must adjust to using another energy source.
To convert fat into energy, the body needs to be in a state called ketosis. Keto is short for ketogenic, a very low-carb diet initially used in medicine to treat seizures.
This diet became more widely known in the 1990s as a way of losing weight. The goal of this diet is to get your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. It is when your body burns fat for energy.
Can you build muscle with a keto diet?
The keto diet is effective for weight loss. Some studies indicate that it's helpful for improving endurance performance and increasing fat burning. A keto diet may be suitable for losing weight, but it's not good for building muscle.
Because your body burns fat for energy, insufficient carbohydrates support optimal muscle growth. To build muscle, you need sufficient protein in your diet. However, a protein on a keto diet is challenging because most sources are high in carbohydrates.
Because you don't have enough carbohydrates to support optimal muscle growth, you don't have enough protein to build muscle. And if you're not getting enough protein, you're not getting enough amino acids—the building blocks of protein.
Pros and cons of the Keto Diet
If weight loss is your goal, the keto diet is adequate. But the keto diet is ineffective if you're looking to build muscle. A keto diet has certain benefits, such as increased exercise endurance, fat burn, and improved mental clarity.
Although the keto diet can be effective for weight loss, it can have adverse side effects. Some people feel lethargic, have headaches, and have a foul breath odor.
Others may experience diarrhea, constipation, and decreased strength and coordination. The keto diet can also negatively affect your health.
Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy, vitamins, and minerals. You may miss out on these important nutrients by eating a low-carb diet. Since a ketogenic diet can raise your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, it may increase your heart disease and stroke risk.
It can also negatively affect your blood pressure and your mood. Additionally, the keto diet is not sustainable for the long term since it's challenging to maintain.
Who should not follow a Keto Diet?
There are certain groups of people whose health would be negatively affected by the keto diet. People with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and kidney problems may want to avoid the keto diet.
New moms may want to avoid the keto diet, which can affect breastfeeding. A keto diet is not an ideal diet for everyone.
Final words: Should you go keto?
A keto diet can be effective if you're trying to lose weight. But a keto diet is ineffective if you're trying to build muscle. Rather than reducing your carbohydrate intake and going on a keto diet, you can increase your protein intake, reduce sugar and alcohol intake, and eat healthy fats.
Exercising regularly and sleeping at least 8 hours per night can help you build muscle while losing fat. For example, lifting weights, high-intensity interval training, and participating in a sport are great ways to build muscle while losing fat. A combination of these healthy lifestyle habits can help you achieve your fitness goals and improve your health, whether you choose a keto diet.