What is the Keto Diet and How does it Work?

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What is the Keto Diet?

The Keto (aka ketogenic) diet is a high fat, adequate protein, and low-carb diet. The body enters ketosis when it no longer has stores of glycogen sugar to fuel its energy needs. With sugar gone, the body has no choice but use fat to get by. The liver converts fat reserves into ketones to present to the body as an energy source. Therefore, the this diet is a good way to lose fat.

You may have heard of the high-protein, low-carb Atkins diet. The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet. So, instead of ramping up the amount of protein in your meal, this diet increases the amount of fat. A typical keto plan aims for meals with 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. Eating high-fat meals can still mean eating healthy and keto menu items often include seafood, meat, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, and nuts.

How Does it Work?

It might seem counterintuitive that adding more fat to your diet can lead to weight loss. Normally, your diet is high in carbs, which are broken down into glucose or blood sugar, for use as energy. As glucose enters your bloodstream, your body releases insulin to store excess glucose as fat. The more carbs, the more glucose. The more glucose, the more insulin, and the more insulin, the more fat.

The keto diet takes advantage of the fact that when your meals are high-fat and low-carb, there is no insulin spike and you don’t add to your fat reserves. As a result, your body breaks down fat from diet and stored fat into ketones. For energy, your body uses ketones to keep it running without increasing blood sugar or putting on excess fat. The benefits of the keto diet can be huge.

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