The premise of the ‘Keto’ diet is to force the body into a state of ketosis, this is where the body burns fat as its main energy source instead of carbohydrates. In order for this to work, in relation to macro-nutrients, you must consume an adequate amount of protein, very few carbs (nothing more than 50g/day), and an above average amount of fat. Alongside the changes in the proportions of your macronutrients, calorie deficit must be achieved, this is a key principle with almost all diets, whereby a person must burn more calories than they consume in a given day to lose weight. The vast majority of daily calorie intake will come from fats and protein, both of which are extremely filling. By removing refined sugars and simple carbohydrates from your diet, you’ll find that your desired keto calorie intake will be sufficient to fill you up.
The reason why carbohydrates are not endorsed in the keto diet is that when carbohydrates are consumed, blood-glucose levels rise significantly. This causes a correspondingly rapid insulin response from the pancreatic gland. The insulin disperses excess blood glucose, which causes hunger pangs and sugar cravings all over again. By eating a low carbohydrate diet, blood sugar levels are kept low and steady, and consequently, carb-induced hunger spikes are avoided. Reducing insulin levels is crucial to the success of any diet, as insulin is the hormone which instructs our bodies to store fat. The success of a keto diet relies on the monitoring of macronutrient ratios. Carbohydrate intake should generally be limited to less than 50 grams per day. When starting keto, many recommend limiting carbohydrates to 20 grams per day, as being strict initially will make sure the body enters ketosis faster. This will allow your body to become more accustomed to the lack of carbohydrate in the body.
In terms of application, away from just losing weight, a ‘low carb high fat’ (LCHF) diet is recommended by the NHS to help combat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This is a stark contrast from the advice of previous decades that suggested that high levels of fat were a primary dietary concern for those with diabetes. Furthermore, Diabetes UK has suggested that a Keto diet, and avoiding carbohydrates is better “for blood glucose control”. Away from simply being a diet to help treat diabetes, Keto is also used at Great Ormond Street Hospital as a therapeutic diet to help control epilepsy in children.
The keto diet has clear and obvious health benefits. The ability to lose excess weight and remove refined sugars from your diet reduces the risk of diabetes and many other illnesses. At Healthy Nibbles we have recognised this and are pioneering a brand new Keto snack box for those using this diet, for more information please see our contact us section.
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