So the hot topic that we've been getting asked a lot about this week is ketogenic or keto diets (or I like to call it - nutrition plan).
A keto nutrition plan is well known for being low carb, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. It's referred to as many different names – ketogenic diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF), etc.
When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin. Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so it will be chosen over any other energy source.
Since the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed and are therefore stored. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis.
The end goal of a properly maintained keto program is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don't do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates.
Optimal ketone levels offer many benefits which I will briefly explain.
Because The ketogenic plan essentially uses your body fat as an energy source – there are obvious fat and weight loss benefits. On keto, your insulin (the fat storing hormone) levels drop greatly which turns your body into a fat burning machine. Scientifically, the ketogenic diet has shown better results compared to low-fat and high-carb diets; even in the long term.
Many people use the ketogenic diet specifically for the increased mental performance. Ketones are a great source of fuel for the brain. When you lower carb intake, you avoid big spikes in blood sugar. Together, this can result in improved focus and concentration.
Keto naturally lowers blood sugar levels due to the type of foods you eat. Studies even show that the ketogenic diet is a more effective way to manage and prevent diabetes compared to low-calorie diets.
By giving your body a better and more reliable energy source, you will feel more energized during the day. Fats are shown to be the most effective molecule to burn as fuel.
On top of that, fat is naturally more satisfying and ends up leaving us in a satiated ("full") state for longer.
Examples of keto friendly foods
Now that's just a brief overview on keto and there are tons of online resources out there if you are interested in learning more. You can also reach out to me or one of our co-hosts Marc Marty who follows a ketogenic nutrition plan.