You might have heard the term keto being thrown around in wellness circles for a couple of years now. You might have even heard that keto can be used for weight loss, and maybe something about bad breath… But what is keto all about really, and perhaps more importantly, should you give it a try?
In this special three-part series, we dive into the whats, whys and hows of the keto diet. First up, let’s discuss what a keto actually is.
How does the keto diet work?
The aim of the keto game is to induce a state of ketosis in the body by eating significantly less carbohydrates and significantly more fat.
Ketosis is a regular metabolic process that occurs when you don’t have enough carbs in your system to burn for energy. The body turns to fat sources to make ketone bodies (or ketones), which it can use for fuel instead.
Now, the more fat your body burns, the more efficient it gets at doing it. This means it becomes easier to access your fat stores to burn them off, too.
It’s important to note here that the science is still pretty young and most experts agree more long term studies are needed.
But from what we know so far, a keto diet is a pretty effective weight loss tool in the short term. It may also help you feel fuller for longer, provide a more steady energy supply and even improve your focus. Other studies have shown that carb-restrictive diets can help to reverse type 2 diabetes.
Is the keto diet safe?
If you’re healthy, a keto diet done right (that is, with a focus on real food and lots of low-carb veggies) is generally pretty safe to try.
However, if you have a pre-existing health condition or you’re pregnant, it could put unnecessary strain on the body – especially the liver and the kidneys. It also poses a risk to anyone on diabetes medication, which will likely need to be adjusted by your doctor.
We suggest talking to your healthcare professional before making major changes to your diet. Next time, we’ll delve at the potential health benefits and side effects of keto.
Watch this space!