Have you ever heard of the keto diet or a zero-carb diet? Having experienced a major boom in the United States in recent years, it has taken the rest of the world by storm.
At first it was controversial due to its different approach to the diet, then it was able to convince more than one by its effectiveness. In fact, if the first reaction to losing extra pounds is to eat less fat, the zero-carb diet approach is the opposite of that theory. According to the pioneers of this original method, on the contrary, it will be necessary to eat more fat, while avoiding carbohydrates, to lose weight. How is this possible, and what are the other potential benefits of a ketogenic diet?
What is the keto diet?
The keto diet is also called the “keto diet,” and it has actually been around since 1920. It should be noted that originally, it was practiced for purposes other than those we know today. In fact, the “keto diet” was initially thought to treat epilepsy and other neurological diseases. Now it is mentioned a lot when it comes to losing weight.
You should know that keto comes from the word “ketogenic” which refers to the fact that the body uses fats as an energy source instead of the glucose found in carbohydrates. Therefore, it mainly depends on the consumption of fatty foods at the expense of carbohydrates, to burn fats stored in cells and thus lose weight.
The ketogenic diet differs from the low-carb diet in that it places particular emphasis on restricting these macronutrients. It guarantees those who indulge in it many advantages, not least. But before mentioning the benefits, remember that there are also side effects. The Sagesessesanté website lists 4 risks to this diet, and it’s important to keep them in mind before and after starting the ketogenic diet.
When should you consider a carb-free diet?
A ketogenic diet may be considered if your body mass index (BMI) is above normal. As a reminder, a normal BMI value (which is equal to the ratio of weight squared to height) is between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m2. In other words, once your BMI is greater than or equal to 30 kg/m2, you should consider Follow a ketogenic diet to regain a healthy weight while protecting yourself from the medical repercussions of being overweight and obese.
How it works ? The ketogenic diet is designed based on nutritional needs and how the body absorbs nutrients. Normally, the human body withdraws carbohydrates, glucose that it needs to produce energy … But in case of a deficiency, it can also extract this energy from fats, which are part of the body’s main energy reserves.
Why follow the keto diet?
By drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing fat intake, the body is forced to use fat for energy, rather than storing it. The body thus “burns” more fat, via the liver, converting fats into ketone bodies that can serve as energy substrates for cells. Prolonged use of ketone bodies as the main source of energy leads to a state called ketosis, during which the body is primarily carbohydrated with fats that it also derives from adipose tissue. The resulting lipolysis aids rapid and permanent weight loss.
The ketogenic diet is more effective for weight loss than the fatty foods it is suggested to consume (salmon, herring, trout, mackerel, organic butter and other foods rich in omega-3). These foods inhibit the production of ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone. At the same time, the keto diet stimulates the production of leptin, the hormone that regulates feelings of fullness. All this contributes to a significant and lasting weight loss: it is already possible to lose up to 12 kilograms in the first 12 weeks!
However, as Boris Hansel, an endocrinologist and nutritionist at Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP), explains, stopping the diet and regaining weight is problematic.
In addition, omega-3 fatty acids contribute to the proper functioning of the heart, nervous system and intestines. The keto diet actually improves cognitive functions, facilitating the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Another major benefit of the keto diet is that it improves blood sugar regulation, thus reducing the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. In the brain!
However, a carbohydrate-free diet is not suitable for everyone. Since these nutrients are essential for recovery after physical exertion, the ketogenic diet is not suitable for athletes or people who engage in sustained physical activity on a daily basis.