A keto diet, also known as a ketogenic diet or low carb diet, is a diet surprisingly low in carbs, about 25 grams of carbs per day to be more specific. Compare that to the average diet if 300 grams of carbs and you’ll understand why it’s so low! Then where, you might ask, will you get the rest of the calories you were once getting from carbs? Healthy fats!

When your body processes carbohydrates, they’re broken down into glucose, a sugar, which is then released into the body for processing. This glucose actually spikes blood glucose, which in turn causes the body to release insulin to bring the levels back down to normal. That spike and drop are usually the causes of spikes and crashes of energy throughout your day. After many years of the standard high carb diet, many people start gaining weight and eventually develop an insulin tolerance. This leads to prediabetes, types 2 diabetes (that’s why it’s called adult onset diabetes), inflammation, cardiovascular disease and much more.

In recent years, the ketogenic diet has been studied more in depth and many discoveries have come to light. One of the most being that our bodies do not necessarily need to run on glucose. When eating a high fat, low carb diet, the body breaks the fat down into ketones, which are then used for energy by our cells. This metabolic state is called ketosis (thus the name of the diet). In ketosis, there are no spikes of glucose and thus no spikes of insulin. This is also important for weight loss because insulin is a catalyst for fat storage and when its levels are constantly high, like for people eating high carb diets, there is a lot of fat being put away. On a keto diet, this process does not happen the same way. You can learn more details and read about the supporting research in this keto guide.

Losing weight on a keto diet is easier than a high carb diet because the body is already used to burning fat for energy so when eating at a caloric deficit (less calories a day than your body burns a day), the rate of fat burning is higher as it switches to stored fat more readily than on a high carb diet while at a caloric deficit. On a high carb diet, the body will actually start breaking down muscle cells for energy before turning to fat stored cells as it’s easier for it to do.

A huge benefit of a low carb diet is the daily energy levels. Because fat does not cause blood glucose spikes and eventually crashes, there is no fluctuation in energy. The energy levels are maintained at a consistent high point throughout the day. This also happens because fat provides more than double the energy carbohydrates due. Each gram of fat provides 9 calories of energy while each gram of carbohydrates provides only 4 calories of energy. This speaks to why the body stores fat for energy – it’s efficient and much better for energy in the hard times of the caveman days!

As research continues to emerge, many countries are starting to adopt the low carb, high fat diet as a national guideline. The ketogenic diet produces very good results when followed consistently. When first starting, be sure to read nutritional labels and look up nutritional values of the food you eat to avoid hidden sugars and carbs. With the keto diet, you’ll feel and look better in no time!

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