6 Truths You Should Know Before Starting Keto
The ketogenic diet is super popular nowadays. When I stumbled upon this a few years ago, it seemed too good to be true. I've done a ton of research and self-experimentation ever since and currently adopt this as my way of eating. I do say currently because, while I plan to keep it this way forever, I am very interested in how my body reacts to different macronutrient ratios.
What is a ketogenic diet?
Let's keep this super simple. Ketosis is the process by which the body uses fat for fuel. This fat can come from food you eat or stored body fat (yay!). When you restrict carbs, thereby restricting glucose, ketone bodies are produced in the liver to step in and provide energy for the cells. Being in ketosis is said to be the body's preferred way to get energy to the cells.
Health benefits of a ketogenic diet include:
Blood sugar balance
Improved triglycerides and cholesterol markers
Feeling satiated post-meal
Improvement in mental clarity
Younger, more youthful skin
Helps to "starve" most types of cancer cells of glucose
Improvement in athletic performance
Helps to decrease joint pain
How do you know you're in ketosis?
Nutritional ketosis, a term coined by researchers Volek and Phinney, begins at 0.5 milimolars per deciliter in the blood and can rise from there. The ketosis "sweet spot" lies somewhere between 0.5-3.0 but there is no harm in ketone readings up to 6.0.
This is NOT to be confused with ketoacidosis, which is a rare, fatal condition that can occur in diabetic patients (typically type 1) where ketones spiral into 13.0 or even more.
Testing the blood ketone levels with a glucometer or a breath analyzer are the most reliable ways to determine if this diet is working. However, you could also go by overall feeling. You'll likely notice that you can go for longer periods of time without eating because you're satiated from the last meal. Many people also experience an increase in energy too.
Before you decide to get started on a ketogenic diet, there are some general truths you should know. Check out my awesome infographic: ;)
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