Ketogenic diet: Eating fat to lose fat
There is a new way to lose weight for those not wanting to go conventional. Ketogenic, the new diet method is said to also address such health related issues as diabetes and high blood pressure. Interestingly, a lot of people have been testifying to its efficacy, claiming they owe their new positive health status to the approach.
Ketogenic is a high fat, moderate protein and very low carbohydrate diet, said to have shown positive results in the management of diabetes, kidney related issues and prevention of heart failure. Keto is not only a diet plan, but is also a lifestyle that uses specific weight loss technique to improve general health and well-being.
A nutritionist, Natachi Ugbajah, said of ketogenic diet: “It is a very low carbs diet that encourages the body to produce needed energy, by burning fat in the body. Also known as low carbs high fat (LFCF) diet, it is a process whereby the body is forced to produce ketones in the liver, which is used as energy. This way, the body gets energy by burning body fat. Daily, you are expected to eat a total of five percent carbohydrate, 20 percent protein and 75 percent fat to maintain the lifestyle.
“The process of producing ketones is known as ketosis and the goal of ketogenic diet is not the starvation of calories like most diet targets, but starvation of carbohydrate.
“Some food items that can be consumed in a ketogenic diet include, meat, leafy greens, above ground vegetables, high fat dairy, nuts, seeds, avocado, berries, such sweeteners as stevia, monk fruit and so on. But there are also some food items high in carbs that cannot be consumed on a ketogenic diet. These are yam, plantain, potato, grain, apple, banana, orange and sugar such as honey and maple syrup, among others.”
She explained that such health condition as high blood pressure is primarily related to the body producing too much insulin. And taking a high carbs diet increases the insulin levels. However, since ketogenic lifestyle reduces the intake of carbohydrate, the insulin level would be low, which would have a lowering effect on high blood pressure.
Mr. Paul Omachanu, who had serious problems with his blood pressure, said he couldn’t solve the problem till his doctor advised that he tried ketogenic lifestyle.
His wife, Mrs. Helen Omachanu said: “My husband has been battling high blood pressure for a while and it has been difficult trying to maintain a certain pressure till our doctor suggested he tried a ketogenic diet. It was not only effective in helping him drop the weight that had proven hard to drop, but it also lowered his blood pressure.”
Ugbajah said: “Since we understand that carbohydrate is the macronutrient that raises blood glucose the most, ketogenic diet seeks to lower the consumption of carbohydrates, while increasing consumption of non-carbohydrates. The blood glucose levels are kept at a low but healthy level, enough to encourage the body to break down fat into the energy fuel source known as ketones.
“This way, the diet does not only help with weight loss, but also reduces blood pressure, triglyceride levels, raises HDL cholesterol level, which is a sign of a good heart health, as well as lowers the body’s demand for insulin, which is beneficial to people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is important to note that before going into the diet, individuals should talk to their doctors, because some precautions need to be taken before starting, as it is a lifestyle and not a quick fix.”
Speaking on the side effects and changes that come with the diet, she explained: “Every change of diet comes with an adaptation period and a few side effects, which might be experienced for a while. Since ketogenic diet forces the body to adapt and switch fuel source from glucose to fat, it is normal to experience a few side effects called ‘keto-flu’, which lasts approximately four weeks.”
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