By Yajen Tan
The ketogenic diet is the diet that everyone seems to be talking about nowadays, but unlike many of its questionable predecessors, the ketogenic diet is actually starting to show more and more promise in the respects of weight loss and cognitive function. With there being a bit of speculation still on the long term effects of the ketogenic diet, I urge you to please consult a medical professional before attempting the ketogenic, or any other, diet program.
To summarize what the ketogenic diet is – it is a diet where you shift your primary energy food source from carbohydrates to fats. This is done by limiting your overall daily caloric intake of carbohydrates to around 5-10%, while allowing your fat consumption increase to 70-80% of your total caloric intake. By reducing your carbohydrate intake, your body is forced into metabolizing fat cells for energy. It does this by breaking fat cells down into ketones bodies, which act as a fundamental source of fuel to your muscles and your brain. But why would you want to switch your body’s fuel source?
It has been proven that the ketogenic diet plays an enormous role in helping with weight loss, and additionally, we may start seeing more results in its use against various heart conditions, brain conditions, and even certain cancers. From a physical standpoint, the ketogenic diet is claimed to provide a very consistent source of energy, unlike a carbohydrate-dominant diet that occasionally results in crashes when your glucose levels are depleted.
When trying out the ketogenic diet for the first time, you must first allow your body time to adapt to ketosis. These early stages can often feel very uncomfortable and even induce flu-like symptoms while your body gets used to breaking down fat cells and consuming ketone bodies. Once your body becomes better adapted to functioning in ketosis, you are able to maintain all the benefits as long as your diet remains within the program boundaries.
Many risks of the ketogenic diet show up in people with existing conditions, and additional risks can present themselves if you attempt the diet without proper planning. Although I am personally very excited to see the research that is produced on the long-term results of the ketogenic diet, I highly recommend that you consult a medical professional before you decide to pursue the diet on your own.