What is the keto diet? From the science to the recipes, here are the facts.
If you’ve heard about friends and celebrities following the keto diet or noticed recipes that are “keto-friendly” but never really knew what that meant, we have you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about a keto diet so that you can decide if it’s right for you.
Why is it Called “Keto”?
What we call the “keto diet” is short for ketogenic – this term is used to describe the diet because of its relationship to a metabolic process called ketogenesis (when the body breaks down fatty acid and produces ketones). The keto diet essentially tries to limit carbs and increase fats so that your body will be in ketosis more often, thus burning through stored fat.
What Does the Keto Diet Look Like?
There are several different keto diets, but the standard formula involves 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbs daily. Many people increase the protein percentage to 30% (and fat down to 60%) for a bit more heft in their diet. Those who are comfortable with the standard keto plan sometimes add additional carbs right around workout times and/or cycle through periods where they increase carbs for a day or two at a time. By and large, when you hear about the keto diet, you can assume that carb consumption is overall very limited (between 20-50 grams per day).
How Does the Keto Diet Work to Lose Weight?
The science behind the keto diet is based on the process of ketogenesis. Usually, your body uses glucose from carbs to produce the majority of its energy and only small amounts of energy come from the breakdown of fatty acids (ketogenesis). When your body is running very low on glucose, however (as it does when you’re on a ketogenic diet), it enters a state of ketosis and begins switching its energy source over to fatty acids. The ketones produced during this process can be used to send energy to organs and the brain. Because a body in ketosis breaks down stores of fat, a ketogenic diet often leads to weight loss.
Are There Other Health Benefits to the Keto Diet?
In addition to weight loss, many people have found other health benefits. Originally developed to…