Eating fats to get slim? Yes, this may seem contrary to our beliefs but this is what a keto diet does! To understand why and how a ketogenic diet works, let’s have a glance at it comprehensively.
Ketogenic Diet or Keto diet is high fat and very low carb diet with a moderate amount of proteins. 75% of the calories come from fat, 20% are from proteins and only 5% of the total calories are supplied by carbohydrates. Through this proportion of macronutrients, the primary fuel source is shifted from carbs to fats. This results in the changing of metabolic pathways and oxidation of fats occur, producing ketone bodies that act as a fuel source instead of glucose. The existing fats are used up, providing a quick weight loss solution.
BUT AREN’T FATS BAD?
Yes and no! There are good as well as bad fats depending on the source and mechanism of cooking or processing. Fats like Saturated fats, Trans fats found in junk foods, deep-fried products, vanaspati are bad for our health whereas good fats like Unsaturated fats, PUFA, MUFA, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, MCTs, etc., found in walnuts, flax seeds, fatty fish oils, rice bran oil, etc., are extremely beneficial for our health.
WHY REDUCE CARBS?
Our staple food undoubtedly is carb-based, primarily rice or wheat. But excess carb intake does our body more harm than good. Carbohydrates provide us readily available energy in the form of glucose but the excess of it which isn’t used up is converted into fats and stored in adipose tissues. This is the fat you see as your bulged belly. It is extremely difficult to lose.
HOW DOES INCREASING FAT HELP?
When carb supply is less, fats become the primary source of fuel. The excess reserves of fat cannot be excreted out and can be reduced by oxidation of fats, which occurs when there is insufficient intake of calories. The body goes into ketosis producing ketone bodies and replaces glucose as a primary energy source. Fats also increase satiety value which makes you feel full (and happy too!) and prevents you from overeating. Fats provide 9 kcal per gram as compared to carb providing 4 kcal per gram, so you meet your energy demand without overeating.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT KETOSIS!
Ketosis occurs when your body has less than 100g of carbohydrate supply. For fats to be metabolized it needs to be oxidized (beta-oxidation of fats) and is linked to carbohydrate metabolic pathway. With carb supply less, oxidation of fats occurs in a different pathway producing intermediary products called ketone bodies (Acetone, Acetoacetic acid, and β-hydroxybutyric acid). These ketones have tons of activities other than just supplying energy. They suppress Ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and increase Cholecystokinin (CCK) which tells the body you are full.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A KETO DIET PLAN?
- Aid in quick weight loss
- Improves mood
- Helps in better sleep
- Enhanced focus
- Slows aging
- Includes palatable foods
- Prevents overeating
- Reaches satiety quicker
- Increases energy efficiently
- Reduces insulin load and blood triglycerides, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes and coronary heart diseases
- Increases good cholesterol HDL which protects the heart
- Can indulge in extra cheese or your favorite dessert without feeling guilty!