What Is The Keto Diet?

The Keto Diet

A keto, or ketogenic, diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. Many people have experienced many different health benefits when they eat this way and it may have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

Although there are definite differences, a keto diet shares similarities with the Atkins, South Beach and other low-carb diets and eating programs. One of the key principles to the keto diet is that replacing carbohydrates with fat and an overall reduction in calories, puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When a body is in a state of ketosis it becomes much more efficient at burning fat for energy. As well, it turns fat into ketones in the liver which are sent into the bloodstream where muscles and other tissues can use them for fuel. A keto diet often leads to reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels which can also be beneficial to a person’s health.

Different Keto Diets

The earliest published ketogenic diets were as diet therapy for children with epilepsy in the 1920s. Even though almost half the children and young people with epilepsy who tried this diet had a decrease in the number of seizure episodes, its popularity started to wane when anticonvulsant medications were developed in the following decades. There was a resurgence of interest in a ketogenic diet in the mid 1990s when the Hollywood producer, Jim Abraham, whose son’s severe epilepsy was effectively controlled by the diet, created the Charlie Foundation to promote it. After the foundation sponsored a multicentre research study, it announced a renewed scientific interest in the diet in 1996.

Over the years and with different intentions as a goal, different variations of ketogenic diets have been published and marketed for a variety of benefits. Some of the more common ketogenic diets that people follow in the U.S. include:

Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD)

This is probably the more popular and better known of the keto diets. It is a very low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat diet. A goal of this diet is for your daily caloric intake to contain 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbs.

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD)

This diet follows a keto diet the majority of the time with a period of carb refeeding. Different people use different ratios but it is common for people who are doing this diet to eat strict keto for five days, followed by two high carb days. Keep in mind though that “high carb” is not going to mean processed foods such as most breads and pastas, nor will it include foods high in sugar, etc. 

Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD)

This diet allows you to eat carbs around workouts.

High-Protein Ketogenic Diet (HPKD) Is

This is similar to a standard keto diet but the proportions of fat, protein and carbs intake are slightly different. People usually try to keep their ratio at 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.

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