What is “Keto Diet”?
A keto diet plan is a diet that includes “Adequate Fat and Protein with Minimal Carbohydrates food sources”. In Keto diet, Your body undergoes a process, “Ketosis” only when the consumption of carbohydrate or the external glucose is minimal usually less than 30 grams per day. The production of ketone takes place majorly by Liver. We get energy from ketones. We all know and study that glucose gives us energy. Glucose is converted into ATP (Adenosine Tri Phosphate) which is the energy currency of our cells or body. Similarly, Ketones get converted into ATP to provide us energy.
In this blog, I will express my knowledge and thoughts about Keto Diet Plan. A large part of Indian Population is becoming particular about staying in shape and thus follow the food trends religiously. But this is also not false that our society is a place where everyone wants to show off. People show of how good they look, how they maintain their figure, how they have all the knowledge about the latest food trends whether it is intermittent fasting or the keto diet.
The term “Keto Diet” is not appropriate. In fact, we should not give name to any diets. viz. Paleo diet, Mediterranean diet, Vegan diet etc. Eating is not a fashion or culture. It is a biological behaviour that has changed over a period of time into a fashion. This happened due to the culture, geographical locations and types of hybrid food available in the market these days.
In ancient times, whether it was north pole or equator of the earth, everybody consumed the same food. But with the current nutrition trends in the market, the simplicity of food is lost somewhere.
Keto diet, its Definition and Assessment
Generally, a keto diet plan includes “High Fat, Moderate Protein and Very Less Carbohydrate”. Is this statement correct?
Can you eat Fat in excess? Should you eat Protein in “Moderation”? We all know excess of anything is bad. To give an example, our atmosphere consists of 21% oxygen. But initially, earth’s atmosphere had larger portion of oxygen. You must be thinking that it is good to have more oxygen. But this made our atmosphere highly flammable leading to destruction. In the same manner if we are eating something in excess, it will definitely create many problems inside our body.
We can never eat high fat as it is very dense. If I give you tasty butter or ghee to eat, can you have it in excess? You cannot especially when you are eating it all alone. You will stop once your body receives adequate sources of fat. But upon combining carbohydrates with Fats, eg. Roti with ghee or bread with butter, your hormones fail in giving you signals to stop eating.
You can eat as many ghee roti as much you want as it is addictive.
Bread and Roti being carbohydrates create trouble, not the butter and ghee!!! But we always blame butter and ghee to be the culprit for fat gain.
Ghee is absolutely fine and very healthy but Ghee with Roti is not good for health.
Now same goes for “Protein”! Should we eat protein in moderate quantity? Well, I have already explained in my article, “Importance of Protein and Amino Acids” and “Know about Good Fat vs Bad Fats”, how important protein and fat are.
Our cells consist of 50% of protein and 47% – 49% of fat. As per the physiology, we must eat food rich in proteins and fats. Now, you tend to eat protein food sources such as chicken, whole egg, paneer etc. in adequate quantity. But when you combine chicken with rice, eggs with bread or paneer with roti, then it creates an issue. It becomes difficult to stop yourself from eating in excess. The presence of carbohydrates will always create a problem leading to Fat Gain.
Do we need carbohydrates or glucose?
Our body does not need carbohydrates, but glucose is extremely crucial for our cells in order to produce energy. Our organs have the ability to make glucose on their own by using fat. But continuous intake of carbohydrates or glucose from outside has led to non-functioning of our cells. Utilization of fats cannot take place due to which it gets stored inside our body.
This further leads to gaining fat & becoming obese. Carbohydrates have many names such as starch, fiber, glucose, sugars and saccharides. Pulses, wheat, rice, biscuits, chocolate, cornflakes, oatmeal, vermicelli, baked goods, confectionery, snacks, chips, fruits, soft drinks, juices, oats, bread, muesli, cakes are some of the examples of carbohydrates.
Final Assessment of Keto Diet Definition:
Generally, a keto diet includes “High Fat, Moderate Protein and Very Less Carbohydrate”. Technically, it should be adequate fat and not high fat. It must be adequate protein and not moderate. Very less Carbohydrate must be changed to less than 30 gm of carbohydrates per day as ketosis is observed under this level.
In Keto Diet, your body undergoes a process, “ketosis” only when the consumption of carbohydrate is minimal usually less than 30 grams per day. But this is also true that we all have different genetics and lifestyle. If my body shows ketosis on less than 30 grams per day, it may be possible that your body can show ketosis on 70 gram per day. So it depends. You can perform different tests to detect if your body is on ketosis or not. I will discuss about the testing of different ketones in my upcoming blogs.
The main purpose of “Keto Diet” is to burn fats instead of carbohydrates for fuel. So, the production of ketones will take place inside the body.
What is a ketone?
We get energy from ketones and they are the energy compounds. We all know and study that glucose gives us energy. Glucose is converted into ATP (Adenosine Tri Phosphate) which is the energy currency of our cells or body. Similarly, Ketones get converted into ATP to provide us energy.
You must learn that apart from glucose there is one more compound which can give you energy that is ketone. Ketones are much more efficient in terms of providing energy to our body. There is a myth that our brain cannot run or work without glucose. This statement is not true as you will not find even single research proving that our brain runs on glucose.
Our brain will utilise glucose when it is the only fuel available in the body. Once you bring changes in your diet, our brain and whole body would prefer to use ketones over glucose for functioning. It is the most efficient energy compound.
“Keto Diet” is not at all appropriate:
For me, this term, “Keto Diet” is not at all appropriate because this overshadows the importance of glucose. When we speak about keto diet, we focus on the ketones production which is correct. But what about glucose, isn’t it essential?
We must never forget that glucose is extremely crucial for the survival. Without glucose, we cannot perform explosive activities. In fact, glucose is important for our red blood cells as they cannot use any other fuel for energy apart from glucose.
Without glucose one cannot live but here is a catch! Glucose must not be taken from the external source. It should be made by and inside our body. This capability of our body is unknown to people because of such diet names like “Keto Diet”.
When you follow “Keto Diet”, apart from the production of precious ketones, our body also does internal production of glucose from glycerol molecule. This process is known as Gluconeogenesis. This is our cells’ unheard superpower
Is Keto diet Beneficial?
This diet is beneficial but here I am not referring to keto diet. I am just mentioning the way of eating. As I said a keto diet includes “high fat, moderate protein and very less carbohydrate”. In reality it must be “Adequate fat and protein with minimal carbohydrates (between 30 to 50 gm)!” for all.
Adequate means Protein and fat must be consumed as per the body’s requirement and as per the hunger. Start listening to your body! It is a fantastic machine which gives you indication whenever hungry or satisfied with food. But you tend to ignore your body signals and carry on with nonstop eating due to addictive carbohydrates included in the diet. It will take time for you to understand your hunger. Provide your body the right fuel and enjoy its performance.
We should not consider it a diet because that creates a mental block. It becomes difficult for people to follow. We should take it as a lifestyle adapting to our daily habits. if you still want to give it a name, “Ketoglucogenic diet” will be the best suited title because our body is producing glucose along with ketones.
Many people have questions in their mind. What is keto diet, keto diet plan, keto diet for weight loss, keto diet plan for beginners, benefits of keto diet? I hope this blog will help you to choose your food in a right way! Eat protein and fat dominating food sources as per your hunger. Addition of carbohydrates must be between 30 to 50 gm per day.