The Keto Diet (ketogenic diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet. As a diet plan, it shares many of the same foods and drinks as the Atkins diet and other low-carb diets.
What makes a Keto diet different is that it focuses on drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing those carbohydrates with fat. This drastic reduction in carbohydrates puts your body into a metabolic state that is called ketosis.
The point of going into ketosis is to help your body become efficient at burning fat for energy. While this is happening, your body turns the fat into ketones in the liver, supplying energy to the brain. A cautionary note: ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. So while this can be a good thing for some people, it can cause problems for other people.
Why Go Keto?
There are a number of reasons why people go on a ketogenic diet. In most cases, it is to lose weight. In some cases, they are medically supervised and use the ketogenic diet as part of a treatment plan.
1. Weight Loss
Due to lowered insulin levels and the body's ability to burn stored fat, those who adhere to the diet find that they lose weight more quickly than with conventional diets.
2. Cancer Prevention
There are medical studies, such as those conducted by the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa, and the National Institutes of Healthís National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, that are showing good results with the ketogenic diet being an effective treatment for cancer.
3. Lower Cholesterol
A modified ketogenic diet, what might be called a moderately low-carb diet, is beneficial for healthy adults who are at risk for metabolic syndrome, those struggling with losing weight or controlling levels of blood sugar.
4. Improve Cognitive Function
Ketogenic diets are being used to help treat Alzheimer's symptoms and those on the diet have shown a reduction in those symptoms and improved cognitive function.
5. Reduced Seizures in Epileptics
The Epilepsy Foundation endorses the ketogenic diet because it has been shown to help control seizures in some people with epilepsy. Doctors usually recommend the ketogenic diet for children whose seizures have not responded to several different seizure medicines.
As you can see, the ketogenic diet is more than just a low-carb/high-fat diet to lose weight. It is being studied and used now as a part of the treatment of many different diseases.