Introduction to Keto Diet
Growing awareness about health and fitness has led people to stay informed about what actually happens inside their bodies, and how they can keep themselves healthy yet energetic while taking a balanced diet with optimal levels of calories
Understanding Calorie – a basic unit of Body Energy
What is a Calorie? This question is so crucial to an understanding before starting any diet plan. A calorie is a unit of Energy, the energy produced by our body in an exothermic reaction caused by oxidation of food inside the body cells.
Components of Food
This is very important to know that all the foods we take inside have six basic components to provide nutrition to our body. According to their sizes, role in diet and mechanism of absorption, these six components are grouped into two; macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients. Macro-nutrients include Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fats (to be digested and made absorb-able into the intestine) whereas micro-nutrients include Water, Minerals, and Vitamins (absorbed into the intestine quickly).
Carbohydrate is the most effective of the macro nutrients quickly split into absorb-able form (glucose) to provide energy (calorie), whereas Proteins and Fats get a space as the reserved food even after splitting down into their absorb-able fractions (Amino acids and fatty acids respectively). Importantly, Carbohydrate, being the easiest and quickest source of energy, is considered as the natural and aligned with body’s regular metabolism but it usually results in weight gain, especially if a regular diet does not include a balanced proportion of Protein and Fats.
Proteins and Fats:
Proteins and Fats, although may provide an alternate source of calories, also result in some adverse effects on the body. Hence, while choosing a diet plan comprising low carbohydrate diet one should consult a physician and follow the instructions to stick with such a calorie-conscious diet and avoid adverse or side effects.
It can be seen in a normal body metabolism that when we eat a carbohydrate-rich diet, our body start metabolizes it with the help of micro-nutrients; Water, Minerals and Vitamin, converting into glucose (a process known as Glycolysis or break down of glucose) and thus provide optimum energy required by the body, while excess of the food components like proteins and fats get stored to be used in a state when body is starving or fasting or if the carbohydrate components were low in the diet taken.
These stored food components get channelized and start converting into glucose-like components (this process is known as Gluconeogenesis or the formation of a glucose molecule in the liver other than carbohydrates). During this process, some other chemical compounds are released which may impact adversely to the body such. It can be observed that If we do not take our meal on time when our body is demanding, we start feeling lethargic or lazy. This is because of accumulation of acids produced during the process of Gluconeogenesis. When we get over exhausted or during/after a long walk, our legs start paining reflecting the sign of heavy accumulation of lactic acid inside our feet.
There a number of diet plans, that again, should be followed under the supervision of a physician. One of them is Keto Diet. The other known names for that are ketogenic diet, low carbohydrate high fat, or simply low carb diet etc.
In this plan, the body is forced to burn fats instead of carbohydrates, during this process Ketone bodies are formed which include three water-soluble compounds, β-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone.
Some of the adverse effects or side effects for this diet plan include Keto Flu (one of the most common Ketogenic diet side effects) Dizziness & Drowsiness, Sleep Problems, Heart Palpitations, Frequent Urination, Diarrhea, Muscle Cramps. By maintaining proper hydration (excessive intake of water) & Mineral Balance may reduce the impact and help in preventing from such side effects.