by Katie Caldesi
Keto is short for “ketogenic”. Ketosis is a metabolic state that means you burn fat as a fuel rather than glucose. Burning up your dietary fat and your own fat stores is what you want to be doing to lose weight. Ketogenic diets can help to stabilise your blood glucose and therefore insulin levels.
It is a steady source of energy as long as you have the fat to burn without the common peaks and troughs of blood sugar highs and lows. This in turn can result in appetite reduction so you feel the need to eat less too.
You can get into ketosis by fasting or by eating a ketogenic diet which is low in carbohydrate and high in healthy fats with a moderate amount of protein. Some people can find that if they eat large amounts of protein it is converted into glucose and raise blood sugar levels which is what you are trying to avoid. The keto diet is approximately 60 to 80% fat, 20 to 30% protein and 5 – 10% carbs.
There is no set amount of carbs you should consume per day on a ketogenic diet but most experts agree it should be under 30g net carb, net carbs are the total carbs in grams minus the insoluble fibre in grams. If you think the average person consumes around 250g net carbs a day on the modern western diet you can see this is a dramatic change in what to eat. To put this in perspective a medium sized croissant for example contains at least 20g net carbs.
What are ketones?
When your body is in ketosis the liver turns fat into ketones (fuel molecules) which supply energy for the brain and body. Many people, including Giancarlo, report feeling more mentally aware when they are in ketosis – it is the opposite of the “carb comas” he used to have after eating huge bowls of pasta when he fell asleep at the table!
To see at a glance the carbs in popular foods below:-
What is keto or low-carb flu? by Jenny Phillips
When your carbohydrate intake is reduced, as it is when you switch to a low-carb diet, more of your energy is provided from fat. This is a perfectly normal process, and once you have adapted, you should find that your cravings for sweet and starchy foods are reduced, and that you feel more energized. In the first few days though, while your body adjusts, you may feel slightly light-headed and woozy, particularly when standing up from a sitting position.
One reason for this is that high insulin levels retain sodium via the kidneys. Once your insulin levels drop, then initially you lose both sodium and water; subsequently you may take more frequent trips to the bathroom. Drink more water to counter this, and add a sprinkle of natural salt (Himalayan, rock or sea salt) to your food.
The loss of sodium can also reduce your blood pressure naturally. If you are on hypertensive medication it may be a good idea to monitor your blood pressure. This sometimes has to be adjusted by your healthcare practitioner and so it is essential to discuss any dietary changes with them in advance.
Alternative theory : about 25% of people who try a keto diet experience these symptoms, with fatigue being the most common. “That happens because your body runs out of sugar to burn for energy, and it has to start using fat…That transition alone is enough to make your body feel tired for a few days.”
The information we have collated on this page is advisory only and is based on differing levels of research. LowCarbTogether.com provide this resource for information purposes and does not in any way endorse any third party statements. Remember if you are taking including medication (including diabetes medicine), have high blood pressure, have been diagnosed with a specific illness, pregnant or breast feeding. always check with your healthcare professional before changing your diet.