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Keto & Low Carb diets demystified

Lets start with the Keto diet; Short for “ketogenic diet,” this eating plan is all about minimizing your carbs and upping your fats to get your body to use of fat as a form of energy.

After about two to seven days of following this eating routine, you go into something called ketosis, or the state your body enters when it doesn't have enough carbs for your cells to use for energy. Then it starts making ketones, or organic compounds that your body then uses in place of those missing carbs—and, it burns fat for more energy.

Keto was designed to help people who suffer from seizure disorders—not to help people lose weight, in 1971, Peter Huttenlocher devised a ketogenic diet where 60% of the calories came from MCT oil, which allowed more protein and carbohydrates to be included compared with the original ketogenic diet, meaning parents could prepare more enjoyable meals for their children with epilepsy. Ketones and another chemical produced by the diet, called decanoic acid, may help minimize seizures.

But people who started following the keto diet noticed weight loss for a few reasons: When you eat carbs, your body retains fluid in order to store carbs for energy. But when you’re not having much in the carb department, you lose this water weight. Also, it's easy to go overboard on carbohydrates—but if you're loading up on fat, it may help curb cravings since it keeps you satisfied.

That, plus the fact that ketosis encourages your body to burn fat, means you can end up with pretty dramatic weight loss.

The keto diet took off because its 'rules' make sense to most people. Almost all of us want to lose some fat from somewhere on our body, and this diet focuses on fat as fuel.

Contrast that with low carb diets;

Currently, there is no agreement about the definition of a low-carb diet - but, anything providing less than 130g/day of a 2000kcal diet (26 per cent of energy) is considered 'low-carb'. Anything less than 30g/day of 2000kcal diet (6 per cent energy) is considered very low-carbohydrate ketogenic, as above.

If you decide to follow a low-carb diet, it's important that the carbohydrates you do choose support a healthy, balanced diet. You should include fruits and vegetables, beans and pulses, dairy and wholegrains. Cutting down on refined carbohydrates, added sugar, cakes, biscuits and sugary drinks etc is a good way to reduce your carbohydrate intake. Some people suggest replacing carbohydrates with fats (and particularly saturated fat), however this will increase your risk of heart disease and may make it more difficult to lose weight as fat is high in calories.

Typically what we think of with this diet is excluding foods like bread, pastries, pastas, rice, starchy potatoes, cakes and such like as above.

There's obviously a lot more we could say, but we hope this gives a bit of an explanation of both for you!

What these 'diets' do do that make them successful, is put you in to a calorie deficit!

Feel free to chat to us if you'd like more information, or to chat about your healthy eating plan!


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