The Keto way: The new way of life

The Asian Age.  | Puneet Kaur

Life, Food

The Keto Diet or Ketogenic Diet accounts to be the latest trend that is being followed by many fitness freaks.

Originally, keto diet was created in the early 1920s to deal with the incurable diseases in children like epilepsy and seizures and not for weight loss.

Our Health is the most important aspect of our lives. Everyone wants to live a long and healthy life, and with increased awareness along with creation of new innovative ideas of remaining fit, the Keto Diet or Ketogenic Diet accounts to be the latest trend being followed by many fitness freaks. In a good way or a bad way, Keto Diet has become the most discussed topic when it comes to the fitness regime of any person be it obese, fit or an ill person. So the question is what is keto diet? Ketogenic Diet also called atkins diet is a high-fat and low-carbohydrate diet that forces body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates for the energy required by the body to function. Originally, ketogenic diet was created in the early 1920s to deal with the incurable  diseases in children like epilepsy and seizures and not for weight loss. Not just epilepsy, keto diet helps in treating many diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, metabolism syndrome and it also increases the HDL, the good cholesterol. Along with weight loss, keto diet helps in increasing happiness, energy, concentration and zest for life. It reduces anxiety and depression. In this diet, foods with high carbohydrates like sugar, grains- wheat, rice, bread, processed foods, fruits- bananas, apples, oranges, pears  are all replaced with foods with low-carbs and higher percentage of fats and proteins like cauliflower, bell peppers, spinach, zucchini, eggs, cheese.

So the next question is how does keto diet work?
the body once fed on a keto diet goes through a process called ketosis. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. Our body derives energy from glucose that we get from carbohydrates but in the absence of glucose due to negligible intake of carbs, our body starts burning fats. This results in building-up of acids called ketones in the body.  Ketones provide an immediate source of energy to the brain and are also metabolized faster than glucose. This also helps in healing depression. High carbs cause regular spikes in our blood levels just as quick declines so when the energy crashes our brain starts panicking that it may not get any fuel to function and this causes depression and anxiety- people are called hangry for a reason. But ketones offer more long-lasting and stable source of energy and since your body knows how to reach out stored fat for fuel, the brain doesn’t panic, thinking it is running out of food.

Karishma Boolani, a well known sports scientist explains the pros of keto diet, “The ketogenic diet is the latest fad and when you understand the science, all you are doing is switching physiology from a carbohydrate burning machine to a fat burning machine. Which is great, but almost everyone is getting it wrong. The key that switches metabolism is low carbohydrates. But what people don’t understand is that one can keep their carbs low by eating cardboard all day- Cardboard has no carbs. Their body will go into ketosis, and will burn fat. But they will make my body sick, unhealthy and weak. There is a clean way to get into ketosis- fuelled with the right nutrition, the correct understanding of science, the correct ingredients and the correct relationship with your food.  And we provide the correct guidance on keto diet through our research at my food lab- Humanics food lab.”

Like advantages , Keto Diet has it’s disadvantages as well. It is recommended by the doctors that keto diet should be followed for a short term and not for a long term, since it causes harm to the body. “What people don’t understand is that they are going against the nature. When their body is programmed to burn glucose for energy, they are shifting to ketones or fats for energy. I don’t recommend this diet for more than fifteen days since after that the cholesterol levels start increasing. Be it the good cholesterol or bad, higher levels are not healthy. In the initial days, keto diet shows impressive results but after a while it starts hampering the body and the health.  

And currently keto has become so popular that there are some restaurants that are only offering keto diet food. People don’t want to compromise on their tastes and the internet is full of various recipes like keto pizza, burgers etc. They use cauliflower and almond flour so it has become very easy for the people to follow it. Earlier there were limited options.” says Rishab Bhandari, a dietician and owner of the gym Muscle Up.