So, what is Keto? Keto means “ketone bodies” in Greek and is the recommended diet for long-term weight loss. The ketone bodies found in the human body are made from fatty acids extracted from ketones. This is why the ketones are often called ketones. Ketones are produced when the human body is in a state of starvation.
The Keto diet is a special high-fiber, low-fat, sufficient-energy diet which in medical practice is commonly used to treat epileptic children. The diet causes the body to use up fats instead of glucose. A recent study by Amidor says that the ketones in the human body can be used to treat type II diabetes. The study looked at two groups of mice – one group that was fed on a high-calorie diet (Ketone) and one group that were fed on a normal diet (control). The control group ate normal foods as usual but the other group ate the same amount of fat-rich food as the ketone-fed mice but had no ketones in their systems.
After five weeks, the results were remarkable: the mice that ate the fat-rich food had lost more body weight than the controls. Interestingly, the ketones didn’t seem to have any effect on the glucose levels in their systems – they didn’t raise or lower them at all. The reason this study showed this is because the ketones apparently made the mice obese rather than fat. The mice on the Ketone diet also seemed to have a longer lifespan. When given the choice between eating fat-rich or control meals, the mice chose the latter by far. This study strongly suggests that the ketones can have a long-lasting beneficial effect on humans.
It should be noted that the ketones did not cause immediate weight loss. Like many other diet strategies, they raise your metabolism for several days but once your metabolic rate slows down, your weight loss will begin to level off. Some people argue that if you’re willing to spend the extra calories on the ketones, they should help you lose weight since you’re burning calories that would normally go to maintenance, such as glucose. Others say that the slowing of the metabolism is actually making your body burn off more fat, allowing it to use up the glucose that’s already present.
The main health benefits of Ketones are that they don’t increase your blood sugar levels because they contain no carbohydrates (no sugars), so there are no hunger pangs to sabotage your diet. They also suppress your appetite and send signals to your brain that foods are full so you feel less like you’re starving yourself. And because they contain no calories, the majority will stay in your intestines where it belongs and be excreted from your body only when you eat more.
However, ketones do have their disadvantages as well. While they do help you burn off more fat, they also make you eat more because your body uses up more of your stored glucose to fuel the exercise you do, which results in less total calories consumed. That’s a problem because our bodies always try to maintain the same number of calories we consume regardless of how much physical activity we do. If your diet works by cutting the carbohydrates you eat drastically and severely limiting your number of carbs (no breads, pasta, rice, etc.)
Since ketones don’t contain carbohydrates, a good diet to go along with them would be a heavy emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, and especially leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, collards, bok choy, cabbage, and bok choy. These produce the greatest amounts of “good carbs” per serving, giving your diet a healthy but natural sugar boost. Also, unlike most fruits, berries don’t have the fiber that can inhibit your appetite as much as starches, which makes eating them even more important.
It’s also important to choose foods that are as high in antioxidants as possible. Some examples of very antioxidant rich foods are berries, plums, prunes, raisins, and prune juice. These foods have a big impact on your overall health, even if they aren’t directly high in antioxidants. So take your daily salad greens and add some berry salad or some berry juice to each one. Not only will you be better off for it, you’ll find that you’re happier because you’re eating healthier.