15 FAQs About the Keto Diet
Keto Diet

15 FAQs About the Keto Diet

What are the health benefits of a keto diet? There is a wealth of evidence that reducing carbohydrate intake can reduce the risk of many diseases. Here are 15 FAQs about the keto diet that are of interest to most people.

What is a Keto Diet?

A keto diet is a low-carb diet. It works by converting fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies when the body does not consume enough carbohydrates to provide energy, thus encouraging the body to switch from glucose metabolism to fat metabolism.

It was first used to treat epilepsy in children and was later found to be effective in weight loss and reversing type 2 diabetes. The keto diet is structured in the following proportions: carbohydrates. 5-10% carbohydrates, 20-25% protein, and 75-80% fat.

Difference Between a Keto Diet and a Low-carb Diet

A keto diet is a type of low-carb diet. It is generally accepted that a diet with less than 130-150 grams of carbohydrates is a low-carb diet. Keto diets are much stricter in terms of carbohydrate intake, usually less than 50 grams per day (20-30 grams of net carbohydrate) or less. Each person has different carbohydrate requirements.

When your diet is structured with a much higher percentage of fat and protein than carbohydrates, satiety increases significantly and appetite decreases. You are less likely to eat too much because you are hungry than on a high-carbohydrate diet.


Won’t Eating Too Much Fat Make Me Fat?

This is a long-held misconception that most people have about fat. Eating more fat is good for your body and will not make you fat, as long as you are careful to also consume small amounts of low-carb.

Eating enough good fats will increase satiety and reduce the amount you eat, and “eating less” is one of the keys to successful weight loss.

Are Carbohydrates an Important Source of Energy for the Body?

From a physiological standpoint, people can survive without carbohydrates, but protein and fat are indispensable nutrients for the body.

Simply put, our body can produce glucose from other substrates through gluconeogenesis (aka gluconeogenesis), especially if glucose is not readily available, and the body uses fat directly as an energy source.

How Can the Body Function Without Carbohydrates?

Our bodies do need glucose for energy, but we don’t necessarily have to consume carbohydrates to get that energy. Fats are more valuable than carbohydrates in providing a long-term source of energy. Studies have shown that fats also have more protective and restorative effects on the body, especially when used in the brain.

On the other hand, when consumed in large amounts, carbohydrates also increase inflammation in the body and accelerate aging, not to mention the fact that high carbohydrates are a major culprit in type 2 diabetes (and a keto diet can potentially reverse type 2 diabetes by reducing insulin resistance).

Ketosis Is Bad For Your Body—Is It True?

It’s possible, but the “ketosis” you hear about is primarily “ketoacidosis”, which generally only occurs in people with 1/insulin-dependent diabetes. Nutritional ketosis is a very different physiological state and is not as potentially fatal as ketoacidosis.

What Are the Health Benefits of a Keto Diet?

There is substantial evidence that reducing carbohydrate intake can reduce the risk of many diseases. The keto diet has been used clinically for nearly 100 years for neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and even cancer.

The keto diet has many other health benefits, such as:

  • Enhanced cardiovascular function
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Reduced inflammation and oxidative stress
  • Healthier blood sugar and lipid levels

Increasingly, people following keto and low-carb diets are noticing faster and more consistent weight loss. And the health benefits of maintaining a normal weight range can’t be overstated.

Is the Keto Diet Right For Everyone?

No one diet is right for everyone, and the keto diet is no exception. In general, the keto diet is a very effective way for people in good health to lose weight because it can help suppress appetite and increase fat metabolism rates.

However, the following types of health problems require medical guidance and monitoring:

  • People with gallbladder disease or no gallbladder have more difficulty digesting fat.
  • People who have had previous gastrectomy surgery have reduced digestion.
  • People with metabolic disorders have an impact on their ability to metabolize fat.
  • People who suffer from pancreatic insufficiency have more difficulty digesting fat.
  • People who are prone to kidney stones.
  • People who suffer from anorexia nervosa.
  • In addition, the keto diet is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

How long Does the Keto Diet Take to Work?

How many pounds will I lose? This depends entirely on the individual’s physical condition. This includes metabolic level, age, frequency of exercise, etc. In general, there is a very significant weight loss in the early stages of switching from a high-carb diet to a low-carb diet, especially in the first or second week. This is because your body loses glycogen in the first few days due to low carbohydrate intake, and one glycogen molecule attracts 34 water molecules. Therefore, when your body excretes glycogen, it also excretes water.

Therefore, the first few days are mainly water loss. After a while, when your body has no more glycogen reserves, it starts to produce ketone bodies, which means it starts to switch to fat metabolism (fat burning).

During weight loss, we often encounter a normal situation where the number on the scale does not change for many days over some time, but the clothes and pants feel noticeably looser and looser because of the loss of body fat. So you should pay more attention to the changes in body fat and not pay too much attention to the number on the scale.

Can I Still Go On a Keto Diet If I Have Thyroid Issues?

If you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, or other immune problems, you should consult your doctor before starting either diet.

Some people with this problem can go on a keto diet normally, but everyone is different and reacts differently to a sudden change in diet, so the best thing to do is to consult your doctor.

If you do want to try it, it is recommended that you do not completely cut out carbohydrates all at once, but gradually, little by little, allowing your body to adjust slowly. During this process, be sure to keep making adjustments based on how your body responds.

What Are the Discomforts of the Keto Flu on a Keto Diet?

Many people experience discomfort during the first few days on a keto diet, which is called keto flu because the symptoms are more like the common cold. The cause of these discomforts is the body’s reaction to adjust to a new diet when there is a major change in diet structure.

Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, fatigue, lack of concentration, constipation or diarrhea, insomnia, hair loss, and bad breath. These discomforts usually disappear about a week or two after starting a keto diet, and some people may take longer. However, as the body adjusts to the new diet, these symptoms will slowly disappear and a completely different experience will follow.

How Do I Know If I’m in a State of Ketosis?

Entering a keto (ketosis) state means that the body has switched from glucose metabolism to fat metabolism, and in this state, stored fat is burned off more quickly, so weight loss is more effective.

How do I know my body is keto? In addition to testing with a blood ketone meter or test strips, you can also find out by the following body reactions

  • Bad breath: A slight coppery taste in the mouth.
  • Increased urination: Due to the diuretic effect of ketone bodies, the frequency and amount of urination will increase when trying a keto diet.
  • Dry mouth and thirst: You will often feel thirsty because your body is losing water.
  • Decreased appetite: The keto diet emphasizes the consumption of high fat and moderate protein, which will increase satiety, energy, and focus: this is one of the benefits of the keto diet.
  • Weight loss: That’s what you want most, right?

What Foods Can I Eat? What Foods Can I Not Eat?

Simply put, all sugary, starchy foods are off-limits, while all good fats, such as coconut and olive oils, and avocados are also excellent sources of good fats, as well as good proteins, such as eggs and various slices of meat, are okay. However, some vegetables and fruits contain only small amounts of carbohydrates, such as leafy greens and blueberries/strawberries, and can be eaten in moderation.

Do I Need to Count Calories?

In theory, you don’t need to count calories because the large amount of fat and protein you eat on a keto diet is not low in calories, but since your body is in the process of fat metabolism, these calories are excreted quickly.

In addition, since low-carb and keto diets have a natural appetite suppressant effect, you won’t overeat. However, everything in moderation, if you consume too much fat, the calories that are not consumed will be stored in your body. Therefore, the rule is, don’t eat until you’re hungry, stop when you’re full and don’t overeat.

Is the Keto Diet Good for Diabetes?

A keto diet can help some people with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, maintain low and healthy blood sugar levels. The reduction of carbohydrates in the diet helps avoid spikes in blood sugar, which reduces the need for insulin.