Miami Living Magazine

JoAnna Garcia Swisher

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Page 47 of 205

Lifestyle What is the Keto Diet? Discover the benefits of this healthful lifestyle Words by Laurie Baroza You may have heard the term 'ketosis,' 'keto,' or 'ketogenic diet' thrown about as the 'keto diet' is growing in popularity for weight loss. But people are becoming equally interested in it for the health benefits that this lifestyle is proving to produce. Basically, ketosis, according to Keto Clarity, can be defined as a "metabolic state that happens when you consume a very low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet (or fast for extended periods) that causes your body to switch from using glucose as it's primary source of fuel, to running off ketones. Ketones themselves are produced when the body burns fat, and they're primarily used as an alternative fuel source when glucose isn't available." The average American eats a very high carbohydrate diet. When we eat carbohydrates, insulin is released as a reaction to elevated blood glucose. Insulin is a storage hormone that signals the cells to store as much available energy as possible, initially as glycogen (storage carbohydrates) and then as fat. The ketogenic diet works by eliminating carbohydrates from the diet (drastically reducing them) and keeping the body's carbohydrate stores almost empty, preventing too much insulin from being released during meals. With less insulin around, your body starts burning its own body fat for energy. Why do we store hundreds of thousands of calories in the form of fat in our bodies and only about 2,000 calories in the form of stored glucose? The answer is simple: The body is wired for using fats as its main fuel source. A ketogenic diet is essentially a diet made up of typically 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein and 5 percent carbohydrates. But it can actually vary to around 80 percent fat, 10 percent protein and 10 percent carbohydrates. It depends upon the individual's body. Not everyone wears the same shoe, pants, or dress size, so we really should not assume that we all have the same dietary needs. The macros on a ketogenic diet should be customized for each person. Sources for carbohydrates are very specific, and resourcing from low GI foods, which normally are higher in fiber. Even though the ketogenic diet is a high fat diet, it will not raise your cholesterol or increase your risk for heart disease. Heart disease is caused by inflammation, influenced mostly by the intake of trans fats and sugar, not by heart-healthy fats.

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