Last week we discussed what a ketogenic, or Keto, diet was, and how it related to other low-carbohydrate diets. The key difference is that in a keto diet, there is more reliance on lipids, or fats, for providing energy rather than carbohydrates or protein. A natural question regarding this approach is: are not fats bad for our hearts, our vessels, and for retaining fat on our bodies? While it is true that fatty deposits can cause atherosclerosis and heart disease, as well as be deposited as fat stores, the state of ketogenesis is designed to break down these fats through a process called lipolysis (lipo = fat, lysis = break down) and use the breakdown products (called ketone bodies, or ketones), for energy! Therefore, less fat is available to deposit in your vessels, your heart, and your love handles. That being said, no one should go overboard with either fat intake, since any excess over your energy needs will be stored in your body, or protein, which in excess can damage your kidneys.
A “Diet” is the sum of the food you consume. We often name our diets according to the goals they seek to achieve, whether it’s weight loss, fitness, or improvement of health problems like diabetes. Oftentimes, diets may be marketed in such a way that they come across as fads. In recent years, a common type of weight-loss diet is the low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet. There are three basic macronutrients we consume – sugars (or carbohydrates), proteins, and fat. These types of diets adjust the ratio of macronutrients to rely more on protein relative to sugar and fat. In some, but not all, cases, these types of diets may put your body into a state called ketosis.