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The keto diet, or ketogenic diet, involves limiting carbohydrates while increasing fats. The eating regimen tricks the body into believing that starvation occurs. Thus, fats are burned for energy instead of using glucose. Many studies on the topic reveal that the diet offers beneficial results for people suffering from certain health problems. Although the diet gained popularity in recent years, the concept began in ancient times.

The History of Keto

Hippocrates discovered that when the body was in a state of starvation, epileptic patients suffered fewer seizures. The concept caught on, and early variations of the diet were adopted for thousands of years. In 1912, researchers in France and America had renewed interest in treating epilepsy using a diet that was low in starch and sugar. Their studies proved successful. Over the years, the ketogenic diet underwent modifications. But, the regimen continued being used primarily for the treatment of seizure disorders. In 1972, Dr. Atkins introduced the diet, which became equated with his name. He claimed that his research revealed that the dietary concept improved overall health. In 1990, a documentation TV special explained how the diet helped an epileptic body recover. However, it was not until the start of the 21st century that the idea of eating a high-fat, low-carb diet gained mainstream recognition.

The Basic Concept

When individuals follow the meal plan consisting of specific foods, they consume up to 75 percent fat, 30 percent protein, and 10 percent carbohydrates. The food plan puts the body into a state known as ketosis. When this occurs, the body has no option but to convert fat into ketones for energy.

Health Benefits

Dozens of studies on the subject claim that a keto diet benefits patients living with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s. As a result of using body fat for energy, individuals have significant reductions in blood sugar levels, which reduces the need for insulin. The cyclic and targeted eating plans are generally recommended for athletes or bodybuilders.

The meal plans or recipes used for the keto diet recommend the following foods:

  • Red meats, poultry, and fatty fish
  • Eggs
  • Whole fat dairy products to include butter, cheeses, and yogurt
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Avocado, coconut or olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Low-starch vegetables
  • Condiments and seasonings as desired.