A diet that makes you slim

By Dr Harold Gunatillake - Health Writer

Some of my readers have asked me to suggest the best diet for slimming.

There are many diets described, each has its merits and demerits, but I find the ketogenic diet is one of the most practical and rewarding diets if you desire to slim.  It is more a further extension of the popular Atkin diet with more restriction of carbs and added more fats, and is easy to follow.

We need carbohydrates, fats and proteins to provide energy for survival. In the normal traditional staple diet we consume carbs as the main calorie producing ingredient (60%), and about 30% of fats, which includes about 10% of saturated fat and 20% of unsaturated fat. Proteins are the bricks of your building structure and you need about 10%.

One could bring down the carb consumption to about 20% and increase the fats to provide nearly 80 per cent of the daily required calories In the traditional low carb diet protein content is increased whilst in keto diet the fat content is increased.

 Why is it called the keto diet?

When your carb consumption is very low, the body turns round to the stored fats for energy. When fats are broken down the liver produces ketones to be used as energy. This is a natural survival kit in our bodies, to produce ketone bodies when we are deprived of energy producing carbs. WE are not really starving ourselves in this diet but only reducing the main energy producing carbs. Fats being the main source of energy in keto diet, let’s discuss what fats should we consume to lean ourselves.

You do not target the foods in the deep freezers in supermarkets for such required fatty food consumption. Such food contains trans-fat added to the foods to increase their shelf life. They increase a person’s cholesterol levels and increase inflammation in the body. These trans-fats are manufactured from vegetable oils and they go through about ten processes and hydrogen fumes are added on. So, they are also called hydrogenated fats, like margarine.

So, please avoid fatty foods containing hydrogenated fats when starting on a ketogenic diet. Those friendly saturated fats in a ketogenic diet are: coconut oil, grass-fed beef, butter from grass-fed cows: and whole milk and whole milk dairy foods. Include more polyunsaturated oils in the cooking process, such as almond oil, flaxseeds, olive oil, and canola oil, corn oil and so on. Eat plenty of oily fish and nuts in a keto diet.  You could eat two eggs a day without fear of increasing your blood cholesterol level.

 Proteins

The keto diet is not a high protein diet. They are not used to provide energy. As such you could eat the normal amount of protein foods daily, such as grass-fed meat products, nuts, seeds and eggs, among others

 Carbs

What carbs do you reduce to restrict carb intake. Keto diet recommends vegetables of the non-starchy varieties, and avoids potatoes, and other ground roots. Vegetables included are: artichoke, asparagus, baby corn, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and eggplant, green beans, okra, onions, tomatoes, salad greens, spinach, arugula and so on.

Carbs like pasta, noodles, bread and rice are not included in the keto diet. Fruits are also not included in the keto diet. The diet does restrict starchy foods but you may consume in very small quantities adding up to 20 per cent of your calories. Coffee and tea are allowed without sugar. Sodas are not included due to the high sugar content. Condiments such as yellow mustard, mayonnaise and hot sauces are okay provided you chose the ones without sugar.

You could add the Asian spices, pepper chili, basil, and cilantro ad lib on a keto diet.

 Advantages

Keto diet not only reduces your weight but also ideal diet for diabetics. You may not have to take any anti-diabetic medication, and control your blood sugar by choosing the right carbs. For instance, the Vegans find it easy to control their blood sugar levels.

 Seizures in epileptics

This diet reduces the seizure rate among epileptics. According to the Epilepsy Foundation in US, an estimated 50 per cent of children reduced fits by half on the ketogenic diet. Keto diet promotes heart health in addition to losing weight.

 Side effects

There are a few side effects with keto diet. Constipation could be one problem. High fibre greens and drinking lot of water may be the solution.

It is not recommended for young people as it may retard growth.

Formation of kidney stones is a possibility. Doctors do not recommend this diet for those having chronic kidney disease and gout. If you suffer from any chronic disease, you must talk with your doctor before beginning any new diet.

Conclusions: In this diet you transfer the main energy requirements to the stored fats in the body through a process of ketone bodies production in the liver for energy, depriving intake of carbs to produce energy. It is mainly a high fat diet.

(Some reference to the article on the same subject written by Rachel Nall, RN)

New research

Latest finding is that when it comes to shedding pounds, there is little difference between a low carb diet or a low fat diet. That conclusion comes from the tracking of roughly 600 adults who had been between 15 and 100 pounds overweight when they embarked on either a low-fat or low-carb supervised diet for a year. (ref: Medicine.Net)

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