- The main difference between the conventional diet and keto-diet is the amount of calorie intake
- This diet can be considered as a remedy for obesity. Obesity is a major issue faced by the entire global community as it is now identified as a world-wide epidemic condition
Have you ever wondered why your diet isn’t working for you? Or why you are back in square one a few months after you stop your low calorie diet?Well, the reason is simply because you are not following a proper diet plan. The conventional low calorie diet plan, which is popular in Sri Lanka, mainly focuses on reducing the calorie intake. Although this diet may be successful through hard work and dedication, its results may not last long. However a Ketogenic diet, also known as Keto-diet, in simpler terms would help you achieve this goal, as it has a stark difference to a conventional diet plan.
With that in mind the Mirror Health Capsule spoke to Dr. Subash Mendis, Head of Food Safety Promotion Unit of the Municipal Council in Colombo who shed light on why the keto diet would be a healthier option to lose weight.
What is a Keto-diet?
A Ketogenic diet is a type of diet that involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbohydrates. It is a must to include many vegetables and some fruits in this diet as well.
According to Dr. Mendis, the ketogenic diet became popular as a therapy for epilepsy, mostly for children, in the 1920s. “Therapeutically, it was extremely effective, but was later abandoned due to the introduction of new anticonvulsant therapies,” explained Dr. Mendis.
However, recent studies show that a Keto diet could be extremely beneficial, most importantly as a method of weight loss. Moreover, it offers many benefits in fighting diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. It is very popular in countries such as the US, Canada and most European countries and is widely followed by various Hollywood actors and actresses.
A different take
The main difference between the conventional diet and keto-diet is the amount of calorie intake. In a conventional diet the amount of calorie intake is reduced than your normal intake. When you gradually reduce the calorie intake; it results in a lower metabolic rate in your body than the usual reading. After some time your body would get accustomed to that lower metabolic rate. Therefore, once you resume your normal diet which has a higher amount of calories than the low calorie diet that your body is now accustomed to, the excess calories would be stored as fat in your body. Hence you will be back to where you started.
Meanwhile, in a keto-diet there is no difference in the calorie intake. Therefore metabolism is not affected. When a Keto-diet is followed, hormones and enzymes which stimulate weight loss are induced. Moreover, Insulin hormone, which is the main culprit causing weight gain, is suppressed in this diet. In addition, food cravings experienced during conventional dieting are not observed in keto-dieting. Therefore, far better and longer lasting results are guaranteed.
Weight loss explained
According to Dr. Mendis, our bodies adapt different processes to obtain the energy required. “Usually we obtain energy by breakdown of glucose. However, consumption of glucose is avoided during a keto-diet. Therefore our bodies adapt a different technique to obtain energy by using Ketone bodies as an energy source. These ketone bodies are provided by the breakdown of fats stored in the body.This condition of using ketones as the energy source is called ketosis. The ultimate goal of a keto diet is to achieve ketosis state which results in a drastic loss of body weight.”
When following a Keto-diet it is a must to avoid carbohydrates including starch and sugar. However vegetables rich in fibrous carbohydrates are beneficial for this diet.Dr. Mendis recommends more healthy fats. Proteins must be consumed and should comes through coconut oil, olive oil, chicken wings, pork, eggs, nuts, etc. Fruits such as avocadoes and berries and vegetables such as broccoli, various types of green leaves, carrots and ladies fingers can be included to obtain the required Vitamins and Minerals.
Dr. Mendis said most individuals following this keto-diet neglect consumption of vegetables and fruits. “This leads to numerous Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies. To avoid this issue, it is a must to consume a large proportion of vegetables and some fruits such as avocados. Moreover, a medical consultation is advisable before starting a keto diet. This is very important for patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes; which is an Insulin dependent type of diabetes. Those individuals should refrain from following a Keto-diet.However, almost 95% of Diabetes patients suffer from Type 2 Diabetes which is not dependent on Insulin. A Keto-diet would be extremely beneficial to those individuals,” he added.
Role of exercise
According to Dr. Mendis, 90% of the patients losing weight depends on one’s diet. Only 10% of the patients is determined by exercise. “However, regular exercise is extremely beneficial for the maintenance of muscle tone, metabolism and heart and lung functioning. Therefore such practice is advisable for any individual. Heavy exercise can be recommended, but one must be well adopted to ketosis and should have adequate recovery in between sessions. People use exercise as a punishment for what they eat. It shouldn’t be like that. Instead it should be done because of the advantages you have,” he said.
Benefits of a Keto-diet
This diet can be considered as a remedy for obesity. Obesity is a major issue faced by the entire global community as it is now identified as a world-wide epidemic condition. Almost 50% of the US population and more than one third of the Sri Lankan community suffer from obesity. Obesity leads to many non-communicable diseases such as Diabetes, Cholesterol, High blood pressure, Heart diseases, Cancer and even fertility problems.
“Moreover, a Keto diet is extremely efficient and effective especially for females after child birth as it is long lasting,” Dr. Mendis said.
According to Dr. Mendis, a keto diet doesn’t have to be restricted to foreign food habits and preferences. It can be adapted according to our food culture.
“Hela keto” is a unique keto-diet method customized according to Sri Lankan food preferences and eating habits. “Accordingly, we can apply the concept of the keto-diet in our usual meals by using coconut oil, pol sambol, and keto-friendly Sri Lankan vegetables such as ladies fingers, beans, carrots, cabbage and all types of green leaves,” he concluded.
Dr. Subash Mendis is the Founder of Hela keto. You can visit Hela keto on Facebook for more information.