In the world of diets, sometimes it may seem like every week there’s something new guaranteeing you’ll lose weight. It can be hard to know what these diets are, how well they work—and if they do work, what you can do to make them even more effective.
One of today’s hot weight loss trends is the ketogenic diet, often referred to simply as “keto.” Many people have started trying this diet because it allows them to indulge in high fat foods and still lose weight. While it has gained popularity recently, it’s been around for a long time. Find out more about the scientific basis for the results people are seeing and what you need to know if you’re interested in trying keto yourself.
What is Keto?
Keto goes all the way back to the 1920s, when it was developed as a therapy for epilepsy. Today, it’s one of the most popular diets around. It’s based on consuming a diet consisting of 60-80 percent fats, 15-30 percent proteins and 5-10 percent carbs. This is what allows you to indulge in those high fat foods that so many other diets rigidly force you to stay away from. But how can this really work, if it goes in such a different direction from nearly all other diets?
How Does Keto Work?
The answer is in a process called ketosis. While the ketogenic diet may allow you to indulge delicious high fat foods, pasta and other high carb foods are forbidden. This is the key to what makes the diet work. Let’s look at the science of why.
There are two sources of energy in the body: glucose and fat. Glucose is the primary source of fuel for your body and is what carbs are converted into. Without enough glucose, or carbs, to fill your needs, the body is put into a state of ketosis and begins to pull from its fat reserves. To do this, your liver converts fat into fatty acids, which is then used for fuel, in a process called lipolysis. The longer you go without carbs and glucose, the longer your body is forced to burn fat.
For the keto diet, during the first two to four weeks, in order to induce ketosis, it is recommended that you consume no more than 20 grams of carbs per day. Once ketosis has started, it is alright if you increase to no more than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. If you start eating any more, you risk losing ketosis and therefore stop losing weight.
You can find out even more about how the ketogenic diet works here.
How Can I Improve the Keto Diet?
One of the biggest issues with the keto diet is that the body isn’t well-built to digest those high amounts of fat. Since we normally eat such a greater amount of sugars and carbs, the enzymes in our guts are better designed to break down those foods than fats. Forcing such a drastic shift in consuming fats, you may experience digestive issues such as occasional heartburn, indigestion, gas, bloating or loose stools.
Keto guidelines make getting natural enzymes in your diet difficult. Not only are most high enzyme foods not allowed in keto due to their high carb content, many of the enzymes consumed are destroyed before we eat them due to cooking. For many, supplementation becomes the best option for aiding digestion while on the keto diet.
What Enzymes Do I Need?
There are two enzymes that are beneficial to people on the ketogenic diet: lipase and protease. Lipase helps the body break down fat and protease break down protein.
Lipase is the primary enzyme involved in the digestion of lipids (fats). It works by hydrolyzing the lipids to form fatty acids and glycerol. When on a high fat diet, your pancreas may not be able to produce enough lipase, and supplementation can help fill in the gap.
Protease works to digest protein by breaking down the peptide bonds of large proteins into smaller chains of peptide and amino acids through hydrolysis. A high protein diet can cause digestion discomfort and gas, so supplementation is often needed to aid proper protein digestion.
Both lipase and protease are included in Enzymedica's Lypo Gold, which can be a good supplementation choice for people doing the keto diet. Lypo Gold™ is a formula that contains the highest potency of Lipase Thera-blend™. It has been formulated to support proper essential fat and fat-soluble vitamin absorption, gallbladder function and cardiovascular health and address the symptoms of lipase deficiency.*
Not supplementing with enzymes is one of the biggest mistakes many people make when starting the ketogenic diet. Through supplementation, you can get the results you want while digesting the food you need. It is recommended to consult a health care provider before undergoing drastic changes such as the keto diet.