- National Keto Day is celebrated on Jan. 5
- The keto diet was initially used as a treatment for epilepsy before it became popular as a weight-loss method
- The ketogenic diet revolves around a high-fat, adequate-protein and low-carb eating plan
National Keto Day is here, and it is a reminder of the challenging yet effective way people take to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
To celebrate the holiday this Tuesday, here are 10 facts about keto that might even convince you to make the switch.
1. The keto diet started as a treatment for epilepsy
The ketogenic diet, which is often used today as a means for weight loss, was originally used as a treatment for epilepsy in both children and adults. With the rise of effective anticonvulsant prescription, however, the keto diet slowly lost its popularity as a treatment for the disorder, although some medical practitioners still utilize the diet to this day.
2. It is extra low on carbs compared to other options
For the keto diet to work, the body has to be deprived of carbs so that it burns fat for fuel. Thus, this type of diet restricts a person to 50 grams or less of carbs a day — significantly less than most other low-carb diets, according to a review on the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) website.
3. One is allowed to eat different foods when on the keto diet
Unlike other diets that restrict a person from eating different kinds of food that are rich in fat, the keto diet is much more lenient as it allows one to eat fats, including dairy and meats.
4. The keto diet changes a person’s metabolism
The keto diet literally changes the way a person’s metabolism works. This change is called ketosis and offers many weight loss benefits, including hormone regulation, appetite suppression and blood sugar regulation.
5. More than just a weight-loss method
The brain-health benefits of the ketogenic diet are known to apply in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, insomnia and more, according to studies.
6. One consumes a large amount of fat on this diet
Eating enough fat to make it the body’s main source of fuel is the primary objective of the keto diet. However, it is still necessary to take in healthy fats and not just anything fatty. One can eat more fat in the keto diet, but the type of fat a person eats still matters.
7. Yes, eating fruits and vegetables is still required
Contrary to what others think, being on a keto diet doesn’t completely erase fruits and vegetables from the menu. Although there are only a few fruits and vegetables that are keto-friendly, one can still eat many low-carb vegetables like zucchini, cauliflower, mushrooms and more. Raspberries and other low-carb fruits in portioned amounts are also accepted.
8. The common weight loss rate varies
People on the ketogenic diet usually lose around 2 to 8 pounds early on. However, the results still largely vary from person to person.
9. The keto diet decreases food cravings
Among other interesting facts surrounding the fat-based diet, studies have suggested that going keto decreases one’s food cravings as well as appetite-stimulating hormones, per HSPH’s review of the ketogenic diet. The diet is also believed to increase the body’s rate of burning calories and promote fat loss.
10. Keto and ketones
In essence, the keto diet lacks carbohydrates but is rich in proteins and fats. The diet typically includes plenty of meat, eggs, sausages, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds and fibrous vegetables — making for a still diverse menu.