The ketogenic (keto) diet is a recent innovation on traditional dietary habits that focuses on consuming few carbohydrates and high fat. Over twenty separate studies have demonstrated the benefits of replacing complex carbs with simple fats, including improved health, weight loss, and a reduction in symptoms like irregular blood sugar.

The keto diet bears many similarities to traditional Atkins and low-carb diets with fewer restrictions about the type of fats that can be consumed. 

The goal is to drastically reduce carbohydrate intake enough that the body enters a special stage called ketosis. Ketosis is a unique metabolic state where the body becomes efficient at burning fat for energy. During ketosis, the body also produces ketones in the liver that provide extra energy and fuel for the brain.

The Types of Keto Diet

Although people often assume there is one strict keto diet, there are actually four different variations you can choose from.

  • Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): In this diet, followers try to balance their intake so it is 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs.
  • High Protein Ketogenic Diet (HPKD): This high protein diet is ideal for athletes and requires followers to eat 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
  • Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): This diet is easier for beginners because it requires 5 days of keto and then 2 days where followers can have carb refeeds.
  • Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): Another diet great for athletes that requires followers to obey keto rules but allows for carbs around workouts for extra energy. 

Individuals can try out any one of these diets to figure out which works best for their bodies and schedules. However, most keto research has only been performed on standard and high protein diets with cyclical and targeted models being more recent developments. This can make following either one an interesting science experiment for those interested in keto. 

Why Do People Choose Keto?

The most common reason for someone to switch to a keto diet is to lose weight and improve overall health by cutting out sugars and complex carbs. Multiple studies have found keto to be efficient at eliminating fat while also decreasing insulin sensitivity, helping to combat potential health risks.

Over fifteen studies have also found that keto is significant for managing the symptoms of potentially dangerous diseases like:

  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 

As a final note, it can even help with acne!