Thinking About Following A Keto Diet? Here’s What You Need To Know

The ketogenic diet, shortened to “keto,” was initially designed in the 1920s to treat people with epilepsy. Many are now turning to the high-fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate diet to lose weight and increase mental focus. Celebrities like Katie Couric, Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Megan Fox all reportedly adopted the keto diet for their own reasons. As more buzz is created around the diet, it’s important for interested people to learn its purpose and what to expect going into it. The first couple of weeks can be challenging, coming with side effects people refer to as the “keto flu.” But if you stick with it, and your body goes into ketosis, there’s a good chance you’ll lose weight and increase mental focus, which is why it’s becoming increasingly popular.

What Does ‘Keto’ Really Mean?

‘Keto’ is short for ketosis, which naturally occurs in metabolism when carbohydrate intake is minimal. This signals to your body to start burning fat at an increased rate. This shift in metabolism doesn’t happen right away, but will be triggered when insulin levels are low.

Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

But low insulin levels can be big trouble for people who have diabetes or high blood pressure, which is why the keto diet isn’t for everyone.