Staring at the blinking cursor of one’s computer monitor, a haze descends. Call it the post-lunch plunge, energy dip or afternoon slump—most people deal with less-than-stellar amounts of energy in the afternoon. Mid-morning and the time directly after getting home from work can also be dangerous areas when it comes to sustaining energy.
Proponents of the ketogenic (or keto) diet believe these occurrences are a direct result of too many carbohydrates in the body.
Keto: Brief overview, history
In recent decades, the standard American diet typically has been filled with refined carbohydrates and sweeteners, along with trans fats. Eating this way is like being on a treadmill to one’s cravings. The body is constantly seeking ways to create energy and get the desired clear-headed focus.
A keto diet, on the other hand, eliminates most carbs and even features lower protein intake—in the absence of carbs, the body can make glucose from protein via gluconeogenesis— focusing on healthy fats to boost the body’s natural energy stores. Even better, many individuals who follow a keto lifestyle agree that it supports mental clarity. On keto, carbohydrate consumption is limited to approximately 50 g/d. In comparison, the carb count in a standard American diet averages closer to 225 g/d. The “classic keto” approach stemmed from the work of Mayo Clinic physician M.G. Peterman. It advocates for a 4:1 ratio of fat to protein and carbs, with 90% of calories coming from fat, 6% from protein and 4% carbohydrates.
Eating a keto diet originally got its start in ancient Greece as a way to treat epilepsy. Then, in the early 1920s, the practice was reborn. The keto diet was a widely used therapy for two decades until the creation of antiepileptic drug treatment. Over time, the keto diet morphed, eventually becoming known as a lifestyle plan that promoted weight loss, increased energy and better mental sharpness. Keto began gaining traction in this area in the late 1990s and early 2000s. A descendant of the low-carb Atkins diet, keto adds in a focus on healthier fats and exercise.
Key ingredients supporting ketosis
Many health-minded individuals advocate using supplements and key food ingredients to boost the potential health benefits of a keto diet. And finding options that also focus on brain health and energy is desirable. But with so many keto products and ingredients on the shelves, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
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Content writing and journalism are high on the list of Joy Choquette’s interests. Writing professionally for the past 12 years, her work has appeared in national magazines, regional newspapers and on lots of websites. She specializes in health and wellness, business and environmental topics. Learn more by visiting her website or find her on LinkedIn.