Have you ever practicing fasting? Fasting can be subjective; either it is religious or weight management, fasting can be a good way on how we want to work out on healthy lifestyle. But how can we combine fasting with Low Carb High Fat-Keto Diet? Is the combination work and give more effective results? This article would point out how does the combination worked out and their importance towards preventive of Chronic Non-Communicable Disease (CNCD).
INTERMITTENT FASTING: A FASTING AND EATING CYCLE
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a way of eating in such a way of rotating it between gap of fasting time and eating. Short brief, IF need you to cycle between fasting and eating. Many studies proved that IF support in weight loss management, enhance metabolic rate, regulate insulin-associated disease and commonly adapted in controlling health conditions.
Usually, people will refer IF to fasting windows by number. For example, 19/5 stands for 19 hours fasting and 5 hours eating while 21/3 is for 21 hours fasting and 3 hours eating. It depends on which type of IF that suits with our body and environment. As Muslim fasting 19/5, many people comply this kind of IF. But there is also other popular type of IF such as 5/2 or 16/8.
IF worked by allowing us to increase amount of food intake at one time that will eventually creating limit to calorie intake. Thus, that is why once we already adapted to IF, we are not hungry as before, allowed us to properly control the nutrition intake because our body will adjust itself according to the flexibility.
During fasting, when food is restricted, autophagy will take place and start to act. Autophagy practically said is a kind of condition where our cell will eat themselves. In science term, the cell would remove all the unwanted cells and dysfunctional parts. Autophagy is said to prevent neurodegenerative diseases, regulates inflammation and enhance cellular energy (Lessen N & Ali T, 2019).
In prolonged fasting such in Ramadhan, when there is absence of carbohydrates and glucose for energy production, our body will create new cellular energy from fatty acids. These fatty acids later then be converted into ketone bodies and used as a source of energy by most of the body tissues. This concept such similar to how the Keto Diet works which this ketone bodies proven to weight loss, blood sugar control and enhance cognitive function and brain activities.
KETO DIET: A HIGH FAT LOW CARB DIET
Keto Diet is a way of having mostly 75% fats, 20% of proteins and 5% of carbs. This ratio would eventually force your body to depend on fat intake instead of glucose. Once your body achieved ketosis metabolic state, you are said to be fat-adapted, the body starts to prefer fats as energy source! A proper Keto Diet allow you to convert most of the fats into ketones which not affects the insulin production. This will be resulting in blood sugar control, constant relative energy, feeling full for a longer period time since your body always rely on fatty fuel, not glucose that would initiates insulin spikes!
Keto Diet helps to reduce chronic inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity resulting in lower insulin resistance (Newman, 2014). How does it work? When carbohydrates are restricted, fat-metabolism will take place. With low carbohydrates in body, insulin level will remain steady and not fluctuated. This way can be used to enhance the insulin sensitivity. When our body has high insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance dropped. Insulin resistance cause our body to not respond well to insulin production, which cause the pancreas makes more insulin resulting in high blood sugar level. By applying low carbs diet, a diabetic patient can control their blood sugar level, reduce high blood pressure and attenuate LDL cholesterol and triglyceride level.
Chronic Inflammation linked to CNCD such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension and heart attack. Mostly due to lifestyle, diet and unknown acute inflammation. Sugar, trans fat, refined carbohydrates and processed food are among that cause inflammation. By adapting to Keto Diet, these type of inflammatory foods are avoided and only enjoying healthy fats such as grass-fed meat, seafood, low carb vegetables and fruits, low carb nuts and seeds, electrolytes and probiotics. To maintain a good healthy lifestyle, managing these two factors are crucial.
ADAPTING KETO LIFESTYLE IN RAMADHAN
Combining Keto Diet with Intermittent Fasting (IF) would be great idea. They both synergized greatly for weight loss management and body cleanse. IF basically helps people to lose weight, gain muscle and live healthy. If you want to do both IF and Keto Diet, Ramadhan would be the most ideal time to start with. Why?
For those who have not start with IF, they would found this is a very hard thing to do. You don’t have to start with 19/5 on the spot. You may start with 5/2 at first and slowly increasing the fasting windows ratio. During Ramadhan, a lot of people would be fasting. From there, you have the support system to stand with. Also Ramadhan would be the most appropriate time to start Keto Diet where at this time, you will find more easy to cut carbs and sugar. But of course, self-discipline is very important here to restrict ourselves from craving sweet food. A prolonged fasting can help you to reduce the craving, increase your full satiation and improve calorie limit.
30 days of fasting allow you to adapt with the new eating cycle. According to psychological study, a man takes 14-21 days to form new habit. Eventually, you will find your body already adapted to fasting mode and ketosis phase. Since during fasting, ketosis will also take place similarly like Keto Diet, combining them both would not make it very hard.
Here some tips on how to make your IF goes efficient with Keto Diet:
- Drink more plain water during Suhoor (meal consumed early morning) and Iftar (evening meal to break the day’s fast). Having right amount of water in body keep you stay focus and energize. To add with, plain water is free calorie so you can maintain lower calorie intake!
- Adding up light electrolyte. Example of electrolyte such as sodium, magnesium and potassium. Electrolytes are electrically-charged micronutrients/minerals in the body that help to make sure the body cell functions and maintain water balance especially during fasting. Common electrolyte we can use such as Himalayan Salt and Sea Salt.
- Avoid taking carbs, processed food and sweet food during Iftar. Since you are having Keto Diet while doing IF, you must ensure yourself to strictly avoid this kind of inflammatory foods. Instead, have some healthy fats, proteins and low carb vegetable in a right proportion. You can start with our Rainforest Herbs’ products such as coconut oils as the healthy fat sources, low carb fiber coconut flour with high probiotic! Get some a full day meal with Keto Recipes here!
- Adding diary to diets such as cheese, whipping cream or sour cream. Dairy is not very ideal to Keto Diet, but somehow there are dairy products which keto friendly like grass-fed butter and ghee.
Lessan N, Ali T. Energy Metabolism and Intermittent Fasting: The Ramadan Perspective. Nutrients. 2019 May 27;11(5):1192. doi: 10.3390/nu11051192. PMID: 31137899; PMCID: PMC6566767.
Newman JC, Verdin E. β-hydroxybutyrate: Much more than a metabolite. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2014; 106(2):173-181.
Corresponding Author: E.N.A.A.R. (9/4/2021)
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