To understand why the Keto Diet has become so popular in Malaysia requires an understanding of Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Products, the foundation of the Keto Diet.
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Many have heard about the growing popularity of the Keto Diet here in Malaysia but there are numerous misunderstandings. Following a Keto Diet does not mean that you are only eating huge quantities of fat and also does not mean you are eating large amounts of meat or protein. The basic principle of the Keto Diet is to achieve ketogenesis and this is done by reducing our dependence on excess refined and processed carbohydrates in the diet in favour of a diet that combines plenty of nutrient rich high fibre vegetables with high quality fats such as those from coconut oil, MCT oil, olive oil, nuts, avocados and so on. Protein also should be kept to a minimum along with all processed foods.
The Keto Diet offers the understanding of the role of ketones in health and as a sign that we have successfully regained our metabolic flexibility and become fat adapted. When we reduce our addiction to processed foods and constant dependence on sugars for energy then the body may now burn fat instead, producing ketones in the liver that are sent into the bloodstream where they may be utilized by your muscles, tissues and brain as an alternative source of energy.
This ability to switch between carbohydrates and fats as an energy source is coded into our DNA as we have evolved to survive periods of feasting and fasting when food supplies dwindle due to seasonal and other food scarcity issues. For people living in modern cities today the only time we produce ketones is when we are fasting however this too has become something nearly impossible to do for most people due to unlimited high carbohydrate food choices available 24/7. Here in Malaysia there's a growing interest among health conscious people to practice intermittent fasting as it has been shown to extend life, prevent illness and is also used in the treatment of specific diseases. The keto diet, when properly followed produces the same results as fasting on a regular basis while enjoying delicious healthy recipes and without having to undergo strict fasting to keep us within the optimal healthy "ketosis" range (see chart below).
By adding healthy fats, especially coconut products and MCT Oil to coffee or a healthy low carb breakfast we also support appetite satiation that allows us to make healthier food choices for the rest of the day by getting us off the high/low blood sugar roller-coaster that has become the norm with modern refined carbohydrate breakfast, lunch and dinner. Those who do this for only 1 month have found they feel great and lose significant weight while maintaining lean muscle mass.
Taking out the guesswork by measuring ketones at home
Ketones may be measured in either our blood, urine or the most non-intrusive method of all, from the breath. All these testing equipment can be easily purchased and used in the comfort of our own home. The 3 ketones produced when we breakdown fat for energy are; Acetoacetate (AcAc), Beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB) and Acetone. While blood ketone measuring is the most accurate it is not as convenient as it does involve drawing a tiny drop of blood to apply to the ketone strip. Our preference is breath ketone measuring, although while it only measures acetone on the breath, it does give a strong correlation to the overall level of ketosis that one is in.