It’s fashionable. The internet is teeming with stories of how everyone from movie stars to ordinary people lost stubborn pounds on the ketogenic diet. Some suggest that this diet may also be helpful in managing diabetes and preventing Alzheimer’s disease. So, is this a miracle diet or just the latest fad?
How the Keto Diet Works
The ketogenic diet is a diet high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates, which differs from the general recommendations for healthy eating. Many nutrient-dense foods are sources of carbohydrates, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk, and yogurt. On a keto diet, carbs from all sources are severely limited. In an effort to keep carbohydrates below 50 grams per day, people on the keto diet often don’t eat bread, grains, or grains. And even fruits and vegetables are limited because they also contain carbohydrates. For most people, the keto diet requires big changes in the way they usually eat. Must See: Keto Strong
Why Does The Keto Diet Limit Carbs?
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our body. Without enough carbohydrates for energy, the body breaks down fat into ketones. Ketones then become the main source of fuel for the body. Ketones provide energy for the heart, kidneys, and other muscles. The body also uses ketones as an alternative energy source for the brain. Hence the name of this feeding model.
For our body, a ketogenic diet is actually a partial fast. During a state of total fasting or starvation, the body has no source of energy. Thus, it breaks down lean muscle mass for fuel. With the keto diet, ketones are an alternative source of energy. Unlike a full fast, the keto diet helps maintain lean muscle mass. Must Read – Keto Strong
Is the Keto Diet Safe?
This diet is not recommended for people:
Eating disorders or history of eating disorders
Gallbladder disease or those who have had their gallbladder removed
Additionally, there are short and long term health risks for everyone associated with the keto diet. Short-term health risks include flu-like symptoms. For example, upset stomach, headache, fatigue and dizziness. It’s called the “keto flu”. Some people also report trouble sleeping. Cutting back on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains that are high in fiber can also increase your risk for constipation. People on a keto diet often need a fiber supplement to stay regular, but this should be discussed with a healthcare practitioner.
The long-term health risks of the keto diet include kidney stones, liver disease, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. To limit carbohydrates, many nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables are removed. Thus, the intakes of vitamins A, C, K and folate are generally low. Also Read: Keto Strong reviews
The high fat nature of the keto diet is very controversial. A lot of research has shown that a diet high in saturated fat can increase the risk of heart disease and other chronic health problems. The risk that people on the keto diet may take to their long-term cardiovascular health has not been fully investigated.
What Science Tells Us About The Keto Diet
The keto diet has been used for over 100 years to help manage epilepsy, a disorder characterized by seizures. More recent studies are evaluating the keto diet as an alternative diet treatment for obesity and diabetes. Research findings on the benefits of the keto diet for these health concerns are extremely limited. Studies on the effectiveness of the keto diet have been done on small groups of people. And, most research on Alzheimer’s disease is based on research done in laboratory animals. To fully assess the safety of this diet, more research is needed. Additionally, studies need to be done on the long term health effects of the keto diet.
Body mass index and individual metabolic rates have an impact on how quickly different individuals produce ketones. This means that on the keto diet, some people lose weight more slowly than others, even if they are on the exact same keto diet. For this group of people, the keto diet can be frustrating and can impact their motivation to make healthy dietary changes. Additionally, many people are unable to follow the keto diet and gain weight after resuming their previous eating habits.
The bottom line
The ketogenic diet is quite restrictive. Research supports this eating pattern for epilepsy when managed with a healthcare team, as its treatment can be very complex. However, when it comes to the keto diet as a tool for weight loss and other health benefits, the jury is still out.
For a personalized weight management plan that meets your individual needs, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist. An RDN can create a personalized weight loss program based on your unique health and nutrition needs and goals. To find a registered dietitian in your area, search the Academy’s Find a Nutrition Expert database. Keto Strong