All about Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet, or keto, is an eating plan that emphasizes consuming large amounts of healthy fats, a moderate amount of protein, and very few carbohydrates. More fat calories are preferred over carbohydrate ones.
The diet is effective because it causes the body to use its stored sugar as fuel. Consequently, it will begin to use stored fat as fuel. As a result, the body produces fuel molecules called ketones. A decrease in body fat percentage may accompany a rise in metabolism.
In addition to the Standard Ketogenic Diet and the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet, there are a few further variations on the ketogenic diet.
Read on as we break down the pros and cons of the ketogenic diet. However, before that, check the
Steadyhealth.com on saasdiscovery. Steady health is a platform where you can consult medical professionals for different health queries. Now, let’s get back to the topic.
1. Facilitates Weight Reduction
One possible benefit of the ketogenic diet is weight loss.
The ketogenic diet has been shown to aid weight loss through several mechanisms, including increased metabolism and decreased hunger.
Fullness-promoting foods are a staple of the ketogenic diet, and some evidence suggests that they can also reduce hunger-inducing hormones. Some people find that adopting a ketogenic diet helps them feel full on fewer calories.
Over the course of a year, persons who followed ketogenic diets lost an additional 2 pounds (lbs.) compared to those who followed low-fat diets.
A meta-analysis of 11 trials found that after six months, persons who followed a ketogenic diet lost an average of 5 more pounds than those who followed a low-fat diet.
2. Treats Acne and Prevents Scarring
Several factors have been linked to acne, including dietary choices and blood sugar levels.
Diets heavy in processed and refined carbohydrates have been linked to changes in gut bacteria and dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar, both of which have been linked to poor skin health.
Some evidence is that following a ketogenic diet, which emphasizes fat and protein while drastically cutting carbs, can help persons with acne.
3. Possible Protection against Some Malignancies
Some studies have examined whether a ketogenic diet can help cancer prevention or treatment.
Some persons with cancer may benefit from following a ketogenic diet and standard treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. It is since cancer cells would be subjected to far higher levels of oxidative stress than normal cells.
Since the ketogenic diet lowers blood sugar, it may also lessen the risk of insulin problems, according to a 2018 study. There may be a connection between insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar, and certain malignancies.
There is preliminary evidence from a few trials (but not enough to draw firm conclusions) that the ketogenic diet may be helpful in the treatment of cancer. To completely grasp the potential benefits of the ketogenic diet in cancer prevention and therapy, further research must be conducted.
4. Possibility of Enhanced Heart Health
It is crucial that a person on the ketogenic diet only consumes nutritious options.
A 2017 review of animal and human studies on the ketogenic diet found that in some cases, the subjects saw drops in total cholesterol, LDL bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and rises in good HDL cholesterol.
The increased danger of cardiovascular illness has been linked to high cholesterol. As a result of its influence on cholesterol, the ketogenic diet may help those with cardiac problems.
However, the analysis found that the quality of the diet is most important in explaining the good impacts on heart health. Therefore, when on the keto diet, it is essential to eat nutritious, well-balanced meals.
5. Possible Neuroprotective Effects
Several studies have shown that ketones, produced during the ketogenic diet, give neuroprotective advantages.
It is why the ketogenic diet has shown promise in the treatment and prevention of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s.
However, more investigation into the mental outcomes of a ketogenic diet is required.
6. Seizure Frequency May Be Lowered
Ketosis is a metabolic state caused by the ketogenic diet, which changes how the body uses food for fuel. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which ketone bodies are used for energy instead of glucose.
People with epilepsy, particularly those who have not responded to previous treatments, may find that ketosis helps lessen their seizure activity. More study is needed to determine its efficacy; however, it appears to be particularly helpful for children with focal seizures.
The ketogenic diet has the potential to alleviate epilepsy symptoms in many ways.
7. Aids in Reducing PCOS Symptoms
Obesity, infertility and inability to have children are all symptoms of the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal condition that causes enlarged ovaries and other reproductive issues. People with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may experience skin issues and weight gain if they consume a carbohydrate diet.
Clinical trials investigating the effects of a ketogenic diet on polycystic ovary syndrome are scarce. Five women were studied for 24 weeks in one preliminary investigation conducted in 2005. Multiple indicators of PCOS were reported to be improved by the ketogenic diet e.g.
- fasting insulin levels
- reduced weight
- ratios of LH to FSH, or luteinizing hormone to follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
- hormone equilibrium
People with hormonal abnormalities, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and type 2 diabetes, may benefit from following a ketogenic diet, according to another 2019 assessment of data. However, they added a caveat that the studies were too different from endorsing the keto diet as a standard treatment for PCOS.
Dangers and Complexities of the Keto Diet
The potential health benefits of a ketogenic diet are discussed. However, there are potential health risks associated with maintaining a ketogenic diet over the long term, including:
- Ureteral calculi
- liver fat accumulation
- high plasma protein levels
- deficiencies in essential nutrients, such as minerals
Keto flu refers to the unpleasant side effects some people experience while following the ketogenic diet. Possible unfavorable reactions to this include:
- diabetes or hypoglycemia
- a lack of physical exertion tolerance
At the beginning of the diet, while the body is still getting used to its new energy source, these symptoms are widespread.
For these reasons, the ketogenic diet is not recommended for the following groups:
- people with diabetes who require insulin injections
- those suffering from pancreatitis or kidney dysfunction
- pregnant and nursing mothers
- those that suffer from eating disorders
Similarly, those who treat their type 2 diabetes with drugs known as sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors should not adopt a ketogenic diet. Diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially fatal condition in which the blood becomes too acidic, is made more likely by this medicine.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Ketogenic Diet
- How long is the ketogenic diet safe to follow?
Some studies have shown weight loss and improved glucose control as possible side effects of the ketogenic diet.
Long-term (up to 2 years), strict adherence to the ketogenic diet is beneficial in several studies. But research into the possible long-term consequences of a ketogenic diet is lacking.
In a recent cohort study that tracked 432,179 adults for 25 years, researchers found that extremes of carbohydrate intake (high and low) were each associated with a higher risk of death than a moderate intake (in the middle). Specifically, those whose carbohydrate intake was very high (above 70%) or low (less than 40%) had a higher mortality rate.
Short-term weight loss by adhering to the ketogenic diet is likely, but studies suggest it’s not the healthiest diet to follow in the long term.
If you want to try the ketogenic diet, you should probably only follow it for a few months before switching to a diet that is easier to stick to in the long run. If you want to get the most out of your diet, whatever it may be, make sure you’re eating plenty of fresh, whole foods.
- What is keto-adaptation, and what does it feel like?
When you switch from using glucose (found in blood sugar) as a primary fuel source to ketones (found in the fat breakdown) as an alternative, you are said to have undergone keto-adaptation.
Getting the full benefits of the ketogenic diet may take many days or weeks. Initially, you may have carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms; however, once you’ve become fat-adapted, you won’t feel nearly as much of a need for carbohydrates.
- Can I practice intermittent fasting on keto?
Yes, you can. It is an advantageous way to boost ketone levels and fat burning. However, it would help if you got keto-adapted first before attempting it.
If you are on diabetes medication that can cause hypos, checking which precautions to take before adding intermittent fasting to a ketogenic diet is essential.
- How do I keep from getting the so-called “keto flu?”
Glucose has long been your body’s primary fuel source. Therefore, when carbs are severely restricted, the body goes into a state of panic and, in response, changes over to burning fat for energy.
The moderate physical weakness or lack of energy characteristic of the flu is caused by this time of adaptation. It’s just temporary, and there are things you can do to help speed up the process, like making sure you get enough salt and water.
- What may potentially knock me out of ketosis, and how can I get back into it as soon as possible?
Ketosis is a state that can be easily reversed. It typically occurs after eating, regardless of how many carbohydrates were consumed, and can linger for a few hours or more. It is natural for the body to turn back to glucose if it is accessible.
Keto esters (basically artificial ketones you swallow) are not yet fully clinically tested; thus, we do not endorse them as a means of “hacking” ketosis. While ketosis isn’t easy to achieve, several items can help. Fasting and consuming highly ketogenic fats (such as MCTs) are two methods.
- What are the connections between glycemic index and insulin load?
The insulin load describes how much a given food will raise or lower insulin levels in the body. How fast or slowly a food may cause your blood sugar to rise is indicated by its glycemic index (GI). When following a ketogenic diet, it is crucial to stay away from high glycemic index (GI) items since they interfere with the metabolic state of ketosis.
- When will I feel the effects of becoming keto-adapted?
When starting a ketogenic diet, the first few weeks might be the most challenging, but the sooner you can get through this point, the sooner you can reap the benefits of the diet. In most cases, you should expect keto-adaptation to last up to four weeks, as stated in scientific studies and personal accounts. You can speed up the process by indulging in prolonged physical activity that makes your body use fat for energy.
- What is the difference between a low-carbohydrate diet and a ketogenic diet?
Ketogenic diets are a slightly more extreme form of low carbohydrate diets. While up to 150 grams of carbohydrates a day may be regarded as low carbs, entering a state of ketosis usually requires lowering carbohydrates to a below 50 grams daily. A ketogenic diet is also a lot higher in fat and reduces in protein.
- Can I continue to follow a ketogenic diet if I engage in regular physical activity?
In the minds of many is the fear that the ketogenic diet cannot support an active lifestyle. However, recent studies have shown that ketones can have the reverse effect and enhance performance.
While trying to become fat-adapted, you should do less of your regular workouts or stop doing things that require a lot of glucose.
In a Nutshell:
If you are trying to manage a health problem or disease, you should talk to your doctor, dietician, or other trusted healthcare expert before beginning any new diet.
To determine whether the ketogenic diet is safe for individuals, they should visit their doctor and rule out illnesses including diabetes, hypoglycemia, heart disease, and others.
Keep in mind that there is a shortage of research into the ketogenic diet’s long-term effects. There is conflicting evidence as to whether or not this diet, when followed for extended periods, is more helpful than less restricted healthy eating patterns.
Dietary carbohydrate intake is limited or eliminated on a ketogenic diet. On the other hand, some carbs are good for you. To achieve optimal health with a diet that places fewer restrictions on food intake, it is recommended that individuals eat a wide range of nutrient-dense, fibrous carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, in addition to lean proteins and good fats.