Over the recent years, the Keto diet has appeared as the most popular trend to lose weight. More than one million times, this topic is searched on Google. There is a buzz surrounding the keto diet. The keto diet is the ultimate fad diet because of which people lose weight faster than they speculate. Besides helping to lose a massive amount of weight swiftly, it also has other health benefits. Many celebrities have been touting about it, such as; Halle Berry, Jenna Jameson, and Mama June. The Keto diet actually originated as a therapeutic tool to treat epilepsy.
What is Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is commonly called the keto diet. It’s a lifestyle of eating low carbohydrates, moderate amounts of proteins, and high fats. The most used combination of the keto diet contains 10% of carbs,20% of proteins, and 70 % of fat. The diet is adaptable and can be done in different variations.
Types of Keto Diet
There are many types of keto diet such as;
- Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): it’s a low-carb diet with moderate proteins and high fats. It is the most celebrated ketogenic diet.
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): It is followed by days of refeeds, i.e., two days of high carbs, and the rest are ketogenic diet charts.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): It is done by adding more carbs around the workouts.
- High Protein Ketogenic Diet (HKD): this diet includes more protein than the SKD with 60 %fats, 35 % proteins, and 5% carbs.
How does the Keto Diet work?
The keto mechanism works by using fat as the primary fuel source by using its remarkable ability to become fat adapted. When a body undergoes a ketogenic diet, it enters into ketosis, which is a metabolic state where it uses fat for energy. After that, your liver begins producing ketones released into the bloodstreams, and then those ketones start burning stored fats.
Benefits of Keto Diet
As a matter of fact, the ketogenic diet originated as a medical tool to treat disease and maintain health. The ketogenic diet does not only help in reducing weight effectively but also has many advantages related to physical and medical conditions. ‘It’s good for health’ shows many studies.
Some of the advantages are mentioned below, based on research work and studies. It has benefits on a variety of health conditions;
- Heart disease. (source)
- Reduce blood sugar and insulin levels. (source)
- Treat cancer (source).
- Epilepsy (source)
- Alzheimer’s disease (source).
- Manage Type II Diabetes (source)
- Parkinson’s disease (source)
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (source)
- Treat traumatic brain injuries (source)
- Anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and cancer-fighting benefits show animal studies.
Side Effects of the Keto Diet
Though the keto diet has numerous benefits, it comes with disadvantages if not followed properly. Some health experts and coaches have health concerns and discourage them, namely, Jillian Michael, Danette May, Abbay Sharp, Cynthia Sass, and others.
When your body goes into ketosis, you may feel sick, tired, and lethargic. It happens when your body runs out of sugar and uses fat for energy.
Some of the symptoms also include diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting, says the report. Some other common symptoms also include insomnia, increased appetite, digestive discomfort, and nausea.
It is a condition in which the glucose (blood sugar ) is lower than normal and can be a side effect of the keto diet. Its symptoms may include anxiety, confusion, frequent urination, lightheadedness, sweating and chills, tachycardia, excessive thirst, or dry mouth.
Reduced Physical Performance
Physical performance may suffer when you’re on a keto diet. The human body is in an acidic state; that’s why it reduces performance while on ketosis. The recent studies show, Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, that the cyclists and athletes performed worse while on high-intensity and running tasks after four days of the ketogenic diet.
You may regain weight soon after you start consuming carbs. Most people might regain most of the lost weight as soon as they go back on carbs.
Loss of Muscle Mass
When you consume much more fat than protein and burn more calories than fat, it affects the metabolism and loses muscle mass. This results in long-term effects on your weight because you won’t have the muscle mass to lose weight again effectively when you regain it.
Risk Factors of Keto Diet
Though the keto diet seems to be a promising diet to lose weight effectively and quickly, it involves many health risk factors that may pose serious health issues if done improperly. Some health experts, as mentioned above, have been warning of health issues related to the keto diet.
It may prove to be fatal for diabetic patients where ketosis can trigger ketoacidosis. When the body stores up too many ketones and the blood becomes too acidic, it can affect the body’s organs. Not only with diabetes, but sporadic cases are also there where ketoacidosis has happened to people without diabetes. The ketoacidosis symptoms are dry mouth, frequent urination, and breathing problems.
Consumption of high fats may affect heart health. Palpitation and a raced heart are some of the most common effects of the keto diet. Some experts have also called it a ‘cardiovascular nightmare.’
Nephrolithiasis is a condition of kidney stones. The side effects of the keto diet on the kidney might be long-term and is a seriously complicated risk factor.
Is It Safe to be In Ketosis for a Long time?
No scientific research-based method or standard can tell you the specific days of number staying in ketosis. As soon as you achieve your targeted result, you have keto holidays. It’s necessary to take your dietician’s advice before taking this diet. However, long-term ketosis may lead to many complications, such as vitamin deficiency, heart disease if saturated fat is over-consumed, and gut and digestion disorder.
‘The science hasn’t gotten to the point where I would be comfortable recommending it as a forever diet,’ says Scott Keatley, RDN of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy in New York City.
The keto diet has many medical benefits; if done correctly, it may prove to be a boon. However, if it is followed improperly and without a dietician or a doctor’s consultation, it might be harmful. Many remedies are available to combat short-term side effects, such as drinking green tea to minimize the effect of the Keto flu. Keto-related supplements are a must to incorporate. It’s not a simple diet rather a therapeutic lifestyle that needs constant professional supervision because your health is no joke. Also, before considering this diet, you must remember that:
“There’s no one diet that’s good for everyone,” said Kleinman.
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