For most of us, dropping those extra pounds is life’s mission.
We are always seeking ways to tone our bodies and get fit. Different diet plans and exercise regimes can help us do that. Among the recent trends, the ketogenic diet has gained quite a popularity these days.
It is a low-carb, high-fat diet that presumably offers many health benefits. The concept is that your body can acquire more calories from fats and proteins and fewer from the carbohydrates. It means you will have to cut back on carbs like white bread, soda, sugar, and cakes.
A study by Oxford Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism found that people on a ketogenic diet lose three times more weight than those who are on a diet recommended by Diabetes UK.
How does it work?
This diet aims to force your body to use a different kind of fuel. Rather than relying on sugar that comes via carbs, keto relies on ketone bodies.
It is a type of fuel produced by the liver from stored fats. This process of making the liver produce ketone bodies is quite tricky.
It requires you to consume less than 50 grams of carbs each day. Typically, it takes a few days before you reach the ketosis state. But if you consume proteins (more than the recommended) during the plan, it will interfere with ketosis. At this point, you must address the fact that a keto diet is a short-term diet that aims for weight loss more than any other health benefits.
The growing popularity of this diet has raised many questions among health experts. People wonder whether it is a hundred percent beneficial routine or whether there are flaws attached to it. Below we discuss some good and bad aspects of the diet.
The Benefits of Keto
Unlike hunger and extreme exercise routine, the keto diet focuses on the consumption of healthy food portions.
It helps you to lose more weight in the first three to six months than any other diet plan. This is because the low-carb diet gets the access water out of your body. It lowers the insulin levels and leads to rapid weight loss in the first two weeks.
A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine compared low-carb and low-fat diets. It discovered that people controlling their carbs were two to three times more likely to lose weight without being hungry.
Many things trigger acne, and one of those is the high consumption of sugar. When you eat a diet that contains refined and highly-processed sugars, it alters gut bacteria. This causes a dramatic fluctuation in blood sugars and creates a negative impact on your skin.
According to the registered dietician Suzanne Dixon, “Higher levels of insulin and related hormones can worsen acne, and the ketogenic diet lowers insulin levels.” Apart from this, Alisha Temples point out that when you are observing a keto diet, you eat plant-based foods that are beneficial for your skin. So there are fewer chances of skin breakout.
Protects Brain Function
We all know how glucose is dire for effective brain function. Yet it is also true that a large part of our brain can also burn ketones. Our body produces and transmits ketones to the brain when we are observing the low-carb diet. Many studies prove the neuroprotective effects of keto. According to one study, the children following the ketogenic regime showed improved levels of alertness and better cognitive functionality. Hence, when you begin the keto diet, you will notice that you are more alert and can focus on things better.
Protection against Diseases
The keto diet has recently proven to be effective for many health conditions. Some research suggests that it lowers the risk of heart diseases and high cholesterol. It also reduces your risk of getting cancer. This is because insulin production is lower, and it leads to slower growth of cancer cells. Another disease that it helps to shield from is the flu virus. In 2015, Dixit’s group proved that keto diet blocks an inflammation pathway triggered by a protein complex that plays a role in an autoimmune disorder.
The Risks of Keto
There is a considerable difference among nutritionists on the positive impact of the ketogenic diet. Some of them are highly concerned about the risks that tag along. Long-term implementation of keto in your diet plan can have adverse consequences for your health. These include:
- Severe weight loss
- Muscle degeneration
- Low blood sugars
- Liver problems
- Mood swings
Not to forget, the nutritional deficiency that comes with keto regime is also an essential factor of concern.
Kathy McManus, the director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, says if you are not eating a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, you will end up having deficiencies in nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins B and C, etc.
However, many companies have realized this loophole. They are beefing up their menu so that people get a variety of veggies integrated with keto. Nashville Tv Stations recently reported how Chipotle started rolling out keto, paleo, and whole 30 diet menus.
When you start with keto, make sure you check out these food outlets and the scrumptious food combinations they provide so you can craft a diet chart that is fulfilling and enriched with nutrients.
The final takeaway from this discussion is that keto may bring about significant results in the beginning, but over a long time, it can cause substantial deficiencies in your body. Also, the plan is tough to sustain after three or six months. But if you want to plan the keto regimen for a few months, you must recommend your dietician first. Discuss alternatives to dietary options for an extended period. You may have to switch the plan in a few months.
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