Looking to shed some amount of weight? Wondering if keto is the suitable diet plan? Want to know if it’s hazardous? You’ll be provided with all the information you need.
Keto diet is the eating regimen which entails reducing carbohydrate in your diet and replacing it with high amounts of fat. This diet puts the body in a state of Ketosis which is the adaptation of the body to surviving in period of no food intake or starvation. Ketosis occurs when fat tissue is broken down into free fatty acids. These fatty acids are then transported to the liver, where they will be converted into ketone molecules that act as an alternative fuel source instead of glucose from carbohydrate. To be able to achieve this, the body needs to have around 70-75% of fat daily while keeping carbohydrate intake below 50grams per day. Ketosis takes 3 days to fully kick in, so your first 3 days would be a complete fatty food diet.
Foods that should be incorporated into a keto diet are fatty foods like avocado, mayonnaise, butter, cheese, olive oil. Proteins like chicken, beef, fish, dairy, seafood. Green leafy vegetables and other foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Avoiding carbohydrates like processed foods, potatoes, bread, cakes, rice, tortillas, pastries, high sugar fruits. Although keto diet has some health benefits like weight loss, managing epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, lowered blood pressure, skin improvement, to list a few. Keto diet can pose some short and long-term risks especially when used without fore knowledge of the diet plan or proper monitoring by a dietician.
One of the adverse effects of Keto diet is increased risk of heart disease, keto diet can cause heart failure due to its high cholesterol levels. People may be misguided into taking trans fat which can increase LDL, low density lipo-protein, known as bad cholesterol level and lower HDL, high density lipo-protein, good cholesterol. It can be detrimental to diabetic patients as it lowers blood sugar level considerably which may eventually lead to hypoglycemia. Keto diet has noticeable results when used for weight loss but it can also cause muscle wasting, it can put stress on the kidney possibly leading to development of kidney stones. Low carbohydrate intake can also lead to high uric acid concentration. Other side effects associated with ketogenic diet are digestion problems like constipation, bowel disturbances, diarrhea as a result of decrease in fiber content of keto diets, keto flu which is associated with bad breath, irregular menstrual cycle as a result of the drastic change in eating habit and rapid weight loss, cause a decrease in hormones responsible for controlling menstrual cycle, dipping of blood sodium levels. Uncomfortable symptoms like dizziness, headache, fatigue, cramps, brain fog, insomnia are experienced.
Ketogenic diets are not safe for anyone with problems relating to pancreas, liver, thyroid gland, gallbladder disease and eating disorders. The American Dietetic Association does not recommend keto diet making it very restrictive in nature, having both health benefits and adverse effects, hence it must be placed on with care after consulting a dietician. Keto flu symptoms can be managed by drinking water, getting enough rest, replacing lost electrolytes, ensuring you are consuming proper amounts of fat and carbohydrates.
Anyone looking to try a keto diet as a weight loss plan or for one of its health benefits should first speak to a dietitian regardless of any preexisting health conditions to know if it’s safe and suitable for their body.