Ketogenic Diet Pros And Cons: Do You Really Need It?

A low-carb diet in which ketones are produced in the body’s liver as an energy source is known as the keto diet. Many names can be used for this diet, including low carb, high fat, low carb diet, and the ketogenic diet

Insulin and glucose are produced in your body when you eat a high-carb diet

  • Glucose is easy to convert into energy. That’s why it is a preferred energy source. 
  • Insulin takes glucose in the whole body through the bloodstream, so in a way, it processes glucose.

When your body uses glucose as an energy source, then there is no need for fats, and they are being stored. Glucose is used as the primary source of energy in a diet which contains high carbohydrates. 

Ketosis is a body state that is induced when there is a shortage of carbs. When food intake is low, then survival of the body is done by initiating a natural process called ketosis. The body produces ketones in the liver by the breakdown of fats.

The body is forced into this state of metabolism in the process of this keto diet. A person does not starve calories, but only carbohydrates are starved. 

There are phenomena of adoption by bodies whatever is put in it. When fats are overloaded and carbohydrates are taken away, ketones are burnt as the primary energy source. The optimum level of ketones maintained in the body has health benefits like the high performance of physical and mental health and weight loss. 

Types of ketogenic diets

There are many types of ketogenic diet which include:

But extensive studies are done on only high protein ketogenic diets and standard ketogenic diets. Advanced methods are cyclic and targeted ketogenic diets and are usually adopted by athletes or bodybuilders.

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What to eat on a ketogenic diet

You’ll need to plan if you want to begin a keto diet. What you eat depends on how easily you want to reach a ketogenic state (ketosis). The lower your carbohydrate consumption (less than 25g net carbs per day), the quicker you can reach ketosis.

List of foods to eat in the keto diet

The majority of your meals should revolve around the following keto-friendly foods:

  • Meat: Sausage, bacon, red meat, steak, ham, chicken, and turkey
  • Fatty fish: Tuna, mackerel, salmon, and trout,
  • Nuts and seeds: Flaxseeds, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Eggs: Omega-3 whole eggs
  • Butter and cream: Heavy cream grass-fed butter and grass-fed butter 
  • Cheese: Cheddar, blue, mozzarella, goat, cream,
  • Low carb veggies: Green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
  • Condiments: Spices, salt, pepper, herbs,
  • Healthy oils: Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil

List of foods you can’t eat in the keto diet

  • Fruit: Bananas, oranges, apples, etc.
  • Tubers:  Yams and potatoes etc
  • Grains:  Rice, cereal, wheat, corn, etc.
  • Sugar: Maple syrup, honey, agave, etc.

Pros of using a ketogenic diet

The keto diet origin was to develop a treatment diet for patients suffering from neurological diseases like epilepsy. Studies afterward proved that there are many health benefits of the keto diet for other health conditions. 

Epilepsy. It has been proven that ketogenic diets can cause a reduction in seizures in patients with epilepsy. 

Parkinson’s disease. A study showed that the condition of a patient who has Parkinson’s disease became better after a ketogenic diet.

Polycystic ovary syndrome. It is proven that the insulin level is reduced by the keto diet, which can help to treat patients suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome.

Brain injuries. Some research suggested that the keto diet can improve outcomes of injuries of the traumatic brain. 

Heart disease. The keto diet can improve risk factors, including blood pressure, body fat, blood sugar, and HDL cholesterol levels.

Cancer. It was found in studies and currently under research that the keto diet can help treat cancer because of its ability to slow tumor growth. 

Alzheimer’s disease. The keto diet can reduce symptoms and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Adverse effects of the keto diet and how you can minimize them

Usually, the keto diet is safe for most people but can initiate some side effects in your body. Side effects that can generally arise include poor mental function, decreased performance in exercise, nausea, increase in hunger, insufficient energy, sleep issues, and discomfort in the digestive system. 

To avoid these side effects, you recommend starting with a low-carb diet for a few weeks. It will help your body to learn burning of more fats before the elimination of whole carbs.

Another bad effect of the ketogenic diet is causing water and mineral imbalance in the body. This situation can be avoided by taking mineral supplements and adding additional salts to the diet. 

When you induce a keto diet in your routine for too long, it can affect your health negatively, like putting your risks of the following: 

  • Low amount of protein in the blood
  • The high amount of fat in the liver
  • Stones in kidney 
  • Deficiencies in micronutrients 

Diabetic ketoacidosis is an alarming condition in which acidity in blood is increased, and the medication, known as sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors used to treat type 2 diabetes, can induce this condition. People who use this medication are recommended to avoid the keto diet. 

There is a lot of research to increase the safety of the ketogenic diet in long-term use.

Moreover, you can consult your doctor for additional guidance about your nutritional requirements.

In the beginning, you should eat properly and save your body from starvation. A ketogenic diet can result in the loss of weight without intentionally restricting calories.

Conclusion

A Ketogenic diet is always helpful for overweight people to reduce their weight. It is best for people who have diabetes and even those who seek better health. The keto diet is not so helpful for people who need to gain weight or build muscles like athletes. For some people, according to their lifestyles, it is not so suitable.

Consult your dietitian about diet plans and health goals to determine if the keto diet will help you.

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