This eating plan is actually a medical diet that comes with critical risks and it is advertised as a wonder of weight loss.
Low-carbohydrate, high-protein eating plans often grab attention in the world of diets of weight loss. Diets such as the Paleo, South Beach, and Atkins diets all fit into that category and are sometimes known as ketogenic or “keto” diets.
But a true ketogenic diet is not like other low-carb diets, which focus on protein, a keto plan focuses on fat, which supplies as much as 90% of daily calories. And it’s not the kind of diet to be tried as an experiment.
The keto diet is mainly used to help decrease the frequency of epileptic seizures in children. While weight loss has been tried also but only short-term results have been studied, and the results have been mixed. Whether it works in the long term or whether it’s safe is not known.
The aim of keto diet is to force the body into using a different kind of fuel. The keto diet relies on ketone bodies instead of relying on sugar (glucose) that comes from carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits), , which is a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat.
An ideal way to lose pounds is burning fat. But it can be tricky in getting the liver to make ketone bodies:
- It needs that carbohydrates are to be deprived, fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day (keeping in mind that a medium-sized banana has about 27 grams of carbs).
- It usually takes a few days to reach a state of ketosis.
- Interference with ketosis can be caused due to eating too much.
As the keto diet has such a high fat requirement, candidates must eat fat at each meal. In a regular 2,000-calorie diet, this might look like 165 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, and 75 grams of protein. However, the precise ratio depends on the particular needs.
Nuts (almonds, walnuts), seeds, avocados, tofu, and olive oil are some healthy unsaturated fats that are allowed on the keto diet. But saturated fats from oils (palm, coconut), lard, butter, and cocoa butter are persuaded in high amounts.
Part of the keto diet is protein, but it doesn’t usually differentiate between lean protein foods and protein sources high in saturated fat such as beef, pork, and bacon.
As all fruits are rich in carbs, but certain fruits (usually berries) in small portions should be consumed. Vegetables (also rich in carbs) are limited to leafy greens (such as kale, Swiss chard, spinach), cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, cucumber, celery, and summer squashes. A cup of chopped broccoli has around six carbs.
Numerous risks are associated with ketogenic diet. High in saturated fat is on top of the list. Saturated fats are recommended to be kept to no more than 7% of the daily calories because of the connection to heart disease. And indeed, the keto diet is related with an increase in “bad” LDL cholesterol, which is also connected to heart disease.
Other keto risks may include:
Risk for deficiencies in micronutrients might occur if wide variety of vegetables, fruits and grains are not being eaten, including selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins B and C
The diet could make any existing liver conditions worse because of too much fat to metabolize.
Metabolizing of protein is done with the help of kidneys, and the keto diet may overload them. The current suggested consumption for protein averages 46 grams per day for women and 56 grams for men.
Constipation may be caused as the keto diet is low in fibrous foods like grains and legumes.
The brain needs sugar from healthy carbohydrates to function and if not taken might result in fuzzy thinking and mood swings. Confusion and irritability may be caused by low-card diets
Those risks sum up so it should be ensured that doctor should be contacted and a registered dietitian before ever attempting a ketogenic diet.
The other diets
The famous low-carb diets such as Atkins or Paleo have modified a true keto diet. But the same risks are associated with this if fats and proteins and lay off the carbs if it is overdone. So why the diets are followed by people because they’re everywhere, and people hear anecdotally that they work. Theories about short-term success in lower-carb diets as lower appetite are included in low-carb diets because fat burns slower than carbs. But again, long term effects are not known and eating a limited diet, regardless of what the plan is, are hard to sustain. The weight will likely return, once the normal diet is resumed.