The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many health advantages. This diet reduces carb consumption to less than 50 grams a day and diminishes appetite. Studies (even the currently ongoing) don’t show a large weight loss advantage when compared to diets that are higher in carbs, but individual results vary greatly. However, many health conditions are successfully treated with this diet.
OUR ANALYSIS WAS CORROBORATED BY PEER-REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC PAPERS.
Ketogenic diets may even have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and its influence on blood pressure, blood sugar and skin health is enormous.
In this article, we have assembled all the knowledge about the keto diet and its health benefits, safety, side effects, usage, and other relevant details that may be helpful if you are considering embracing keto lifestyle.
HOW CAN KETO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH?
Weight loss, decreased risk of heart, Alzheimer’s and, Parkinson’s diseases are some of health benefits you can get from a ketogenic diet.
It is a proven fact ketogenic diet plays a significant role in the process of weight loss. In a study by Ludwig DS, et al. under the title “Dietary carbohydrates: role of quality and quantity in chronic disease” is showed that keto brings benefits that come from the limitation of carbohydrate intake for a variety of conditions.
On the other hand, the keto diet is so filling that you can lose weight without counting calories or tracking your food intake. There are various reasons why a ketogenic diet is preferred to a low-fat diet, including the increased protein intake.
The ketogenic diet can help you lose excess fat, which is firmly linked to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Keto can improve risk factors related to heart diseases like body fat, HDL cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and blood sugar.
Also, this diet is currently used to treat several types of cancer, and it showed high efficiency in diminishing symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Due to the consumption of less sugar or processed foods, this diet may help the reduction of various skin health issues such as acne.
IS KETO SAFE?
There are three different reasons keto might not be safe: high levels of ketones can be dangerous; low intake of carbohydrates is harmful and, diets based on animal products can cause damage.
Ketoacidosis is a severe complication of diabetes and it happens when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. In a study by von Geijer L and Ekelund M. under the title “Ketoacidosis associated with low-carbohydrate diet in a non-diabetic lactating woman: a case report” the first case of ketoacidosis is recorded in a patient that was not suffering from diabetes but was on a ketogenic diet. This case indicates the connection between ketoacidosis and keto diet.
Carbohydrates appear in a variety of forms. The typical forms of are sugars, fibers, and starches. Although there are concerns that lack of carbohydrates can be harmful, in the study by Westman EC. under the title “Is dietary carbohydrate essential for human nutrition?” it is presented that carbohydrates aren’t crucial nutrients.
Keto diets appear to be high in animal products and there are claims it might cause harm. This type of claim is almost impossible to estimate because studies have very inconsistent results. However, we know the results slightly alter depending on the animal product in question. For example, processed red meat and egg consumption often correlates with increased all-cause mortality and diseases, and unprocessed red meat has a much smaller or no correlation to this particular issue.
Research in this field meets strong opposition from the food industry which often leads to biased results and incoherent conclusions.
KETO DIET MYTHS
The ketogenic diet was the most-Googled diet of 2018. Leaking of false information and myths are expected when something is as popular as this diet. We have gathered valuable data around the topic, which will be presented to you in the form of myths and claims surrounding ketogenic diet.
MYTH: YOUR BODY GOES INTO KETOACIDOSIS
TRUTH: KETOSIS CAUSE FAT BURN
Ketosis is the metabolic state where your body uses fat rather than glucose for fuel. During this process, the body breaks down fat and transforms it into ketone bodies as it is described in the study by Hussein M Dashti, et al. under the title “Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients“.
MYTH: YOU CAN GO OFF/ON KETO DIET AND KEEP THE WEIGHT-LOSS PROCESS
TRUTH: NON CONSISTENCY WILL LEAD TO WEIGHT GAIN
After your first week of following the keto diet, you can expect a significant drop in weight. On a diet with a caloric deficit and regular exercise regime, most people can expect the loss of one to two lbs a week, while those following a keto diet see a drop from two to ten pounds. To keep the weight loss process on you will have to stay on the keto meal plan. You can also consider some natural supplements.
MYTH: CARBS INTAKE SHOULD BE THE SAME FOR EVERYONE
TRUTH: CARBS INTAKE DEPENDS ON YOUR HEALTH
When you start a low-carb diet like keto, you may not understand and feel how low in carbs it is. Followers consume 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day, and they are advised to begin with the lower end of that spectrum to help the body enter ketosis. Nevertheless, depending on factors like physical activity, you may be able to go higher. To avoid health issues all your decisions around the meal plan should be monitored by a professional.
MYTH: VEGETABLES AND FRUITS ARE HIGH ON CARBS AND FORBIDDEN
TRUTH: YOU NEED TO EAT DIFFERENT FOOD PRODUCTS TO AVOID CONTISIPATION
Fruits and veggies are sources of carbohydrates. However that doesn’t mean you should avoid them. Unprocessed foods are valuable sources of vitamins, antioxidants, and fibers which are crucial for avoiding constipation, a common ketogenic diet side effect. It is suggested to eat veggies, like zucchini, cauliflower, cucumbers, peppers, and broccoli. Consummation of berries in modest portions is also helpful during the keto process.
MYTH: KETO DIET ALLOWS REMARKABLY HIGH PROTEIN INTAKE
TRUTH: PROTEINS NEEDS TO BE CONSUMED MODERATELY
In a study by Westman EC. under the title “Is dietary carbohydrate essential for human nutrition?” is concluded that excess protein can be converted into glucose which leads to increasing your blood sugar and taking your body out of ketosis. The breakdown of amino acids in protein can also lead to increased ketones, which can be problematic for a keto dieter who already has high levels of ketones in their body which leads to the conclusion that proteins should be consummated moderately.
MYTH: KETO WILL HARM LIVER AND INCREASE LIVER FAT
TRUTH: LIVER FUNCTION IS HUGELY IMPROVED BY KETO DIET
A study by Parker N Hyde et al. under title “Dietary carbohydrate restriction improves metabolic syndrome independent of weight loss” examined 21 obese women with metabolic syndrome who were assigned to 4 weeks of a ketogenic diet. There was a 2-week run-in period, and 2 weeks between each diet intervention. The primary outcomes were the lipid profile and plasma fatty acid levels. The ketogenic diet led to a greater reduction in triglycerides and a greater increase in HDL, and no difference in LDL.
The ketogenic diet also led to a greater reduction in fasting glucose, insulin, and insulin resistance as measured by HOMA-IR than the other groups, and there was no notable difference in systolic or diastolic blood pressure.
Body fat wasn’t very different between groups. There was a trend towards lower liver fat in the ketogenic group. Resting energy expenditure wasn’t different, and the ketogenic diet group had higher fat oxidation, lower carbohydrate oxidation, and lower respiratory exchange ratio.
- Body Composition Changes After Very-Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet
- Effects of a high-protein ketogenic diet on hunger, appetite, and weight loss in obese men feeding ad libitum
- Dietary carbohydrates: role of quality and quantity in chronic disease
- Ketone bodies to the rescue for an aging heart?
- Examining the relationship between diet-induced acidosis and cancer
- Is dietary carbohydrate essential for human nutrition?
- Total red meat intake of ≥0.5 servings/d does not negatively influence cardiovascular disease risk factors
- History of the ketogenic diet
- Ketogenic diets: Boon or bane?