Friday, January 28

Keto diet: what it is, how it works and what are the risks to the body

At this stage We’ve all heard about the keto trend, also popularly known as the keto diet, it is no secret to say that it is one of the most popular dietary guidelines today. Although there are numerous scientific references that support its health benefits and effective weight loss, there are still many doubts in the air and it is never too late to clarify them. Broadly speaking, the keto diet strictly limits carbohydrate intake, while increasing fat intake, and its main goal is to encourage the body to burn fat for energy rather than carbohydrates. This metabolic change is usually radical and puts the body in a state of ketosis, is a process in which the body begins to break down fat due to a lack of sugar in the blood. In such a way that it manages to convert fat into ketones that are responsible for providing the energy it needs. There is data that confirms that a person enters a state of ketosis between 2-4 days after starting the diet.

What is a ketogenic diet plan? There are different keto diet schemes, which usually vary in their level of restriction; however most ketogenic plans follow the following guidelines:

– Limits the daily carbohydrate intake at 50 grams or in some cases less.

– They establish the following proportions of nutrients, based on a diet of 2000 calories per day:

  • 55-60% of calories from fat
  • 30-35% of calories from protein
  • 5-10% of calories from carbohydrates

Although we cannot fail to mention that there are numerous studies that support the therapeutic benefits of following the ketogenic diet, it is also important to talk about the possible risks in the body. Finally, we cannot fail to mention that a ketogenic eating plan has its pros and cons, therefore it is essential to make any diet change with the supervision of a professional.

On the benefits of the keto diet:

Naturally restricting carbohydrate intake generally results in weight loss and not starving. Not in vain the low carbohydrate diet has been used as a weight loss method for at least 150 years, in fact there are modern studies, in which it is positioned as one of the most effective diets to achieve an optimal weight in little weather. Finally, stop consuming the main sources of carbohydrates such as bread and sugar, significantly benefits the daily caloric intake. Also carbohydrates more than other foods, stimulate the release of the hormone insulin, which is the main responsible for the storage of fat in the body.

It has scientific references in which it is positioned as a good method to correct type 2 diabetes. Taking into account that the main problem in diabetes is too high blood glucose, and this comes from the carbohydrates we eat: Eating less carbohydrates makes it easier for the body to control the level of glucose in the blood. It is also extremely common to have many minor stomach problems when following a low carbohydrate diet, specifically it is associated with the decrease in gas, stomach cramps, diarrhea and produces improvements in conditions such as heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome.

On the possible risks of the keto diet:

Very short-term, that is, when starting the diet, it is very normal for a symptom known as “keto flu”, is a kind of flu that occurs as a reaction of the body to any radical change in the food system. Medical specialists agree that most people have some symptoms, especially during the first week of starting the ketogenic diet. These effects are because the body is learning to change its source of energy, when you start reducing carbohydrates, most people go through a period of ketogenic adaptation or ketogenic flu. During this process, the body is moving from relying on carbohydrates, to increasing the production of ketones from the breakdown of fats in order to supply the main energy. Among the main signs of the famous ketogenic flu are symptoms such as: mental confusion, trouble concentrating, feeling overly tired or lethargic, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, constipation, and headaches. The good news is that this process only takes a few days, so it is important to be patient and allow the body to adjust.

While the long-term effects of the ketogenic diet continue to be investigated beyond the first 2 years. There are potential risks that are related to the restrictiveness of the diet, the main ones include some vitamin and mineral deficiencies. And the main reason is that by controlling carbohydrates, you limit your intake of important nutrient sources such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, so anyone who chooses to follow this style of eating should make sure not to lose any nutrients.

Some other potential risks that often come later, over time:

– Kidney stones

– Hepatic steatosis (fatty liver)

– Hypoproteinemia or low levels of protein in the blood

There is a study from 2016, in which it was found that people who follow low-carbohydrate diets have higher levels of low-density cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease. There is also another study, in which it was found that following a low-carbohydrate diet that focuses on the consumption of animal proteins and fats, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and death.

Without a doubt when it comes to making adjustments to your diet, the most important thing is to inform us and always have adequate medical supervision. Finally we cannot forget that each person has particular conditions, and with regard to diets; what works for some can be very counterproductive for others.

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