The ketogenic diet high-fat, low carb eating plan and while there are some diet variations, this means a calories breakdown of 70-80% fat, 15-25%protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates. Current health recommendations are 20-35% fat, 15-25% protein, and 45-65 carbs, this equating to intake of 20-50 grams of carbohydrate per day though some keto devotees aim to stay below 20 grams.
Is the keto diet healthy?
Developed in 1922 as a treatment for epilepsy, the keto diet has been life-changing for those patients. Triggering the body to use ketone bodies for fuel appears to influence neuron functioning and neurotransmitter activity which can reduce seizures episodes for many people with epilepsy. As a treatment, the keto diet is still routinely prescribed. But outside of epilepsy treatment, many professional have evaded recommendation for the keto diets. Below are other benefits of keto diets:
Benefits of Keto diet
Based on the 2013 Europe journal of clinical review the growth of cancer cell is complex and with long term inflammation in the body as well as insulin and high glucose appear to play role in the development of cancer. The studies of rat have primarily suggested that limiting carbs intake to less than 50 grams daily may vitally starve cancer cells of glucose.
2. Weight loss
While reducing calories is still a key component of any weight loss plan, the macronutrient breakdown makes a difference. The weight loss studies as shown that higher fat and lower carbs diets may lead to slightly greater weight loss and significantly greater long term loss when compared to low-fat diets.
3. Insulin resistance and diabetes
According to a group of 26 doctors and researcher from major universities and medical institutes a critical review of the current research in 2015 in Nutrition suggest that carbohydrate restriction should be the primary focus of diabetes prevention and management. They cited studies suggesting the biggest improvement in glycemic control and insulin usage happened in the most carb-restricted group 20% carbs allowing many to reduce or quit medications.
4. Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Parkinson’s diseases
Brain deterioration and diseases all have different etiologies but you may use higher fat, low carb diets like keto diet as a way to reduce risk or even treat. As demonstrated inpatient with patients with epilepsy, ketone bodies can influence neurotransmitter activity and neuron integrity. This is a newer area of research with limited studies and so far the results are vague but promising.
Dangers of the keto diet
1. The “keto flu”
A doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist estimate that about 25% of people who try a keto diet experience a lot of fatigue, vomit, gastrointestinal distress and lethargy. This happens because your body runs out of sugar to burn for energy and it starts using fat, “That transition alone is enough to make your body feel tired for a few days,” says Kristen Kizer RD, a nutritionist at Houston Methodist Medical Center. You may be able to minimize the effect of Keto flu by drinking plenty of water and getting plenty of sleep.
2. Reduced athletic performance
In a recent study in the Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, Weiss and his colleagues found that participants performed worse on running task and high-intensity cycling after four days on a keto diet, compared to those who spent four days on a high carb diet. “The body is in a more acidic state when it is in ketosis, which may limit its ability to perform at peak levels,” says Weiss.
3. Less muscle mass decreased the metabolism
Another consequence of keto-related weight changes can be a loss of muscle especially if you are eating more fat than protein. You will lose weight but it might be a lot of muscle and because muscle burns more calories than fat that affect metabolism.
When a person goes off the keto diet a regains their original weight, it is often not in the same proportions. Instead of regaining lean muscle, you are likely to regain fat hence lasting effect on resting metabolic rate and on weight long term.
4. Increased risk of heart disease and diabetes
When done right, the keto diet includes a lot of lean source of animal protein and vegetables but it is not an excuse to eat bacon and eat butter although some people may try to do it. That is why many health experts are concerned about people on the keto diet especially those who try it without the guidance of a nutritionist or doctor. Doctors say that high-fat diets like this one may raise cholesterol levels and some studies suggest that they increase the risk of diabetes.
5. Carb avoidance could lead to poor digestive health
It is recommended at least 25 grams of fiber per day which is a vital nutrient only food that contains carbohydrates. A high fiber diet is linked to a significantly lower risk of stroke, high blood pressure, heart diseases, obesity, diabetes, and some digestive diseases. Certain types of fiber also act as prebiotics, which serves as food for the beneficial gut bacteria that support anti-inflammation, immunity and mental health. Though fiber supplement is available, research shows that they don’t offer the same benefits as fiber derived from whole foods.
Keto diet can be tricky! It is highly recommended that you see your doctor before confirming the tolerance for the keto diet. Do not worry as it only takes a few blood tests.