It is a ketogenic diet often known as “keto,” is a low-carb diet that enables the body to use fat as the primary source of energy instead of glucose. While it has been around since about 500 BC but in modern medical practice keto was first established in the 1920s in order for treating epilepsy resistant to drugs especially for young children. 1
In recent times the diet has been praised for its medicinal benefits in treating certain neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and stroke, brain trauma and migraines, to name a few. 2
In the diet-related mainstream keto gained popularity as a an effective weight-loss tool in the 1970s. It then came into the limelight alongside The Dr. Robert Atkins’ take on a low-carb high-fat and high-protein diet. 3
“When the body uses fat as its primary energy source, it causes a metabolic state known as ‘ketosis,’ which occurs from the use of ketone bodies derived from fat for energy, rather than glucose (carbs),” The explanation is given by Kim Bowman, F45 Training Sports Nutritionist.
Bowman states that the goal in the ketogenic diet plan is to maintain the body in ketosis for during the period in order to accelerate the loss of fat.
The main focus is on meals that contain large amounts of fats, including the fatty seeds, fish, nuts avocados, butter, avocados and healthy oils. Keto limits the amount of carbs you consume daily to less than 5% in your calories per day with 75% of it coming from fats, and the rest comes from proteins. 4
The weight loss benefits of the diet result in the loss of water weight as well as a reduction in calories through the elimination of carbohydrates.
Additionally, according to Bowman, when your body has entered ketosis, a person’s metabolism improves and is efficient in burning fat to generate energy, which could lead to a loss of fat. Since the body is now making use of fat as the primary source of energy, research suggests improvement in insulin-related blood sugar and insulin regulation are likely. 5
Keto Diet Limitations
In the event of a drastic change of your eating habits, Bowman advises “Always consult with your primary care physician before undergoing a ketogenic diet.” Bowman also warns that even if it is approved by your doctor the keto diet is not be sustainable for living a long-term lifestyle.
In light of this, the keto diet might not be appropriate for those suffering from the following conditions.
Kidney or Liver Problems
If you are suffering from any acute or chronic issue in your liver or kidneys This diet should be avoided. “There are increasing metabolic demands on both organs due to the increased daily percentage of protein and fat,” Bowman says. Bowman. 4
“Anyone with dietary restrictions should avoid the keto diet as it is already highly restrictive, given the extreme low carb consumption,” Bowman says. Bowman.
For instance, if you are a vegan and struggle to eat calories from a range of protein and fat sources and thereby denying yourself a variety of categories and access to specific vitamins and nutrients.
Although research on the keto diet during pregnancy isn’t available however, the general advice is to consume a broad range of healthy carbohydrates and proteins, as well as fats during pregnant. This will provide both you and your baby with vital vitamins and nutrients (such as calcium, folic acid, as well as iron).
So, cutting back drastically on carbs can limit essential food sources during pregnancy. In addition it is not recommended that you are losing weight throughout pregnancy but rather, gaining weight as your baby expands. Many people opt for ketogenic diets because of its weight loss benefits, it may not be the best diet to follow during pregnancy. 6
Side Effects of the Keto Diet
One of the most frequently discussed side effects associated with “going keto” is the keto flu. It resembles certain symptoms of the common flu.
“There are a few known symptoms that have been reported initially including headache, weakness, constipation, nausea and vomiting,” Bowman explains. Bowman. “These may occur as a result of the body adapting initially to a low-carb state with change of primary energy source from carbs to fat.”
As the body adjusts, the symptoms will diminish over time.
According to as outlined in the WHO International Action Plan to the prevention and control of noncommunicable Diseases healthy diets are typically complete and include more fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables Whole grains, legumes and less animal-based food items. In keto, many of these foods are not allowed. 7
This could result in dropping the vital vitamins and nutrients that are absorbed from the body. According to Bowman says: “Following a keto diet can lead to micronutrient deficiencies such as magnesium and phosphorus, as well as macronutrients of fiber-critical compounds for the health of our gut microbiome.”
The body’s deficiency of essential mineral and vitamin groups could cause a decrease in energy levels, concentration as well as muscle cramps in addition to other signs.
Fluid-Electrolyte Imbalance, Dehydration, or Kidney Problems
“During a state of ketosis, the kidneys are working overtime which increases urination and a loss of electrolytes, which can result in dehydration, lightheadedness, and may also lead to kidney stones or acute kidney injury,” Bowman warns.
Brain Fog and Mood Swings
A diet that is low in carbs could cause cravings due to an imbalance in macronutrients. Although this may even out in time, it can cause unpleasant side effects, brain fog is one example. “As the brain requires glucose from carbohydrates to function optimally, extreme low carb diets may impair cognitive focus and lead to irritability,” says Bowman.
The ketosis process can result in the development of get bad breath because the byproduct is released by urinating and exhaling, along with the process of protein metabolism, where the body releases ammonia in the process of breakdown.
Since a significant amount of water is needed for the elimination of ammonia. A insufficient hydration can cause an accumulation of ammonia within the body, and require fluids to keep the body in balance. In the absence of this hydration it is possible to have an unpleasant smell in the breath.
Diets that are rich in insoluble and soluble fiber made from a range of whole grains fruit, vegetables and legumes, in addition to other food groups, are believed to regulate bowel movements as well as decrease the risk of constipation. Diets that are low in carbs are , therefore, a major cause of constipation resulting from a backed-up bowel. The keto-approved solutions to prevent this are more intake of water, eating non-starchy foods as well as reducing the amount of dairy.
Post-Diet Side Effects
The body is readjusting to break down a variety of keto-related foods it is possible to experience negative side effects. Some are more unpleasant and some more unpleasant than other.
In the beginning, if you abruptly return to your previous habits without a tapering time it is possible that you will notice weight rapidly gaining. This could be because of fluid retention slipping in a bad eating habit and hunger pangs the way the body uses food alter as it uses glucose to fuel its body. To limit the impact of this, a controlled shift between keto and a balanced style of eating is recommended. 8
Furthermore, as per Bowman the inability to transition off of the ketogenic diet that immediately introduces massive quantities of refined sugar as well as processed carbohydrates can trigger increases in blood sugar levels and cravings for sweet foods.
“These blood sugar changes are often accompanied by feelings of irritability and fatigue,” she states. Therefore, it’s suggested to gradually ease off the diet in small steps to avoid sugar spikes. 8
Rememberthat keto is a severe form of diet, and your body needs an adjustment period both at the beginning and at the end. Instead of following the “all or nothing” approach it is recommended to gradually add certain carbs back into your diet in order to prevent any undesirable adverse consequences.
A Word From Very well
The diet that is most suitable for your body’s needs will provide it with the fuel you require and the nutrients that are required to keep you going. It could be a ketogenic diet when following this type of eating results in an active, energized and well-balanced body. But, it may not be a good choice over the long term, based on your motivations, nutritional requirements, goals, and financial budget.
While a ketogenic lifestyle can offer the potential of benefits to a range of health indicators but it is not appropriate for everyone particularly those suffering from specific health issues. It is important to consult with an expert in health before embarking on a ketogenic eating plan.
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