You can attain your wellness goals by eating more healthy fats. As much as people think that too much fat is bad, this isn’t true. If you are eating healthy fats in recommended amounts, then you are safe. The ketogenic diet plan is one program that advocates for high intake of healthy fats and outlined below is its overview.
What is Keto diet?
A ketogenic or keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb and adequate-protein diet. Its main goal is to ensure that users attain their wellness goals while limiting their carb intake. Instead of consuming foods with high-calorie content, they need to eat more fats and moderate protein.
Benefits of the Keto Diet
Keto is a popular version of the Atkins diet. It forces your body to use fat instead of glycogen as the source of energy. This process usually depletes the sugar stores in the body. Benefits of the ketogenic diet include:
Promoting Weight Loss
One thing that has made this diet very popular is weight loss. A lot of people are now turning to diets that require less intake of carbs. This is because they lead to significant weight loss. Using the ketogenic diet, you will experience safe and natural weight loss. In addition to that, this diet plan won’t leave you feeling constantly hungry, unlike the others.
Supporting Heart Health
Even though the ketogenic diet requires users to eat lots of fat, they are healthy fats. When you use this diet appropriately, you can end up with better heart health. Evidence suggests that keto-friendly foods can low the “bad” cholesterol which causes heart diseases. On the other hand, they enhance the production of HDL. This is a “good” type of cholesterol which leads to better heart health.
May Lower the Risk of Cancer
Cancer symptoms, as well as the side effects of treatment, can be overwhelming. However, clinical studies show that a low-carb diet such as keto can help to lower the risk of cancer. In addition to that, it’s a suitable complementary treatment for radiation and chemotherapy. Ketones can cause oxidative stress in cells affected by cancer, thereby inhibiting their effects.
Improve Brain Function
This diet has neuroprotective properties. It has the ability to protect and improve the way the brain functions. Keto enhances memory function and improved focus. As a result, you can use it to treat or prevent brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Keto has anti-seizure properties. Altering the way the body uses carbs and fats results in ketosis. This is a metabolic state which causes an increase in the levels of blood ketones. Note that ketones have the ability to reduce the frequency and intensity of epileptic seizures.
Reducing Acne Symptoms
There are multiple causes of acne. In some instances, it may be as a result of consuming foods with high amounts of carbs. Eating refined and processed carbohydrates may alter the way the gut bacteria functions. As a result, it causes unnecessary fluctuations in the amount of blood sugar. This can affect hormonal production which can lead to acne.
Risks and Complications
The benefits of the keto diet are numerous. However, this is one of the most controversial diet plans. The ketogenic diet requires consumers to limit their intake of carbs to less than 50g per day. This is dangerous and can lead to complications such as:
Reduced Athletic Performance
Although the ketogenic diet is popular with athletes, it can reduce athletic performance. Consuming foods which have low amounts of carbs lead to low-intensity performance. This is because the body is in a more acidic state which means that it can’t perform optimally.
Consuming a low-carb diet such as this means that your body will be lacking on fiber. Note that fiber helps to form the bulk of digestive content. It promotes regular bowel movements. Low intake of fiber can lead to diarrhea. Apart from that, the ketogenic diet affects how the gallbladder functions. This an organ which produces bile which breaks down fat. High fat intake can make the gallbladder “overwhelmed”.
This is a restrictive diet that’s only effective for a short period of time. The rapid weight loss which occurs is because of the limited calorie intake. But once you stop using the ketogenic diet, chances are that you will regain all the lost weight.
People Who Should Avoid the Keto Diet
Certain groups of people are at a high risk of using the ketogenic diet. Even though the benefits and nutrients of the keto diet may seem helpful to them, still experts say they’re at high risk. People who should avoid this diet include:
- Those with eating disorders: if you have a history of eating disorders, then you should avoid the keto diet. This is because keto is a restrictive diet which may trigger a relapse. Do not use this diet if you have anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder.
- Type 1 diabetes: patients who are insulin-dependent are at a high risk of using this diet. This is because it can make the blood sugar drop to significantly low levels.
- People with multiple sclerosis: there is evidence which suggests that the ketogenic diet can help treat multiple sclerosis. However, it’s not suitable for long-term use. Prolonged use of keto diet by people with this disorder may result in constipation and fatigue.
- People with thyroid disease: a low-carb diet such as this may suppress the production of thyroid hormone. So, people who already have thyroid disease should avoid using it as it poses serious health risks.
When you use it appropriately, the ketogenic diet is good. You can use it to manage and treat the symptoms of various diseases including diabetes, cancer, obesity, Alzheimer’s and others. However, there are also some associated risks of consuming meals which have low amounts of carbs. So, exercise caution when using the keto diet to avoid potential side effects. In addition to that, it’s also important to consult with your doctor first.