What if someone tells you that you can eat cheese, bacon, avocado, peanut butter, heavy cream, full-fat yogurt and dark chocolate, and lose weight?
You can’t believe it, right?
Well, on the keto diet, you in fact Yes-but there is a catch.
The diet requires you to drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake. This means no refined carbohydrates, almost no fruits (with a few exceptions), and no rice, potatoes, whole grains or beans.
Starchy vegetables, fruits and grains are not allowed to take in large amounts of nutrients, fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients and minerals. Therefore, many health experts advise against long-term keto diets.
Similarly, the abnormally high fat and animal protein content of the keto diet also runs counter to the recommendations of many doctors and health organizations (such as the American Heart Association) for decades, which adds to the controversy in the diet.
The health benefits of the ketose diet still attract many people, including world-class athletes such as NBA star LeBron James and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow.even if U.S. News and World Report Listed as one of the worst diets in 2020, and a recent survey of registered dietitians listed it as the most popular diet in the United States
Hope the information provided here will help you determine whether the keto diet is right for you.
What is the keto diet?
In short, the keto diet is a diet plan that is mainly composed of fat, a reasonable amount of protein, and very few carbohydrates. When you provide your body with a lot of fat and a small amount of carbohydrates, something interesting happens.
By drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake, your body will exhaust its preferred carbohydrate fuel and eventually store its glycogen. Then convert to burn fat for energy. This metabolic state is called ketosis.
In ketosis, the liver converts stored fatty acids into ketones or ketone bodies, which are then used as fuel by the heart, brain and muscles.
In order to achieve and maintain ketosis, most people need to limit their daily total carbohydrate intake to 20 to 50 grams and get a lot of healthy fats.
People who follow a keto diet aim to burn excess fat by pushing the body to rely on fat (not carbohydrates) for energy. Ketosis can promote weight loss and many other health benefits.
Although there are many versions of the keto diet, the standard keto diet is the most popular. Its macronutrient breakdown is usually 70% fat, 20% protein and 10% carbohydrates.
The ketogenic diet: pros and cons
As mentioned earlier, the keto diet can provide some very compelling health benefits. Here are the most important ones:
When it comes to short-term weight loss, ketones are king.
Comparing 23 different studies tracking low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets of different lengths (mostly six months or less), the weight loss of low-carb dieters was on average 2-3 more than those on low-fat diet Times. In addition, a low-carbohydrate diet is more effective in reducing belly fat.
Unlike a low-fat diet, people on a low-carbohydrate diet do not have to worry about calorie intake. The incredible satiety of high-fat foods helps to persist. Seeing the results quickly may also be instructive.
It is also evident in the aforementioned low-carbohydrate studies that other health parameters related to overweight have also been improved. The blood sugar, blood pressure, and triglyceride and cholesterol levels of people on a low-carbohydrate diet improved.
Some studies have shown that the ketones produced by ketosis have neuroprotective effects, which means they can strengthen and protect the brain and nerve cells.
Eating a low-carbohydrate/high-fat diet can also improve depression, anxiety and brain concentration problems.
A diet rich in refined carbohydrates can change the balance of intestinal bacteria and cause a significant increase and decrease in blood sugar, both of which can adversely affect skin health. A study shows that by reducing carbohydrate intake, a keto diet can reduce acne problems in some people.
The keto diet has some disadvantages and some health risks that need to be carefully considered, such as:
After taking a keto diet for a few days, you may experience problems. These can include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and constipation-usually due to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances caused by the body’s adaptation to ketosis. However, these problems usually disappear after a few weeks. Staying hydrated and consuming enough sodium, potassium and electrolytes every day will help.
Blood sugar problems
Although the keto diet has been proven to support healthy blood sugar levels, it may cause complications related to ketones and blood sugar.
Heart health problems
Keto is a high-fat diet. If you eat too much saturated fat, cholesterol levels will rise, especially LDL, which is related to cardiovascular health problems. However, you can reduce the risk and increase cholesterol levels by choosing healthier fats (such as the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados).
Liver and kidney problems
The liver and kidneys help your body process fat and protein. Some experts believe that the keto diet may make them overworked. In addition, high-fat animal food intake may increase your risk of kidney stones.
Low in nutrition and fiber
Ketones limit many high-fiber, nutrient-rich fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains and legumes. It may not provide certain vitamins and minerals for optimal health.
Studies on the keto diet have found deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and phosphorus. In addition, unless someone takes steps to eat a lot of green leaves and cruciferous vegetables, the keto diet often leads to constipation and may even destroy healthy gut bacteria.
Restrictive and challenging
The keto diet is strictly restricted. Carbohydrates usually make up at least 50% of the typical American diet. Persistence is a challenge for many people.
Exacerbate eating disorders
The dietary risks of people who eat improperly are common. Dieting usually interferes with the pleasure of eating and simple daily activities, but extreme and restrictive diets such as ketones are particularly challenging for anyone, especially those who eat hard.
The keto diet has a fast, short-term weight loss effect in controlling healthy blood sugar levels and has excellent benefits.
However, the challenges of ketosis and some of the potential health risks of a keto diet emphasize the importance of choosing rich healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, nuts and seeds), high-quality meats and food. Plenty of low-carb/high-fiber vegetables to reduce problems.
Some people thrive by eating a low-carbohydrate diet. However, for most people, the ketone limit seems too strict in the long run. In addition, health experts point out that people’s reasonable attention to diet will eliminate many healthy and important staple foods (cereals, legumes, starchy vegetables and fruits) that are vital to vigorous health.
As with any diet, it is recommended that you consult a healthcare professional before starting a low-carbohydrate diet (such as keto) or making any changes to your diet.
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What are the pros and cons of the keto diet in this article? First appeared on BrainMD Health Blog.