Keto Diet – Pros and Cons
Keto Diet – Pros and Cons
What Is The Keto Diet?
The keto diet or ketogenic diet is a diet that encourages the body to use lipids as the primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates. The keto diet consists of eating 60% to 80% fat, 20% to 25% protein and less than 5% carbohydrates. In this way, the body would be encouraged to use lipids as the primary source of energy, not carbs.
How Does The Keto Diet Work?
The first thing to remember is that the keto diet is a diet that imitates fasting, reproducing on the body the same effects as the latter. Indeed, during a fast, the body deprived of glucose draws through the liver, the elements that are useful, turning them into ketone bodies. The principle of the ketogenic diet is, therefore, to provide the body ketone, not through carbohydrates, but rather by lipids.
Meals are therefore composed almost entirely of fat. Coconut, walnut or olive oils, mayonnaise, cream, and butter are ideally suited for this purpose. Protein occupies only a small part in this particular diet. As for carbohydrates, they are eliminated, composing at most 2% of your plates. The ketogenic diet is one of the low carbohydrate diets.
The Benefits of the Keto Diet
It can lead to weight loss
Some people, especially in the beginning, often notice weight loss. It is partly due to the increase in satiety caused by the intake of fats (fats slow down digestion and promote the balance of blood sugar). Weight loss is also due to people reducing the number of foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. These foods can help to cause water retention, so when the weight of the water disappears, people feel and look thinner.
You can eat more fat (normally healthy fats)
Healthy fats are essential to health, and most of us do not have enough. One of the benefits of this diet is the increased consumption of fat, normally healthy fats from avocado, nuts or oily fish for example.
It’s a great way to detoxify sugar
Since this diet can only consume 25 to 35 grams of carbohydrates in total, most people will have to reduce their intake of really sweet foods, which is a plus and I think most of us can enjoy!
Treatment of Epilepsy Initially used in children with epilepsy to reduce seizures, the keto diet was developed in the 1920s. This diet first demonstrated anticonvulsant effects in people with epilepsy. Then, the keto diet has gained popularity in recent years as a quick method to lose weight.
The use of energy reserves
This mode of food is based on a diet respecting precise proportions of macronutrients. The latter would generate less storage in carbohydrate and lipid stores. Not only does the body absorb less carbohydrate, but it consumes primarily those in reserve. Take the metaphor of the energy gate to simplify the process of energy assimilation at the cell level. This energy gate opens more or less depending on the nutrients presented to it. The lipids allow a small opening whereas the carbohydrates and the proteins open it much more easily.
Improved control of blood glucose, and tissue sensitivity to insulin
Insulin is a hypoglycemic hormone that allows the absorption of sugar in the cells. It plays a significant role in the storage of sugars, and fats. People with Type 2 Diabetes and other metabolic disorders have diminished tissue sensitivity to insulin. Indeed, the tissues are too often in contact with it. Reduced consumption of simple sugars stabilizes and improves blood glucose control. It promotes the improvement of tissue sensitivity to insulin.
A recent study highlights a reduction in glycated hemoglobin, improved glycemic control, decreased weight, and reduced drug use in people with type 2 diabetes who follow the ketogenic diet.
A decrease in the overall inflammation in the body
The excessive consumption of refined sugars and saturated fats is at the origin of the manifestation of neurological disorders and various inflammatory phenomena. Several publications reveal that the ketogenic diet would lead to an improvement in the degenerative brain pathologies, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The ketogenic food mode would globally limit the inflammatory phenomena in the body. More specifically, this action is done by modulation of the immune system, directly related to inflammatory manifestations in the body. The concerned structure, called Inflammasome NLRP3, would be found and involved in pathologies such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis or gouty arthritis.
The ketogenic diet is currently at the heart of many cancer treatment types of research. It may seem ambitious, but still logical when we consider it as a metabolic pathology
The Disadvantages of the Keto Diet
It can be difficult to follow
Even for a nutrition expert, eating a diet that provides 70-80% fat, 10% carbohydrate, and 15% protein is not easy. Besides, each meal (most of the time) must be planned and calculated. For the majority of people, this will be the hardest part.
Several people end up eating fats that are not so healthy
The advantage of this plan is the increase in fat consumption, but the disadvantage is that many people end up eating a lot of animal fat (saturated). Although carbohydrates are out of the equation, making fats potentially less dangerous, these types of fats are not suitable for your health.
It may not promote significant long-term weight loss
Although there is a decrease in weight for the majority of people, there are people who do not lose as much weight as they want or who do not lose weight.
Fiber consumption is often too low
The reason is that many foods containing fiber also contain more carbohydrates than is allowed on this type of plan.
The “ketogenic flu”
The use of lipids as the primary source of energy is not an easy phenomenon. During this transition, headaches, unusual tiredness and vomiting may occur. It is called “ketogenic flu”. These different symptoms have a variable duration depending on the individual.
The easy storage of sugars consumed in excess: the carbohydrate rebound
The body loses its tolerance to sugars because the consumption of carbohydrates decreases drastically. The energy gate kept closed during the Keto diet will open all the more easily in the face of carbohydrates. And for a good reason, by adopting this diet, the sensitivity to insulin would improve significantly. Also, the sugar absorbed will be added to the sugar produced by gluconeogenesis. However, the carbohydrate reserves are limited; the surplus sugars are then stored in the lipid reserve tissues.
A keto diet that contains too much carbohydrate, protein, in addition to high lipid content, would lose its beneficial effects and could cause metabolic disorders, including the liver. Under these conditions, it naturally follows an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The uncertainties and controversies of the scientific literature
The scientific literature lacks data on its long-term effects, and not all studies on this diet have a high level of scientific evidence. Many isolated cases are living proof of the effectiveness of this system, and the people for whom it has benefited must be encouraged to continue doing what is right for them.