What is Keto Diet, Advantages and Disadvantages

To achieve weight loss, a keto diet is often recommended. It will enable the body to burn stored fat and consume a lower quantity of carbohydrates. Know what is Keto Diet, advantages and disadvantages, and important questions related to this diet.

The carbohydrates you get from food are converted to glucose, which the body uses as energy. Since glucose is easy to use compared to fat, the body uses the former first.

Ketogenic diets target the use of body fats for energy because the consumption of carbohydrates has been restricted. During this process, ketones are produced due to the breakdown of fat in the liver. As a result of this, the body uses ketones as energy instead of the usual glucose.

One major way to achieve the state of ketosis is to limit the consumption of foods that contain carbohydrates. Normally, a ketogenic diet contains 5 to 15% of calories from protein, 5 to 10% of calories from carbohydrates, and 80 to 90% of calories from fat. This is to verify that fat is the main source of a ketogenic diet.

There are certain variations in the ketogenic diet that allows carbohydrates of 5 to 10% calories and proteins of 20 to 30% calories. Most people include this in their diet plan.

Like it has been stated, a ketogenic diet is majorly used to lose weight. However, it can be used to improve athletic performance and weight management.

When the body is in a state of ketosis, weight loss can be quickly achieved. At this stage, the body does not have sufficient stored glucose to convert to energy. Ketones are used as energy instead of glucose but the glucose has been exhausted.

To ascertain if you are in the ketosis phase or not, you’ll need to undergo a urine test. A negative result means you are not in a state of ketosis. Get the ketone strips from the pharmacy and follow the instructions on its pack. You’ll get a positive or negative result.

Note that ketoacidosis is different from nutritional ketosis. The former has a relationship with a diabetic medical emergency while the latter deals with weight loss.

People with diabetes can experience complications if their ketone level increases. Diabetes arises due to the body’s inability to produce insulin or use glucose effectively. Since the body cannot carry out these functions, fat is used in place of glucose. Then ketones begin to build up in the body.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a condition whereby ketone levels rise in the body of a diabetic patient thereby making the blood acidic. It’s an extremely dangerous condition that shouldn’t be taken with levity.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Keto Diet?

There is nothing with benefits that don’t have demerits. Before starting a keto diet, you need to understand how it can contribute to your health both positively and negatively.

While starting your keto diet or during the phase, you’ll likely experience the signs listed below;

1. Constipation

Naturally, fruits and vegetables aid the bowel to eliminate toxic substances. Removing these major foods from diets can result in constipation. Keto diarrhea can also occur.

2. Heart Problems

Keto diets contain animal fats and proteins which can harm the heart. If you are susceptible to heart diseases, don’t start a keto diet. Before switching to a keto diet, consult with your doctor if you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

3. Nutrient Deficiency

Many nutrients are removed from your regular diet since you don’t consume certain foods. This can lead to nutrient deficiency in the long run.

4. Flu

After a long time, your body will have adjusted to carbohydrates. While trying to cut down on the intake of carbohydrates, your body might feel repulsive to adapt to the change. You’ll possibly notice symptoms like insomnia, diarrhea, headache, and cramps.

5. Low Blood Sugar Levels

People with diabetes should seek medical help before switching to a keto diet. Lack of carbohydrates in the body can reduce the blood sugar to a very low level. Hypoglycemia can be prevented by taking insulin or adhering to the doctor’s advice.

Advantages of Keto Diet

1. Aids in Glucose Management

Naturally, limiting the intake of carbohydrates in diabetic people is beneficial. So, switching to a keto diet helps to manage glucose. There’s also a possibility that the Keto diet can replace medications for those who have type 2 diabetes.

2. Increases Performance

Regular adherence to the Keto diet improves performance, especially if you engage in sporting activities. Also, using fat in the place of carbohydrates for energy enables quick recovery.

3. Helps to lose weight

Keto diet is a low-carb diet, which means many calories are cut down resulting in weight loss. Besides, your appetite will be suppressed which is a major factor in weight loss.

Benefits of Keto Diet To Type 2 Diabetic People

By switching to a keto diet, the intake of carbohydrates is drastically reduced. Blood sugar will also be controlled. People with type 2 diabetes are now embracing the keto diet. Research has also shown that the keto diet helps to reduce weight and lower blood glucose levels.

As much as the keto diet is beneficial, you need to consult your doctor before starting a keto diet. Dieticians have made it known that a keto diet can be very risky for people with diabetes because the blood sugar levels can drop. Also, a buildup of ketones in the blood can cause kidney damage.

Foods for a Ketogenic Diet

1. Non-Starchy vegetables such as onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, and more.

2. Diary Products such as cheese.

3. Fats from butter and plant-based oils.

4. Fruits such as coconut, rhubarb, avocado and berries.

5. Nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds and walnuts.

6. Proteins from pork, beef, and fish.

Foods that must be Avoided in a Keto Diet

1. Artificial sweeteners

2. Sweets, cakes and candies

3. Grains

4. Processed foods

5. High Carbohydrate Fruits

Questions to Ask Before Switching to a Keto Diet

1. What Should I Eat in a Keto Diet?

Whole and unprocessed foods that are keto diet will likely be expensive than processed foods. You need to make a list of cost-effective foods that are fresh and in season. Buying in bulk is also a good idea as the price will be less expensive.

2. Will I be able to follow the diet for the long term?

Now that you’ve decided to follow a keto diet, it is important to know if it’s for the long term. This means you’ll watch what you eat to prevent much intake of carbohydrates. Note that your diet must be healthy to limit the side effects of the keto diet and the risk of complications.

Asides from targeting weight loss, the keto diet should help you lead a healthy lifestyle. Following a low carb diet for a long time is essential when you embrace a keto diet.

3. How can I reduce the side effects?

The best way to control or prevent the side effects of a keto diet is to take one step at a time. Reduce your carbohydrate intake and increase the fat you consume per day. Make sure you seek the guidance of a healthcare professional before making a significant change to your diet.

4. What Keto Diet Should I follow?

Most people follow a keto diet which allows only 10% calories from carbohydrates. There’s the targeted keto diet and cyclic keto diet. If you aim to lose weight, focus on the standard keto diet.

Generally, the keto diet that is commonly followed involves 20 to 30% of calories from protein, 10% of calories from carbohydrates, and 60% to 80% calories from protein.

Final Words

Keto diet aids weight loss but can cause nutritional deficiency, constipation, low blood sugar levels, and flu. People with heart or kidney disease should avoid a keto diet as much as possible.

Although a keto diet is beneficial to people with type 2 diabetes. However, a doctor should be consulted before taking this step.

Resolve within yourself to know if the keto diet can be followed for the long term. When you get back to your initial eating habit, weight gain will be inevitable.

Don’t be in haste to see the results of your new eating habits. You might experience a slow reaction while following the diet, this happens sometimes. With time, you’ll begin to see positive results.

Remember to see your health provider before taking action.

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