In addition to its proven effectiveness in shedding extra pounds, there is evidence of positive health aspects.
Ketogenic diets cause the body to increase the use of fat as a source of energy.
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Along with the Mediterranean and Dutch diets, ketogenic (or keto) diets are among the most popular in the world. High in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates, this type of diet has enough evidence to prove its effectiveness for rapid weight loss, although the most respected experts say it is difficult to maintain over time (which is why they grouped within so-called yo-yo diets) and warn of their risks.
“It’s a search for magic. No extreme or unorthodox diet can be perceived as a way of life. Therefore, sooner or later, he will be abandoned. In other words, the diet will be disrupted along with the spell. And so it will look, with its pompous and captivating illusions, the return of lost weight, “he said Clarion Dr. Monica Katz, who added:” While it is true that they facilitate weight loss, they have many negative effects. Given that humans have only three available fuel options – carbohydrates, proteins and fats – to compensate for the reduction in carbohydrates, the contribution of protein and especially fat increases.
The keto diet is high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates.
However, according to various studies, a ketogenic diet may have other health effects that are not necessarily related to weight loss. They claim that it has healing properties for brain conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases and epilepsy. And it also has a powerful effect on endorphin levels and mood.
But let’s start at the beginning.
What is a ketogenic diet?
“It’s basically a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the blood. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we begin to break down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (a process called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells use ketone bodies for energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The transition from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fats for energy usually occurs within two to four days when less than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates are eaten per day. You have to keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones, ”explains Dr. Marcelo Campos, a professor at Harvard University School of Medicine, in an article published in Harvard Health Publications in mid-2017
15% of boys completely overcome seizures, and another 50% achieve a significant reduction in the number of seizures.
As explained to Clarion by Dr. Maria Vakaretza, a pediatric neurologist at the Italian hospital, has been a ketogenic diet for years in the treatment of epilepsy. “Epilepsy affects 1 in 100 children and 30% do not respond favorably to drugs, so they can resort to a ketogenic diet that improves seizures and cognitive function,” says Vaccarezza.
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“The ketogenic diet is a treatment used to help control seizures in children with intractable epilepsy. This diet has existed since the early 20’s, but its use decreases with the development of many drugs suitable for the treatment of seizures. Since the 1990s, its use has increased due to the iconic case in the United States of a boy named Charlie, who was cured of his epilepsy thanks to a ketogenic diet, “added the specialist.
So let’s look at other likely health benefits of following this at least controversial diet:
1- There may be healing effects on the brain
“High-fat ketogenic diets have healing properties for brain conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases and epilepsy,” cardiologist Dr. Louisa Petre told Insider. He added that constant fat intake from the keto diet will also have a strong effect on endorphin levels and mood.
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2- Can be used as a protocol to treat diabetes
“There is growing evidence to support the use of the ketogenic diet as a protocol for the treatment of diabetes,” said Monica Auslander Moreno, a nutrition consultant at RSP Nutrition. “The ketogenic diet drastically reduces carbohydrate intake and therefore the need for so much insulin. As a result, it can calm the body’s insulin response. “.
The keto diet is high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates.
3- Can help regulate hunger and control desire
According to the New York Times, eating foods with a high glycemic index, including most processed carbohydrates, can cause a drastic rise and fall in blood sugar levels, which can stimulate hunger.
Because the keto diet is low in carbohydrates, “following it can stabilize blood sugar levels and therefore suppress your appetite.”
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4- You can burn more fat during a workout
In an interview with Shape, renowned personal trainer Ramsey Bergeron explained that doing cardio while on a ketogenic diet can “help increase fat oxidation, save glycogen, produce less lactate and use less oxygen.” “.
5- May help improve polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and fertility problems
“By avoiding insulin spikes while following a ketogenic lifestyle, women with PCOS report reversals of elevated androgenic hormones, particularly testosterone, which reduces the symptoms of PCOS and increases fertility,” explained nutritionist Molly Devine.
On the other hand, according to The Huffington Post, there has been very limited academic research over the past 3 years on the subject of conception (or fertility) and the ketogenic diet. A study of rats showed that diet-induced obese rats had reduced reproductive capacity, and a high-fat diet reduced it even more.
6- May improve skin health
Acne and other skin problems They are usually due to underlying inflammation and insulin resistance, according to Massom. Because ketones, a chemical produced by the liver that serves as fuel in a low-carb diet, are anti-inflammatory, “a diet that causes our body to generate ketones will help reduce inflammation and unwanted acne,” he said. .
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7- It can improve your cholesterol
“The ketogenic diet is associated with improved biomarkers such as HDL cholesterol and triglycerides compared to a low-fat diet. LDL cholesterol can increase and this can be worrying,” said nutritionist Katie Davidson.
For its part, Healthline notes that there are cases where a low-carb diet can increase your cholesterol due to the amount of fat you consume. It is important when you give up one macronutrient, such as carbohydrates, and balance the others.
Dr Campos, meanwhile, said: “The ketogenic diet improves blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes, at least in the short term. There is even more controversy when we look at the effect on cholesterol levels. Some studies show that some patients initially have a jump in cholesterol levels, only to see their cholesterol drop a few months later. However, there are no long-term studies looking at its effects over time on diabetes and high cholesterol.
“A ketogenic diet can be an interesting alternative for treating certain conditions and can accelerate weight loss. But it is difficult to track and can dramatically increase the consumption of red meat and other fatty, processed and salty foods that are known to be unhealthy, ”says Professor Harvad.
“We also don’t know much about its long-term effects, probably because it’s so difficult to maintain that people can’t eat that way for a long time,” he added.
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“It is also important to remember that ‘yo-yo diets’, which lead to rapid fluctuations in weight loss, are associated with increased mortality,” wrote Dr. Campos.
Instead of participating in the next popular diet, which will last only a few weeks or months (for most people who include a ketogenic diet), try to accept a change that is sustainable in the long run. A balanced and unprocessed diet, rich in lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil and lots of water seems to be the best proof of a long, healthy and vibrant life, ”recommends Campos.
“What makes the difference in long-term weight loss is not the manipulation of the nutrient ratio, but the intake of calories. Although obesity is a complex problem, the conventional, varied, balanced and enjoyable diet, with an adequate ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates in the “fair portion”, accompanied by exercise and techniques to deal with emotions and manage stress, it is still the healthiest way to lose weight “, says Dr. Monica Katz. “I have already said that I believe that every idea is neutral, the problem is to turn it into a phobia and pollute others with it. We are witnessing unprecedented carbophobia. “
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“The question is then: how to lose weight? The answer is obvious: at least not by abruptly reducing calories and including your favorite every day in the right portion. Pleasure is not extra, it is the axis of our decisions and even more so when it comes to eating. Of course, the secret is also to increase regular exercise and manage our emotions without using food, “Katz concluded.