The Ketogenic Diet: What you Should Know and its Risks
The ketogenic diet is based on the restriction of carbohydrates to 10% or less. This induces a state of ketosis. This helps burn fat by activating alternative metabolic routes.
The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is a very low-carb diet that converts the body into a fat-burning machine. It’s said to have potential benefits for weight loss, health, and athletic performance. Plus, there are millions of people who claim to have experienced benefits.
However, this type of diet can seriously jeopardize your health. Keep reading to find out more about the topic.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is one that reduces or eliminates carbohydrates. This forces the body to enter ketosis. This causes weight loss when using fat as an energy source.
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body is deprived of carbohydrates as the primary source of glucose for energy production. Therefore, it’s forced to obtain energy from the metabolism of fat.
When we deprive the body of carbohydrates, it uses the glycogen stored in the liver as a first resource. When that’s consumed, the body begins to consume fatty acids, transforming them into ketone bodies.
However, their massive releases can be dangerous for the body.
The proportion of carbohydrates in a ketogenic diet is usually well below the recommendation of 50 to 60% of total calories. Generally, it provides 10% or less of the recommended energy from carbs in the form of hydrates.
There are ketogenic diets in which the person can eat fruits and vegetables in very controlled quantities. However, other types eliminate all sources of carbohydrates, prohibiting the intake of grains, flour, baked goods and also fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Additionally, there are ketogenic diets in which fasting is used to promote the initial formation of ketone bodies. This must subsequently be sustained to achieve weight loss at the expense of the great oxidation of fats.
As you can see, there are many types of ketogenic diets and all have the ultimate purpose of promoting fat burning in the body to later give rise to ketone bodies in our body.
However, there are also many risks to this type of diet.
The Risks of the Ketogenic Diet
1. It reduces your consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables.
Because most ketogenic diets minimize the consumption of fruits and vegetables, the body doesn’t get as many vitamins, minerals, and fibers.
This could be solved by taking a vitamin supplement as a compliment.
2. It induces a reduction in fiber intake.
When eating so little fiber, another consequence is constipation.
Therefore, we recommend drinking certain infusions that have laxative effects, such as mauve.
3. It may cause bad breath.
Among other things, it’s also common to suffer from bad breath or halitosis, given the high production of ketone bodies.
Also, some studies suggest that this type of diet can increase feelings of fatigue due to the lack of carbohydrates in the diet.
4. This diet could reduce your cognitive levels.
5. The ketogenic diet is hard to follow.
Additionally, although some people say this diet is easier to follow than non-ketogenic ones, studies show the opposite.
Since dieters cannot eat popular foods like cereals, bread, vegetables, fruits, legumes, it’s very difficult to stick to this diet.
6. It could cause ketoacidosis.
In extreme cases, this diet may lead to ketoacidosis if the ketone bodies are massively increased in the blood. This can cause damage to certain organs, and may even result in a coma.
Therefore, to undergo this type of diet, it’s essential to have a good health history and to make regular doctor visits. If you have kidney or liver failure, you can have serious problems if you do this diet.
Read this article: Why are Gluten-free Diets Harmful?
In addition to the inherent disadvantages of this diet, some risk groups are more vulnerable than others:
- People with liver or heart problems, since in some cases it can cause the development of arrhythmias.
- Pregnant or lactating women.
- People with kidney failure.
The ketogenic diet isn’t a diet that you can carry out for life or one that promotes healthy habits. It won’t give you a balanced diet, but rather proposes an occasional and temporary alternative to lose weight and fat.
Finally, remember that for any nutritional regimen that you are going to follow, it’s important to visit a specialist who will review your current health status, as well as your progress.