- A lot many people have been following the keto diet
- When on the ketogenic diet, carbohydrate intake is very low
- Some of the common health benefits of keto diet are weight loss
Of late, a lot many people have been following the keto diet. Whether it is celebrities or the common man, it seems keto is the new weight loss strategy for many. First of all let us understand what a ketogenic diet is. In simple words, the diet is high in fats and low in carbohydrates while allowing moderate proteins. The aim of the keto diet is to keep, your body in a metabolic state called ketosis. Generally, the human bodies burn carbohydrates for energy. When the amount of carbs you intake is limited, the body will break down the stored fat, creating molecules called ketones to use as fuel. The most important thing in a keto diet is that the body burns fats for fuel rather than carbohydrates. Also, the diet allows you get more calories from protein sources and fats from carbohydrates.
When a person eats a meal rich in carbohydrates, their body takes uses those carbs and converts them to glucose for fuel. Insulin is then made to move that glucose into the bloodstream. Glucose is the body's primary source of energy when the diet includes carbohydrates. However, but on the ketogenic diet, carbohydrate intake is very low. So when the diet lacks carbs, the body utilizes another form of energy. In the absence of carbs, the liver takes fatty acids in the body and converts them into ketone bodies, also known as ketones, as an energy source. This is why the diet helps in quick weight loss.
Some of the common health benefits of keto diet are weight loss, reduction in acne, may put you at a less risk of certain types of cancer, proper functioning of the brain and helps in maintaining a healthy heart. While some health hazards related to following a keto diet are formation of kidney stones, headaches, lack of fiber which lead to digestive issues, lower blood sugar levels, acidity and muscle loss. Moreover, since the diet lacks in common nutrients it may be difficult for you to sustain.
Foods that are allowed while on a keto diet are seafood, meat, high-fat dairy products, avocado, cheese, cottage cheese, coconut oil, eggs, Greek yoghurt, olives, butter, cream and healthy nuts and seeds. On the other hand, packaged and processed food, milk products, low-fat dairy products, sweetened beverages, legumes and certain oils.
According to the Delhi based nutritionist, Monisha Ashoakan, "Keto diet is the new FAD Diet that everyone wants to follow. Even though the diet helps in tremendous weight loss, it is not meant for everyone. A high fat diet uses ketosis to fuel your body for energy. Ketones are a by product of fat metabolism and excess of ketones in the body have harmful effects. It can cause dizziness, flu and fever. The diet eliminates fiber which is essential for the body. Fiber helps to prevent cancer of the colon, cardiovascular diseases and keeps you full. Thus, the diet needs to be followed with utmost caution." The nutritionist further went on to say, "These fad diets are meant to give a shock to your body by making it follow a pattern that's very different from the usual pattern. Thus if used it should be used for a short duration only!"
(Monisha Ashokan is a nutritionist at Nourish Me)
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