Many individuals seeking weight loss explore various diets and meal plans, with ketogenic diets being a popular choice worldwide.
The allure of ketogenic diets lies in their distinctive feature. Unlike other eating patterns, such as low-carb, high-protein diets, the keto diet adjusts the macronutrient balance to significantly increase fat intake, constituting up to 90% of daily calories.
Initially utilized as a remedy, the keto diet has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing epileptic seizures in children. However, its growing popularity is now largely centered on weight loss.
Existing studies primarily provide short-term insights with conflicting results, leaving the comprehensive, long-term physiological consequences of adhering to a keto diet largely unknown. Concerns about its safety are also voiced by experts.
How Does it Work?
The keto diet aims to compel the body to utilize a specific type of fuel. Instead of deriving energy from sugar (glucose) originating from carbohydrates like grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits, the primary energy source becomes ketone bodies produced by the liver from stored fat.
While burning fat appears to be an ideal method for shedding extra pounds, inducing the liver to produce ketone bodies is a challenging process. Strictly limiting carbohydrate intake to 20-50 grams per day is necessary, requiring several days to achieve ketosis—the state where the body, facing carbohydrate scarcity, turns to fats and ketone bodies for energy. Simultaneously, protein intake is also restricted to avoid interference with ketosis.
Given the fat-dominant nature of the keto diet, adherents must include fat in every meal. For a 2,000-calorie daily plan, the macronutrient breakdown may consist of 165 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrates, and 75 grams of protein.
The keto diet features healthy unsaturated fats like nuts (almonds, walnuts), seeds, avocado, tofu, and olive oil. However, it also incorporates a significant amount of saturated fats from oils (palm, coconut), lard, butter, and cocoa butter. Protein is included, with a preference for sources high in saturated fat such as beef, pork, and bacon. Fruits, high in carbohydrates, are limited, while certain vegetables are permitted in small portions. If you are looking for the best low-carb diet supplement for weight loss, order Summer Body KETO + ACV Gummies at a great price.
The primary risk stems from the high consumption of saturated fats inherent in the ketogenic diet, linked to heart disease. Recommendations typically advise limiting saturated fat intake to 7-10% of daily calories, as the diet may elevate atherogenic low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
Other potential risks include insufficient dietary fiber intake leading to adverse changes in the intestinal microbiome, deficiency of essential nutrients due to limited variety in food choices, liver problems arising from excessive fat mobilization, kidney strain from increased protein intake, constipation due to low fiber content, and cognitive and mood disturbances stemming from the brain’s need for sugar from healthy carbohydrates.
A crucial piece of advice for those considering the ketogenic diet is to consult a doctor before commencing. Moreover, the sustainability of any diet is challenging, and reverting to a normal diet often results in regained weight. Therefore, maintaining overall health, including a healthy weight, is best achieved through a balanced, nutritious diet with appropriate caloric restriction.