The keto diet depletes the body’s sugar and breaks down fat for energy. It can help you lose weight, manage acne, and improve your heart health, among other benefits. However, there can be some risks.
A keto diet is a diet plan that focuses on foods high in healthy fats, proteins and very low in carbohydrates.
Foods work by depleting the sugar stores in the body. This produces molecules called ketones which the body uses as fuel. When your body burns fat, it also leads to weight loss.
There are several types of ketogenic diets, including the standard ketogenic diet and the cyclic ketogenic diet.
This article discusses the benefits and risks of the keto diet.
Promote weight loss
A ketogenic diet can promote weight loss in several ways, including increasing metabolism and decreasing appetite.
Ketogenic diets are foods that can make you feel full and have fewer hormones that stimulate hunger. For these reasons, a keto diet reduces appetite and can lead to weight loss.
In a meta-analysis of 13 different randomized controlled trials in 2013, researchers found that people who followed a ketogenic diet gained 2 pounds more over the course of a year than those who followed low-fat diets
Similarly, another review of 11 studies found that people on a ketogenic diet lost 5 pounds more after six months than those on a low-fat diet.
Acne can have many causes, and for some people, it can be related to diet and blood sugar levels.
Eating foods high in processed and refined carbohydrates can alter the balance of your gut bacteria, causing blood sugar levels to rise and fall rapidly, which can adversely affect skin health
A 2012 study found that a ketogenic diet can reduce acne symptoms in some people by reducing carbohydrate intake.
It can reduce the risk of certain cancers
Researchers are studying the effects of the ketogenic diet in preventing or treating certain types of cancer.
One study suggested that the ketogenic diet may be a safe and appropriate adjunctive therapy for patients with certain types of cancer to use with chemotherapy and radiation therapy because cancer cells suffer more oxidative stress than normal cells, causing them to die.
A recent study in 2018 suggests that a ketogenic diet may also reduce the risk of insulin-related complications because it lowers blood sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar and can be linked to certain types of cancer.
Some research suggests that a ketogenic diet may have some benefits in treating cancer, but research in this area is limited.
It can improve heart health
Healthy food choices are important when following a ketogenic diet. Some evidence suggests replacing unhealthy fats like lard with healthy fats like avocados can help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
A 2017 review of animal and human studies on the keto diet found that some people had significant reductions in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein levels. It turns out that we Let’s… enhance. (HDL), or “good” cholesterol.
Therefore, the cholesterol-lowering effects of the keto diet may reduce the risk of cardiac complications.
However, this review concludes that the positive effects of diet on heart health depend on the quality of the diet. So, eat healthy and nutritious foods while following the keto diet.
Protect brain function
Some research, such as this 2019 review, suggests that ketones produced during a keto diet offer neuroprotective properties, meaning they can strengthen and protect the brain and nerve cells.
It can reduce seizures
Ketosis is the metabolic process in which the body uses ketone bodies as fuel.
The Epilepsy Foundation suggests that ketosis can reduce seizures in epilepsy patients, especially those who have not responded to other treatments. More research is needed to see how effective this is, but it seems to work best in children with focal seizures.
A 2019 review supports the hypothesis that a keto diet may help people with epilepsy. A ketogenic diet can reduce epilepsy symptoms through several different mechanisms.
To improve the symptoms of PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that can cause a man to have excess hormones, ovulation dysfunction, and polycystic ovaries. A diet high in carbohydrates can lead to side effects such as skin problems and weight gain in patients with PCOS.
A 2005 pilot study followed five women for 24 weeks. Researchers have found that the ketogenic diet improves several signs of PCOS, e.g.
- To lose weight
- Hormone balance
- Fasting insulin levels
But they also caution that the research is too varied to recommend a keto diet as a general treatment for PCOS.
Risks and complications
The ketogenic diet has many health benefits. However, long-term adherence to a ketogenic diet can have negative health consequences, including an increased risk of health problems e.g.
- Kidney stones
- Excess protein in the blood
- Mineral and vitamin deficiencies
- Accumulation of fat in the liver
The keto diet can have negative side effects that many refer to as the keto flu. These side effects include:
- Decreased exercise tolerance
These symptoms are common at the beginning of a diet as the body adapts to new sources of energy.
Some people may avoid the keto diet, e.g.
- Diabetics dependent on insulin.
- People with eating disorders.
- People suffering from kidney disease or pancreatitis.
- Pregnant and lactating women.
People taking sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors to treat type 2 diabetes should also not follow the keto diet. This drug increases the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition that increases the acidity of the blood.
It is especially important for those who are trying to manage a problem or illness to discuss recommended meal plans with their doctor, nutritionist, or trusted health care provider.
People wishing to start a keto diet should seek medical advice and be checked for medical conditions such as diabetes, hypoglycemia and heart disease to ensure that the keto diet is a safe diet.
Keep in mind that there is a lack of research on the long-term benefits of a ketogenic diet. It is unclear whether maintaining this diet over the long term is more beneficial than less restrictive healthy eating.
The ketogenic diet restricts or severely restricts carbohydrates. However, some carbs are good for your health. For a less restrictive diet, you must have a diet that includes nutritious fiber-rich carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables, as well as food sources of protein and healthy fats.