Ketogenic Diet: An Effective Strategy or Dieting Trend?

For sustainable and optimum weight loss, eating right has to be a priority. However, everyone is searching on the internet for the ‘best diet’ or beingtouted by social media influence’s and celebrities that impacts the food we eat and our nutritional habits. Among several popular fad diets, we will discuss about the keto diet here.

What is keto diet

A keto diet is an eating plan that has around 20% of the calories from protein, 10% from carbs, and 70% come from healthful fat.

Background of keto diet:

keto diet was prescribed to reduce the number of seizures in children with epilepsy who were not responding to other forms of treatment.
Keto diet is boon for people with epilepsy as they have fewer seizures after following the diet.

Is it healthful for weight loss?

First, we need to understand the principle behind it.

Our body’s first requirement is energy. We eat to get energy& the glucose from carbs is the primary source of energy.

Very few carbs in the diet means, there is not enough glucose available to provide enough energy, the body will adopt an alternative strategy to meet those needs. Initially it depletes the glycogen stores & later it begins to break down fat stores& facilitates weight loss.

Ketones are theformed in the body due to the breakdownof fat and in this metabolic process, the body enters into ketosis, hence name keto diet.

Is that make sense? Yes, it sounds very promising, Right?

Adhering to the keto diet, no doubt canwork for you. This is partly because you are eating less & your body is going into negative calorie balance, that is the goal of any weight loss diet.

Are you aware of the fact that it is also a far more dangerous diet than any, even when you follow them for a short period of time?

Some people on ketogenic diet experiencecertain adverse side effects that is known as keto flu.

People who follow a keto diet need to monitor their ketone levels carefully. If levels get too high, ketoacidosis can occur.

The adverse symptoms of ketoacidosis are mainly due to low blood sugar (in the absence of carbs):

  • Fatigue, low energy
  • Confusion and difficulty concentrating
  • Headache
  • More cravings
  • Fruity breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath or rapid breathing

Long term health complications

Staying on ketogenic diet without monitoring your ketone levels can be poisoning for the body.

Mayo clinic’s verdict on the high fat content in keto diet combined with limits on nutrient-rich fruits, veggies and grains is a concern for long-term heart health.

A recent study found that the keto diet did not have any long-term advantages on weight loss. The high-saturated fat foods that are mostly eaten while on the keto diet may raise bad cholesterol levels, which increases your chances of heart diseases. (Information from the Journal of Clinical Lipidology)

A certified panel of nutritionists and medical specialists involved in the field of diabetes, weight management, cardiac health compared a list of 35 popular and most followed diet plans, which included trendy and fad diet programs which made news on the internet.

The panel decided the rankings by marking the diets on seven categories, where they were ranked on a scale of 1-5. The parameters included nutritional profile, easiness to follow, sustainability for both short term and long -term weight loss, safety, side effects, and health benefits (if they could help prevent or treat risk factors like diabetes, heart diseases, etc.)

The keto diet has been ranked as the ‘worst’ diet plan for weight watchers, fairly because of its rather restrictive nature. The findings have been published in the US News and World Report’s 2020 rankings of the best diets.

Whenever, during my consultation I explain about the side effects of the keto diet to the clients, they pacify themselves saying we are not going to follow strict keto diet or for a long period- this is just to kick start the weight loss.

Please understand if you are not following strict keto diet, your body will not enter into ketosis & the purpose is lost.

I have few clients who have followed keto diet before, have health concerns like kidney stones, fatty liver, excess protein in blood, gall bladder stone & certain vitamin & mineral deficiencies.

If you have any health condition like diabetes, heart disease, Irritable bowel disease, please ensure to seek consultation with a doctor & clinical dietitian before starting any diet.

If you are healthy, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is the diet extremely low in calories?
  • Will it be hard to fit into your lifestyle?
  • Could you follow this diet over the long term?
  • Does it offer a quick fix to your health issues?
  • Do you need to take support by consuming certain food supplements?
  • Do you have to cut out certain healthy food groups viz dairy, grains(gluten) that diet requires?

(However, Ovo- lacto-Vegetarian diet & Pescatarian diets (being nutritionally balanced) are exceptional, as these diets are devoid of meat & meat products, but not animal products.)

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, the diet is not healthful.

Rather, making conscious healthy food choices a regular part of your eating pattern can help you:

  • Meet your nutritional needs
  • Maintain your overall health
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight

To know more about healthy lifestyle personalized diet for you, Book appointment with our dietician by contacting on 055-2500905 or send email to cc@eatconscious.ae

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