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What Is The Ketogenic Diet? Should I Do It?

May 17, 2019

Commonly referred to as ‘keto’, the ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that's gained popularity over the years. It involves a drastic reduction in carbohydrate intake and an increase in fat intake. This change helps your body efficiently burn fat while experiencing a number of other health benefits. Although this diet can be extremely difficult to follow, exiting ketosis is fairly easy. The main benefits associated with the ketogenic diet are listed below.

  1.   Aids in Weight Loss and Lowers Susceptibility to Diseases

According to research, the ketogenic diet is highly effective for weight loss. In addition, it's been proven to prevent or decrease the severity of several diseases, including type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar, acne, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, just to mention a few. The latter is characterized by enlarged ovaries accompanied by fluid-filled sacs caused by high insulin levels.

A ketogenic diet also helps fight cancer, a devastating disease, since it’s aimed ateliminating excess refined sugar and other processed carbohydrates, which can lead to the aggressive multiplication of cancer cells (Draxe).

  1.   Helps Support Several Brain & Neurological Disorders

Basically, the brain requires energy to function well, and the ketogenic diet promotes the production of ketones as fuel rather than fat energy. This can, in turn, reverse some neurological disorder symptoms, such as cognitive impairment, while inducing seizure control. This has mainly been noted in patients suffering from epilepsy, anxiety, and depression (Draxe).

  1.   Lowers the Chances of Cardiovascular Disease

Despite its high fat intake, the ketogenic diet contains decreased levels of harmful triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose, and an increased level of good HDL cholesterol. This plays a major role in the prevention of heart disease.

In regard to whether or not you should do a ketogenic diet, the answer may vary. This is highly dependent on an individual's health and wellbeing. That being said, the following types of people should take extra precaution before committing to a keto diet (Draxe).

  • Nursing Mothers
  • Breastfeeding mothers lose approximately 30 grams of sugar through breast milk on a daily basis. Being on a ketogenic diet deprives your body of the energy required for breastfeeding, leading to health problems. As a nursing mother, you should eat a well-balanced diet to supply enough nutrients to both you and your child.

  • Diabetics
  • Monitoring your insulin levels is highly recommended if you're on the ketogenic diet. This is because it reverses type 2 diabetes while improving type 1 diabetes blood sugar, so it’s advisable to be in constant contact with your doctor while on the diet. Or, if possible, it's ideal to keep track of insulin levels so that you can adjust your medication intake accordingly (WebMD).

  • People Taking High Blood Pressure Medication
  • It’s important to seek out your doctor’s advice before embarking on the ketogenic diet since it may cause extremely low blood pressure. By enlisting the advice of a medical professional, you'll ensure that your blood pressure levels are monitored and won't reach a dangerously low point. 

    In Conclusion

    The ketogenic diet is quite strict and doesn’t provide the exceptional benefits that many people claim it does. To efficiently reach your health goals, you should focus on choosing a diet that allows you to be consistent in either attaining a caloric surplus (to gain more muscle) or in attaining a caloric deficit (to lose fat).

    References

    https://draxe.com/guide-to-keto-diet-for-beginners/#6mainbenefitsoftheketodiet

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17971178

    https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-ketogenic-diet