A keto diet is an eating plan that focuses on foods that provide a lot of healthful fats, adequate amounts of protein, and very few carbohydrates. The goal is to get more calories from fat than from carbs.
The diet works by depleting the body of its sugar reserves. As a result, it will start to break down fat for energy. This results in the production of molecules called ketones that the body uses for fuel. When the body burns fats, it can also lead to weight loss.
There are several types of keto diet, including the Standard Ketogenic Diet and the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet.
In this article, we explain the benefits of the keto diet, as well as its risks.
The ketogenic diet may help
Ketogenic diets consist of foods that fill a person up and
Acne has several different causes and may have links to diet and blood sugar in some people.
Eating a diet high in processed and refined carbohydrates may alter the balance of gut bacteria and cause blood sugar to rise and fall significantly, both of which can adversely affect skin health.
Researchers have examined the effects of the ketogenic diet in helping prevent or even treat certain cancers.
When a person follows the ketogenic diet, it is important that they choose healthful foods. Some evidence shows that eating healthful fats, such as avocados instead of less healthful fats, such as pork rinds, can help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol.
High levels of cholesterol can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. A keto diet’s reducing effect on cholesterol may, therefore, reduce a person’s risk of heart complications.
However, the review concluded that the positive effects of the diet on heart health depend on diet quality. Therefore, it’s important to eat healthful, nutritionally balanced food while following the keto diet.
Some studies, such as
For this reason, a keto diet may help a person prevent or manage conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
However, more research is necessary into a keto diet’s effects on the brain.
The ratio of fat, protein, and carbs in a keto diet alters the way the body uses energy, resulting in ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic process during which the body uses ketone bodies for fuel.
The Epilepsy Foundation suggest that ketosis can reduce seizures in people with epilepsy — especially those who have not responded to other treatment methods. More research is necessary on how effective this is, though it seems to have the most effect on children who have focal seizures.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is
There are not many clinical studies on the ketogenic diet and PCOS. One
- weight loss
- hormone balance
- ratios of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
- levels of fasting insulin
The ketogenic diet may have a range of health benefits. However, staying on the ketogenic diet long-term can have
- kidney stones
- excess protein in the blood
- mineral and vitamin deficiencies
- a build up of fat in the liver
The keto diet can cause adverse side effects that many people know as keto flu. These adverse effects may include:
These symptoms are especially common at the beginning of the diet as the body adjusts to its new energy source.
Some populations should avoid the keto diet, including:
- people with diabetes who are insulin-dependent
- people who have eating disorders
- those with kidney disease or pancreatitis
- women during pregnancy and breastfeeding
People who take a type of medication called sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors for type 2 diabetes should also not follow a keto diet. This medication increases the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition that increases acidity in the blood.
It is important to discuss any intended diet plan with a doctor, dietitian, or trusted healthcare provider, especially for people who are trying to manage a health problem or disease.
People looking to start the keto diet should seek consultation with a doctor and check if they have diabetes, hypoglycemia, heart disease, or any other health conditions to ensure the keto diet is a safe eating pattern.
Keep in mind that studies on the long-term benefits of the ketogenic diet are lacking. It is unclear whether maintaining this diet over more extended periods is more beneficial than less restrictive healthful eating patterns.
A ketogenic diet restricts or severely limits carbohydrates. However, some carbohydrates provide health benefits. For a less restrictive dietary approach, people should consume a diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense, fibrous carbs, such as fruits and vegetables, alongside nutritious protein sources, and healthful fats.