Over the decades, several diet plans have garnered considerable attention, specifically for their weight loss benefit. However, one diet that has taken the world by storm is none other than the Keto diet. This fad diet has is the latest trend that has attracted the minds of millions.
You must be curious to know, what exactly is Keto diet?
It is basically a very low carbohydrate, high fat diet with moderate protein. The approximate nutrient values are 5% carbohydrates, 70% fats, and 25% proteins. So, if you are in a mood to adopt this diet plan, you will have to bid goodbye to carbs and say hello to fats!
So what is the difference between a normal and a keto diet?
In a normal high carbohydrate diet, your body utilizes glucose as the prime form of energy as it is easiest to convert and use as energy. Since glucose is being used by your body, fats get stored.
On the other hand, in Keto diet, the intake of carbohydrates is significantly reduced and replaced with fats. This leads to the production of ketones by your liver. Ketones are substances that are formed when your body breaks down fat for energy. This implies that you will be burning fats and not carbohydrates.
Too heavy to understand right? Do not worry we have come now to the most important section of the article- The advantages & disadvantages of Keto diet. Have a look:
1. Enables weight loss and an effective solution for obesity
As this diet uses your body fat, it turns your body into a fat burning machine and thus you are bound to lose weight. However, muscle mass is preserved to sustain the improvement that your body has achieved.
2. Allows you to consume fats
This diet encourages the use of good fat, such as cream, cheese, butter, avocado, and nuts. Eating a high-fat diet helps in curbing your hunger pangs, thereby resulting in less snacking and overall less calorie intake.
3. Stabilizes energy levels
As fats are a readily available source of energy, you can have pumped up energy levels, despite a reduction in appetite.
4. Supports gut health
Following this diet may offer an added advantage for those of you who suffer from digestive issues.
5. Controls blood sugar levels
It decreases glucose levels by cutting down carbs and thus helps in managing and preventing diabetes.
6. Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure
It may increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol levels.
Moreover, as some blood pressure issues are associated with overweight, this diet may provide another bonus along with weight loss, i.e. improvement in blood pressure levels, says Dr. Deepti Tiwari, Clinical Nutritionist, CK Birla Hospital, Gurgaon.
7. Manages epilepsy and seizures
It has been observed that switching to this diet reduces the probability of fits in individuals with epilepsy.
Now let us have a look at the other side of the coin!
Although the benefits of this diet may outweigh the disadvantages, you may face some problems while following this diet.
a) One of the main side-effects is Keto flu. It usually occurs during the transitional phase from carbs to fat. You may experience headaches, nausea, muscle cramps, and fatigue during this period.
b) Other problems include difficulty in adhering to the diet plan, bad breath like that of a nail paint remover, micronutrient deficiencies due to lack of carbs, mood changes and reduced brain function during the initial weeks which may subside gradually.
c) In addition, diarrhea, constipation, rash, back pain, insomnia, decreased phosphate levels, and increased risk of osteoporosis and kidney stones have also been associated with this diet.
d) Lastly, this diet can cause ketoacidosis which may occur due to increase in ketones. This may decrease your blood pH which may be fatal, especially if you are a diabetic.
This diet may seem appealing, especially to those of you who are looking to lose extra pounds. However, it is advised to follow under the guidance of a dietitian or a nutritionist.