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The keto diet has been one of the hottest topics surfacing on most social platforms. People have had a variety of opinions on it. While some rejected it from scratch, some thought it was one of the finest techniques to get into a leaner body. Several experts who happened to view the principles and practices of the keto diet have shared their opinions and concerns about the diet.
Apart from its effects on one’s body, some also believe that the way it encourages the fad of having a lean body is toxic. In the last decade, the keto diet came out as a rage amongst youngsters. From teenagers to adults, countless people got caught in the fad and suffered from serious consequences affecting their health.
What is a keto diet?
Not many people are aware of the fact that the keto diet originally came into existence as a measure to control epilepsy in patients. The fundamental principle of the keto diet is based on replacing a person’s carb intake with their protein intake and fat intake. It is believed and has been proved that our body consumes all the carbs we receive via food and uses it as a fuel to run all its functions. When we deprive our body of the necessary carbs, it will start to use the fat stored in the body and turn it into the fuel that would carry out all the functions.
As per the USDA guidelines, a person must compulsively dedicate 55% of their meal to carbohydrates, 20% to proteins, and 25% to fats, to make it a healthy diet. If you pay attention to the keto diet chart, it cuts down one’s carbohydrate consumption to just 5% of their meals, the protein consumption remains the same (20%) and the fat consumption is increased to 75%. Not only does this diet impose an extreme shift from the healthy diet plans but it can also be slightly dangerous and risky.
The metabolism involved:
When the body is deprived of its essential carbs, it has no other option left than to use the fats to derive the energy for carrying out its daily functions. These fat molecules convert into another compound called ketones. The process by which these fat bodies get converted into ketone bodies is known as ketosis.
During ketosis, one must make sure that there is an adequate amount of protein present in their body. If the amount of protein is more than the required amount, it will interfere with the process of ketosis and stop it from being accomplished. While, if the amount of protein in one’s body is less than the required amount, it will make them lose their lean muscle mass and will affect the strength of their body. Therefore, there are several factors that determine the proper metabolism of the keto diet plan.
Pros of a keto diet:
- The simplest and the most basic expectation from a good diet is that it makes you lose a significant amount of weight. Also, it should be easy to practice, which means, it either allows you to eat often or does not make you feel hungry, since suppressing your hunger can come across as really tough.
- Well, the benefits of the keto diet have been proven several times. People who have practiced this diet religiously, have lost significant amounts of weight, and while practicing this diet, they did not even have to suppress their hunger. It is said that during the process of ketosis, one does not feel very hungry.
- Apart from helping people to lose weight, the keto diet also has some additional benefits. It controls the amount of sugar present in a person’s blood and improves their insulin sensitivity. Since a person is made to avoid any kind of processed food during their dieting period, it helps them to consume healthier food than before.
Cons of a keto diet:
- Since a person has to cut down on their carbs consumption, they need to give up food items like whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, etc, which often lead to nutrient deficiency and constipation.
- A major side effect of a keto diet includes fatigue, headache, brain fog, weak digestion, etc. However, these effects persist only for a short time, but they do affect a person’s health and comfort.
- Keto diet also has some long-term effects on one’s health, like it could cause kidney stones, osteoporosis, and even some serious liver diseases.
- The human body needs a diet that has variety. A restrictive diet is too hard to follow for us. However, as per the list provided by the US news, in 2018, the keto diet was mentioned as one of the easiest diets to follow.
- Since this is a restrictive diet plan, it can often lead to eating disorders or obsessive eating.
What precautions should be taken during a keto diet?
- Make sure you consume healthy fats like fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocados.
- Your carbs consumption is restricted, so make sure you consume high fiber vegetables like broccoli, kale, arugula, etc.
- If you find yourself uncomfortable with the diet plan, do consult your dietitian.
Who should strictly avoid a keto diet?
Just like we mentioned above, a keto diet imposes great risk, not just on one’s digestive system, but also their metabolism. People who have suffered from diseases affecting their pancreas, or associated with their liver, thyroid, or gallbladder, must strictly avoid following a keto diet. Such people are at a greater risk of suffering from complexities during the diet. Also, it can harm their health to incurable limits.
Any person who has suffered from a gallstone, or has got their gallbladder removed, must keep away from keto diets, and any such diets that require them to make a drastic shift from a healthy diet plan.
The Keto diet has been a much-debated topic lately. It has several pros like it allows you to shed a significant amount of weight, and also due to ketosis going on, you feel less hungry. It also maintains one’s sugar level in the blood and controls insulin sensitivity.
There are several cons of the keto diet, which include a high risk for liver diseases, and since the diet is restrictive, one might also suffer from eating disorders.