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The Keto Diet and You: Good Fit?


The ketogenic diet has been described as the biggest diet sensation – by far – in the nutrition industry. So it’s worth a look for that reason alone.

A ketogenic diet is very high in fat (about 75%), moderate in protein (about 20%), and very low in carbohydrates (about 5%). Its purpose is to bring the body into a state of ketosis. In ketosis, instead of burning glucose, the body breaks down fat to make ketones for energy.


Benefits of Keto?

We usually hear about the benefits of ketosis including weight loss, an increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and improvement in type 2 diabetes, as well as a reduction in epileptic seizure activity and inhibiting the growth of cancerous tumors. I listen.


Small studies have shown promise for women with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), an insulin-related condition. This may be due to its potential (not conclusive) ability to reset insulin sensitivity.

Everything old is new again?

The current keto diet isn’t the first time we’ve targeted carbs as a diet villain. Medical trials with low-carb eating and/or fasting date back to the 1850s and earlier.

In 1967, Stillman introduced The Doctor’s Quick Weight Loss Diet, which consisted of nothing but low-fat protein and water.

Then came the Atkins diet in 1972, high in fat and protein, low in carbs. It also helps with weight loss and diabetes, high blood pressure and other metabolic conditions. It is still popular today.

In 1996, Eades and Eades introduced Protein Power, an extremely low-carb diet that appears to help patients with obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or diabetes.

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So reducing carbs, as the keto diet does, has a history of helping people lose weight and/or improve metabolic factors. Anecdotal evidence supports this.

Are there other benefits of keto?

Potential benefits may be seen with neurodegenerative conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, possibly because these brain disorders are related to metabolic disorders. In fact, Alzheimer’s is now called type 3 diabetes.

These conditions are best managed under medical supervision.

Based on research done on rats, ketones also seem to improve traumatic brain injury.

In the interest of full disclosure…

The initial weight decreases rapidly with the keto diet. The body has used up its stored glycogen (carbs stored in the muscles) and has thrown away the stored water along with it. After that the weight loss can continue, but at a slower rate.

Metabolism shows an initial increase that begins to disappear within 4 weeks.

Keto does not provide long-term benefits in fat loss or lean mass gain.

In some people, keto appears to increase LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

What about negative effects?

The commonly mentioned “cons” of the ketogenic diet are nutritional deficiencies due to missing food groups and an unpleasant transitional condition called “keto flu,” which can last for days. These include loss of appetite, dehydration, headache, nausea, fatigue, irritability, constipation, brain fog, lethargy, poor focus, and lack of motivation. Because these symptoms are similar to those of people giving up caffeine, keto has been billed as a “detox” plan.

Other downsides include problems with gut health and difficulties with adherence to this type of low-fiber diet.

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With regards to workouts, the keto diet probably doesn’t offer any advantage for most people. In fact, the depletion of glycogen that induces this can lead to wall binding (bonding). Athletic performance involving speed and power may be reduced without glucose and carbohydrates as fuel.

The International Olympic Committee urges athletes to avoid low-carb diets. They can lead to poor training adaptations and lead to decreases in both power output and endurance. An association of MY-induced cardiac arrhythmias in exercising rats on a low-carb diet.

Due to the low-carb nature of the keto plan, my concern is how women may perform in regards to serotonin synthesis and function. Carbs play a key role in transporting tryptophan (the serotonin precursor) to the brain, so without those carbs, serotonin levels can drop. How does this affect women in terms of mood, appetite, impulsiveness, and more?

What’s the bottom line?

Keto appears to be viable for short-term weight loss and the other health issues mentioned above. Whether the approach is appropriate long term is still under debate. Its benefits are still under debate. Critics cite potential kidney damage and a lack of long-term studies and scientific evidence.

Overall, keto is neither a long-term cure nor an ideal solution for people who just want to “get healthy.” At least, for many people it is difficult to follow the diet consistently.

A better long-term eating plan might be a more balanced one that’s low in sugar and “junky” carbs and emphasizes healthy, high-fiber foods, including vegetables.

Source by Joan Kent

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