The keto diet is an eating pattern that is carried out by implementing a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. This diet is considered to be able to lose weight quickly. The keto diet is still debatable, though, because it is thought to be unhealthy if not followed correctly.
Before you do the keto diet to lose weight, you should first know various things about this eating pattern, including how to do it and the risks. As a result, you can determine whether this diet is appropriate for your physical abilities and bodily condition.
Understanding the Pattern
The keto diet is almost similar to the Atkins diet and a low-carb diet in that it is done by reducing carbohydrate consumption and increasing fat consumption. On the keto diet, consuming high amounts of fat aims to reach the body in a state of ketosis.
The body will use fat as its main energy source in these circumstances. Fat can also supply the brain with energy by being metabolized by the liver into ketones.
Ketosis is a mild condition of ketoacidosis, which is a dangerous condition that many people with type 1 diabetes experience.
Although there are still many pros and cons, several studies have shown that the keto diet is classified as safe and effective, especially for overweight or obese people. The advantages and impacts of the ketogenic diet on the body, however, are still being investigated.
Before being used for weight loss, the keto diet has been recommended as a way to treat several types of diseases. Here are some of the benefits of the keto diet:
1. Controlling blood sugar in type 2 diabetics
The keto diet is a diet recommended for people with type 2 diabetes. They are encouraged to consume healthy fats, such as fats that come from salmon, nuts, and avocados.
Food intake that is low in carbohydrates but high in healthy fats is believed to improve the body’s performance in storing and processing energy. The effects of diabetes will then be lessened as a result.
To monitor the safety of the keto diet in diabetics, sufferers are advised to routinely check their blood sugar levels every day. Do not let blood sugar levels become too low. Ketone-level testing also needs to be done to avoid ketoacidosis.
2. Reducing the risk of heart disease
The keto diet, which is carried out by increasing the consumption of healthy fats, may be able to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. This is presumably because the keto diet can lower insulin levels so that cholesterol production in the body also decreases.
3. Alleviate the symptoms of epilepsy in children
Many studies have revealed that the keto diet is useful for alleviating the symptoms of epilepsy in children. Children with epilepsy symptoms that are challenging to manage with conventional treatment benefit greatly from this diet.
Not only that, a study of 150 children with epilepsy showed that after being on a keto diet for 1 year, half of these children experienced a 50% reduction in seizure frequency.
4. Reducing the risk of developing nervous system disorders
Apart from epilepsy, the keto diet is also believed to have benefits for treating nervous system disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, sleep disorders, and Parkinson’s disease. This is thought to be due to ketones produced by the body. Ketones are thought to break down fat into energy, thereby protecting brain cells from damage.
In addition, there are several other benefits of the keto diet for health, from reducing acne and helping to treat PCOS, to inhibiting the development of cancer cells.
How to Live a Proper
You must be prepared to significantly limit your daily intake of carbohydrates if you want to follow this diet.
Here are two common methods for going on this diet:
The standard keto diet (standard ketogenic diet), includes a diet in the form of consuming 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbohydrates
The high-protein keto diet (high-protein ketogenic diet), includes a diet consisting of 60% fat consumption, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates
In addition, other types of these diets are more commonly practiced by athletes or bodybuilders, namely the cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) and targeted ketogenic diets.
Foods are recommended or need to be avoided
The following are fat-rich foods recommended :
- Eggs, especially those containing omega 3
- Meat, chicken, turkey, sausage, steak, and other meat products
- Tuna, salmon, and mackerel
- Cream, butter, and cheese
- Green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, chilies, and other vegetables that are low in carbohydrates
- Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, sesame, chia, and pumpkin seeds
- Avocados, either consumed directly or in the form of cooking
- Olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil
- Salt, pepper, and various natural spices
In the meanwhile, the following kinds of carbs should be avoided:
- Rice, pasta, cereals, and wheat products
- Nuts and seeds
- Roots, such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots
- Sweet foods or drinks, such as candy, ice cream, cake, fruit juice, and soda
- Unhealthy fats from vegetable oil or mayonnaise
- Alcoholic beverages
- This diet is recommended for the short term, starting from 2-3 weeks to a maximum of 6-12 months. This diet is limited to weight loss and health enhancement.
After following this diet, you are then encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This seeks to reduce the risk of health issues that can develop if this diet is followed for an extended period.
Considering the Risks
Here are some of the risks that can occur if you are on this diet in the long term:
- Lack of intake of healthy carbohydrates, such as from fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and carbohydrate-rich vegetables
- Losing the benefits of vitamins and minerals that the body needs
- Kidney disorders, when protein consumption exceeds the recommended portion continuously in the long term
Please note, while on this diet, initially, you may experience some complaints. This condition known as “keto-flu” occurs during the body’s adjustment process. Some of the complaints that may arise are:
- The body feels weak
- Hard to sleep
- Annoying hunger
- Decreased concentration
Even though it doesn’t always happen, these complaints can sometimes feel heavy for those of you who are just starting on the keto diet. However, these complaints will decrease over time and after you get used to this eating pattern.
Any diet will not give everyone the same results. Therefore, consider the various benefits and risks of the keto diet before you embark on it.
You can consult with your doctor before going on this diet to find out whether the diet is suitable for your body’s conditions, needs, and abilities.