KETO Diet in the eyes of a dietitian
Do you know that the keto diets are almost a century old! They were and are still used in the treatment of childhood epilepsy. With the increasing popularity of the keto diets to help weight loss, it may be interesting to understand the mechanism, pros and cons of these diets.
Juicing is a rage these days! Talk about juice cleanses, smoothie bars! Scientific evidence confirms that although such liquids count as calories, the body doesn't detect them the same way as it would detect solid food.
Normally, the body uses glucose as it's primary source. The central idea of the ketogenic diet is to put the body in a fasting state. The standard keto meal plan is not a high protein diet but actually a high fat diet consisting of 60-75% fat, 15-30% protein and 5-10% carbohydrates. Due to the unavailability of carbs, the compensatory mechanism of generating energy from fat stores is initiated. Fat breakdown produces ketones like acetone, beta-hydroxybutyrate and deacetoacetate (you may read as ABC!) to provide energy to the body's cells. When you eat less than 50g of carbs a day, your body will reach ketosis in 3-4 days.
Only reducing calories will bring you to a weight loss plateau easily making it more challenging in the end.
Whole eggs, poultry, fatty fish, beef, pork, organ meats. More the fat percentage, the better!
Soya, tofu, almond flour, oilseeds
Full fat dairy, cream, nut butters
Non starchy vegetables but no fruits
The base of the keto diet is not bread/potatoes/rice/grains – but creative preparations like zoodles(zucchini spaghetti), cauliflower rice, breads made from almond or coconut flours, flaxseed meal, especially for the vegans and vegetarians. You will definitely have to be prepared to stock up a whole range of products specially for you!
- Weight loss*
- Reduced appetite as the extremely high level of fat promotes satiety.
- Improved insulin sensitivity which is always the end result of weight loss.
- Increased brain function for those suffering from epileptic seizures and other disorders.
* primarily due to very low calorie intake and limited variety of consumables.
Ketogenic diets are followed for primarily inducing weight loss over promoting health benefits. The following symptoms differ from person to person.
Constipation and indigestion due to the lack of soluble fiber in the meal plan.
The excretion of ketones are facilitated by the kidneys. Kidney overload?
Keto flu - headache, weakness, irritability, bad breath, fatigue are common symptoms.
Short term - Keto diets are not recommended to be continued long term. Carbohydrate cycling is advised but then the weight fluctuations begin, sending the dieter on anxiety and guilt trips and when the fast results slow down, the diet fails to motivate and the dieter calls it quite altogether.
What works for one, not necessarily works for another. Ketogenic diets have several supporters who achieve their goals and are able to sustain themselves on limited choices and intricate meal planning. It is important to realize that for long term, sustained weight loss, the emphasis should be on inculcating healthy, well balanced meals, lifestyle modifications and working on mind skills.
Mansi is a registered dietician who dares to think different. Her No-Diet approach offers easy and practical food solutions for those looking to lose weight or manage their medical conditions. Online consults are just a click away.
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