Last Updated on March 12, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
We all love to follow a healthy diet that benefits our bodies. When you happen to be around people who are planning about losing weight and restricting their eating habits to selected food items, you are very likely to hear something called ‘Keto’ or ‘Ketogenic Diet’. Without discouraging to use (though there are some crucial things to take note of) it if you already are in this diet plan, I would like to say that there are the good and bad effects of a ketogenic diet.
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
A Keto Diet or Ketogenic Diet is a diet plan that takes your body into Ketosis which is basically a metabolic process where the body uses fats as the major source of nutrients instead of carbohydrates.
Keto diet is rapidly gaining popularity because it does help lose weight by breaking down fats stored in our body. In this diet plan, our body derives approximately 75 percent of calories from fat, 20 percent from proteins and only 5 percent from carbohydrates. However, the weight loss can very well be a short term effect of the Keto diet plan.
So what are the pros and cons of a Ketogenic Diet?
Getting to the state of Ketosis might have positive effects on health conditions like diabetes and various metabolic syndromes besides obesity. Moreover, it is said to improve the level of good cholesterol.
The Good Effects of Ketogenic Diet
Because a lot of body fat is burnt in Ketosis, the weight loss is almost certain but the benefits mentioned above are largely because of the weight loss itself rather than low consumption of carbohydrates.
A very unpopular benefit of Ketogenic diet is its effect on children with epilepsy. Yes, keto diets have proved to reduce the frequency of seizures in children not responding to regular epilepsy treatment. It is however not exactly known what makes it helpful for epilepsy.
The Dark Side of Ketogenic Diet
Normally the primary source of energy for our body is glucose which is derived from carbohydrates. In the absence of enough glucose, the body adopts another mechanism wherein it breaks the fat to provide glucose.
When fats are broken down to produce glucose, there is something called ketones which are produced as a byproduct. These ketones, in small amounts in our body, serve as an indicator that our body fat is being broken down, but an excess amount of ketones can be alarmingly dangerous as it might take you to a state called diabetic Ketoacidosis.
Conversely, Diabetic Ketoacidosis is a dangerous health condition that occurs when the number of ketones produced in our blood is very high. These ketones are blood acids that are produced because of the process called ketosis that happens when someone is under the Ketogenic diet.
Doctors claim that when the body enters into the state of Ketosis, we tend to get fatigued and eventually enter into the starvation mode which is when it becomes very difficult to lose weight.
They should only be used under strict clinical supervision and not for a longer period of time because its side effects can be lethal. Additionally, it is not evidently proven that a ketogenic diet is beneficial for heart patients.