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The Keto Diet: Does It Really Work or Safe

Keto Diet
Keto Diet

The keto diet has gained popularity because it promises to lose weight fast by cutting carbohydrates out of the diet, but how healthy is it?

Although it started in 1921 and was used mainly to treat epilepsy, later, in the 1970s, it became popular as a method of rapid weight loss. In recent years it has become quite important, as more research has been done on the body's response to this type of diet and on the weight that is lost, which is promising and is a fast way to weight loss. 

Carbohydrates, present in bread, rice, pasta, cereals, sweets, fruits, potatoes, etc., are the main fuel in our body. They are the preferred choice of the cells of our body when they need energy. 

The problem is that by consuming more than they need, these carbohydrates very easily become fat tissue and, consequently, make us gain weight. Therefore, there are diets based on suppressing the consumption of these nutrients. 

One of the most famous is the ketogenic diet or keto diet, which is based on limiting the consumption of carbohydrates until practically eliminating them from the diet and basing the diet on products rich in healthy fats. 

With this, thanks to some metabolic processes that we will see below, it is possible to lose weight quickly, but at what price? Is this diet really useful? Don't have health risks? In today's article, HEALTHY and FITNESS will answer these and other questions about the keto diet.

What Is The Keto Diet? 

Ketogenic is a diet that, despite having existed for more than 40 years, today is on the rise and is generating a lot of controversies. It consists of a nutritional plan in which carbohydrates, which usually represent more than half of the caloric intake in a normal diet, is almost completely eliminated from the diet. 

These carbohydrates are replaced by healthy proteins and fats from oily fish, vegetables (with few carbohydrates), oils, dairy products. This attempts to avoid all the calories that come from carbohydrates and ensures that the body obtains energy otherwise. 

This different way of obtaining energy happens when our body enters a metabolic state - hence the name of the diet - known as ketosis. Ketosis is an emergency situation that triggers our body when, not having carbohydrates to cover energy needs, it makes use of fats and begins to break down them. 

As a result of this degradation of fats, which, we repeat, would not occur if we had enough carbohydrates available, the body generates ketone bodies or ketones. These molecules serve as fuel for cells, which, in emergency situations, use fat as an energy source. 

This does, in effect, quickly lose weight for reasons that we will see below. In any case, it must be borne in mind that entering a state of ketosis is a “desperate” move by our body that it only makes when there is no other alternative. 

Therefore, there are risks that are worth commenting on. Our body will constantly ask us to eat carbohydrates so that everything returns to normal, which is why it is very difficult to follow this diet for a long time. 

Does It Help You Lose Weight Quickly? 

The keto diet does help you lose weight quickly, but at a high price and only in the short term. Obesity is still a global pandemic, and if it were so easy to eradicate it, it would be decades since there would be people affected by this disorder. Diets of this type are not the universal solution. 

The keto diet can be useful for a very specific mindset of people who wants to achieve quick weight loss results but without the intention of always staying that way. 

Dispense with carbohydrates is a strategy to lose weight very quickly for different reasons. 

First, by eliminating all carbohydrate-rich foods from the diet, the likelihood of new fat tissue being generated is minimized, since the fat stores that cause us to have a few "extra kilos" come largely from the excess of these carbohydrates. 

Second, our body starts to use fat tissue as an energy source in a very energy-inefficient process. In fact, of all the ways you can get energy, the least efficient is to get it through fat. In other words, a gram of carbohydrates offers much more energy than a gram of fat.

So in order to have enough energy, you need to consume much more fat to have the same fuel that you would have with a little carbohydrate. Therefore, we force you to quickly consume all the fat stores that are in your tissues.

Thirdly, because fatty foods contribute more to satiety than the others do if we base the diet on products rich in healthy fats, our body will say that it is "full" sooner, so, in principle, we will eat less. 

The union of these three factors is what makes a keto diet, in effect; serve to lose weight very quickly. In fact, after a few weeks, you can see marked results. But we must bear in mind that our body is carrying out the metabolic processes that it is only programmed to carry out when a person is malnourished, so this is not “free”.


Other Benefits of Keto Diet


Reduce inflammation:

When eliminating carbohydrates, the first thing you will notice is a significant reduce inflammation, since you are eliminating flours, sugars, and processed products from your diet and you will have a significant loss in measurements.

Gives the same result as Fasting:

By radically reducing carbohydrates, our body enters ketosis, a metabolic process in which it converts all the fat that we are introducing through the diet into energy. With this type of diet, our body responds in the same way that it would respond if we fasted. In fact, the body's physiological response to intermittent fasting is pretty much the same as it is to a ketogenic diet.


Reduces blood sugar and insulin levels:

One of its benefits, in addition to the aforementioned, is that it reduces blood sugar and insulin levels. By not ingesting carbohydrates, the body draws on the stores of the muscles and the liver, glycogen. Ketosis is a relatively quick process, so you see results in a few days, although this is not the case for everyone. 

What You Can and Cannot Eat On A Keto Diet 

To get an idea, let's see the ratio of carbohydrates to fat in what - although it should not be generalized so much - we understand it as a "normal" diet. Traditionally it is said that carbohydrates should represent approximately 50% of caloric intake, while fats should represent 25%. 

Well, in the keto diet, these roles are reversed and fats constitute up to 70% of the calories consumed daily. And carbohydrates can never exceed 10%, that is, they are almost eliminated from the diet. 

If you eat more, the body will never initiate ketosis, because as long as it has enough carbohydrates, it will never "use" fats, since having reserves of this tissue is very important for health and will only do so when there is no alternative. 

  • List of Foods Allowed On Keto Diet 

Vegetables, as long as they are low in carbohydrates, are the foundation of the keto diet. Here we have spinach, avocado, tomato, onion, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, etc. Eggs and their derivatives are also allowed, as they are a good source of energy. 

Meat and cold cuts are also allowed. Preferably, it should be white meat (chicken and turkey); although red meat is also allowed as it is a good source of fat. 

Oily fish, which is high in fat, is also important. Here we have salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, tuna, trout, bonito, swordfish… Nuts, fatty dairy products, oil, and of course, salt, pepper, and spices are allowed. 

  • Foods to Avoid On A Keto Diet 

All foods rich in carbohydrates should be eliminated from the diet. This includes even fruits, as they contain sugar and are therefore discarded.

Bread, pasta, rice, cereals, flour, potatoes, legumes, sweets. All these foods that represent the cornerstone of any diet traditionally considered healthy, must be eliminated from the diet. 

What Are The Dangers Of The Keto Diet? 

Remember that the keto diet induces a state of emergency in our body. It consists of depriving him of his favorite fuel so that he begins to literally consume himself to obtain the necessary energy to stay alive. 

Obviously, this has consequences on the health of the body. The diet itself ends up being more harmful than the excess weight that it was trying to combat. Here are some of the most important negative health effects of this diet. 

1. Ketoacidosis 

Ketones are acidic molecules that circulate through our bloodstream when we enter ketosis, thus altering the pH of the blood, which is known as ketoacidosis. This has negative effects on the health of the person, since the transport of oxygen in the blood is affected when there is too much acidity in the blood.

It is a serious situation and, if this diet is maintained for a long time, it can endanger the life of the person. 

2. General Malaise 

Remember that ketosis is an emergency situation for our body. He needs carbohydrates to function properly, so, at least initially, this diet causes disease-like symptoms: headache, insomnia, fatigue and weakness, constipation, indigestion, trouble concentrating, bad breath. 

3. Loss of Muscle Mass 

With this diet, what we encourage is that the body "eat" itself, so it is common for a significant loss of muscle mass to occur. This can lead to problems for the health of the entire organism: weakness, lack of strength, walking problems, fatigue. To compensate, people who follow this diet should eat a lot of protein, something that is not recommended from a nutritional point of view. 

4. Cardiovascular Problems 

It is important to remember that it is a diet in which many fats are eaten and, although they are tried to be healthy, this can lead to health problems. It is common for people who follow this diet to end up having problems with cholesterol levels, so they have a higher risk of cardiovascular problems: heart disorders, hypertension, thrombosis. 

5. Rebound Effect 

One of the most typical problems of all these miracle diets that promise quick weight loss is the rebound effect or "yo-yo" effect. Nobody can go on such a diet indefinitely, so you will end up eating carbohydrates again, and when you reach this point, you will regain the weight you had before and even a little more since the body no longer processes carbohydrates so effectively. 

6. Loss Of Quality Of Life 

In addition to the health risks, something very important is in terms of quality of life. To do without carbohydrates is to eliminate from the diet most of the foods that we enjoy eating. Food is undoubtedly one of life's joys. 

Is The Keto Diet Worth It? 

Obviously, everyone is free to do with their body what they want and must weigh the pros and cons. So each person will find an answer to this question. Anyway, in conclusion, we can say that the keto diet is not as "miraculous" as it is tried to believe. 

We are so obsessed with losing those extra pounds that we sacrifice our health for it. Yes, it is true that the keto diet helps you lose weight quickly, but at what cost? We invite our body to enter a state of emergency. 

It is a diet that cannot be followed indefinitely, so its benefits are only short-term. If you want to obtain long-term benefits, it is much healthier to eat a varied diet - including physical exercise - in which nothing is dispensed with but everything is eaten in just the right amounts. It may take longer to lose weight, but the reward will be much greater and your health will thank you.


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