Advantages and drawbacks.
There has been a marked increase in obesity globally. This is responsible for type-2 diabetes,hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. As is often observed obese persons are prone to low self-esteem. This leads them to resort to extreme dietary interventions to obtain weight loss. One such dietary intervention is ketogenic diet.
In our daily diet we are required to have 130 grams of carbohydrates. But due to the ketogenic diets there is reduction in carbohydrates to less than 50grams/day and an increase in the proportion of proteins and fats. A keto diet is rich in protein and fats. It includes plenty of meats, eggs, sausages, cheese, fish meat, butter, coconut oil, avocados and low carb vegetables.
There are various types of ketogenic diets as mentioned below-
· Standard ketogenic diet- It contains 70% fat, 20% protein and 10% carbohydrates.
· High protein ketogenic diet — It contains 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbohydrates.
Besides this there are cyclical and targeted ketogenic diets,mostly used by bodybuilders and athletes.
The ketogenic diets have low carbohydrate percentage. After few days with reduced carbohydrate consumption to below 50grams/day the glucose reserves become insufficient. After 3–4 days of carohydrate restriction the central nervous system is forced to find an alternate source of energy.This alternate source of energy is ketones. They are produced by breakdown of fats.
The advantage of ketogenic diet comes in the treatment of epilepsy. It also reduces serum triglycerides.
There are some disadvantages too. Adverse effects include bad breath, muscle cramps, loss of energy, change in bowel habits and sometimes early death. Since low carbohydrates diets have lower intake of vegetables, fruits and grains and increased intake of fats it can be detrimental and produce biological ageing. Patients with kidney disease should be careful as their condition could worsen.
Initially people are thrilled with weight loss and diabetes control with keto diets. But with time they get bored with the same diet. They get frustrated and slowly increase carbohydrate intake and return back to their original weight.
Weight loss is the primary reason for persons to use keto diets. We should realize that there is no shortcut to healthy eating and we are not living in lab conditions. Micromanaging disconnects you from what the body is asking for. All foods fit into a healthy diet. It is a matter of moderation and finding ways to eat food you love without overindulging.
So the key here is to use moderation and get a customized diet plan from a dietitian without letting the balance swing to either side. There should be a balanced representation of all food groups on our plate.