The Pros and Cons of a Ketogenic Diet
The diet of an individual massively impacts one’s lifestyle. From losing weight to gaining muscle, the proper intake of food plays a prominent role in various anatomical processes. Among the numerous existing variety of diet plans, a ketogenic diet is renowned for its low carbohydrate intake, which, when combined with moderate protein consumption, results in the formation of fuel molecules known as ‘ketones’. These are subsequently utilized by the brain as a source of energy and the whole process of their formation is known as ‘Ketosis’. Apart from the beneficial act of providing the body with a form of fuel, a ketogenic diet is accompanied by its fair share of pros and cons.
An increase in hunger is what usually follows dieting. In stark contrast, the low-carb intake of a ketogenic diet leads to a diminished appetite. According to studies, the lower carbs and protein consumption automatically results in lower ingestion of calories.
Increase in HDL levels
A ketogenic diet results in increased levels of HDL in the body. HDL or ‘High Density Lipoproteins’ are biochemical assemblies of protein and lipids which transmit cholesterol through the blood. Unlike other lipoproteins, which transport cholesterol from the liver into the body, HDL works in the exact opposite manner. They carry cholesterol from the body to the liver for it to be excreted.
Assists weight loss
Low-carb diets flush out the surplus water inside the body which leads to losing weight. Additionally, a Ketogenic diet causes lower Insulin levels. This results in the kidney shedding excess sodium which also brings about swift weight loss.
Lower blood pressure
Hypertension (high blood pressure), if left untreated, can cause health conditions such as heart failure, vision loss and stroke. A Ketogenic diet effectively decreases blood pressure levels. This encourages an elongated life due to the reduced risk of hypertension-related health conditions.
Curbs brain diseases
Since the glucose Ketones produced through Ketogenic diet are burned by the brain and used as energy, they can help ward off brain conditions such as Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkingson’s disease.
While following a ketogenic diet is accompanied by a variety of advantages, it does have its own set of limitations:
Can lead to micronutrient deficiencies
The lack of carbohydrate intake can cause severe micronutrient deficiency. To tackle this, taking multivitamin/mineral supplements is essential.
Can cause Ketoacidosis
Excess Ketone formation can lead to a massive increase in Ketone levels which can result in the occurrence of Ketoacidis. This, in turn, leads to lower pH levels which, mostly in severe diabetic conditions, can be as drastic as fatality. Non-diabetic patients tend to be much less vulnerable to Ketoacidosis.
The effectiveness of a ketogenic diet can vary from person to person. If you’re looking to avail its benefits, you also need to proceed with caution and care. Overcoming the few existing challenges and a successful implementation definitely leads to a much healthier life.
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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.