Contributed by: Nancy Dixit
Simply put – a keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet plan. In recent times, the keto diet or ketogenic diet has gained a lot of fame due to its ability to effectively help with weight loss.
However, there are also some potential side effects.
So let’s get started – what exactly is the keto diet?
A ketogenic diet or keto diet is a low-carb diet and involves a state called ketosis.
Ketosis is a natural metabolic process that can be beneficial for weight loss and either when you don’t eat for long periods of time or when your carbohydrate intake is low.
How it works
When consuming less than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day, your body eventually runs out of the fuel (blood sugar) that gives it the energy to function.
After that, the body starts breaking down protein and fat for energy, which can ultimately lead to weight loss. This whole process is called ketosis.
During this process, insulin levels decrease and fat is released to provide energy.
This fat then enters the liver and some of it is converted into ketones.
Many parts of the body such as the brain or muscles use ketones instead of just carbohydrates.
It may take some time (3 to 4 days) for our body and brain to adapt to burning fat and ketones instead of carbohydrates.
During this adaptation phase, you may experience side effects which are usually temporary and subside over time.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits as well as the risks of the keto diet.
Benefits of the Keto Diet
A keto diet helps with weight loss by increasing metabolism and reducing appetite.
This diet includes foods that keep a person full and reduce appetite-stimulating hormones; Thus reducing appetite and promoting weight loss.
Acne can occur due to various factors. It may also be linked to diet and blood sugar in some people.
But according to some studies, it has been shown that a keto diet or limited intake of carbohydrates can reduce acne symptoms.
May reduce the risk of some cancers
According to some researchers, the keto diet may help prevent cancer.
For people with certain cancers, already undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, the keto diet is recommended as a complementary treatment for use.
Improve heart health
As we all know, high levels of cholesterol can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. A keto diet lowers cholesterol, which can help reduce the risk of heart problems.
Improve PCOS symptoms
According to clinical studies, it has been found that the keto diet has beneficial effects on women with PCOS or hormonal disorders. Type II diabetes.
Because, a high carbohydrate diet can cause adverse effects in people with PCOS, such as skin problems, weight gain, acne, etc.
Risks and Complications of the Keto Diet
In the early stages of the keto diet, you may experience adverse effects. This is often called the low-carb flu or the keto flu.
These symptoms are somewhat flu-like such as headache, brain fog, poor sleep, nausea, decreased physical performance, etc.
However, symptoms usually subside eventually.
One of the common side effects of ketosis or the ketogenic diet is bad breath.
It is caused by acetone (a ketone) which is a byproduct of fat metabolism. When this acetone level rises, your body gets rid of it through breathing and sometimes through sweat and urine.
But this unusual odor usually goes away within a few weeks.
Cramps in leg muscles
Many people following the keto diet may experience leg pain at times. It can be painful and you need to have plenty of water in such situations.
This is because ketosis causes water weight loss, especially during the first week of a low-carb diet.
Hence, it is strongly advised to keep yourself hydrated to reduce the risk of kidney problems, electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.
A ketogenic diet can also sometimes cause digestive problems such as constipation or diarrhea (rarely).
Because it contains less fiber. However, these digestive issues usually resolve within a week.
high heart rate
Due to ketosis, some people may experience Irregular or increased heart rateEspecially in the early stages (first few weeks).
It is also called palpitation or heartbeat. It is caused by dehydration and low salt intake.
However, if you experience these symptoms frequently and persistently, you must talk to your doctor and the doctor may advise you to increase your carbohydrate intake.
Other Side Effects of Ketosis
In addition to the aforementioned side effects, there are also some less common side effects, including:
- fatty liver– A common condition caused by excess fat deposits in the liver.
- Ketoacidosis– A serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. However, this is rare, but breastfeeding women are more likely to have it, which can be triggered by a very low-carb diet.
A ketogenic diet has been shown to provide some people with short-term benefits, such as weight loss and total cholesterolBlood sugar and blood pressure.
Therefore, if one wants to start a ketogenic diet, it is recommended to consult a physician and a dietitian to closely monitor any biochemical changes after starting the regimen.
A modified carbohydrate diet e model may provide adequate health benefits and weight loss in the general population.
A dietitian can also provide guidance on reintroducing carbohydrates after weight loss.
Moreover, it is always a good idea to have a regular health check-up as it gives you complete health insight.
Book a full physical health exam today!
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