The idea of reducing carbohydrates is not necessarily new, other famous diets have resorted to this principle; the most popular is the Atkins diet, but there are also the Dukan diet and the Scardale diet, among others.
Currently, this modality of low-carb diet has resurfaced. Its principle is the formation of ketone bodies (ketosis), hence its name. Ketosis is a metabolic situation that occurs when the body consumes too few carbohydrates and is forced to produce ketones or ketones bodies; these act as glucose substitutes giving the body the energy necessary to survive.
How does the ketogenic diet work?
Contributions of the ketogenic diet
- It helps you control the presence of free radicals in your body.
- It reduces your lipid profile, that is, raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL).
- It reduces stress.
- It also helps you lower triglycerides.
- It reduces inflammations.
- It is highly recommended for people with type 2 diabetes and for those with insulin and leptin resistance.
- You will not lose muscle mass.
What happens with those who have high blood pressure?
Low-carb diets such as the ketogenic diet improve the lipid profile by increasing HDL cholesterol and reducing triglycerides levels.
This increase in LDL cholesterol in some people who follow this diet should be analyzed, since apparently it causes a decrease in small particles and an increase in the large ones.
LDL-particles are associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction; then, it means that the lipid profile continues to improve over time.
What is hypertension?
Arteries harden due to high blood pressure. They become thicker, making it difficult for blood to flow through them. This is known as arteriosclerosis.
What are the causes of high blood pressure?
The truth is that the specific causes of high blood pressure are still unknown; however, specialists have established a series of factors that are common in most people who have it.
Some causes cannot be modified, such as genetic inheritance (hypertensive parents or siblings), sex (men are more likely) and age (more frequent in adults).
There are many people who have had high blood pressure for years without knowing it. Therefore, the only way to detect hypertension is by measuring it.
There are two measures: systolic blood pressure or SBP (maximum number) and diastolic blood pressure or DBP (minimum number). The patient is considered to have high blood pressure or hypertension when the maximum measurement is greater than or equal to 140 and the minimum is 90.
Can hypertension be cured?
If you are already part of the statistic and you have high blood pressure, here are some recommendations for you:
- You must reduce your body weight, in case of being overweight.
- Your salt intake should not be more than 6 grams per day.
- Reduce alcohol consumption. Women should consume less than 140 grams per week, and men less than 210 grams.
- Increase your physical activity. Walk, ride a bike, run moderately or practice swimming. These exercises should have a constant duration of 30 to 45 minutes, at least 3 times a week.
- Reduce coffee consumption.
- Quit smoking.
- Follow a healthy food program rich in unsaturated fats (blue fish, olive oil) and low in saturated fats (French fries, pastry products and beef fat).
Ketogenic diet and high blood pressure
This reduction in insulin levels is related to a decrease or improvement in blood pressure, since high levels of this hormone are the main cause of hypertension, especially if it is associated with obesity.
Another benefit of the ketogenic diet at the cardiovascular level is the improvement of the endogenous antioxidant capacity of the cells.
Apparently, according to some studies, ketone bodies increase the activity of the glutathione peroxidase enzyme, one of the enzymes with greater antioxidant capacity of mitochondria.
This is especially interesting, not only for the prevention of hypertension, but also for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.
Following a ketogenic diet…
Likewise, the cholesterol that is produced by the excess of glucose in the diet will decrease when eating fewer foods that produce sugar; consequently, the pressure and inflammation of your arteries is reduced. Your body has less glucose to make cholesterol.
You will also feel less hungry due to the large amount of fats and proteins that are consumed in the keto diet.
High levels of HDL above 39 mg/dL are indications of a healthy body; you will have less chance of having a cardiovascular disease.
The first days or weeks are an adaptation period. While your body gets into ketosis, it is possible that you feel sick. These symptoms are known as keto-flu; you will feel headache, dizziness and fatigue.
The recommendation to relieve these symptoms is to stay hydrated and consume a little more salt; however, if you have high blood pressure, it is not recommended that you increase your sodium intake. It is not necessary to take risks.
Side effects will end when you are in ketosis.