The purpose of this diet is get into ketosis, in this way, the consumption of fats is very high accompanied by a moderate intake of proteins. When the body does not find glucose, it looks for another source of energy, resorting to stored fats; hence your body becomes a fat-burning machine and loses weight quickly.
Then, the liver turns fats into ketones; ketones function as a source of energy and cause the body to get into ketosis.
Ketosis is the goal of the ketogenic diet.
What is ketosis?
Of course, if you are a bread, sweets and pasta lover you should think about it calmly, because this diet will be particularly difficult for you, although the effort will be worth it.
The ketogenic diet allows you a minimum consumption of carbohydrates in the form of green vegetables, which should never exceed 5%, while 20% will be made proteins and 75% healthy fats.
- Limit the consumption of carbohydrates. You should not exceed 115 grams a day, and it is much better if they come from green vegetables and fiber.
- Protein intake should be 0.6 to 0.8 grams per pound of lean body mass.
- Fat intake is freer, because this is the source of energy in the ketogenic diet, and you can consume them without worry. However, try to be healthy fats such as those provided by avocado and olive oil.
- It is important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and regulate body functions.
- This helps with the production of ketone bodies, and therefore it facilitates your body gets into a state of ketosis and promotes the oxidation of fats in the body.
How does the ketogenic diet work?
In this way, ketosis is induced. In this state your body begins to produce, in the liver, ketone bodies as the main source of energy. This is how you start losing weight without affecting muscle mass or your health.
Does the ketogenic diet entail any danger?
Why is it thought that the ketogenic diet is harmful?
Similarly, nutritional ketosis tends to be confused with diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a serious complication of diabetes that can lead to death.
- Important weight loss.
- Increase in energy levels.
- Treatment of various diseases.
The truth is that most people can benefit from a low-carb and high fat diet.
Benefits of the ketogenic diet for health
Dr. Raymond Swanson, a professor of neurology at UCSF (University of California, San Francisco) and a group of scientists discovered that implementing a ketogenic diet in patients could help stop brain inflammation, especially those who had suffered a stroke or brain trauma.
Joaquín Pérez-Guisado from the University of Córdoba (Spain) presented in 2008 a study on the different metabolic benefits that result from following a ketogenic diet such as reducing blood pressure and decreasing insulin resistance without side effects to the kidney or liver.
Today, there are more and more studies that support this nutritional process to lose weight quickly and safely, proving its effectiveness in improving the aforementioned diseases, increasing the endurance of aerobic athletes and the antioxidant power of the body, among many other benefits.
As you see, consuming large amount of fat will not cause a heart attack nor will alter your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels as the opponents of this keto diet have disclosed. Instead, it will significantly lower your insulin levels, which will allow you to take advantage of the fat you eat -or the one that is accumulated in your waist- as a fuel for energy.
This process of adaptation is different for each person; for some only lasts 3 days, other people will take up to a week to get into ketosis and overcome all these uncomfortable symptoms of adaptation.
These are some symptoms:
- Bad breath produced by ketones in the body. Also sweat and urine can acquire a fruity smell.
- You will feel tired due to the adaptation your body is undergoing to receive the energy from carbohydrates to fats.
- Frequent urination.
- Constipation at the beginning of the diet.
- Need to consume sugar.
- Hair loss, which is normal in any change of diet.
These unpleasant symptoms that occur in the first weeks of the ketogenic diet are the cause of many people giving up the plan before appreciating the important positive changes that occur in their body with this diet.
This diet is not suitable for anyone. For example, skinny people with body mass index below 20 should not follow this diet. Pregnant women are also not candidates to follow the keto diet.
Children and adolescents who need all the macro nutrients to continue with their development, high-performance athletes during competitive events, and people with gallbladder problems or with extirpated gallbladder will not be able to absorb some nutrients that require bile in their decomposition process.
It also happens with those who suffer from uric acid and kidney stones, who can develop stones and gout.
People with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency or patients with rare metabolic diseases such as Gaucher’s disease or Fabry’s disease should not follow this diet either. In the same way, people with anorexia nervosa should not follow it either.
If you are one of these cases, it is better to consult a doctor to help you follow this diet (always under supervision) to avoid the risks and take advantage of the excellent benefits of this program, nor only to lose weight.