Have you heard about the ketogenic diet or keto and do not really know what it means? Do you want to know if it is an effective way to lose weight or are we faced with a supposed miracle diet that promises a lot but does little?
With our usual vocation of public service, here we explain everything you need to know about the effectiveness. And functioning of the ketogenic diet when it comes to losing weight, and the scientific evidence in this regard.
To know what is the ketogenic diet we have to start by understanding what is ketosis. An alternative metabolic mechanism by which our body gets the energy it needs to function.
The main way in which this occurs is through the decomposition of carbohydrates that we eat with food. Hydrates are converted into simple sugars, specifically glucose, which feed the organs and muscle tissues, and glycogen. Which feeds the brain, to keep the machinery of our body in operation.
But as the example of almost perfect adaptation that is, our body has a plan B to keep going even when it has been several days or weeks without eating. At that time when glucose is no longer available, it starts the process of ketosis. Which is the oxidation of accumulated fats. This produces the formation of ketone bodies. Which break down fat into shorter chains that can be used as fuel by the brain
So, what is a ketogenic diet?
It is called ketogenic diet to that which forces our body to resort to ketosis to stay active. And what it does is drastically reduce the contribution of daily calories from carbohydrates.
If in a normal diet it is estimated that around 55% of the calories must come from carbohydrates, in a ketogenic diet that percentage is reduced to approximately 10 %. As for the rest of calories, between 60 and 70% will come from healthy fats and the remaining 20-30% of proteins.
To reach these percentages, the consumption of foods rich in fats and proteins, such as cares, fish, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, nuts, butter and vegetable oils is strengthened and cereals, legumes and fruits and vegetables are strictly limited, especially those that have higher amounts of carbohydrates. Continue reading- The 6 best anti-aging fruits helps you to diet
Given that the ketogenic diet tries to take us to the point where our body resorts to accumulated fat to lose weight, intuition tells us that it can help us lose weight. Are these the scientific conclusions about it? Several studies have tried to answer this question.
One of them, published in February 2014, asked if the ketogenic diet could be of help for the treatment of obesity, and the answer was positive: “A period of ketogenic diet low in carbohydrates can help control hunger and at the same time to improve the metabolism of fat oxidation, thus reducing body weight, “concluded the researchers, adding that the modality and duration of the diet would depend on the case and that it was necessary for medical professionals to understand and apply this diet in each situation.
This other study sought to analyze the effects of the ketogenic diet in the treatment of long-term obesity. Their conclusions were that, in addition to being effective, it is a safe diet with which patients not only present a series of improvements (mainly in markers of cardiovascular health, such as hypertension or the profile of triglycerides in the blood) but also In addition, they do not suffer the side effects that often occur in patients taking medication to achieve those same improvements.
Finally, this other study analyzes the relationships between the ketogenic diet, the sensation of hunger and food intake, and concludes that it is demonstrated that a ketogenic diet reduces the problem of the sensation of hunger that diet-oriented diets often bring with them. lose weight and that is often a problem for your success.
Going into ketosis can help us burn fat and thereby lose weight, but it also has other effects on our body that can be quite annoying. Among them are:
Dizziness and headaches
You may need to sit down again if you stand up very quickly. This occurs on the third day of diet because the body is running out of glycogen to function and the ketone bodies have not yet started to be generated.
The excess of ketone bodies is eliminated through the breath and hence the bad taste can be generated in the mouth. They are also expelled through urine and sweat, so both fluids can also smell stronger than usual
As we said, the ketogenic diet usually avoids the problem of hunger caused by other weight loss strategies. In fact, in this case, the opposite can be true, since fats and proteins. Which become the protagonists of food, satiate more and digest more slowly.
Lack of calcium
Excess protein can cause a loss of calcium through the kidney. This mineral has been previously extracted from the bones, which may end up favoring osteoporosis.
Long-term muscle loss
After consuming the fats, the body pulls the muscles to continue feeding the essential organs of the body. So if the state of ketosis is maintained for too long, we may end up losing muscle mass.
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