Is the ‘Keto’ Diet Healthy and Effective for Losing Weight?

keto diet, Like any other weather vane, the one that at any time points the direction of slimming fashion consists of four cardinal points: the North, which could be the low-fat diet. which for many represents in this field the embodiment of dietary orthodoxy. The South, which would be the ketogenic diet. Which for the same as before would be something like the heresy no more. The West, which would be represented by the “balanced hypocaloric diet”, which not even God knows what it is. But which many others embody in the Mediterranean diet (which is also unknown ); and the East, which would be marked by the famous – but today a little less – intermittent fasting.

With this example in hand, now a southern wind of a thousand demons has risen: that is, the ketogenic diet (diet plan very low in carbohydrates. With a moderate intake of protein and high in fat) to make you cry the eyes. If you are a pro-Instagrammed. Instead of ketogenic you can read and say keto, which is the same for that matter. Before going into flour. Let’s do a couple of reflections on the origin of this diet and its possible slimming effects.

When it comes to “going on a diet,” fads are cyclical

Diet ketogenic, keto, or whatever you want to call it, is not exactly new. Not at all. And although its use had other therapeutic origins other than weight loss. In recent years it has been considered on several occasions as a weight-loss strategy. But in reality, this possibility arose in the 1970s, quite a long time ago, when it took the name of the Atkins diet.

Here we continue, almost 50 years later, stripping the daisy and asking ourselves in the rough. Whether or not the ketogenic diet works to lose weight. You can imagine the generic answer: it is possible that for a certain profile of people with an X metabolism and a Y mentality. This diet adapts well to their circumstances and “works” for them.

But in general, this is not the solution to the obesity problem that we have in the world. If it were, half a century ago we would have had no problem, and therefore you would not be reading these lines now. Some Keto Coach often argues that the diet proposed by Atkins to lose weight more than ketogenic was hyper protein. This is still one more proof of the scarce, not to say null, unanimity that exists in dietary issues, not even within the same current (if the Atkins diet was ketogenic or should not be beyond doubt. Since he himself defined in his work his slimming proposal as ketogenic, and they have also subscribed to different scientific publications ).

What, in a nutshell, is a ‘ketogenic’ diet?

If we look at the origin of the expression – keto-gene diet – it is that way of eating that favors our metabolism to generate ketone bodies. Thus, when a certain amount of this class of compounds is circulating in the blood, the organism is said to have entered ketosis.

What are ketone bodies?

They are a series of substances that, as fuel, are generated in our cells —mainly those of the liver and also those of the kidneys— in very specific situations. In English, they are called ketone bodies and hence the current keto diet and keto fiber.

They are mentioned in the plural, but do these ketone bodies have a specific name?

Yes, there are mainly three ketone bodies to which we refer in this context: acetoacetic acid, beta-hydroxybutyric acid, and, to a lesser extent, acetone.

When does ketosis enter?

Short answer: when carbohydrates are not available in the blood as fuel and then fatty acids are used to generate ketone bodies that will be used as an energy source.

Long answer: sustaining life requires constant energy consumption (I stress “constant”). Characteristically in our environment, this energy is provided directly – or almost – by the food after its digestion, especially by those foods rich in carbohydrates. However, when the circulating carbohydrates are depleted, as well as the little reserves that there are in the liver and muscle. And also no more rapid energy is provided with foods – more carbohydrates. The metabolism has the obligation to obtain energy from an alternative route. In this way, fatty acids are mobilize to form, in the mitochondria, the famous ketone bodies that will be used by the different cells to obtain energy, which includes the nervous system, muscle tissue, etc.

What is the proportion of macronutrients in a ‘ketogenic’ diet?

In ketogenic diets, fats are prominent players. For this reason, in this scheme, they must contribute between 60% to 70% of the total caloric value of the diet; proteins would provide 15% to 25% and carbohydrates never more than 10%. This is the most important part: carbohydrates should never contribute more than 10% of the total energy value of the diet. If included, the keto process will never be launched. Some standards that favor that a good part of the population finds it difficult to follow it.

What would be an example of a daily menu?

  • Breakfast: Scrambled egg with mushrooms and onion, infusion without milk or sugar.
  • Food: Grilled chicken breast fillets with soy sauce and sauteed broccoli.
  • Dinner: Smoked salmon rolls with avocado.

You can forget about all the foods made with cereals (whole or not), fruits, legumes. And a good part of vegetables and tubers unless they are present in anecdotal amounts.

What is the ultimate reason why the ‘ketogenic’ diet is propose as a slimming method?

There is no single explanation. In reality, there are three and they are also not exclusive. As Adelaide Naturopath Christina wisely explains. Any of the following three explanations, or their synergy, are the ones defend by the ketogenic diet to support your slimming benefits.

First, by almost eliminating or drastically reducing the presence of carbohydrates in the diet. The possibility of accumulating fat and even glycogen is eliminate. Second, fatty acids from our adipose tissue are used to obtain energy in a very inefficient process. In fact, it is the least efficient of all biologically possible for obtaining energy. So the amount of fatty acids that is they need is higher. Third, the presence of fat in the diet is quite well related to satiety. Although lipids are the immediate principle that contributes more calories per unit of weight, they are also one of the elements that contribute the most to satiety. To this aspect, it must be added that the state of ketosis itself has been related to decreased appetite.

Is it dangerous to follow a ‘ketogenic’ diet?

No, and yes. By definition, no, since the act of “entering ketosis” is a completely natural process. In the circumstances mention— that is set in motion to safeguard a greater and irreparable evil. Such as dying if we cannot continue to encourage lifetime. However, entering ketosis is not without risks as long as that ketosis is the gateway to ketoacidosis.

What is ketoacidosis, is it serious?

It is the decrease in blood pH due to the high concentration of ketone bodies in it (which obviously have an acidic character). Normal blood pH is limited to very narrow margins, outside of which —both above and below— important biological functions are altered, the most visible and conspicuous is oxygen transport. Beyond these pH limits, and depending on how long you stay, life is seriously compromised.

This situation is serious for everyone and is especially dangerous in some people, such as in patients with type 1 diabetes and kidney patients, among others. It must be recognize that, although they are not frequent, situations of ketoacidosis have also been reported in the case of people who have follow a strict low-carbohydrate diet, such as this or this case.

Is it easy to follow a ‘ketogenic’ diet?

It is not easy to follow this class of diets. Because it is not easy to follow them for long enough. In this study, the low adherence to this class of diets was contraste among a population of cancer patients. And diets that are not adherent are the least successful in achieving their goals. We are quite clear that regardless of the name it has and Whatever its characteristics. The diet that works best for weight loss is the one that keeps its users practicing it for the longest time. It is common for keto-exalted to argue that not only is it easy to follow, it is also especially enjoyable. If they were right, populationally speaking, it is something that should bring us back to the previous argument. Then obesity would have long ceased to be a problem.

Does it work to lose weight?

There seems to be little doubt that ketogenic diets are effective for weight loss in the very short term. But in the medium and long term. They have not been show to be better than other eating patterns with a totally different dietary profile. That is, it happens to them the same as the rest of the diets to lose weight. They always seem to work initially … but then not. This is what “dieting” has to do with it – while you also take the weight as the variable to control. As opposed to assuming continuous changes in our lifestyles (and regardless of weight).

Recall that above all issues of aesthetics and sizing. The issue of overweight and obesity is, at least from the perspective of a server, a matter of public health. And as Adelaide Hypnosis asks, is anyone interested in learning to drive in the short term and then not knowing how to drive again? That is what happens with this class of fad diets. They have not proven to work better than any other in the long term.

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