What does the keto diet include?
The keto diet is one of the newer diets recognized for its ability to help with weight loss. Like many other weight loss diets, there are various restrictions and diets that fall under the keto diet.
Simply put, a keto diet is a low carb diet. This diet focuses on consuming and extracting energy from foods high in protein and healthy fats. Essentially, the lack of carbohydrates in our diet reduces our source of energy, which is our blood sugar.
The lack of blood sugar (carbohydrates) in the body causes our body to draw energy from other sources. These energy sources are proteins and fats. As our body uses our fat for energy, it helps burn our fat, which leads to weight loss. This process is also known as ketosis.
Who should follow a keto diet?
A keto diet can help in a number of ways. Ketosis has proven various benefits on our body. Here are the common conditions under which the keto diet may be ideal for you.
1. Weight loss
Weight loss may be one of the main reasons people go on a keto diet. As mentioned, a keto diet causes our bodies to draw energy from fat, which leads to weight loss.
2. Heart health
A keto diet requires an increase in healthy fats in the diet. Eating healthy fats helps lower bad cholesterol and boosts good cholesterol in the body. This change reduces your risk of developing other chronic heart conditions such as high boiling point, heat failure, etc.
A diet high in carbohydrates can cause or worsen acne. Reducing and eliminating carbohydrates is necessary on a ketogenic diet which can help improve acne.
Diabetics and pre-diabetics are advised to reduce carbohydrate intake to reduce blood sugar levels. The keto diet mentioned above is a low carb diet.
Many studies show that the keto diet may help reduce the progression of cancer cells in certain cancers.
6. Improve the nervous system
A keto diet has been proven to improve symptoms of various nervous system-related disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. A keto diet can help prevent cell damage.
One of the causes of PCOS could be high insulin. A ketogenic diet can help lower blood sugar, as mentioned above. It may be more effective if combined with a good lifestyle, exercise, and medication.
8. Improve training
The keto diet has been linked to improved workout performance. A keto diet could help increase stamina.
Who shouldn’t follow a keto diet?
As noted, a keto diet has strict restrictions on what should be eaten and what should be avoided. Such a restrictive diet may not be suitable for everyone. A keto diet may not be right for you if you fall into one of these categories.
1. Pregnant women
Pregnant women or nursing mothers should not follow a keto diet. A keto diet could harm the health of the baby as well as the mother.
2. Kidney problems
Carbohydrates help our kidneys work. A keto diet can even cause kidney stones if you have pre-existing kidney problems.
3. If you have digestion problems
Carbohydrates aid our digestion. Lack of carbs in your diet can make your pre-existing digestive issues worse.
As a keto diet requires us to consume large amounts of protein and fat. This might be difficult for vegans to handle due to the lack of meats and dairy in their diet.
5. Mental health issues
People with eating disorders or mood disorders might not be suitable for such a restrictive diet. A limiting diet can also influence our hormone levels.
Even if your child is obese, a restrictive diet like the keto diet is not for them. Children should consume all nutrients in moderation to ensure good health.
A ketogenic diet gets its energy from protein and fats in the body. This could seriously affect the weight and health of underweight people.
8. Diabetes on medication
If you have diabetes and are on medication for the same problem, the keto diet may not be right for you. A keto diet can interfere with the effectiveness and functioning of your medications and harm your health.
Is the keto diet right for you?
As briefly explained in this article, there are various conditions in which a keto diet can be very beneficial for you. Likewise, in other conditions, the keto diet might do you more harm than good.
If you don’t fall into any of the categories that should avoid a keto diet, you might be in a position to give it a try. However, not everyone reacts to a diet in the same way. If you experience symptoms such as headache, dizziness, lethargy, nausea, etc., you might have the keto flu. A keto flu may mean that a keto diet isn’t right for you.
A keto diet can also cause acidosis. Acidosis refers to an increase in acid levels in the body that are harmful to your health. Also, in all conditions, it is ideal to discuss your diet changes with a doctor first.
Disclaimer: This content, including advice, provides generic information only. It does not in any way replace qualified medical advice. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim any responsibility for this information.