What does the keto diet encompass?
The keto diet is one of the newer diets recognised for its ability to help one lose weight. Like many other weight loss-promoting diets, there are various restrictions and diet plans that come under the keto diet.
In simple terms, a keto diet is a low-carb diet. This diet focuses on consuming and drawing energy from foods rich in protein and healthy fats. Essentially, the lack of carb in our diet reduces our source of energy i.e. our blood sugar.
Lack of blood sugar (carbs) in the body forces our bodies to source energy from other sources. These energy sources are protein and fats. As our body uses our fat to gain energy, it helps burn go our fat resulting in weight loss. This process is also known as ketosis.
Who should follow a keto diet?
There are various ways in which a keto diet may be helpful. Ketosis has proven various benefits on our bodies. Here are common conditions under which keto diet may be ideal for you.
1. Weight loss
Weight loss may be one of the main reasons for people to opt for a keto diet. As mentioned, a keto diet causes our body to draw energy from fats, resulting in weight loss.
2. Heart health
A keto diet requires an increase of healthy fats in the diet. Eating healthy fats helps reduce bad cholesterol and boosts good cholesterol in the body. This change reduces your risks of developing other chronic heart diseases such as high bp, heat failure, etc.
A carbohydrate-rich diet can cause or worsen acne. Reduction and removal of carbs is required in a ketogenic diet which can help improve acne.
Diabetics and pre-diabetics are advised to reduce their intake of carbs to reduce blood sugar levels. The keto diet as mentioned is a low-carb diet.
Many studies show that the keto diet might help reduce progression of cancer cells incase of certain cancers.
6. Improve nervous system
A keto diet has proven to improve symptoms of various nervous system-related disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, etc. A keto diet can help avoid cell damage.
One of the causes for PCOS might be high insulin. A ketogenic diet can help lower blood sugar levels as mentioned above. It may be more effective if incorporated with good lifestyle, exercising and medication.
8. Improve workout
The keto diet has been linked to improving workout performance. A keto diet might help boost endurance.
Who shouldn’t follow a keto diet?
As discussed, a keto diet has strict restrictions on what must be consumed and what should be avoided. Such restricting diet may not be fit for everyone. A keto diet may not be fit for you if you fall under any of these categories.
1. Pregnant women
Pregnant women or lactating mothers must not follow a keto diet. A keto diet might poorly affect the health of the baby as well as the mother.
2. Kidney issues
Carbs help the functioning of our kidneys. A keto diet might even cause kidney stones if you have pre-existing kidney issues.
3. If you have digestion issues
Carbs aid our digestion. Lack of carbs in your diet might worsen your pre-existing digestion issues.
As a keto diet requires us to consume high amounts of protein and fats. It might be difficult for vegans to manage due to lack of meats and dairy products in their diet.
5. Mental health issues
People suffering from eating disorders or mood disorders might not be fit for such a restricting diet. A limiting diet can also influence our hormone levels.
Even if your child is suffering from obesity, a restricting diet like the keto diet is not fit for them. Children must consume all nutrients in moderation to ensure their proper health.
A ketogenic diet sources energy from the protein and fats in the body. This might severely affect the weight and health of people that are underweight.
8. Diabetes on medication
If you have diabetes and are consuming medication for the same, the keto diet may not be fit for you. A keto diet might hinder with the effectiveness and working of your medication and might cause harm to your health.
Is keto diet fit for you?
As briefly explained in this article, there are various conditions under which a keto diet may be very beneficial for you. Similarly, under other conditions, the keto diet might do more harm to you than good.
If you don’t fall under any of the categories that should avoid a keto diet, you might be fit for trying it. However, not everyone responds to a diet in the same way. If you experience symptoms like headache, dizziness, lethargy, nausea, etc. You might have keto flu. A keto flu might mean a keto diet is not fit for you.
A keto diet may also cause acidosis. Acidosis refers to hike in acid levels in the body that are harmful to your health. Besides, 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 is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.