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Keto Diet: Different Types, Health Benefits, Risks, and Guidelines You Need To Know

What Is Keto Diet?

The Ketogenic Diet (also known as the keto diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet with numerous health benefits. Many studies have shown that eating this way can help you lose weight and improve your health. Diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer's disease may all benefit from ketogenic diets.

Keto Diet: Different Types, Health Benefits, Risks, and Guidelines You Need To Know
Photo: Keto Diet | InStyleHealth

The Keto Basics

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that resembles the Atkins and low-carb diets in many ways. It entails substantially lowering carbohydrate intake and substituting fat. This decrease in carbs causes your body to enter a metabolic state known as ketosis.

Your body becomes very effective at burning fat for energy when this happens. It also causes fat to be converted to ketones in the liver, which can be used to provide energy to the brain.

Ketogenic diets can lower blood sugar and insulin levels significantly. This, in addition to the higher ketones, offers certain health advantages.

What Are The Different Types of Ketogenic Diet?

There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:

The standard ketogenic diet (SKD) is a low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, high-fat diet. It usually has 70 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and barely 10% carbohydrates (9Trusted Source).

Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high carb days.

The targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) allows you to eat carbs in between workouts. This ketogenic diet is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but it contains more protein. Typically, the fat-to-protein-to-carbohydrate ratio is 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.

Only the regular and high-protein ketogenic diets have been thoroughly researched. More advanced ketogenic diets, such as cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets, are largely employed by bodybuilders and athletes.

Although many of the same concepts apply to all variations of the ketogenic diet, the information in this article largely refers to the standard ketogenic diet (SKD).

What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a metabolic condition in which your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.

It occurs when you drastically restrict your carbohydrate intake, decreasing your body's availability of glucose (sugar), which is the cells' primary source of energy.

The most effective strategy to enter ketosis is to eat a ketogenic diet. This usually entails restricting carb intake to 20 to 50 grams per day and focusing on fats such meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and healthy oils.

It's also crucial to keep your protein intake in check. This is because if you eat too much protein, it will be turned to glucose, which will slow down your ketosis.

Intermittent fasting may also help you enter ketosis more quickly. Intermittent fasting can take numerous forms, but the most typical includes restricting food consumption to roughly 8 hours each day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.

There are blood, urine, and breath tests that may be used to see if you've entered ketosis by measuring the quantity of ketones your body produces.

Increased thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, and decreased hunger or appetite are all signs that you've entered ketosis.

Ketogenic Diets Can Help You Lose Weight

A ketogenic diet can help you lose weight and reduce your risk of disease.

In fact, evidence suggests that the ketogenic diet may be just as successful as a low-fat diet for weight loss.

Furthermore, because the diet is so satisfying, you can lose weight without monitoring calories or keeping track of what you eat.

Following a very low carb, ketogenic diet was marginally more beneficial for long-term weight loss than following a low-fat diet, according to an assessment of 13 research. The keto diet resulted in an average weight loss of 2 pounds (0.9 kg) more than the low-fat diet group.

Additionally, it resulted in lower diastolic blood pressure and lipid levels.

Another research of 34 older persons revealed that those on a ketogenic diet for eight weeks lost roughly five times as much total body fat as those on a low-fat diet.

Increased ketones, decreased blood sugar levels, and higher insulin sensitivity could all be contributing factors.

Ketogenic Diets For Diabetes and Prediabetes

Changes in metabolism, elevated blood sugar, and reduced insulin action are all symptoms of diabetes.

Excess fat is connected to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome, and the ketogenic diet can help you lose it.

According to one previous study, the ketogenic diet increased insulin sensitivity by 75%.

In a small trial of women with type 2 diabetes, adopting a ketogenic diet for 90 days lowered hemoglobin A1C levels, which is a measure of long-term blood sugar management.

Another study indicated that over the course of two years, 349 persons with type 2 diabetes who followed a ketogenic diet dropped an average of 26.2 pounds (11.9 kg). When it comes to the link between obesity and type 2 diabetes, this is a significant benefit.

Furthermore, they had better blood sugar control, and the need of particular blood sugar drugs was reduced among the participants over the course of the trial.

Other Health Benefits of Keto

The ketogenic diet was originally developed to treat neurological illnesses like epilepsy.

Studies have now proven that eating a healthy diet can help with a wide range of health issues:

  • Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia. The keto diet may assist to alleviate Alzheimer's disease symptoms and halt the disease's progression.
  • Injuries to the brain According to some studies, eating a healthy diet can help people recover from traumatic brain injuries.
  • Cancer. Because it may help limit tumor growth, the diet is currently being researched as an additional cancer treatment.
  • Epilepsy. The ketogenic diet has been found in studies to help children with epilepsy have fewer seizures.
  • Heart disease is a serious condition. Body fat, HDL (good) cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels can all benefit from a ketogenic diet.
  • Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder. Although additional research is needed, one study found that eating a plant-based diet can aid with Parkinson's disease symptoms.
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a kind of polycystic ovary syndrome The ketogenic diet can aid in the reduction of insulin levels, which may be important in polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Keep in mind, however, that much of this data is yet inconclusive.

Ketosis Friendly Foods

The following foods should make up the majority of your meals:

  • Avocados: whole  avocados or freshly made guacamole
  • Butter and cream: grass-fed butter and heavy cream
  • Cheese: unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella
  • Condiments: salt, pepper, herbs, and spices
  • Eggs: pastured or omega-3 whole eggs
  • Fatty fish: salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
  • Healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
  • Low carb veggies: green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
  • Meat: red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken, and turkey
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.

It's preferable to eat largely whole, single-ingredient meals in your diet.

Risks of the Keto Diet

Staying on the keto diet for an extended period of time may have certain unfavorable consequences, including the following:

  • Extra fat in the liver
  • Kidney stones
  • Low protein in the blood
  • Micronutrient deficiencies

Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, a type of diabetes treatment, can raise the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, a hazardous illness that causes blood acidity to rise. The keto diet should be avoided by anyone using this medication.

More study is being conducted to determine the keto diet's long-term safety. Keep your doctor informed about your food plan so that he or she can help you make the best decisions.

Keto Diet  Provides Benefits for Glucose and Lipid Control to Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

According to a study, the ketogenic diet (KD) not only improves glucose and lipid control in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), but it also aids weight loss.

The research was based on a meta-analysis of 13 studies that looked at the possible benefits of KD in T2DM therapy, including as changes in glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as weight loss. There were a total of 567 people that took part in the survey.

KD facilitated reductions in fasting blood glucose of 1.29 mmol/l (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.78 to 0.79) and glycated hemoglobin A1c of 1.07 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.37 to 0.78) when data was pooled using the random effects or fixed effects methods.

In terms of lipid metabolism, the dietary intervention reduced triglyceride levels by 0.72 mmol/L (95 percent CI, 1.01 to 0.43), total cholesterol levels by 0.33 mmol/L (95 percent CI, 0.66 to 0.01), and low-density lipoprotein levels by 0.05 mmol/L (95 percent CI, 0.25 to 0.15). Meanwhile, HDL increased by 0.14 mmol/L (95 percent confidence interval: 0.030.25).

Subsequently, weight reduced by 8.66 kg (95 percent confidence interval: 11.40 to 5.92), waist circumference decreased by 9.17 cm (95 percent confidence interval: 10.67 to 7.66), and BMI decreased by 3.13 kg/m2 (95 percent confidence interval: 3.31 to 2.95).

The health benefits of KD in T2DM patients may be explained by the high carbohydrate restriction, which lowers monosaccharide absorption in the intestine. This results in lower blood glucose levels and less blood glucose volatility.


Source: Nutr Diabetes 2020;doi:10.1038/s41387-020-00142-z

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