The ketogenic diet has gained popularity over the years due to the weight loss and health benefits resulting from strictly following this diet. It has been proven by health professionals that, besides weight loss benefits, it also improves mental illnesses. However, there are also health risks associated with this diet that can be dangerous, especially for people with chronic diseases such as heart and kidney diseases.
In this article, you will learn how consulting the best dietician in Dubai before starting the ketogenic diet can benefit you and help improve your health in general. You will also learn about the health risks that may result from using this diet.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate and high-fat diet that people use to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, and improve certain health conditions.
Reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing fat intake puts the body in a metabolic state called ketosis. The ketosis metabolic state takes place when your body burns fat instead of glucose or carbohydrates.
Since it is a low-carbohydrate diet, if you are on this diet, your daily calories come from 5–10% carbohydrate, 20–25% protein, and 70–75% fat. Consumption of low-fat foods stimulates the liver to break down fat-producing molecules called ketones, resulting in weight loss.
The production of ketones provides ketone energy. Avocados, oils, nuts, and seeds are a few examples of typical foods that fit this diet, while bread, pasta, and sugar are examples of less frequently consumed foods.
It has been demonstrated that following a ketogenic diet can reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar, and help people lose weight safely.
These benefits are the result of maintaining ketosis. However, the diet is also associated with negative effects that can pose health risks such as nutrient deficiency, liver problems, and constipation, to mention a few.
The general health risks indicate that the ketogenic diet is not appropriate for everyone, especially those with certain health conditions. It is therefore important to consult a professional, like the best nutritionist in Dubai, before starting this diet.
The benefits of the ketogenic diet
The ketogenic diet has many benefits that the best dietician in Delhi states as follows:-
- Weight loss: Consumption of high-fat and low-carbohydrate foods promotes weight loss because the body derives energy from the stored fat instead of glucose from the carbohydrates. As long as the metabolic state of ketosis is attained, fat will be broken down, resulting in weight loss.
- Improved blood sugar control: Reduced carbohydrate intake can help people with type 2 diabetes better regulate and control their blood sugar levels. The ketogenic diet may help improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes by reducing carbohydrate intake and promoting the use of ketones for energy.
With type 2 diabetes, there is insulin resistance because cells don’t respond well to insulin. The pancreas will keep producing insulin, increasing blood sugar. Since on a ketogenic diet you consume fewer carbohydrates, blood sugar can be easily controlled.
- Feeling fuller for longer: A high-fat diet makes you feel fuller for longer and curbs your appetite. This means the number of times you take meals will reduce, in turn reducing calorie intake and resulting in weight loss.
- Improved cognitive function: According to McLean Hospital, the ketogenic diet has been used for many years to improve the health situation of mental patients suffering from seizures. Furthermore, it also reduces symptoms of epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease since it was found to have positive effects on the gut microbiomes, which play a significant role in mental illnesses.
- Reduced inflammation: It also reduces inflammation, which is associated with many chronic diseases.
Risks of the ketogenic diet
The ketogenic diet is very popular and is very safe for the majority of people; however, it is also associated with health risks that you should know well before starting this diet program. According to Nutritionist Dubai, the risks include:-
- Nutrient deficiencies: There are foods that you don’t consume when you are on this diet, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Since these foods provide nutrients and vitamins that cannot be found in foods with high-fat content, the diet can lead to the nutrient deficiency if the meals are not properly planned and the food is not carefully selected.
- Kidney problems: Kidneys metabolize proteins, and since the ketogenic diet requires a high consumption of proteins, this can strain the kidneys or overload them. This is a rather serious health risk for people with kidney problems.
- Constipation: Consuming fewer fibrous foods, such as grains and legumes, along with fewer carbohydrates can result in constipation.
- Electrolyte imbalances: when you are starting to follow this diet program, you lose water weight due to restrictions on certain foods, and this loss of water weight can lead to an electrolyte imbalance.
- Increased cholesterol levels: Saturated fat consumption is another factor in high-fat diets that can raise cholesterol levels in some people, particularly those who already have heart or cholesterol conditions. Increased cholesterol can also increase the risk of heart disease
- Liver problems: Since the ketogenic diet involves a high metabolism of fat, this can overload the liver and worsen existing liver conditions.
- Negatively impacts athletic performance: athletes consume carbohydrates because of the energy demand due to intense physical activities. Decreasing carbohydrate intake can negatively affect athletes’ performance, especially those involved in high-intensity sports.
The ketogenic diet can be effective for weight loss and improves health in general; however, the risks inherent to using this diet also make it dangerous for some people; hence, it is important to consult a dietitian or nutritionist well beforehand.
Nutritionists will help you draw up a ketogenic diet plan that is suitable for your health needs and goals and will also provide necessary information while guiding you to make informed decisions. If you want to start a ketogenic diet or need additional information, consult the best dietician in Dubai.