The Ketogenic Diet is characterized by low carbohydrate content (10%), high fat content (> 60%, reaching 90%) and adequate in protein, which induces a metabolic condition called “physiological ketosis” - increased levels of ketone bodies in the blood.
The compensation of carbohydrates for fat makes the body obliged to resort to other forms of energy, through ketone bodies, instead of using energy from glucose.
Pros of the Ketogenic Diet:
• Treatment of various diseases: several studies have shown strong evidence, for type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and epilepsy.
• Weight loss and appetite control for sweets: a high fat diet tends to increase satiety, this keeps the calorie count under control, which can lead to weight loss. This diet proved to be effective, at least, in the short and medium term in the fight against obesity.
• Reduction of inflammation in the body: the ketogenic diet helps to reduce insulin levels in the body, which reduces inflammation caused by high blood sugar, thus preventing various health problems.
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Cons of the Ketogenic Diet:
• Wrong food choices: in the absence of carbohydrates, many people tend to replace them with unhealthy fat and protein (eg, processed meats).
• Poor in fiber: the ketogenic diet is usually low in fiber, which is essential for the proper functioning of the intestine and for the absorption of some nutrients.
• Eating disorders: this type of diet causes some people to have extreme attitudes towards food. Many become obsessed with their ketosis levels, which can lead to eating disorders.
• Lack of long-term scientific evidence: despite the proven benefits of this diet in the short and medium term, little is known about the health effects of the ketogenic diet over time.
The ketogenic diet, a trend diet, is a sensible option for weight loss bringing significant improvements to health. This diet, like any other, must be combined with an increase in physical activity and monitoring by health professionals to ensure nutritional balance.
People are all different and, as such, we have to have different approaches and solutions that best suit each of them.
By Adriana Martins, Nutritionist
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