Ketogenic Diet Benefits & Risks

Ketogenic diet is well known as a low carbohydrate diet, during which the body uses the ketones produced from fat by the liver as a fuel. It is often called keto diet, low carbohydrate diet, Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diet, etc. Let’s find out more facts about it!

No-carbohydrate diet

In case of a no-carbohydrate ketonic diet, carbohydrate intake is limited strictly or completely eliminated. Getting no carbohydrates, the body rebuilds its metabolism, making fat the main source of energy for life.

The term ‘ketogenic diet’ is derived from the concept of ‘ketosis processes’. In turn, ketosis processes indicate a change in metabolism, in which fat is transformed into keto-bodies used by the brain instead of carbohydrates.

How and why does sugar violate metabolism and lead to rapid weight gain? Why exactly is sugar harmful?

Does the body need carbohydrates?

Unlike proteins and fats, without which the body cannot exist, the consumption of carbohydrates is not so important because the presence of sugar in the blood is not critical for life, and the brain can work on keto-bodies.

The danger of a keto diet is different – the foods containing carbohydrates usually contain such important nutrients as fiber, vitamins, and minerals (unlike meat). Restriction of these products leads to poor nutrition.

Is the keto diet effective?

Without getting carbohydrates, the body begins to use the energy of fat, rebuilding metabolism for the effective use of fat stores. The level of insulin decreases, which helps the fat tissue to rid of FFA (free fatty acids) more quickly.

Since the body turns fat into the main source of energy in the ketogenic state, the aforementioned FFAs are processed as quickly as possible and are “burned” in the liver or muscles. As a result, the fat mass of the body decreases.

Restriction of fats due to the keto diet

It is a mistake to say that the keto diet does not find the consumption of calories important. As in all other cases, burning fat even in the ketogenic state requires a negative balance of energy, and you should consume fewer calories from food than the body spends.

The fact that the carbohydrate diet does not impose a ban on fat intake is due to it being difficult to eat too many fatty foods that do not contain carbohydrates – the body is much better at controlling saturation with fat than carbohydrates.

Keto diet benefits

The two main advantages of the keto diet are that, firstly, due to the high level of fat saturation, the feeling of hunger is minimal in case of this diet, and, secondly, the consumption of a large amount of protein minimizes muscle loss.

In addition, sticking to the keto diet in many cases is much easier than counting the intake of nutrients and calories – one just needs to exclude carbohydrate-containing foods and to build a diet primarily on meat.

Keto diet and strength training

The main limitation of the carbohydrate diet is that it does not presuppose strength training since the body lacks the basic fuel for muscles – glucose (120-150 grams of carbohydrates are needed for a workout).

The body can perform slow activities, but not heavyweight training or sprinting. Remember that workouts with low blood glucose levels are fraught with fainting, which can be deadly when training with weights.

Should I keep to the ketogenic diet?

It is extremely incorrect to reduce the logic of the keto diet to the phrase “rejecting carbohydrates, you can eat whatever you want, and at the same time lose weight.” It is important to understand that giving up carbohydrates requires the reorganization of nutrition to normalize the diet.

The unreasonable use of the carbohydrate diet for several weeks can affect health adversely. If, however, there is a sharp reduction in calories, the body, despite becoming thinner, hurts itself significantly.

Despite the fact that the carbohydrate diet can be effective, the desire to lose weight as quickly as possible (practicing weightlifting at the same time) forces many to dangerously combine the ketogenic diet and strength training. In addition, do not simplify the logic of the diet.