The Ketogenic Diet Is The Most Wanted On The Internet For Weight Loss: How This Nutritional Pattern Works
The ketogenic diet has come to generate a lot of interest. This is partly because scientific evidence supports it for its multiple benefits: weight loss, metabolic improvements, glycemic control. What are these benefits due to? It is essential to understand why this diet is not just another “diet”, but a healthy nutritional pattern to understand why so much attention.
What is the ketogenic diet and why does it work?
It is known by this name to a pattern that reduces the amount of carbohydrates or carbohydrates to the maximum, prioritizing fats and proteins in the diet. This nutritional pattern seeks ketosis, a natural physiological process in which the body generates substances known as ketone bodies from fats and due to a carbohydrate deficit.
Ketosis consume fat for energy quickly but less efficiently than “conventional” metabolism, such as beta oxidation of fats or the Krebs cycle and glycolysis. This translates into an increase in caloric expenditure, as it is more inefficient, which can help reduce the accumulation of fat and glycogen. It also helps control blood sugar levels.
In other words, its inefficiency is one of the reasons for its effectiveness, since it requires more fat to produce the same amount of energy. Specifically, ketosis appears when there are no more carbohydrates in the blood, so the cell begins to generate substances for rapid consumption from fatty acids: those known as ketone bodies.
Ketone bodies are: acetoacetic acid or beta-hydroxybutyric acid. Naturally, under fasting conditions, the brain is capable of consuming up to 75% of these, if glucose is not available. If we induce ketosis by reducing the amount of carbohydrates, in the end, it will be the rest of the body that will consume these ketone bodies generated from fats.
What the scientific evidence says
Numerous studies, such as this one sponsored by the University of Cambridge, this international macro-study or this meta-analysis by the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Obesity have shown that a diet low in carbohydrates, high in protein and that bases its energy intake on fats, helps to lose weight and maintain it over time, as well as other benefits.
Although some of the studies warn of the need for long-term reviews, the truth is that there is evidence that the effects of these diets last at least a year. But aside from the issue of weight and fat control, the ketogenic diet might work for other reasons as well. For example, evidence has also highlighted its usefulness in suppressing appetite, which would help control.
Another benefit associated with the ketogenic diet is its effectiveness in controlling the level of glycemia, or blood sugar. Studies carried out with patients suffering from diabetes have proven its effectiveness in improving carbohydrate metabolism, which can help regulate the disease or, if not, prevent it.
In addition to all of the above, interestingly, the ketogenic diet also shows the potential to prevent cognitive decline, although the exact mechanism is not known and most studies have been done in rats. Yes indeed, The researchers work with the hypothesis that the control of sugars would be related to this fact.
Ketoacidosis, the potential danger of the ketogenic diet
Despite the aforementioned benefits, there is one case in which ketosis can turn against us, and that is when it causes ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis occurs because ketone bodies are acidic species.
Although the blood has some capacity to admit the variation of pH, if this changes radically it can cause a serious systemic problem. Among other things, the blood needs a specific pH range in order to carry out the oxygen exchange. Faced with excessive acidification, hemoglobin is unable to capture it and the blood loses its transport capacity.
In addition, it causes another series of problems and injuries at the cellular level whose consequences can be very negative. Luckily, ketoacidosis is not usually an immediate danger, and its appearance is observed in several gradual consequences: such as ketone odor in the breath, urine and genitals; tiredness, malaise, nausea … the worst cases of ketoacidosis, those that are truly dangerous, occur associated with metabolic problems, such as diabetes.
For a healthy person, Getting to the case of acute ketoacidosis is not easy, although the excess of ketone bodies can be touched on several occasions, which we will notice by the symptoms we mentioned. In case of suffering from a metabolic disorder or disease, it is better not to carry out this type of diet, although it can be adopted with the help of a specialist.
How do I prepare my own ketogenic diet?
One of the best things about the ketogenic diet, like all good “diets”, and not strict diets that claim to work miracles, is that it is not completely embedded in a food and quantity scheme. Moreover, if we get a little out of “theory” we will continue to obtain many of its benefits. This is what happens, basically, with the Mediterranean diet, but with reduced sugars.
It is not strictly a ketogenic diet, but it has been shown to preserve many of the good things, adding its own potential. But going back to the ketogenic diet, let’s talk about how to go about it. Any “menu” can be adapted to a ketogenic pattern as long as it meets the following proportions: 50-60% fat and 20-30% protein, leaving 10%, at most, to carbohydrates.
How do we do it? We must reduce foods rich in carbohydrates such as cereals and derivatives, eliminate sugar, limit and control fruits and vegetables … In the ketogenic diet, fat and protein sources must predominate in order to produce ketosis, which is the basis of its effectiveness.
Foods such as fresh turkey breast, chicken breast, lean beef, fish, eggs, yogurt and cheeses, olive oil, peanuts, avocado, olives … have high protein content and fatty, but of good quality, reducing the amount of carbohydrates in the diet. Again, the important thing is not in itself to adopt a strict diet, but to understand it and adapt it to our eating pattern. Only then will we be able to achieve adherence, probably the most important factor when choosing a diet.
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