Let’s Chat Ketosis – Risks v Benefits
The topic of a ketogenic diet has been in the headlines for years now – both criticised and praised. So how do we know what the truth is? Let’s start with defining what keto truly is.
The diet itself high in fats, moderate in proteins and low in carbohydrates. Most ketogenic diets recommend having 70% of your calories as fat, 25% of protein and 5% of carbs. Although, carbohydrates in usual diets are important as they are absorbed as glucose after digestion and then produced into energy. So how do we generate energy without consuming carbs? Well, when there is an absence of glucose, the body breaks down the stored fat and produces a molecule called ‘ketone’. I know, it’s getting a little scientific but bear with me. These tiny molecules can then be utilised to generate energy (cool, huh?). So, when your body begins to produce a lot of these molecules over a certain period, your body then becomes in a state of ‘ketosis’.
So, what can you eat on a keto diet? Think high fat foods such as avocado, cheese, nuts, eggs, and bacon, and a smaller amount of proteins such as fish, red meats, and poultry. Avoid having carb-heavy foods such as breads, potatoes, and rice. You’re encouraged to eat a small amount of low-carb vegetables such as leafy greens like lettuce, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kale.
Let’s chat the benefits of this low-carb diet.
- Diabetic patients can slim down and lower their blood sugar levels
- Epileptic patients can reduce or prevent their seizures
- Lowers insulin to help patients with PCOS and acne
- Lowers blood cholesterol levels
- Weight loss
- Reduces appetite
Now, the downfalls of a keto diet.
- More fat = less fiber which can lead to nutrient deficiencies and constipation
- Short-term side effects called the ‘keto flu’ which can include fatigue, headache, brain fog and stomach upsets
- Long-term side effects include kidney stones, osteoporosis, and liver disease
- Women with current adrenal fatigue can experience fat retention more than ever
The Keto diet isn’t recommended for everyone as each bodies differ but do not try this if you have any diseases such as pancreas, liver, thyroid, kidney or gallbladder or a history of disorded eating.
Carra Lee x