That means you’re less likely to have high blood pressure, hardened arteries, heart failure, and other heart conditions. People use a ketogenic diet more often to lose weight, but it can also help treat certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy. It can also help people with heart disease, certain brain diseases, and even acne, but more research needs to be done in these areas.
In a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials conducted by Santos et al., a total of 23 randomized controlled trials were analyzed, corresponding to 17 clinical trials. Authors concluded that LCD has positive effects on body weight, BMI, abdominal circumference, blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides, glycemia, hemoglobin A1c, insulin, and C-reactive protein. However, despite the positive effects on cardiovascular risk factors, there is not enough data to support long-term KD, as the studies were of relatively shorter duration and lasted only three to 36 months. In a 2016 metabolic space study by Hall et al., 17 overweight or obese men were provided with a basic diet (50% carbs, 35% fat, and 15% protein as a percentage of energy) for 4 weeks, then on a ketogenic diet (5% carbs, 80% fat, 15% protein) for 4 weeks.
In short-term studies of type 2 diabetes, few additional negative effects on global health responses have been reported. The staples of a ketogenic diet are high in fat, moderate protein, and low in carbohydrates. The goal of this diet plan is to reduce carbohydrate intake and increase fat intake. As a result, the body converts fat into ketones, which provide the brain with energy, control weight loss and insulin levels. KD has been shown to effectively lead to weight loss, reduction of hyperinsulinemia and improvement of insulin sensitivity.
This fuel blend aims to induce ketosis, or the production of ketone bodies, which serve as an alternative source of energy for neurons and other cell types that fatty acids cannot directly metabolize. The level of ketone in the urine is often used as an indicator of adherence to the diet. Very low-carb diets have been promoted for weight loss and less often for other health reasons. This review summarizes the effects of a ketogenic diet on the health conditions for which it was promoted, as well as the potential long-term effects on health. While following the ketogenic diet, it’s important to track your ratio of fat intake to carbohydrate intake to maintain the potential health and wellness benefits of the ketogenic diet.
Since the body uses the energy in the fat cells, they release considerable amounts of water, which makes weight loss excellent. Fat cells can enter the bloodstream and reach the liver, where they are converted into ketones for energy processing. As long as your diet allows you to stay in a calorie deficit, you can enjoy the benefits of the ketogenic weight loss diet.
Talk to your doctor first to find out if it’s safe for you to try a ketogenic diet, especially if you have type 1 diabetes. A keto diet can help people with diabetes or blood sugar problems regulate their insulin levels. If the keto diet helps a person lose weight and then maintain that healthy weight, then they help arm themselves against the onset of type 2 diabetes.
However, to get the liver to produce ketones in the fed state, carbohydrate intake must be minimized and fat intake increased. Protein utilization is also altered in a ketogenic diet; The body extracts as much protein as possible from gluconeogenesis, while the minimum amount needed is used for tissue repair. Finally, in a multicenter randomized controlled trial conducted by Ebbeling et al., participants who achieved target weight loss were randomly assigned a diet with low CHO, moderate CHO, or high CHO. This 20-week interventional study found that regardless of body weight, total energy expenditure was significantly higher in participants associated with low-CHO diets than in diets high in CHO with similar protein content. In addition, a significant decrease in metabolic hormonal response with ghrelin and leptin was reported in participants assigned to the low-CHO diet compared to those assigned to the high-CHO diet. These results led the authors to conclude that these metabolic effects and the correlation of nutritional quality with energy expenditure may be useful in the treatment of obesity.
However, patients diagnosed with diabetes with insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents may suffer from severe hypoglycemia if their medication regimen is not properly treated at the beginning of KD. Common short-term side effects resulting from the outbreak of KD have been called “keto flu,” which includes symptoms such as fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, keto beef jerky constipation, and low exercise tolerance. Symptoms usually subside after a few days or weeks as the body adapts to the low ketogenic state of CHO. Long-term side effects include liver steatosis, kidney stones, hypoproteinemia and vitamin deficiency. While the benefits of following KD have been widely reported, long-term adherence to KD is a limiting factor.
However, an overwhelming majority of studies show strong palatability and potential health benefits with a high risk-reward ratio. Ketones are among the most underestimated byproducts of human metabolism: they play an important role in prolonging human survival in the absence of food. In addition, ketones have proven to be a practical and effective dietary approach to weight loss and maintenance.
The sustainability of the diet has been questioned, and the prognosis of the effects of the diet after discontinuation should be studied. If the pros and cons of the keto diet are kept side by side, one might conclude that the keto diet is beneficial for certain people for a short time. While athletes and people at increased risk for heart disease may want to try a different diet, the ketogenic diet, if followed for a short period of time, can help with weight loss and have some other potential health benefits.