Recently, a new “ketogenic” diet headline has been featuring rapid weight loss. Many recent menus and explanations can be found online, but almost on every website, you will not find reliable details of the risks of diet or recommendations from doctors and nutritionists.
The ketogenic diet is an especially high-fat diet, up to about 80% of its diet. Additionally, it contains a measured amount of protein (20-15%) and low in carbohydrates (less than 5%).
The diet was developed in 1920 to treat children with epilepsy who don’t respond to medication. The ketogenic diet is designed to give these children a better option for fasting. It is, therefore, important to remember that it should be supervised by a nutritionist and a specialist doctor.
The main purpose of the diet is to significantly reduce carbohydrate consumption so that the body moves to produce fat from burning fat instead of burning carbohydrates. Although it has been almost a century since its rise, It is yet unknown what is the exact mechanism by which the diet contributes to the care of these children. Also, note that sometimes ketogenic and low-carb diets are confused. These are two different things and the ketogenic diet is not recommended for the general population.
Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy for the body and brain, as they break down easily and quickly into available glucose. Generating energy in a similar way to fat or protein is a much more complex task. Moreover, foods that contain carbohydrates are also often rich in minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber.
For a metabolic state in which the body goes from using glucose as a source of energy to using KetoPhyses, which result from the Decomposition of liver fatty acids, are called ketosis. Keto corpuscles are divided into three different types: Acetoacetate, D-β-hydroxybutyrate, and Acetone, which are synthesized in the liver and body cells know to use as an energy source.
In a normal diet, carbohydrates break down into glucose, which enters the bloodstream and provides cells with an energy source. When we are fasting, most of the cells in our bodies can survive by Decomposing fat into fatty acids. But the brain is can’t, because fatty acids do not cross the blood-brain barrier.
To provide the brain with glucose, the liver produces glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis, which is eventually released into keto corpuscles blood with glucose. At this point, the muscles and other organs in the body are already undergoing metabolism based on fatty acids and leaving glucose to the brain. Four days later, the brain switches from glucose consumption to ketosis mainly. In this situation, more and more keto corpuscles can accumulate in the bloodstream, and at the same time, acetone is formed spontaneously by the decomposition of the other corpuscles.
Acetone is a volatile and reactive substance, and when it accumulates in the bloodstream you see a decrease in acidity, in a condition called acidosis. Missing affects all organs in the body and is manifested in decreased activity and damage to enzymes in the body. Ketotic acidosis (ketoacidosis) can end in coma and even death.
Proteins as an energy source
The ketogenic diet, when done under close medical supervision, addresses this risk through controlled protein consumption. The reason is that when you eat a large amount of protein, the amino acids in the protein eventually decompose to glucose. In a state where the body does not feed on carbohydrates, which come from grains and fruits, we will begin to break down the amino acids in the protein to get glucose. Medical supervision of the process is essential, as the maximum amount of protein that allows fat breakdown at the expense of the protein varies from person to person.
The sites that promote the ketogenic diet promise that it will break down fat, but tend to overlook the many risks involved: the keto corpuscles creates acidic blood that can lead to bone calcium (osteoporosis). Furthermore, there is documentation of symptoms of brain fog, fatigue and nausea, headaches, high cholesterol, kidney problems, dehydration, and bad breath. The diet also leads to severe fiber deficiencies due to the failure to eat seeds, grains and fruits and on the other hand the excess sodium that comes in many high-fat foods. Also, the high amount of fat can affect your stomach activity. of course, avoiding fruits and vegetables leads to a deficiency of vitamins including B, A and E, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
In conclusion, before deciding to make a significant change to your diet, consult a specialist physician and nutritionist and ensure continuous medical monitoring. Most importantly – always keep in mind that obesity doesn’t have magic solutions either.