Ketogenic diet and weight loss: principles, recipes, dangers

Appearing in the 1920s, the ketogenic diet consists of eating a diet that is low in carbohydrates, but high in healthy or natural fats. Initially, this diet was intended for children with epilepsy, but it quickly became popular for weight loss.

What is the ketogenic diet?

the ketogenic diet (also called the Keto diet) is described as low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats. Its concept was born in the 1920s and was thought to relieve epileptic children. Today, the ketogenic diet is considered for weight loss.

The ketogenic diet is a diet based on the production of dead ketones. What is it about? These are molecules that the body makes when there are no more sugar reserves. To continue producing energy, the body compensates by implementing the “B” plan: it uses fats to break them down into ketone bodies in the liver. These ketone bodies usually replace sugars. It can be used in the muscles, but also in the brain or the kidneys.

The body starts to act like you are fasting. It has no more sugar stores so it uses stored fat and makes ketone bodies. So the organs are used to getting their energy, not from sugars, but from ketone bodies.

Is the ketogenic diet effective for weight loss?

If the The ketogenic diet is effective for weight loss in some people it is due to two main reasons. The first is that the lack of carbohydrates puts the body into ketosis after a few days, that is, it is forced to burn fat for energy. Then, the very high proportion of healthy fats present in the diet produces in the person following the diet a feeling of nausea and fill fast enough, that you don’t want to eat too much.

The effectiveness of the ketogenic diet has been scientifically proven for epileptics. For others, there is no evidence of effectiveness, although it may work on a case by case basis.

The fact remains that for most of those who have tried this diet, the difficulty of following this diet is expressed on a daily basis.

What foods are allowed on the ketogenic diet?

In general, all foods that contain less than 5% carbohydrates. You can put on your plate, especially fatty foodssuch as:

  • meat (unprocessed), butter, olive oil…
  • dairy products made from whole milk (cottage cheese, fresh cream)
  • yogurt without added sugar
  • egg,
  • fish,
  • some vegetables (especially cabbage, broccoli, avocado and zucchini),
  • some fruits are also possible: watermelon, strawberry, lemon, raspberry, peach.

You just need to monitor the intake of protein, because the latter can be converted into glucose in the body if absorbed in large amounts.

What foods are forbidden on the ketogenic diet?

In the ketogenic diet, all foods containing sugar are prohibited.

  • Flour-based foods (bread, pasta, rice),
  • legumes (lentils, chickpeas, etc.),
  • starch-based foods such as potatoes, crisps
  • sweet foods (jams, cookies, etc.)
  • prepared food containing carbohydrates,
  • many fruits and some vegetables, which are full of carbohydrates, should also be limited.

What is the typical menu for a keto day?

here is a sample menu for contribution to less than 50 grams of carbohydrates.

2 eggs fried in butter on bread with avocado

A chopped steak topped with melted cheese and accompanied by various vegetables.

A few almonds and a square of dark chocolate

A coconut chicken curry.

What are its advantages and disadvantages?

The healthy fat content of the ketogenic diet helps improve cardiometabolism. Insulin, blood sugar, blood pressure or even blood lipids are better managed. In addition, because cancer cells mainly eat sugar, they find less resources to grow. the The main disadvantage of the ketogenic diet is that it is difficult to adoptbecause it radically changes the diet.

Keto diet: what recommendations and precautions?

As with any major dietary change, the keto diet can lead to Effects, especially a great thirst, an increase in the desire to urinate, fatigue or even tachycardia or excessive sweating. It is recommended to avoid playing sports for a few days or even a few weeks. Medical follow-up is essential.

Is the ketogenic diet dangerous?

The ketogenic diet can be dangerous for people with a particular health condition, especially for patients suffering from type 1 diabetes, for patients with abnormal oxidation of fatty acids, for people suffering in hepatocellular insufficiency or respiratory failure. Therefore the ketogenic diet is contraindicated.

In addition, there is medical complications : flu-like syndrome (headache, fatigue, etc.), difficulty concentrating. More than three months, vitamin deficiencies in trace elements can be seen.

Also read: why the ketogenic diet has no health risks?

By stopping eating sugar, will I starve my cancer?

On the Internet, you can find articles or testimonials that state the benefits of the ketogenic diet to fight cancer. He didn’t. “There is no evidence of benefit from consuming a low carbohydrate diet during cancer treatment,” according to a scientific report from the National Food Cancer Research (NACR) network. “Learned societies do not recommend following a ketogenic diet, even in the case of advanced cancer. In particular, this diet, which is difficult to follow, can lead to malnutrition, which can lead to the cessation of anti-cancer treatments, so it could be a loss of opportunity for these patients”, points out Paule Latino-Martel, researcher and Director of NACR.

According to the Gustave Roussy Institute, “tumor cells eat glucose, but not only them! In fact, immune cells also need glucose to defend us during an attack. Muscle cells, too , requires glucose. Drinking may accelerate muscle wasting. Strict therapeutic diets (intermittent fasting or ketogenic diet) are therefore not recommended for patients who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.”

Examined by Doctor Anne-Christine Della Valle, general practitioner, specialist in infectious and tropical diseases, hospital hygiene and gerontology.

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