Health Female Adda
6 months ago
Keto diet or regular diet: What’s better?

The main theory behind keto diet is that being low in carbs, it puts body into fat burning state and forces body to utilize fats as a source of energy. The fats that we consume and the ones that are stored are broken down to ketones in absence of carbohydrates and which are then used as the fuel for the body. The concentration of these ketones increases in blood stream and so the person on keto diet feels full without cravings. But is it really better than regular Indian diet, which contains mostly all the nutritional benefits? Dr. Deepti Bagree, HOD – Healthcare, RESET — Holistic Living Concepts helps us in deciphering the same.
The theory behind keto diet: Glucose is the primary source for our body to be converted and used as energy so its chosen over any other energy source. Insulin is produced in response to foods containing carbohydrates to finally break down to glucose and to process the glucose in bloodstream to energy

Since glucose is being used as a primary energy, fats that we eat are not utilized and are therefore stored in body making us put on fat and therefore inches. Typically, in a higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis.

Initially, it may lead to a transit phase of poor energy and mental function, increased cravings and hunger, low sugar levels, sleep issues, nausea, digestive discomfort and reduced exercise performance called as Keto flu. But one must understand that the main purpose of a properly managed keto diet is to shift body into a metabolic state called ketosis. The difference here is we do this through restricting carbohydrates and not calories.

Does Keto diet burns ten times more fat than a standard diet? When fatty acids are broken down in liver, ketones are produced which are then utilized as fuel in case of keto diets. It takes around 3-4 days for a body to get into fat burning mode provided carbohydrate content of the day is less than 15 gms.

It is seen that as compared to other standard diets, a keto diet (LCHF) burns 10 times more fats and this attributes to its popularity. The only thing one should keep in mind is sustaining the results post such diets, which is a challenge in most of the cases.

Keto diet might be advantageous but it isn’t practical. As one can’t be off carbohydrates or be on low protein diets and simply gulp in bullet coffees and high fatty foods for many months at a go.

Biggest advantages keto diet: Ketosis is one of the natural and primitive process of the body and it helps us survive in scarcity of food or starvation. The purpose of keto diet is to make body shed extra pounds, which is a root cause of almost all medical issue one can think of. Keto diet is known to have many health benefits starting from reducing sugar fluctuations to improving neurological functions and disease prevention. Some of them are:
- Insulin sensitivity: Keto diet being low on carbs is known to improve insulin sensitivity and help control sugar fluctuations without making person feel low on energy levels. It is found to improve type 2 diabetes when followed religiously however medical supervision is utmost necessary before starting this diet
- Cholesterol & blood pressure: If medically supervised, a keto diet is known to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels if healthy fats are used while planning diet. A low-carb, high-fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL and decrease in LDL compared to low-fat diets.
- Epilepsy: High fat diets have been used by medical professionals in controlling seizures and have gained success in most of the cases as ketones used as a source of energy also are great fuel for brain cells.
- Increased energy & normalized hunger: As fats are the primary source of energy in keto diet and fats being the concentrated source of energy, so a person on keto diet doesn’t feel hungry as 1 fat molecule produces more energy than a molecule of carbs or protein.
- Weight loss: Fat is essentially used as a source of energy in the ketogenic diet so weight loss is primarily a health benefits. Insulin (the fat storing hormone) levels drop greatly due to low carb content of the diet, which turns your body into a fat burning machine.

Disadvantages of keto diet: Although the diet is favorable for everyone who wants to lose extra fats and break that difficult weight plateau, but some of the known issues with keto diet are initially the weight loss seen is through water loss and not actual fat loss. Water being an integral component of the body, losing it beyond certain limits can be detrimental for health.
Another issue noticed is being low in protein puts you on a danger of losing muscle mass, which may reduce metabolism before body shifts into ketosis. Losing muscle lowers immunity too,

As fats are metabolized in liver and gall bladder plays a critical role in its digestion, health of these organs needs to be considered. Excessive fat loads the liver and people with weak liver or gallbladder removed may face problems in following it. Lastly, high levels of ketones in blood may pose issues in body’s filtering machine a.k.a kidney.

Is keto diet safe? Safety of any diet depends on the sustainability of the results experienced during the regime and any potential deficiency that the diet can bring about. Even though ketosis is a natural phenomenon, its only safety concern lies in maintenance and sustainability of results.

Is keto diet recommended over normal every day healthy eating? The keto diet is known to numerous health benefits; however, nothing can replace holistic way of losing weight or fat through eating balanced, practicing mindfulness while eating, regular exercise, quality sleep and stress management. It’s a lifestyle change that helps in maintenance of right weight and keeping body off diseases and not the short term/ fad diets.

So, can you lose an equal amount of weight even with normal healthy diet when compared to keto diet? All the diets that takes away one of the 3 major macronutrients is bound to show results on scale but the challenge comes in managing the lost weight and not regaining it back. When question comes to sustainability of results nothing can replace holistic approach to lose weight. This is because prolonged deprivation of any of the macronutrient can result into serious deficiency syndromes, so it’s advisable to follow such diets under medical supervision only. It’s also advisable to incorporate some mineral and vitamin supplements while being on such regimes. For instance, for minerals, try taking 3,000—4,000 mg of sodium, 1,000 mg of potassium and 300 mg of magnesium per day to minimize side effects.

Image source: Shutterstock

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