In recent times, there has been a growing hype about keto diet and its effectiveness in reversing diabetes as well as in promoting weight loss. But the question is, does it really work? Every year there’s a new fad diet, and just like all the others, keto promises impressive health results. If you are thinking of incorporating the keto diet to your lifestyle, read on before you commit your money and time…and even worse, before you hurt yourself and risk your health.
People who adhere to the keto diet completely avoid the intake of carbohydrates, which include legumes, fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grains. In effect, the body will derive its energy from fats. Since the body only metabolizes fats, it results to the production of ketone bodies (hence, the diet’s name), which the body then uses as its energy source instead of glucose.
No Human Population Survived Ketosis
Proponents of the ketogenic diet claim that a group of people indigenous to the Arctic region survived on a mere nightly fare of whale sirloins, caribou jerky, and seal blubber. And while they thrived on these supplies, they were believed to be in nirvana-like ketosis.
In reality, what they actually experienced was keto flu, a condition commonly experienced by keto dieters that is characterized by nausea, fatigue, and malaise. But one thing is certain: the Inuits actually ate those things, not because they chose to but because there weren’t a lot of markets and vegetable farms in the Arctic region. Through the process of mutation, this group of people was able to avoid ketosis over time. In fact, this is evident in more than 80% of today’s Canadian and Greenland Inuit populations.
It is believed that a keto diet could increase the level of acid in the blood. It is further hypothesised that when the body is in a state of ketosis, the chance of death is higher because its ability to endure further ketosis during complete starvation, injury, or an illness also decreases. The fact that the Inuits have survived and mutated strongly suggests that the inhabitants of the Arctic regions experienced undesirable effects from their consumption of the keto diet. Thus, it may also be dangerous to others who are into keto diets.
Vitamins A to Z Deficiencies
Since the ketogenic dieters are only fed on fats, they will inevitably experience vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The ketogenic diet eliminates some of the healthiest foods available: legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. In what is an extremely strict protocol, even an extra serving of the very healthy broccoli could put a ketogenic dieter over their daily carbohydrate limit.
Nonetheless, a ketogenic diet could actually work for some people. For nearly 100 years, children who have been diagnosed with refractory epilepsy have used this diet to ease their seizures. Yet, this can come at the expense of other aspects of their wellness, including cardiovascular health.
Many researchers have studied and identified the effects of using this diet to people. One study showed that keto dieters lack in essential vitamins and minerals, except for Vitamin B12 which is common in fatty foods of animals. There are cases wherein severe selenium deficiency has led to children’s death.
Until Death Do Us Part
Quite a lot of studies have shown that people who are on low-carb diets are at an increased risk of mortality. When it comes to carbohydrate restriction, the keto diet shows to be a major contributor. A study published by The Lancet showed that higher death rates are associated with people who consume low-carb diets and those relying on some animal-based foods like chicken, pork, beef, and lamb. The incidence of heart disease leading to death also increases, along with ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol readings as a direct result of the ketogenic diet. Since you’re ditching healthy foods behind in favour of fat-rich, nutritionally-devoid foods, there is little wonder the risk of death increases so dramatically.
Does Keto Have the Ability to Fulfill Its Promise?
For a long time, ketogenic diet advocates have insisted that the diet is the answer to reversing obesity and diabetes. Some short-term duration studies have indeed backed this claim; however, long-term studies say otherwise. The analysis of studies with a duration of over one year revealed that the glucose levels aren’t affected by the consumption of keto diets in the long run.
Likewise, while the keto diet is said to help with weight loss, the reality is that it only gives a two-pound difference over a low-fat diet. There are definitely lots of other methods of losing that two pounds within a year anyway—methods that don’t compromise your health the way the ketogenic diet does—so you’re better off without it.
While it seems like every second person these days is trying the ketogenic diet, science shows it does more harm than good. Some literature revealed that even epileptic children weren’t spared from its numerous side effects, including restricted growth, pancreatitis, high cholesterol, kidney stones, and fatal cardiac arrhythmias, among others. Furthermore, the diet was only effective in managing symptoms in children with refractory epilepsy. The question is, is the litany of side-effects it causes worth it?
The ketogenic diet promises users impressive benefits…miracles, even. However, taking the time to research this diet will leave you disappointed. When it comes down to it, the best way of improving health and wellness is through a healthy diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains. All of these are far more nutrient-rich and health-promoting than cheese, chicken or bacon.
Share this Post