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Keto diet: Is it good or bad for you?

Here is a low-down on the merits and demerits of this new eating fad.

Written by Saswati Sarkar |Updated : July 14, 2018 12:47 AM IST

There are innumerable studies that have vouched for the efficacy of good fats in shedding off extra kilos. Ketogenic Diet, the new rage in the weight-loss space, is based roughly on similar principles. This diet includes 75-80 per cent fat, 15-20 per cent protein and 5 per cent carbohydrate. While following it, your body burns fat from your liver (ketone bodies) instead of carbs. That's how you end up losing those extra kilos so fast. But remember, Ketogenic Diet shouldn't be followed in the long run as it may have serious health implications. Here is a low-down on the merits and demerits of this new eating fad.

Must-Do: While on this diet, get your urine tested at regular intervals to ensure that your ketone levels are not dangerously high. Ideal level: 0.5 to 3.0 mM blood ketones.

THE VANTAGE POINTS

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Here is how this New Age diet helps you lose weight and stay fit.

Soars Energy Levels

While on Ketogenic Diet, your body doesn't use the quick-burning carbohydrates for energy. Instead, it burns fats stored in your liver, for the purpose. This plays an important role in boosting your mood. Also, as your carb intake reduces massively while you are on Keto Diet, the insulin levels in your blood deplete noticeably, preventing a blood sugar rollercoaster which stresses your body out and dampens your spirit.

Paces Up Weight-loss

According to a Spanish study, participants who were put on a low-calorie Keto Diet lost an average of 40 pounds over four months. Another six-month experiment, known as Experimental & Clinical Cardiology, study participants lost an average of 33 pounds when they were on this diet. The research also showed that their bad cholesterol was reduced and good cholesterol increased during this period of time. Carbs usually attract and retain water. So, you will see a drop in your water weight while you cut back on this source of calorie. Moreover, since your plates are piled up on healthy and satiating fats, your hunger pangs will also be lesser than usual.

Enhances Your Gym Efforts

A research in Nutrition & Metabolism revealed that women on a Ketogenic Diet lost more body fat after resistance training than those who ate normally.

THE NOT-SO-GOOD

Be cautious if you are on Keto Diet. It may lead to certain health complications.

Acid Build-up

Using ketones as the fuel for the body, in the long run, isn't a good idea because it leads to acid build-up. the body balances out the excess acid by drawing in calcium from the bones. Also, being high on animal protein, this diet does not protect against cancer, diabetes and other ailments.

Dehydration

Carbohydrate is a water retainer. So when you are very low on this nutrient, extra water gets drained out through urine increasing your chances of dehydration.

Other Side Effects

These include an increased risk of kidney stones, muscle cramps, and dizziness. Also, if you opt for a lot of saturated fats in your diet, it may lead to cholesterol build-up in your arteries.

A word of caution: Be prepared for experiencing sudden headaches and fatigue. You may be unexpectedly hungry initially. A research in the International Journal of Obesity found that, during the first three weeks of the diet, study participants have experienced unusual levels of hunger. Your workouts may also feel tougher than they actually are.

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