Are Ketosis Diets Safe For You? Here Are The Answers!

A new way to lose a significant amount of weight has been gaining popularity. While the system has been in use for long, it can be considered new to those who are yet to experience it.


Keto diet is the new system in question. Proponents believe that it can make an overweight person to lose weight faster and provide the body with enough energy despite being a low-carb diet. But the question most first time users are asking is: are ketogenic diets safe?


Read further as we continue to find the answers to this question.

Things to know about ketogenic diets

Keto diets are not different from the normal diet most of us know. They are important to overweight or obese individuals. These diets have extremely low or no carbohydrates.


Ketogenic diets can naturally force the body to get into ketosis, a state where those who consume no or low carb diets – a stage whereby ketones are formed in the blood.  


An associate professor in medicine from the Sapienza University in Rome, Dr. Gianfranco Cappello created the keto diet. He claimed to have achieved huge success administering the diet to over 19,000 overweight patients according to his study


Most of our cells prefer to utilize blood sugar released from carbs as a source of energy to the body. But Ketogenic diets contain more of fat and protein than carbohydrate. Carb might even be absent in some keto diets.


So in the absence of blood sugar which carbs produce, the body will start to break down already stored fat into molecules known as ketone bodies. Once you get to this stage of ketosis, some cells in the body will begin to produce energy using the ketone bodies. This will continue until you start eating carbs again.

Keto diet and diabetes: How it affects blood glucose

Many critics say ketogenic diets are unhealthy and could be harmful to even healthy individuals.  They also believe there is a link between keto diet and diabetes. Now the question is can ketogenic diet cause diabetes? The answer is NO, and here is why: Keto diets have what it takes to potentially decrease glucose levels in the blood.


Patients with type-2 diabetes are expected to manage or lower carb intake because carbs can turn to large quantities of sugar and lead to a spike in blood sugar. So for patients with increased blood glucose, consuming too much carbohydrate is a dangerous endeavor that must be discouraged.   


However, focusing on fat or low carb diet which is more of the keto diet can help most people to lower their blood sugar. 

Another popular question is can ketogenic diet cause ketoacidosis? 

This is an important question ketone dieters should know about. First, having ketoacidosis is possible, but are common in patients with type 1 diabetes. Those with type 2 diabetes are also at risk but it is rare and only possible under extremely stressful conditions. Ketoacidosis occurs due to metabolic acidosis, uncontrolled hyperglycemia and increase in the levels of ketone body in the blood. 


So, the recommended thing diabetic patients are expected to do is to monitor their sugar and ketone body levels on a regular basis. This should be a routine while on the keto diet.

Ketogenic diet and fatty liver

Many people do not understand the effect keto diets have in the body, so they conclude that it is harmful. Ketogenic diets help to train the body to lose weight or burn fat in a natural way. But the question is ketogenic diet safe for the liver? This is also an important question.


Because keto diet causes the body to burn fat naturally, there is no need to store excess fat in the body or liver. Storing excess fat in the liver causes liver diseases, so there is no way keto diet which trains the body to burn fat will be harmful to the liver. 

Ketogenic diet and cardiovascular health

There is a common theory and believe that consuming diets high in saturated fat increases cholesterol levels and lead to atherosclerosis and heart attacks, thus leading to the question is ketogenic diet safe for heart? 


A 2012 study published in the Obesity Review journal provided an insight on the impact of low carb diets on cardiovascular health. The study involved 1,141 obese individuals looking to lose weight. All the patients in the study had decreased diastolic and systolic blood pressures, improved cholesterol levels, decreased in body mass index (BMI), weight and other cardiovascular disease risk factors after they were placed on keto diets.

Ketogenic diet: Long-term use and concerns

Ketogenic diets are not only used to burn fat or lose weight. They help to cause certain biochemical changes in the signaling system of the brain that helps to eliminate short circuits that cause seizures. They are on most occasions used as therapy for children suffering from seizures that are difficult to control.


There is no doubt that keto diets are beneficial and is right for individuals to ask is ketogenic diet safe long term? The answer is yes, and there are studies to back it up.


The ketogenic diet is safe for long-term use, according to Eric Kossoff, director of the keto diet program and pediatric neurologist at the Johns Hopkins Children Center located in Baltimore.  He put further that their studies show the diet can be used long-term without causing health risks. In a study involving 101 patients, age 2 – 26 years, over 80% patients suffering from seizure either had their condition reduced or completely eliminated. This keto diet treatment lasted for 16 months and close to eight years at the Hopkins Children Center between 1993 and 2008. 


In another study on the effects of keto diets on obese individuals, the result was impressive and showed that the diet can be used long-term. During the study, those we were placed on keto diet had their body mass index and weight significantly reduced. HDL (good cholesterol) increased and LDL (bad cholesterol) decreased significantly within week 1 to 24.

Ketogenic diets for athletes: Is there any safety concern?

The use of dietary by athletes has also raised certain speculations. Many are still asking is ketogenic diet safe for athletes? 


Many athletes are afraid to incorporate this low carb diet into their diet plan because they believe it can affect energy levels negatively and lower their power output. But while their assumptions may sound logical enough, these things are not associated with ketogenic diets. 


Ketones are fuel for the diaphragm and heart, and looking at the fact that being in the ketosis state can give an individual superb cognitive performance and focus, especially during challenging mental tasks, keto diet can be beneficial for endurance athletes such as those into long-distance swimming, cycling, triathletes, and marathons.


Are you an athlete and still not convinced? Check the video below:


Conclusion

The verdict on keto diets is clear: it is safe but more studies are needed to help provide more understanding on how people of different health status can benefit from the diet. It is also important to note that keto diet is not for everyone; those who are pregnant or suffering from kidney related issues should avoid it. 

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