The ketogenic diet is used in neurological diseases such as epilepsy. It is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. It decreases carbohydrate intake and provides conversion to fat. Carbohydrate intake is limited to less than 30-50 grams per day. This decrease in carbohydrates puts the body in a metabolic state called ketosis. In ketosis, the body begins to burn fat for energy. The ketogenic diet is frequently used for weight loss. Since carbohydrate consumption is very limited, foods containing high carbohydrates are removed from the diet. The vast majority of the diet consists of protein and fat. It is an effective method of weight loss. The ketogenic diet can be much more effective in losing weight than a low-fat diet. In addition, the ketogenic diet is generally not fasted. It is important to apply this diet with expert control and there are many varieties.
Types of Ketogenic Diet
Standard Ketogenic Diet: It is a very low-carb, medium protein, and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbohydrates. It is frequently used.
Cyclic Ketogenic Diet: It is in the form of ketogenic for 5 days, followed by high carbohydrates for 2 days. It contains higher carbohydrates.
High Protein Ketogenic Diet: Contains protein similar to the standard ketogenic diet. It usually contains 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
Ketogenic diets provide weight loss in the following ways:
1. High protein intake: High protein can help weight loss in the short term.
2. Reducing some nutrients: Limiting your carb intake also limits your meal choices. This provides fat burning.
3. Gluconeogenesis: The body turns fat and protein into carbohydrates for fuel. This process causes energy expenditure.
4. Appetizing effect: Ketogenic diets help feel full. This process takes place with changes in hunger hormones.
5. Increased insulin sensitivity: In this way, it can cause significant reductions in serum insulin and blood sugar levels, and fat loss.
6. Decreased fat storage: Some studies have shown that the ketogenic diet can reduce lipogenesis, the process of converting excess sugar taken into fat.
7. Increased fat burning: As the main energy source in the ketogenic diet is fat, the amount of fat burned in all kinds of activities increases.
Foods to Be Reduced in the Ketogenic Diet
· Sugar, sugary foods and beverages
· Cereals or starches: Wheat-based pasta, corn flakes, etc.
· Fruit: Only fruits with low carbohydrate content should be consumed.
Foods that make up the Ketogenic Diet:
· Meat: Red meat, chicken, and turkey
· Oily fish: Salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, etc.
· Cheese: Unprocessed cheeses
· Nuts and oilseeds: Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
· Healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil.
· Low-carb vegetables: Most green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
· Condiments: Salt, pepper, and various healthy herbs and spices can be used.
When eating out, a cheese, meat, fish, or egg-based dish should be chosen. Extra vegetables can be ordered instead of carbohydrates or starches. For example, you can replace the fries that come with your meat with vegetables.
Positive Effects on Health:
· By increasing the sensitivity of insulin, it can cause significant reductions in serum insulin and blood sugar levels, and fat loss. These are important positive effects for individuals with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes (hidden sugar).
· Heart disease: Eating plenty of healthy fat as fat in a ketogenic diet (eg: avocado, olive oil, nuts, oilseeds) raises HDL cholesterol, a good type of cholesterol. It also lowers blood pressure. It improves LDL - HDL ratio. That is, HDL increases cholesterol, which helps balance the effects of LDL. It lowers triglycerides and reduces the risk of heart disease. In the researches; It has been found that the ketogenic diet can positively affect cholesterol levels, heart health, and metabolic health. People with heart disease or high risk of developing it should limit their cholesterol and saturated fat intake in this diet.
· Alzheimer's disease: It can slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease and reduce its symptoms.
· Epilepsy: The ketogenic diet can significantly reduce seizure numbers in epileptic patients.
· Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): The ketogenic diet can have a positive effect on PCOS by reducing insulin levels.
· Parkinson's Disease: Studies have found that the ketogenic diet helps improve symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
· Acne: Low insulin levels, less sugar, or processed food consumption; it can help acne healing.
Negative Effects on Health:
· It is not a sustainable diet because it is difficult to comply with the diet. In the case of returning to old eating habits, weight loss and loss are often seen. This may make it difficult to lose weight by causing the metabolism to slow down in the following periods.
· Fluid and electrolyte loss can be seen.
· The smell of acetone can be seen in urine and mouth. Disorders in liver function: Metabolizing high-fat exhausts the liver. Kidney Problems: Kidneys help break down proteins. Prolonged excess protein intake creates a burden on the kidneys. The risk of gout disease and kidney stones can be seen.
· Osteoporosis Ketosis, shock, and loss of consciousness (Ketoacidosis is a condition that can cause death even by negatively affecting the quality of life in patients with Type I diabetes. A ketosis is a mild form of ketoacidosis. Therefore, it is not perceived as very serious.)
· Cancer Risk (colon cancer) Brain dysfunction: It may occur due to decreased carbohydrate intake.
· Negative effect on microbiota: The diet with high protein and low carbohydrate content has been shown to reduce Roseburiave Eubacterium rectale levels, one of the beneficial bacteria in intestinal microbiota, and reduce the rate of butyrate in health.
· It has also been found to have effects such as bad breath, constipation, general weakness, dizziness, headache, hair loss, muscle cramps. Serious blood sugar drops can also be seen with insufficient carbohydrate intake. For this reason, it is inconvenient for individuals with diabetes to follow this diet without consulting their healthcare provider.
Looking at all these effects, weight loss is more reliable with an adequate and balanced nutrition program instead of diets that provide rapid weight loss but have harmful effects in the long term and some possible effects of which are not yet clearly explained in the long term.