Ketogenic Diet: What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages?

Ketogenic diet: what are the advantages and disadvantages?


Banning sugars and promoting good fats is the basis of the keto diet, the ketogenic diet is constantly being talked about on social networks. But beware, this way of eating is not good for everyone.

Many stars have adopted him like Gwyneth Paltrow or Kourtney Kardashian, most often to lose weight. But the keto diet is not just a great anti-sugar detox

More and more scientific studies show that this way of eating has incredible health virtues. 

However, it is important to think carefully before starting and, ideally, consult a nutritionist who is an expert in ketogenic, because, to reap real benefits, it is essential to follow the (rather draconian) principles to the letter. 

Above all, be aware that there are also disadvantages and contraindications.

Ketogenic diet: what are the benefits?

Olivia Charlet, micro-nutritionist, and an expert in hypotoxic ketogenic diet, has listed in a book all the diseases on which the ketogenic diet would have an impact. 

Of course, one must be careful. Just because there are studies on this or that disease does not mean it is a panacea. Each patient may react differently to the diet. Before trying it, you should seek advice from your doctor.

Epilepsy: it is in this disease that the diet was first used in the 1920s by Dr. Russell Wilder who discovered that ketones (an alternative energy source when the body's sugar reserves are insufficient) could limit convulsions. 

The arrival of anti-epileptic treatments in the 1950s, fell into oblivion before returning to the forefront of the medical scene in the 1990s in children who did not respond to conventional treatment.

Type 2 diabetes: specialists believe that a drastic restriction of carbohydrate intake can prevent or even reverse the disease because insulin receptors are much less stressed. 

For type 1 diabetes, a study shows that the combination of a carbohydrate diet, with lower doses of insulin injected, helps to normalize blood sugar levels.

Alzheimer's disease: according to several studies, the intake of TCM (particular fats present in coconut oil in particular) associated with a diet allowing ketosis (in this case, the body burns fats at a very high rate) acts on better energy metabolism of the mitochondria (their role is to provide the cells with the energy they need to function) in the brain of people suffering from this neurodegenerative disease.

Cancers: it is important to know that cancer cells use about ten times more glucose (simple sugar) than healthy cells! Hence the interest, according to some specialists, in adopting a ketogenic diet as a complement to oncological treatments.

Cardiovascular diseases: reducing saturated fats and cholesterol would not be enough. We know today that a high carbohydrate diet associated with trans fats (there are many in industrial foods) promotes inflammation, thus these pathologies. 

And as the ketogenic diet also acts on diabetes, and overweight ... which are the bedrock of cardiovascular diseases, it is a virtuous circle.

Inflammatory diseases: osteoarthritis, rheumatism... have inflammation as their common denominator. Most are due to a diet too rich in carbohydrates, ultra-processed products, and deficient in good fats (omega-3). Following the ketogenic would, therefore, be indicated.

Migraine and other diseases: studies show the beneficial effect of ketones linked to their anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective action on reducing the frequency of migraine attacks but also in autism, Parkinson's disease, or brain tumors.

 Keto diet: what are the disadvantages of the ketogenic diet?


A not-easy diet: considering the many prohibitions, you have to be super motivated and ready to radically change the way you eat. 

Goodbye carbohydrates (white sugar, honey, sodas, pastries, cakes, pastries ...), almost all fruits, bread and pasta, legumes (lentils, white beans ...), cereals (rice, wheat, buckwheat ...), root vegetables (sweet potatoes, parsnips, squash ...). 

On the menu: avocado, tofu, cauliflower, broccoli, vegan cheese, ketogenic bread...

Bad breath: it is, in fact, a sign that the body is producing these famous ketones and that the food program is doing its job. The smell comes from acetone, a type of ketone, which is eliminated by exhalation. 

This phenomenon lasts about a month, the time it takes for the body to adapt to the lack of glucose and manage to produce energy from fat (keto-adaptation). 

Other inconveniences (headaches, fatigue, nausea, constipation) may also occur, especially during the first two weeks.

Possible deficiencies: eliminating certain categories of food can lead to deficiencies in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. On the other hand, some foods can also be eaten in excess, such as animal products. 

This is why Olivia Charlet recommends following a hypotoxic ketogenic diet, i.e. with very little meat and no dairy products. "It's much better for your health," she says.

     A perverse effect? Researchers at Yale University, whose work has been published in the journal Nature Metabolism, have questioned whether the positive effects of ketogenic are sustainable, at least in the long term. They even believe that an inverse effect is possible. 

"When mice followed this diet for more than a week, they consumed more fat than they burned, lost the protective gamma delta T-cells, and tended to develop diabetes and obesity," observed the authors of this American study during their work.

For all these reasons, this diet should not be taken lightly. And even less if one suffers from diseases (cancer, diabetes, kidney failure, gout...), even if there are scientific arguments in its favor. 

So let's say it again: the best way to avoid taking risks is to ask your doctor and/or a nutritionist who is an expert in ketogenic for advice.

A diet that is too rich in carbohydrates, particularly refined carbohydrates, accelerates the cellular aging process of the nervous system and also disrupts the microbiota (intestinal flora), also known as the "second brain".

Overweight, obesity: excess carbohydrate intake leads to insulin resistance, one of the consequences of having an excessively high blood glucose level, a risk factor for diabetes, and cardiovascular disease... "By reducing carbohydrate intake while consuming good fats," explains Olivia Charlet, "the body learns to destock its lipid reserves and slims down durably.

Samir Sali

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