Ketogenic diet and weight loss: principle, recipes, dangers

The ketogenic diet, which emerged in the 1920s, consists of eating a diet low in carbohydrates but high in healthy or natural fats. Originally, this diet was intended for children with epilepsy, but it quickly became popular for weight loss.

What is the ketogenic diet?

that ketogenic diet (also called the Keto diet) is characterized by being low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats. Its concept was born in the 1920s and was supposed to relieve epileptic children. Today, the ketogenic diet is considered for weight loss.

The ketogenic diet is a diet based on the production of ketone bodies. What is it about ? These are molecules made by the body when there is no more sugar reserve. To continue producing energy, the body compensates by implementing a “B” plan: it uses fats to break them down into ketone bodies in the liver. These ketones will basically replace the sugars. They can be used by the muscles, but also the brain or the kidneys.

The body begins to function as if you were fasting. It has no more sugar stores, so it uses stored fat and makes ketones. The organs thus get used to getting their energy, not from sugars, but from ketones.

Is the ketogenic diet effective for weight loss?

Whose ketogenic diet is effective for weight loss in some people it is for two main reasons. The first is that the lack of carbohydrates puts the body into ketosis after a few days, that is, it is forced to burn fat for energy. Then the very high proportion of healthy fats in the diet gives a feeling of nausea in the person following the diet. satiety quickly enough, which does not make you want to overeat.

The effectiveness of the ketogenic diet has been scientifically validated for epileptics. For the rest, there is no proof of effectiveness, although it may work on a case-by-case basis.

The fact is that for most of those who try this diet, the difficulty of sticking to this diet manifests itself on a daily basis.

What foods are allowed on the ketogenic diet?

Overall, all foods that contain less than 5% carbohydrates. You can thus put on your plate, mainly fatty foodslike :

  • meat (unprocessed), butter, olive oil…
  • dairy products made from whole milk (cottage cheese, fresh cream)
  • yogurt without added sugar
  • egg,
  • Fish,
  • some vegetables (especially cabbage, broccoli, avocado and zucchini),
  • some fruits are also possible: watermelon, strawberry, lemon, raspberry, peach.

You just have to keep an eye on the protein intake, because the latter can be converted into glucose by the body when it is absorbed in large quantities.

What foods are prohibited on the ketogenic diet?

In the ketogenic diet, all foods containing sugar are prohibited.

  • Flour-based foods (bread, pasta, rice),
  • legumes (lentils, chickpeas, etc.),
  • starch-based foods such as potatoes, chips
  • sweet foods (jams, biscuits, etc.)
  • ready meals containing carbohydrates,
  • many fruits and certain vegetables, rich in carbohydrates, must also be limited.

What is the typical menu for a keto day?

here is a sample menu for a contribution of less than 50 grams of carbohydrates.

2 eggs fried in butter on a pan with an avocado

A minced steak topped with melted cheese and accompanied by various vegetables.

A few almonds and a square of dark chocolate

A coconut chicken curry.

What are its advantages and disadvantages?

The healthy fat content of the ketogenic diet helps improve cardio metabolism. Insulin, blood sugar, blood pressure or even blood lipids are actually better controlled. Furthermore, since cancer cells mainly feed on sugar, they find fewer resources to grow. that The main disadvantage of the ketogenic diet is that it is difficult to adoptbecause it changes the diet radically.

Keto diet: what recommendations and precautions?

Like any major dietary change, the keto diet can lead to Side effects, especially a great thirst, an increase in the desire to urinate, fatigue or even tachycardia or excessive sweating. It is recommended to avoid sports for a few days or even a few weeks. Medical monitoring is essential.

Is the ketogenic diet dangerous?

The ketogenic diet can be dangerous for people with a special health condition, especially for patients suffering from type 1 diabetes, for patients for whom the oxidation of fatty acids does not take place normally, for people suffering from liver cellular insufficiency or respiratory failure. The ketogenic diet is therefore contraindicated.

Moreover, there is medical complications : flu-like syndrome (headache, fatigue, etc.), difficulty concentrating. After three months, a vitamin deficiency in trace elements occurs.

Read also: why the ketogenic diet is not without health risks?

By stopping eating sugar, will I starve my cancer?

On the Internet, you can find articles or testimonials touting the benefits of the ketogenic diet in fighting cancer. He is nothing. “There is no evidence of benefit from consuming a low-carbohydrate diet during cancer treatment,” according to a scientific report from the National Food Cancer Research (NACR) network. “Learned societies do not recommend following a ketogenic diet, even in the case of advanced cancer. In particular, this diet, which is difficult to follow, can lead to malnutrition, which can lead to stopping anti-cancer treatments, so it would be a loss of options for these patients”, emphasizes Paule Latino-Martel, researcher and director of the NACR.

According to the Gustave Roussy Institute, “tumor cells live on glucose, but they are not the only ones! In fact, immune cells also need glucose to defend us in the event of an attack. Muscle cells also need glucose. A limited sugar intake can accelerate muscle wasting. Restrictive therapeutic diets (intermittent fasting or ketogenic diet) are therefore not recommended for malnourished patients or at risk of malnutrition.”

Reviewed by doctor Anne-Christine Della Valle, general practitioner specializing in infectious and tropical diseases, hospital hygiene and gerontology.

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