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How does a keto diet work? What are its side effects?

The word Keto derived form Ketogenic , which refers to the protein in the body.

As proteins are the building blocks of organs, muscles, skin in our human body. Keto diet involves less intake of carbs and replaced with adequate intake of fats and proteins.

The Keto diet helps people striving to achieve faster weight reduction in a short span of 3 to 6 months. Keto diet focus on fats as the main source of body fuel rather than carbs.

Instead of relying on sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits), the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat.

Keto diet fat burning

Burning fat seems like an ideal way to lose pounds. But getting the liver to make ketone bodies is tricky:

  • It requires that you deprive yourself of carbohydrates, fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day (keep in mind that a medium-sized banana has about 27 grams of carbs)
  • It typically takes a few days to reach a state of ketosis.

Eating too much protein can interfere with ketosis. In a daily 2,000-calorie diet, that might look like 165 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, and 75 grams of protein. However, the exact ratio depends on your particular needs.

Some healthy unsaturated fats are allowed on the keto diet — like nuts (almonds, walnuts), seeds, avocados, tofu, and olive oil. But saturated fats from oils (palm, coconut), lard, butter, and cocoa butter are encouraged in high amounts.

Protein is part of the keto diet, but it doesn’t typically discriminate between lean protein foods and protein sources high in saturated fat such as beef, pork, and bacon.

What about fruits and vegetables?

All fruits are rich in carbs, but you can have certain fruits (usually berries) in small portions. Vegetables (also rich in carbs) are restricted to leafy greens (such as kale, Swiss chard, spinach), cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, cucumber, celery, and summer squashes. A cup of chopped broccoli has about six carbs.

Keto diet veggies

A ketogenic diet stimulates the breakdown of these proteins, reducing the amount of alpha-synuclein in the brain.

One of the key features of Parkinson’s disease is the abnormal accumulation of a protein known as alpha-synuclein

A Keto diet may help improve triglyceride, HDL, and LDL levels. A 2017 review looked at all of the available evidence around the ketogenic diet and cardiovascular health and found that the diet may be associated with some improvements in cardiovascular risk factors.

💡 - In fact, a 2017 review found that a keto diet was associated with better glucose control and a reduction in medication use.

A ketogenic diet was found to reduce tumor growth, colon cancer, gastric cancer, and brain cancer.

Including one meta-analysis found that patients assigned to a very-low-carbohydrate diet (like the keto diet) had greater weight-loss outcomes than those eating low-fat.

On the side effects of long term Keto diet

This includes;

Excess carvings

carbohydrates needed to produce serotonin, a brain chemical that helps regulate mood, as well as sleep and appetite—two other factors that can mess with your disposition, says

Cutting out carbs can cause the brain to release a neuropeptide-Y (NPY) chemical, which tells the body that we need carbs; when we don’t get those carbohydrates our body needs, this chemical builds up and can intensify cravings.

💡 - Constipation is a common side effect of the ketogenic diet.

Bad breath

One way ketones are released from the body is through exhaling, and breath usually has a distinct odor that’s different from the common bad breath experienced when there’s a building of bacteria in the mouth.


When your body goes into ketosis, it will start to produce by-products called ketones

If you’re healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, so you don’t usually make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy.

If you have diabetes that isn’t under control, ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. It becomes acidic and can cause a coma or death.

People who have diabetes can get ketoacidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) when they don’t take enough insulin. They can also get DKA when they’re sick or injured or don’t get enough fluids and become dehydrated.

Some people who don’t have diabetes can get ketoacidosis, too. It’s caused by alcoholism, starvation, or an overactive thyroid. A healthy low-carb diet shouldn’t cause a problem.

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