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 Ketogenic diets — also known as keto diets — have been tracked for the past decade or more due to allegations of a positive effect on weight control

This dish has become very popular with celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow. The Hollywood actress has previously faced criticism from health experts who say there is no evidence to support "herbal" remedies, including keto and plant-based diets.

But what are the pros and cons of a ketogenic diet and is it safe? Newsweek spoke to experts to find out.
What is a Keto Diet?

Ketogenic foods are defined as foods high in fat and low in carbohydrates (sugar), which cause the body to break down fats into molecules known as ketones.

“Ketones circulate in the blood and are a major source of energy for many cells in the body,” explains the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).



The breakdown of keto diets includes the following (according to the book Ketogenic Diet by Wajeed Masood, Pavan Annamaraju and Kalyan R. Uppaluri, shared on the NIH website):
Fat: About 55 to 60 percent of the diet.
Protein: About 30 to 35 percent.
Carbohydrates: About 5 to 10 percent (Note: With a diet of 2,000 kcal per day, a carbohydrate diet can be up to 20 to 50 grams per day).

Speaking to Newsweek, Dr. Kevin Hall, senior researcher at the NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, noted that it is important to clarify that there are several "keto diets" versions and the health effects of these different types may be. very different.

Some people follow a plant-based keto diet that does not have animal products that include eating a lot of fiber from starchy vegetables but very little starch or sugar, while other keto foods include a lot of animal products but very few starchy vegetables.

Some dietary versions contain less red meat and minced meat, less saturated fat and more fish and plant-based fats with lower saturated fats.

But the common denominator of all these keto diets is that "they are all low in carbohydrates in the diet for the body to increase its ketone production, leading to elevated blood ketones," Hall said.



Ketones are substances that your body produces when your cells do not get enough blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is the main source of energy for your body.
A bowl of grilled chicken and a fresh vegetable salad of tomatoes, avocados, lettuce and spinach. IStock / Getty Images Plus What Happens to the Body With Keto Diet?

Because of the low levels of carbohydrates available for energy, your body breaks down fats into ketones, which is a major source of body fat. Ketones energize the heart, kidneys, and other muscles, such as the brain.

A ketogenic diet is actually considered a “partial diet,” explains the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

"During complete fasting or a state of hunger, the body has no source of energy. Therefore, it breaks down strong muscles for fuel. With a keto diet, ketones provide a different source of energy. Unlike fasting, a keto diet helps maintain lean muscle mass. , ”Says the center.
The Beauty of Keto Diet 1. Helps Treat Epilepsy, Reduce Constipation

Speaking to Newsweek, Roxana Ehsani, a registered nutritionist and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said: “Ketogenic diets were first created and will be followed by people with epilepsy. . "

Keto diet helps reduce seizures in patients with epilepsy, adds ASN's Psota.



Drs. Russel Wilder of the Mayo Clinic was the first to invent the term "ketogenic diet," using food to treat epilepsy in 1921.

For nearly a decade, ketogenic diets were considered a “cure” for childhood epilepsy and were widely used until antiepileptic agents were introduced, which led to a decline in diet, says the Ketogenic Diet book.
2. Weight loss

According to the Ketogenic Diet: "Ketogenic diet supplement as a quick way to lose weight is a new concept that has proven to be very effective, at least in the short term."

Speaking to Newsweek, Dr. Tricia Psota, a registered nutritionist and member of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), stated: “The keto diet causes many people to lose weight, and some people report less hunger during ketosis. . "

The NIH noted: "It is also important to consider the benefits of food and the risks in the context of a comparable diet."

For example, compared to conventional Western diets with high levels of processed foods, which are high in sugar and fat but low in fiber, ketogenic foods can cause weight loss, he explained.
3. Controlling Blood Sugar

According to ASN's Psota, research suggests that a keto diet may present potential benefits associated with controlling blood sugar (sugar), such as improving insulin sensitivity.

The NIH said that a keto diet could lower blood sugar and insulin levels, which could be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes or diabetes mellitus.

As your blood sugar levels rise, it releases insulin, allowing glucose in your body's cells to be used as energy.

Patients with diabetes do not produce enough insulin or their bodies cannot use insulin properly and high blood sugar stays in their bloodstream.

When you eat keto, the body is depleted of carbohydrates and insulin production is greatly reduced.

"When glucose uptake decreases significantly, endogenous glucose production cannot meet the body's needs" and a process known as ketogenesis begins, according to the Ketogenic Diet.

Ketogenesis provides the body with another source of energy in the form of ketone bodies, instead of glucose as the main source of energy.

“During ketogenesis due to a low blood glucose response, insulin stimulation

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