Newswise — Chula doctors advise people to gain a better understanding of the “high-fat content Keto weight loss diet” to find out the good effects, and the side effects. The emphasis should be on weight loss to combat diseases and long-term health benefits with a balanced and moderate diet.
Weight loss isn’t only about maintaining the desired figure and physical beauty. It is also a way to fight certain diseases and achieve good health. Nowadays there are several methods of dieting to achieve weight loss, most of them emphasizing the importance of consuming vegetables and fish while avoiding fatty food. There is, however, another method known as the Ketogenic diet which emphasizes “fat” as the mainstay in all meals consumed.
According to Assistant Professor Patchaya Boonchaya-anant, M.D. Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, the Thai Red Cross Society, “The key to a Ketogenic diet is weight reduction which plays a part in health care and treatment of such diseases as obesity and certain types of diabetes which require patients to have their weight under control.” She also provides advice on how to follow the Keto diet correctly to achieve positive results both in terms of health and bodyweight reduction.
What is the Keto diet?
Keto or the Ketogenic is a low carbohydrate and sugar diet and focuses instead on the consumption of “fat” and protein.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Patchaya explains the premises of the Keto diet saying that “Carbohydrate foods like wheat and rice are digested and become glucose which is the main source of energy for the body. When we consume fewer carbs, the body will turn to the stored fat as its primary fuel and turn that into Ketone Bodies – hence the name Keto.”
How to follow the Keto diet for effective weight loss
The Keto diet for weight loss places emphasis mainly on fat and protein intake and reduces the proportion of carbohydrate consumption such as wheat, rice, and sugar to only 5% or 20-50 grams per day or not having any carbs at all in a meal. This leads to Ketosis which is when the body consumes body fat as its main source of energy.
According to Dr. Pitchaya, carbs and proteins make you feel full for a longer period while Ketone Bodies reduce the appetite for food and help to control the level of calories being consumed which plays an important part in reducing body weight.
What are the healthy fats in the Keto diet?
Dr. Patchaya explains that even if the principles of the Keto diet are based on fat consumption, not all types of fats are healthy.
“Even if the Keto diet is about eating fats, this doesn’t mean one can eat fatty or fried food like bacon that is full of large quantities of fat. If you choose to follow the Keto diet, it is important to choose healthy fats too” she cautions us.
Fats in food can be classified into two types:
Unsaturated fats or healthy fats
Unsaturated fats or healthy fats are mostly found in vegetables and fatty fish like sea fish or salmon, avocado, olive oil, sunflower oil, soybeans, or sesame oil.
Saturated fats contain fats that are both healthy and unhealthy and are mostly found in meat, lard, chicken, yogurt, butter, cheese, coconut milk, coconut oil, and palm oil, for example.
Both types of fat are necessary and beneficial for the body but if one consumes too many saturated fats it can be harmful leading to high cholesterol levels, the danger of blood clots, strokes, and heart disease.
Aside from the choice of fat consumption, Keto diet followers must also take caution in the types of fruits and vegetables they consume and void those with high carb and sugar levels or using sugar in their food which could lead to the body not achieving Ketosis. In such cases, weight loss can instead be replaced by weight and fat gain.
What are some of the side effects of the Keto diet?
A Keto diet for health and weight loss may not be suitable for everyone, Dr. Patchaya cautions.
“If you are healthy, do not suffer from congenital diseases, and are not pregnant you can follow the Keto diet. If you do have health concerns, you need to consult your doctor first since certain diseases or medications you are taking can be harmful when you go on the Keto diet.”
The Keto diet involves a very specific way of eating. It isn’t varied and reduces certain types of nutrients. If you do not pay close attention, it can cause several types of side effects such as
- Keto Flu: When the body achieves Ketosis you might experience flu-like symptoms with fever, head and body aches, nausea, vomiting, or fatigue. Most of the time, these symptoms will gradually disappear but if they persist for more than two weeks you should see your doctor.
- Nutrient deficiency: A Keto diet requires you to reduce the quantities of certain types of food and this might cause the body to receive inadequate amounts of certain nutrients such as fibers or vitamins that could be a cause of some other subsequent health problems.
- Constipation, dehydration, and mineral deficiency: The body expunges Ketone bodies along with urination leading to the loss of fluids putting you at risk of dehydration and mineral deficiency. Low levels of carbohydrate consumption will result in the body receiving inadequate fiber causing constipation.
- Constant thirst: is often found since the body expunges fluids and this causes Kito diet followers to feel constantly thirsty. Frequent sips of water are essential.
- Brain fatigue: brain fatigue, shortness of memory, and lack of concentration are found, though infrequently.
- Oily skin and acne: Consumption of certain types of fats can lead to skin irritation which might cause acne.
- Yoyo effect when the Keto diet is halted The Keto diet brings about rapid weight loss with less withdrawal symptoms than other types of diets. However, once the Keto diet is halted and the person resumes their previous way of life or consumes meals that are not a full Keto diet they might experience weight gain known as the Yoyo effect.
The Keto diet is a fast and effective way to achieve weight loss but one might encounter some of the side effects mentioned. As of now, we still don’t have any clear data as to the impacts of the keto diet on one’s health in the long run. For this reason, when the desired weight loss is achieved one should resume a more varied and balanced diet for the long-term benefits of our health.
Dr. Patchaya ended by telling us that “consuming the five groups of food in adequate quantities for the body may be a slower way to lose weight but should certainly yield positive effects in the long run.”