There’s been a lot of buzz about the keto diet. There are a lot of concerns and questions related to the ‘keto’ or ‘zero carb’ diet, whether this easting plan safe for diabetic patients or help them in preventing diabetes. This question is loaded with a lot of conflicting thoughts.
Keto diet basically active the state of ketosis, where the body uses fat as the primary source of energy. Metabolizing fat results in the production of more organic compounds called ketones, and can be consumed as an alternative energy source for the cellular activities.
The major side effect of ketosis is weight loss. It is achieved by strictly restricting both protein and carbohydrates in the diet. According to some studies, it may bring improvements in the blood sugar level.
Burning ketones by metabolizing fat is a natural adaption to one of the body’s emergency plans, starvation. The preferred and natural primary source of energy of the body is glucose, which comes from carbohydrate metabolism. The main objective of this diet is basically to restrict carbohydrate metabolism and convince the body that we are starving and shift to fat metabolism.
It is effective for short-term weight loss if followed properly. There is evidence that it also improves the markers of metabolic syndrome, a group of metabolic disorders including elevated blood pressure, high blood glucose and triglycerides and low HDL and a large waistline which raises the different risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Keto diet has demonstrated the improved insulin resistance, lowers the level of HBA1C and lower triglycerides. For this reason, some of the nutritionists considering it a reasonable measure for preventing Type 2 diabetes, even though it is a temporary way to control on some certain problems.
Emergency plans usually have different drawback so ketosis is no different. Malaise, fatigue, loss of endurance, loss of muscle strength and bad breath, brain fog and insomnia are some of its adverse effects. These adverse effects are sometimes referred to as ‘keto flu’ but these symptoms supposedly go away after some time.
It is an extremely restrictive diet and those restrictions limit or eliminates the healthy sources of protein and nutrients.
Ketosis may progress to diabetic ketoacidosis in patients with Type 1 diabetes. Ketoacidosis is the state where blood becomes too toxic because of the formation of ketones from ketosis. Patient suffering with Type 1 diabetes don’t aspire to achieve the state of ketosis, ketoacidosis is rare but it is the potentially harmful complication of this diet.
Carbohydrates are essential for the brain as it is unable to meet its entire energy requirement with ketones. The brain must require some glucose for proper functioning, that glucose is made by another emergency pathway, gluconeogenesis if not enough carbohydrates are being consumed.
This diet is an artificial hijacking of the biological system that sustained us for the elimination of nutritious foods and there are long-term consequences.
Diabetic patients are already health-compromised that increases the risk of cardiovascular disorders by two to three times but they are manageable. Consuming a keto diet requires proper long term planning and a lot of discipline.