National Keto Day is celebrated every year on Jan. 5 in the U.S. to draw people’s attention to Ketogenic Diet. The ketogenic diet is the term for a low-carb diet aimed at cutting the carbohydrate supply of the body and supplementing it with fat. As a result, the body begins to consume fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet has a range of health benefits, including aiding in fast weight loss, but there are also several risks involved with it.
Now a favorite of many Hollywood celebrities such as Halle Berry and Kim Kadarshian, the diet traces its origin back to 1920, when it was invented to cure epilepsy in both adults and children. The ketogenic diet has come to be used on cancer patients, on those who are diabetic, as well as on people having Alzheimer’s disease, under strict medical supervision. However, its popularity wore off with the introduction of many prescription drugs.
How the ketogenic diet works:
The ketogenic diet focuses on depleting the body of glucose, the main source of energy for the cells in the body which is obtained from carbohydrates. To keep the brain functioning properly, about 120 grams of glucose is required in a day but when a person consumes less than 50 grams of carbohydrates, the body starts to break down fat for energy. As a result, molecules called Ketones are produced which the body uses for fuel.
Benefits and risks of Ketogenic diet:
It promotes weight loss: Ketogenic diet aids in weight loss by boosting metabolism and reducing appetite. The diet consists of foods that keep a person feel fuller for a long. Plus, it helps lower the secretion of hunger-stimulating hormones.
It is known to reduce the risk of certain cancers: The ketogenic diet is known to guard a person against certain types of cancers, and even cure them. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy have been put on the ketogenic diet, which caused more oxidative stress in cancer cells than in normal cells, prompting the cancer cells to die.
Other than promoting weight loss and stemming the risk of cancers, the keto diet is known to improve heart health, protect brain function, and effectively reduce seizures. However, the diet can pose a handful of threats to the health also such as kidney stones, mineral and vitamin deficiency, and a build-up of fat in the liver.