These days, social media platforms are flooded with various content on Ketogenic diets.
These contents somehow pop up on your timeline when you try finding alternatives on how well to manage your health.
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Many people have become more interested in wanting to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
While some do this mainly for health purposes, others just want to maintain a trimmed body for what it is worth aesthetically or ‘for the gram’ as it is often put.
The ketogenic diet explained in simple terms is any kind of diet that is very low in carbohydrates, and usually a high-fat diet.
For an individual who is used to consuming tonnes of carbohydrates in a day, being on a keto diet would come as a tussle as it involves the drastic reduction of carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fats and proteins
According to Dr. Eric Berg, an American chiropractor and YouTuber who is best known for uploading weight loss, intermittent fasting, and keto diet videos on his channel, the reduction in carbohydrates put your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
By so doing, the body runs or operates on what is called ketones instead of sugar from carbohydrates like pasta, grains, or sugary foods.
Ketones are a type of acid formed when your body begins burning stored or dietary fat for fuel instead of carbs. They’re actually a very efficient fuel for the body.
Another study found that people on a ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet.
Some of the reasons that research has revealed make the keto diet superior to a low-fat diet are because of the increased protein intake, which provides numerous benefits .
Basic Keto rules
Just like many diets, the Ketogenic has its own set of rules where if religiously followed will guarantee a good desired result. People who ascribe to this diet are supposed to consume not more than 20 net carbohydrates per day, no sugars(natural or artificial), no starches, specific fruits as well as vegetables.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with a Dietician at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Dr. Eyram King Dotse shared his thoughts on the diet.
When asked if he would recommend the Keto diet to his patient as means to lose weight, he said no, and stated the reasons why he would not recommend such a diet.
According to him, the keto diet was earlier designed for people with concurrent seizures as well as epileptic patients.
Keto not for everyone
Research indicated that doctors typically recommend the keto diet to treat epilepsy in children of all ages, including infants.
Dr Eyram King also noted that it is normally not recommended for adults, as the diet is hardly sustainable due to daily food choices.
Explaining further, he stated that those who tend to lose weight quickly on the Keto diet, almost always gain the weight back but this time around faster and much more than the weight they lost.
He, however, said it is not advisable to stay on the ketogenic diet for too long as the body cannot function without carbohydrates for a long time.
The dietician also stated that in hospitals, the Keto diet is recommended for those who need to lose excess fat especially in the abdominal area before surgery.
He said such patients are put on the diet and are strictly monitored to ensure that the weight and excess fat are lost before anything is done.
Dr Dotse also stated that some people claimed that they were no longer on the blood pressure medication because the diet alters the blood level and drops it drastically.
Side Effects of Keto
Although the ketogenic diet is safe for healthy people, there may be some initial side effects while the body adapts to change.
This is often referred to as “keto flu” – and is usually over within a few days.
Keto flu includes poor energy and mental function, increased hunger, sleep issues, nausea, digestive discomfort, and decreased exercise performance.
In order to minimize this, you can try a regular low-carb diet for the first few weeks. This may teach your body to burn more fat before you completely eliminate carbs.
According to Dr. Dotse, those with cases of high blood pressure mostly sometimes ascribed to that because of this.
Other side effects are rashes on the skin as well as lethargy.
People with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, known as PCOS for short, according to Dr. King also experience an improvement in their health condition.
He said since the condition comes with excessive weight gain, massive weight loss played a key role in remedying the situation.
Those with high blood pressure on the other hand, also attest to the fact that the diet helped them get off the meds they were taking.
According to Dr. King, this is because being on a keto diet somehow reduces blood pressure. He was, however, quick to add that being on the diet for long could affect the blood pressure drastically.
Jeanny Emefa Ansong Mensah, a former banker, who has now dedicated herself to serving people to adapt to a healthy lifestyle through healthy eating shared how her journey to good health saved her.
Emefa who believes in the healing properties of food has become a strong advocate for healthy organic eating and is currently helping others get their lives back on track with healthy foods and groceries from Emefs foods.
According to her, through research, she came across the Atkins diet which is now popularly known as the keto diet.
Emefa explained that having to do away with high complex carbohydrates like the rice and yam and other Ghana staples has gone a long way to help her get over some medical conditions she suffered.
She, however, holds the belief that the ketogenic diet should not be done for more than three months.
She added that staying on the diet for long could be detrimental to the health of an individual.
Although the diet has been proven to be an alternative for most people to lose weight in some cases, it is advised that individuals who sign up for the diet should not stay on the diet for more than three months.
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