There was Ramesh and there was Suresh. Dreams and hard work to achieve the masculine body and weight loss were paying off pretty in these two desperately regularly gym goers. One day Ramesh uttered a magic word into Suresh’s ear, “Keto ….Keto …Keto”
Magic began. Suresh started achieving the goals easily with great weight loss and lovely abs. Ramesh was struggling with the indigestion ,cravings for his regular food, body odor ,helitosis (stinking mouth) and many other small complaints. Results for him were far away.
What worked for Suresh did bring havoc in Ramesh’s routine.
Similar story to tell about Seeta And Geeta. Seeta couldn’t stop praising the Keto diet where Geeta was worried about sudden changes in her menstrual patterns, thinning of hair and digestion issues.
Recently I do get to meet many such Ramesh, Suresh, Geeta and Seeta in my practice.
This blog is dedicated to all of them.
For every anecdotal story of someone who has achieved particular health goal with a Ketogenic diet, there’s a counterpoint story of someone who derailed their health with an identical diet.
(more of oil,butter, less bread,roti pasta rice, and high protein like meat,cheese and other dairy products
First of all ,Ketogenic Diet is primarily used diet as a part of therapy in pediatric patients of epilepsy ,autism etc. The diet wasn’t intended for healthy and common people.
What happens with metabolism In Ketogenic diet ?:
As the name suggests it generates Ketone bodies in blood in the course of digestion.Low carbohydrate diet ensures low sugar levels in blood.The Keto diet makes liver to use lipid/fat instead of glycogen(sugar) to form energy. That means in Keto Diet the source of primary energy in body is fat cells and not sugar.In normal course of digestion the sugar molecule is the first choice of pick for energy release.
My first encounter with the word ‘Ketosis’ was when i was studying in medical collage. While learning the deformed metabolism in Diabetes where the diabetic person’s liver uses lipid cells to produces Ketone bodies in the blood same as mentioned above.
Doesn’t this mean that the person on Keto Diet is directing the metabolism behave exactly like the Diabetic metabolism?
Remember the metabolic disorder Diabetes and Ketosis are pathological conditions and not normal happenings. The metabolism in Diabetes and in Ketogenic diet though mild but is same.
What are the benefits of the Ketogenic Diet?
- Fast weight loss
- Neuroprotection and reduced attacks of seizures in Epileptic patients.
- Therapeutic diet in several brain diseases
- To maintain the blood sugar and insulin levels in Diabetics.
- Shedding visceral fat on body can be achieved easily and fast.
- Blood pressure is seen to be lowered.
- Improves the pattern of triglyceride level (cholesterol levels)
If the Keto diet is practiced without proper guidance, by wrong person in wrong way and too intensively for long term it may show bad impacts on overall health.
Common adverse effects observed in long term Keto diet are:
- Brain fog / slow thinking
- Racing heart rate when lying down
Above symptoms are called as Keto Flu. Other disadvantages are
- Gastrointestinal disturbances (diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, constipation, GER)
- Inflammation risk
- Thinning hair/hair loss
- Kidney stones
- Muscle cramps or weakness
- Hypoglycemia( lowered level of blood sugar)
- Low platelet count
- Impaired mood/mood swings
- Renal tubular acidosis
- Nutrient deficiency,malnutrition
- incorrect mineral metabolism
- Poor growth in children(due to insufficient nutrition)
- Skeletal fracture (due to long term imbalanced nutrition)
- Osteoporosis(loss of bone density)
- Increased bruising.
- Sepsis, infection, bacteria overgrowth.
- Cardiomyopathy (heart disorders)
- Heart arrhythmia (arrhythmic beating of heart)
- Menstrual irregularities and amenorrhea
- Five scientific papers have reported deaths as an adverse effect from long-term ketogenic diets (here’s the citations: Stewart, et al., 2001, Kang, et al., 2004, Kang, et al., 2005, Bank, et al., 2008, Suo, et al., 2013
What is Ayurveda view on such Diet?
Ayurveda science has a unique way to look at Ahara (food /diet). According to Ayurvedic theories the Prakriti of the person eating the food is as much as important as the nutritional values that food possess. Though the food is loaded with full of goodness of nutrition ,what if the person is not able to digest and assimilate that food properly?
Who ,How,How much,What, are the important questions that need to be satisfied before suggesting or prescribing the Keto diet too.
According to Ayurveda Keto Diet can be termed as Ati snigdh (too fatty) and Ati guru (too heavy to digest). If the person is physically active and bears tremendous great digestive power(i.e. Agni) then this diet may be favorable for him or her. But along the course of the time this diet definitely will cause some kind of Agni impairment (means digestive impairment).
Children, female and old age persons also are not the right group of individual to follow the Keto diet intensively and for long term.
The persons who are not physically active or are Vata or Kafa Prakriti will not be able to tolerate the Keto Diet and will show above health related symptoms. It can have good or bad ,mild to severe impact on various organs in body. The proper case taking of the person is must and should not be omitted before starting the Keto diet.
In a nutshell
- Trend is not always beneficial or safe. Follow wisely.
- With 10 impressing promises and 10 success stories there are at least other 6 failure stories and sufferers.
- Know your body better and never play with the metabolism
- Everything that is glamorized need not need our attention.
- Know better before following anything new like in exercise ,diet and home made remedies.
- One trend may be suitable for some but may be harmful to few others because human metabolism is not any robotic copy of each other
Eat simple ,follow traditional food and most important consult proper person before starting any new diet.