The UAE has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world and this closely related to the prevalence of lifestyle diseases like heart diseases and Type 2 diabetes. The quest to reduce obesity levels is the need of the hour and with the recent Dubai Fitness challenge, diets and exercise are in the spotlight. The ketogenic diet seems to be the flavor of the moment. Hence, let us take a close look at the pros and cons of this extremely popular diet.
The Ketogenic Diet involves switching the manner in which our body uses the nutrients we take by changing our metabolism from a sugar burning one to a fat burning metabolism. This is done by severely limiting the quantity of carbohydrates that we consume and consuming more fats. Hence, this diet is definitely one that carnivores would love. But if you are someone who loves pizza, bread and pasta, this is definitely not the diet for you.
Benefits of a ketogenic diet:
1. Weight Loss: Many people adopt the ketogenic diet because they want to lose weight and it is highly effective. When you take in less carbohydrates, your body does become more efficient at using the fat stored over the past years for energy and you lose body fat more quickly. Taking in more fats also helps to limit cravings as you feel full more quickly.
2. It is a good diet for sedentary people: If you have a pretty sedentary lifestyle and do not have the time to spare for the gym, the keto diet is perfect. You do not need much carbs to function when you have a desk job. It is when you are highly active that you need to get energy from carbohydrates.
3. The keto diet can Help Prevent Cancer: There have been a few which indicate that a diet that is very low in carbohydrates might help prevent cancer. It is not yet clear how true this is.
4. Keto Diet can Boost Insulin Sensitivity: Consuming low amounts of carbohydrates can hep your body to boost the manner in which it utilizes glucose and derives sugar from carbohydrates with the help of insulin. It is insulin resistance that leads to diabetes in the long run.
5. Reduce Risk of Heart disease: A ketogenic diet can increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels, and reduce bl blood sugar, blood pressure, and body fat, thus reducing risk of heart disease.
6. Acne: Eating less carbohydrates and processed foods can help clear acne.
Defects of Ketogenic Diet:
1. Not for an Active Lifestyle: If you follow an active and athletic lifestyle or spend a lot of time at the gym, you will need to eat a high carb diet as it promotes higher energy levels and athletic performance.
2. A keto diet may affect your ability to focus: The brain does need sugar to focus and going on a keto diet might affect your ability to focus and concentrate. One side effect of the keto diet is the “keto flu” which is characterized by headaches, fatigue, nausea and poor mental function.
3. Nutrient Deficiencies: The ketogenic diet involves exclusions of whole food groups are excluded, and hence lack of the nutrients that are generally typically found in foods like whole grains and fruit can lead to nutrient deficiencies
4. This diet is not for everyone: Though this diet is good for those who are diabetic or overweight, it will work only for those who can follow it consistently and are highly committed to the diet. It cannot work for those with an addiction to carbs or those who are not satisfied with a limited variety of food and food groups. Missing out on foods that give a lot of pleasure like ice cream, cream based soups, fruit and rice dishes is a struggle for most people
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