Are diets that seek ketosis really effective and healthy?

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With the arrival of spring, the vast majority of us are in a hurry to lose those extra kilos that we have accumulated throughout the winter. Although in Vitónica we have highlighted the importance of proper nutrition, there are still many who resort to Spartan and restrictive diets when the good weather begins. This time we are going to stop at a type of diet that has become very fashionable and that is based on the search for ketosis to achieve rapid weight loss .

There are many examples of diets that are based on ketosis to achieve your weight loss goals. We are not going to stop in each of them, but we do want to delve into what ketosis is and the effects it can have on our body in the short and long term. To illustrate it in a better way we are going to echo a real case that has been published in the press and that will serve us to reflect if it is really worth taking the organism to this situation.

What is ketosis?

In the first place, it is important that we focus on what is ketosis. It is a metabolic situation of the organism that is caused by the lack of carbohydrates . This lack of hydrates leads to a catabolism of fats to get the energy that the body needs. To do this they generate compounds known as ketone bodies that are responsible for breaking down fats into shorter chains to be used directly to produce energy.

Diets without carbohydrates cause a metabolic process in the body known as ketosis

This process generates acetoacetate, which is what provides energy to the brain and the rest of the organisms in the human body. In this way what we get is that the body stops getting energy through glucose, to go to do it from fats . The consumption is as much of the fats that we consume as the reserves that we have in the organism, what causes that the loss of weight is fast and for what this process is used in many diets.

Are diets that seek ketosis really effective and healthy?

This metabolic process generates various toxins in the body that are eliminated through the kidney . What is produced in the organism when there is no glucose is an excessive accumulation of Acetyl-CoA. This excess is condensed forming acetoacetyl-CoA that through hydroxylation and hydrolysis processes originates acetoacetate, D-3 hydroxybutyrate and acetone. These three components are known as ketone bodies.

These ketone bodies can not be metabolized by the liver , because it does not have the enzymes necessary to do so, so they are released into the bloodstream. In this way they are used by different tissues of the body, specifically muscle tissue. Thus, when the accumulation of these substances is excessive is what is known as ketosis.

General effects of ketosis diets

This process causes that in the organism a series of effects are triggered that especially end up appearing in the long term. To start, enter ketosis is an important metabolic change to get the necessary energy for the body . For this reason it is important that we bear in mind the short and long term effects.

A rapid weight loss is the main effect of this type of diets, since you get the energy from the fat reserves

Once the ketosic process is described, it is necessary that we understand what it is going to suppose to our organism. When starting a diet without carbohydrates we are experiencing a drastic cut in the glucose intake. In this way the insulin stops acting and with this the thing described above happens.

A priori what we notice is a decrease in body fat levels , since the energy for the correct functioning of the organism will be obtained from this source. That is why diets that seek ketosis are so effective when it comes to losing weight. The change we will experience will be high, since fat consumption is high especially in the first weeks. For this reason many slimming diets use this technique to get fast results.

Are diets that seek ketosis really effective and healthy?

This is mainly the reason why these techniques are still carried out when losing weight. In this way there are countless people who are in favor of performing these practices when it comes to achieving high control in weight loss. Indeed, the results are amazing, but we must also bear in mind that carrying out a diet based on ketosis can have other consequences for the body.

First of all it is important that we take into account that diet in a diet that seeks ketosis in the body a priori is shown as a healthy food intake, but where carbohydrates are not present anywhere, they are usually only Include those that come from green leafy vegetables . This type of diet is based above all on an elevated intake of proteins and fats , leaving aside this group of nutrients.

Are diets that seek ketosis really effective and healthy?

An illustrative example of a ketosic diet over a long period of time

At first a kind of “monkey” can appear that is generated by reducing the intake of hydrates, the sensation of satiety is lower and in many occasions the needs of food are high. Along this line we want to highlight the case of a 23 year old New Zealander Instagrammer named Ariana Omipi . This influencer carried out a diet based on the elimination of hydrates for six months and the results in weight loss were impressive .

The example of an instagram can serve to illustrate what can end up providing us with a diet that seeks ketosis

Ariana documented this process day by day and the follow-up that she had from her followers was brutal, as well as the acceptance and positive comments for her spectacular change. The problem came when he left this type of diet and the rebound effect appeared . In this period the influencer not only recovered everything lost, but gained more weight.

Ariana from this moment began a struggle to maintain its image on social networks. He felt indebted to his followers and saw himself as a fraud for this fact. He also highlighted the lack of control in their diet and the loss of notions when it comes to maintaining an adequate diet. Currently, due to the large weight gain he has experienced, he is considering the possibility of performing stomach reduction surgery.

Are diets that seek ketosis really effective and healthy?

This example illustrates perfectly what a diet based on ketosis can be without a control over a long period of time . This is an extreme case that we wanted to highlight due to the confusion that social networks can cause with regard to food, as there are many profiles that advocate a healthy life. Therefore it is necessary to know the pros and cons of this type of diet.

Effects that trigger in the body

To know better what this kind of diet can bring us , let’s review the effects that it triggers in the organism :

  • Apart from the rapid weight loss, diets that seek ketosis and eliminate carbohydrates, what they get is an increase in the demands of food by the body at the beginning of the diet . The lack of glucose, the body’s main source of energy, will cause our body to demand it, since the consumption of fats for energy is not something natural. But after a while we will be more satiated because the intake of protein and fat is high.
  • The lack of rapid energy provided by glucose will make us feel more tired and dizzy . This we can notice at the beginning. It is something normal that indicates that we need energy and that our reserves are very low.
Are diets that seek ketosis really effective and healthy?
  • The bad breath is another effect that we notice the short term, since having the ketogenic bodies remove part by the breath in the body. Hence, the odor is strong and can not be eliminated by rinsing or cleaning teeth.
Lack of energy, bad breath, decay … They tend to be some of the most remarkable effects
  • Something similar happens with urine and sweat . The urine will acquire a very strong odor, as well as sweat, since ketogenic bodies are eliminated by these routes.
  • As we indicated in the case of the instagrammer the lack of food is a long-term effect, since at first the sensation of satiety is high, since proteins and fats take longer to be digested. But as time passes and there are no glucose reserves, the demands on the part of the body will increase and with it the increase of appetite and desire to eat foods rich in carbohydrates.
  • In the long term we also highlight the appearance of nausea in many cases, accompanied by decay, abdominal pain … Along with this may trigger other phenomena derived from the lack of hydrates in the longer term.
  • One of the very long-term effects of maintaining a diet of these characteristics is the loss of calcium derived from excess proteins. Calcium is eliminated through the kidney and stops fixing properly in the body.
  • Something similar can happen with the circulatory system, since the lack of energy does not favor its correct functioning. This is because the emission of electrical impulses that coordinate the heart rate do not work properly, which can lead to arrhythmias and other coronary problems .
  • The muscle loss long term is another effect of such diets. In principle, the organism draws on reserves of fat to produce energy, but when these decrease it does so of the muscles.
  • The rebound effect is something to take into account, because if we return to a normal diet the body will tend to accumulate fat reserves due to this anomalous situation that it has experienced, because what it will look for is to avoid deficiencies if it happens again, and this fat reserves will increase considerably.
  • The excess of proteins make the liver and kidneys work much more , which can be derived from it, because in the long term we can suffer from ailments in these organs derived from an overload maintained over time.

For all these reasons it is important to keep in mind that this type of diet is not what it seems a priori, since the quick effects that promise can end in others much less pleasant that can make our metabolism acquire other dimensions, as well as possible problems of health that may appear and that we must take into account when deciding to lose weight in this way.


Are diets that seek ketosis really effective and healthy?

Some general considerations about ketosis diets

To finish, let’s stop at some general considerations about ketosis:

  • Any diet rich in proteins does not have to search for ketosis . Whenever we endow the organism with the necessary carbohydrates, it is not considered a ketosis diet. A clear example are sports diets in which due to muscle wasting a good intake of protein is necessary without neglecting healthy hydrates.

Diets that seek ketosis are beneficial at times when they are controlled and performed for a specific purpose

  • Consuming carbohydrates is not a bad thing , as long as we know how to choose the best ones . We opted for complexes from whole grains that will help us to maintain constant glucose reserves without experiencing drastic ups and downs, which is what misaligns our use of energy. It is true that this type of diet allows the intake of hydrates from green leafy vegetables, but it is not always enough to cover the needs required by the body.
  • Diets that seek ketosis can be done at a specific time , as long as we undergo supervision. In fact many athletes, bodybuilders and others practice them regularly. But the period of maintenance of the same does not exceed two weeks in any case. It is true that they are always controlled and carried out for a specific purpose. Many people with certain diseases should also follow this type of diet by medical prescription. Of course, always with total control.
  • The most advisable thing is to maintain a healthy , balanced diet , in which the contributions of nutrients are equitable and accommodated to our needs. We should never start a diet on our own, let alone be guided by an Instagram profile or any social network similar to the case described above. Betting on healthy and natural foods is the best way to achieve a correct weight and good health.

Images | IStock

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