Research QuestionIs a Ketogenic Diet Healthy or Not?Ernest SzeIntroductionWhat is a Ketogenic Diet?A ketogenic diet is one that involves a high fat, low carbohydrates and moderate protein diet. This diet has many benefits such as weight loss, health and performance. However, it also has some drawbacks. For example, the people who do high-intensity exercise may suffer from a lack of energy as there is no glucose in the bloodstream. When we are on a carbohydrate diet, our main source of energy comes from glucose. The carbohydrates are broken down into glucose during digestion.
Glucose is a form of sugar and provides us with energy when we respire. If we eat too many carbohydrates, the excess glucose is stored as glycogen for later use and when we have too much glycogen it is stored as fat beneath the skin. However, if we are on a ketogenic diet, our main source of energy is fat.
When we are on the ketogenic diet, our body breaks down the fats into ketones. Ketones are molecules which are produced by the body coming from fatty acids on a low carbohydrate diet, they are used as a fuel for our muscles and brain. An interesting fact is that “the body and brain actually prefer using ketones, being able to run 70% more efficiently than glucose.” Another interesting theory is that “our ancestors didn’t always have access to food, and they certainly didn’t always have access to glucose. Their body was feasting on the fat from the last woolly mammoth or sabre-toothed tiger.
” This suggests that we do not need carbohydrates as a main source of energy for our body. Furthermore, in this diet we cannot consume too much protein as the protein will also get converted into glucose and this will knock you out of ketosis.Who eats a Ketogenic Diet?A person who wants to lose a substantial amount of body fat is suitable for this ketogenic diet. As this diet also increases your concentration, it is suitable for people who want to stay focused on their occupation or hobbies.
Nutritional ValueAs this diet consists of main fats and very low carbohydrates, it is important to not eat anything food substances with sugars in them too.This is an example of a meal eaten by a person on the ketogenic diet for breakfast and we can observe that this meal is very low in carbohydrates.Breakfast PlanBUTTER/OLIVE OIL 1 TBSPEGGS, FRIED IN BUTTER 2 LARGEBACON 2 PIECESSPINACH 3/4 CUPMUSHROOMS 1/2 CUP (SAUTÉED WITH SPINACH IN BACON GREASE)Nutrition Facts: Calories 774, Fat 56 g, Carbs 5g, Protein 25 gThis is another example of a meal eaten by a person on the ketogenic diet for lunch.ROMAINE LETTUCE, SLICED 3 LARGE LEAVESBACON 6 PIECESGRILLED CHICKEN 2 OZ.CHERRY TOMATOES 5 SMALLMONTEREY JACK CHEESE 1 OZ.
MAYONNAISE 2 TBSPNutrition Facts:Calories 632, Fat 48g, Carbs 8g, Protein 42gThis is an example of a dinner option meal for a ketogenic diet.Atlantic salmon 4 oz. (with 1/2 tbsp butter)Steamed, mashed cauliflower 3/4 cupButter 1-1/2 tbspSour cream 2 tbspBacon 1 pieceScallions 1 tbspCheddar cheese 1.5 ozNutrition Facts: Calories 653 Fat 53g Carbs 6g Protein 38gPros and Cons of A Ketogenic DietPros:1. Lose WeightDuring ketosis, the body will be burning fat storages so your waistline will be reduced.
Another advantage is that you will not feel hungry during this diet. More than 20 high-quality scientific studies show that, compared to other diets, low-carb and keto diets result in more effective weight loss.2. Constant energy and mental performance.Ketosis results in a steady flow of fuel (ketones) to the brain, and you avoid big swings in blood sugar. This often results in the experience of increased focus and improved concentration. 3.
Appetite controlDuring ketosis, you will not feel hungry because the body has access to large amounts of fat storage. This dramatically reduces the feelings of hunger. This makes it easier to eat less so your calorie intake will be less and will lose weight.Cons:1. Keto FluOne of the most common drawbacks of a ketogenic diet is the keto flu. This happens when you first start the ketogenic diet and transition from your original diet. The symptoms of the keto flu include headache, fatigue, dizziness and nausea.
2. Difficult to maintain dietThe diet is quite strict in the sense that you cannot eat too many carbohydrates as the glucose will knock you out of ketosis. Strict meal planning is required which takes up a lot of time and effort. Eating out is also a pain because most restaurants will have limited food choices for a ketogenic diet. The nutrition facts of the dish are also not stated so you may accidentally eat too many carbohydrates.
World FactorsEnvironmental StandpointAnimals are reared for their meat and during this time they release greenhouse gases from their flatulence. This can negatively impact the environment as it causes global warming and climate change. Climate change is detrimental to the environment as glaciers and polar ice is melting and sea levels will continue rising as time goes on.Social ImpactWhen on the ketogenic diet, it will be very hard for you and your friends to eat together at restaurants due to the restraints that this diet has. This will lead to further negative effects in the long term with your friends. Thus you will feel socially isolated and depressed.
Counter ArgumentOn the other hand, people will tend to think that high-fat diets such as the ketogenic diet are healthy because the foods are high in cholesterol which will lead to heart disease and other health relating problems. Additionally, this diet you cannot consume too much fruit and vegetables as they contain carbohydrates. This will lead to difficulties during excretion as it leads to constipation.ConclusionIn conclusion, I strongly believe that a ketogenic diet is worth trying for the people who are obese and want to lose fat and weight but for a healthy person who does regular exercise already, then a ketogenic diet may not necessarily suit them.