VALDOSTA – A keto diet, or ketogenic diet, is one that severely restricts the intake of carbohydrates. This would include any type of sugar, including honey, and breads, pastries, white rice and pasta. When the body doesn’t have circulating blood sugar from the consumption of carbohydrates, it begins to break down fat stores.
Possible Benefits of the Keto Diet
Since a keto diet causes the body to use its fat stores, it’s not hard to understand why this type of diet could lead to weight loss. There are a number of other possible benefits from this kind of diet plan:
It may reduce seizures in children
May improve blood sugar levels for those with Type 2 Diabetes
The Keto Diet and PCOS
PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a condition in which the ovaries become enlarged and filled with cysts. Studies indicate that the consumption of carbohydrates may complicate or contribute to the disease. Women with PCOS who followed a keto diet found that it helped with the balancing of hormones directly affecting the ovaries, especially LH, or luteinizing hormone, and FSH, also known as follicle stimulating hormone.
Some other possible benefits of a keto diet include better brain function, such as improved memory and clarity. There is some evidence that the diet may also protect against Parkinson’s disease.
The diet may also be protective against certain types of cancer. It may lower blood pressure and improve blood cholesterol profiles.
There is some evidence that a keto diet is anti-inflammatory and may improve such conditions as psoriasis, eczema, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis. It may reduce the risk of gout. For diabetics, the improved blood sugar control from the keto diet has a protective effect on the eyes. High, poorly controlled blood glucose levels often lead to eye damage. In diabetics, this is known as diabetic retinopathy.
The keto diet also alters the body’s microbiome, or intestinal environment. It may favor increased populations of friendly bacteria in the gut. This may result in better digestion, improved symptoms of certain bowel diseases and better liver function.
Possible Risks of a Keto Diet
This method of eating comes with some risks:
High acid levels in the blood
These complications probably occur because the body and brain prefer to use glucose as a source of energy, not ketones. However, just as with anything else, there needs to be a balance. The ketone diet may be followed for a period of time and then alternated with a diet that has an increased amount of carbohydrates.
A very high intake of protein over the long term may result in kidney problems in some individuals. Those with significant kidney disease should probably avoid the diet altogether. As with any diet plan, it’s a good idea to discuss it with a physician before starting it.