The keto diet after studies was recognized as dangerous to health: experts explain why

Hand breakfast – scrambled eggs and ham, for dinner – chop with cheese? Fatty fat with fat. For many years, such a menu has been banned from everyone who wants to lose weight. Until doctors developed a ketogenic diet. Its main principle – an increase in fat in the diet and a sharp decrease in carbohydrates to 35-50 grams per day (for more information on the diet, read the link) – was appreciated by everyone who does not like hunger and lonely lettuce leaves on a plate. True, there were many opponents of the diet.

An international group of scientists took their side. After a large-scale study, gastroenterologists, nutritionists and cardiologists called this principle of nutrition the most dangerous. BeautyHack editor Tatiana Chernikova understands the nuances.

Why you started eating bacon to lose weight

The keto diet was developed 100 years ago to treat childhood epilepsy. Before that, sick babies were forced to starve – this reduced the number of seizures.

It turned out that seizures are directly related to nutrition. Usually the body gets its energy from carbohydrates. But during a period of their deficiency, he looks for alternative ways and starts ketosis – the process of breaking down fats, during which ketone bodies are formed. In the normal state, their concentration is small, but due to a lack of glucose, it rises sharply. They have an anticonvulsant effect and reduce the excitability of neurons in the brain. The effect was noticeable after 4-7 days.

After the appearance of drugs for the relief of seizures, interest in a menu without sweets, cereals, milk, fruits and some vegetables, such as beets and potatoes, faded away. But in the mid-90s, Hollywood director Jim Abrahams drew attention to her again. His son suffered from seizures, and a diet high in fat helped to reduce seizures and anxiety. Then the creator of the films “Hot Heads” and “The Naked Gun” founded the Epileptic Relief Foundation and released the documentary “Introduction to the ketogenic diet.” Families in which it began to practice, drew attention to the fact that, despite the abundance of high-calorie foods, the excess weight in children began to go away. This is how the steak menu found its place in dietetics.

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Why the keto diet was blacklisted

After carbohydrates were recognized as the main enemy of a beautiful figure and abandoned by Sharon Stone, the Kardashian sisters, Halle Berry and other celebrities, “keto” also became a star. However, doctors noticed that patients who adhere to such a diet complain about the same thing: nausea, weakness, dizziness, constipation. After research, it turned out that a menu in which only one apple per day is allowed for sweet can seriously undermine health.

– Within three months the level of “bad” cholesterol in the blood rises by 35%, – proved Dr. Wesley Kefarth from the University of Wisconsin USA;

– The amount of cortisol, that is, the stress hormone, increases. This means that for those who have cardiovascular diseases, the risk of dying from their exacerbation increases nine times, – says biologist Nicole Vogelsang from the Netherlands;

The keto diet after studies was recognized as dangerous to health: experts explain why

– Due to an excess of fats and proteins, kidney function worsens, it is more difficult for the body to excrete processed products, – concluded Wajid Masood, therapist and medical director of the Health Center in the United States of America North;

– The level of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood increases by 25%, that is, the number of inflammations in the body. This means that there is an increased risk of transferring cancer, heart disease and age-related degenerative brain dysfunctions, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, says Dr. Rankin from the American College of Sports Medicine.

– The body is under stress and stress, life expectancy is sharply reduced. Leaving only 20% carbohydrates in the diet increases the risk of death by 60%. At the other extreme – an increase in their number to 90% – the danger of dying will increase by only 15%, – calculated geneticist, cardiologist and nutritionist Sarah Bamford Seidelman from Harvard Medical School, having studied data on nutrition and life expectancy of 15 thousand people over the past 25 years.

Among the Russian specialists, we did not find a single one who would have a positive opinion about the keto diet. Here are their arguments.

avatar Elena Orlova

Elena Orlova

Endocrinologist, diabetologist

Every time patients ask about the keto diet, I remind you that it was originally used as a medicine. We do not take pills for those diseases that we do not have? So it’s not worth experimenting with nutrition. Yes, Halle Berry and Sharon Stone consume almost no carbs, but only because they both have diabetes. Moreover, the diet was developed personally for them, and was not found on the Internet. If you look at their social networks, you can see baked potatoes and buns made of rye flour there. All that diet fans usually refuse. The body needs to maintain its internal environment, homeostasis. And for this he needs proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It is worth excluding one thing – and the whole system collapses like a house of cards. There is no need to artificially force him to draw strength from ketone bodies, when at the genetic level we have a “refueling” from carbohydrates. For centuries, mankind has been collecting: berries, fruits, vegetables, cereals, beans were used for food. It was not always possible to get meat. Therefore, when people now exclude carbohydrates, the internal alarm system sends them signals: apathy, drowsiness, the smell of acetone from the mouth, muscle aches, irritability, chills. And this is already an indicator of health problems.

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avatar Dr. Regina

Dr. Regina

Nutritionist, therapist, nephrologist, founder of the ReginaDoctor School of Health, a member of the International Association of Dietitians ICDA, a practicing physician, author of the books “Healthy food in a big city” and “I don’t like sweets”

Patients really see good results first, lose weight. But at what cost? After 3-6 months, all those kilograms that they got rid of are returned. The body tries to compensate for all this. In addition, the main problem of excess weight – dependence on food – has not been resolved, many break down. Due to the reduction to a minimum of carbohydrates and the consumption of large amounts of fats and proteins, the body is constantly under stress. The level of cortisol rises, adrenaline is produced, as a result the hormonal and adrenal systems are destroyed. Due to the restriction of carbohydrates, fats and glycogen, a storage sugar, are consumed. This, in turn, leads to breakdown of lipid metabolism, increased cholesterol, dysfunction of the biliary tract and the digestive system. Stones begin to form in the gallbladder and kidneys. Patients are forced to lie down on the operating table to remove gallstones or to solve the problem of urolithiasis. The keto diet does not affect any one system, it causes global changes throughout the body.

avatar Nadezhda Prosvetova

Nadezhda Prosvetova

Personal trainer, nutritionist, Les Mills instructor

The keto diet is a slightly modified Atkins diet that does the same damage to the body. Its adherents reduce the amount of complex carbohydrates – the very base from which we get energy, get fullness, “feed” the brain and refuel “fuel” for activity for a long time. Instead, 70-80% of the diet is fat. The possible consequences can be listed endlessly: from the formation of cholesterol plaques and pancreatitis, to the increasing risk of oncology and cardiovascular diseases. Atkins himself, by the way, died of a heart attack. But, even if you don’t run that far, I notice the first “bells” from my clients after a couple of days of such a diet. Fat (especially animal) is a hard-to-digest food. And instead of energy, adherents of such a diet experience lethargy, a desire to rest. For stress, the body uses the fat obtained from the eaten, but at the same time it is reluctant to spend its own fat reserves. As a result, activity is often accompanied by a feeling of hunger and dizziness, bouts of nausea and vomiting, sudden surges in pressure, severe shortness of breath with moderate exertion, loss of orientation in space, fatigue and the inability to continue training. At the same time, clients who prefer a balanced diet feel much better. The process of weight loss is smoother, but also more “long-lasting”. While fans of a low-carb diet often have short-term results that simply cannot be sustained without loss of health. It’s not for nothing that there is no bacon, pork rind and cream cheese in a trainer’s or nutritionist’s container.

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The most balanced diets according to doctors

Mediterranean diet (an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil, 5-6 glasses of dry red wine per week are allowed);

DASH diet (avoiding salt, sugar and fatty foods);

Flexitarian diet (flexible vegetarian menu with the maximum possible rejection of meat).

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