07 June 2022 – 18:12 clock
Losing fat sounds like a contradiction in terms. But that is exactly the principle of the ketogenic diet. Point 12 moderator Katja Burkhard tested exactly how the diet works and whether high fat intake actually makes the pounds drop. You can see the result in the video.
Carbohydrates are our number 1 energy source
Normally, we absorb about 45 to 50 percent of our energy in the form of carbohydrates: found in bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes, they provide energy that is readily available. The simpler carbohydrates are consumed, the faster they reach the blood as sugar. Our body then releases insulin so that the sugar is funneled into the cells. The result: blood sugar falls as fast as it rose, and we quickly feel hungry again.
At the same time, fat loss is inhibited: because if enough carbohydrates are available, fat stores remain intact. They only attack when we do intense exercise for a long period of time. and therefore burns more energy than we put into our bodies with food. Or simply when we dispense with carbohydrates in the diet.
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Lots of Fat, Lots of Calories: Why Do We Keep Losing Weight?
On the ketogenic diet, fat is the main source of energy. A whopping 75 percent of your daily energy intake on the ketogenic diet comes in the form of fat, combined with 20 percent protein and just 5 percent carbohydrates.
With a very low intake of carbohydrates and at the same time a higher intake of fats, our metabolism changes in such a way that the body enters a state of ketosis. If our body does not have carbohydrates to generate energy, it is forced to take advantage of fat reserves. Consequently, it forms the so-called ketones from fatty acids. This also happens, for example, when we are fasting or on a zero diet.
Despite the high fat intake and comparatively high calorie intake of up to 2,000 calories, we are supposed to lose weight through this diet. How can this work?
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Fat isn’t just fat: It depends on the source!
However, not all fats are suitable for the ketogenic diet: plant and less animal fats should be on the menu. Because animal fats contain more saturated fatty acids, which have an unfavorable effect on our cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Therefore, we should only eat meat, dairy products and eggs in moderation.
Instead, we must rely on high-quality vegetable oils such as olive, canola, or coconut oil. They contain many of the mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids. A good alternative to meat is fish. Fat varieties such as salmon, herring or mackerel are especially healthy because they provide our body with essential omega-3 fatty acids. Avocados and walnuts are also rich in healthy fatty acids.
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Against cancer and Alzheimer’s: the ketogenic diet is so healthy
By the way, a ketogenic diet is also said to have a positive effect on cancer. This is because sugar stimulates the growth of cancer cells. Since sugar is largely avoided during the ketogenic diet, cancer cells are also deprived of the nutrient, according to studies. However, critics warn against fighting cancer on a ketogenic diet. In his opinion, cancer cells are very adaptable and do not necessarily depend on sugar as a nutrient.
In addition, there is increasing evidence that the ketogenic diet may also protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s or have a positive influence on the course of the diseases. Because ketones can protect nerve cells. Among other things, because they enhance autophagy.
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These are the risks of the ketogenic diet
Especially at the beginning of the change of diet, many suffer from tiredness, difficulty concentrating and moodiness up to and including depressive moods. However, this usually improves after a few weeks as the body adjusts to the ketogenic diet.
However, you should only follow the ketogenic diet for a short time, at best to jumpstart the weight loss process. Because even if fat really is better than its reputation, focusing on high-fat foods can lead to nutrient deficiency. If we do without (whole grain) cereal products, potatoes, fruits and vegetables for a long time, there may be a lack of vitamins, secondary plant substances and also fiber.
But that is not all. nutritionist dr. Stephan Lück warns about the consequences of a longer-lasting ketogenic diet: “The ketogenic diet is high-performance for the body. The liver has to work a lot, the kidneys have to excrete a lot.” The reason the liver and kidneys are so overloaded is that the ketogenic diet removes water from the body, but at the same time gives it a lot of fat to break down.
People with a predisposition to gout should also not follow a ketogenic diet. Because the ketogenic diet increases the level of uric acid and, in turn, the risk of kidney stones. But a high-fat diet can also become a problem for people who have high blood fat levels, bile problems, or heart disease, as high fat intake puts pressure on the heart and other organs.
It can also lead to metabolic acidosis, that is, excessive acidification of the body, which can cause irreparable neurological damage. And last but not least, the notorious yo-yo effect threatens when we go back to eating normally.
Lose weight in a healthy way: how it works!
If you want to lose weight long term and in a healthy way, you should rely on a balanced diet with complex carbohydrates from whole grain products such as whole grain rice, pasta and bread. The fiber they contain keeps you full for a long time and keeps your blood sugar level steady. Combined with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, high-quality fats, and plant-based protein, this is a healthy way to prevent obesity and help your body break down excess fat stores. (nri/jri)
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