Boasted for its health and slimming virtues, this diet very rich in lipids and poor in carbohydrates is not without risks, as explained to us by Dr. Armelle Marcilhacy, nutritionist doctor in Lyon.
What is the ketogenic diet?
It is a diet that upsets the usual nutritional pyramid by promoting lipids over carbohydrates. According to the latest recommendations from the National Nutrition and Health Program (PNNS), we should consume between 55 and 60% carbohydrates, 20% proteins, and 20% lipids.
However, in the ketogenic diet, we always keep the same percentage of protein but we go to 75% lipids for only 5% carbohydrates. In other words, that corresponds to a portion of 50 grams maximum of carbohydrates per day: a quota reached with only one fruit and two portions of vegetables! This is why this diet is very restrictive.
No to bread and pasta, yes to fish and eggs!
Concretely, what foods are going to be banned? And authorized?
As for prohibited foods, it will be bread, rice, pasta, legumes, potatoes, fruit juices, sauces, sweet vegetables like beets, fruit compotes, flavored yogurts, soft cheeses, etc. … The list is quite long.
As for the authorized foods, they will preferably be fatty fish, seafood, meat, eggs, hard cheeses, fats (butter, cream, vegetable oil, oilseeds, etc.), avocados. , vegetables low in carbohydrates, etc …
What exactly happens in the body when you practice a ketogenic diet?
The body will go into ketosis, which is to say, it will draw the energy necessary for the proper functioning of cells not in carbohydrates since it is deprived of them, but in lipids. To do this, he will first tap the glycogen stores, then, once they are used up, he will transform the lipids into energy. By doing this, it produces waste products called ketones which will nourish neurons in particular.
This diet has been recommended for people with epilepsy to reduce the intensity of seizures, or even make them go away. The benefits are explained in part by the fact that the ketogenic diet causes the same mechanism as that of fasting, without reducing calorie intake.
However, little is known about how this phenomenon works. Other specialists also advise him in cases of cancer or diabetes.
The ketogenic diet is known for its appetite suppressant, is it true?
Yes, this appetite suppressant effect due to ketone bodies leads to a decrease in calorie intake since people feel full. With the ketogenic diet, they quickly lose weight. This is why many patients are pushing my door asking me to accompany them on this diet, which I refuse.
Ketogenic diet: a risk of bodily disturbance
So what are your reservations about this diet?
Certainly, it makes you lose weight quickly. But you have to be very careful when you resume normal eating. By taking particular care to consume only carbohydrates with a low glycemic index. Any diet is a source of stress for the body which will then store it in anticipation of other deprivations.
As for keeping this diet beyond several months, I recommend it even less. Its long-term effects are unknown, and there are several risks. First, that of lacking fiber because of the lower intake of fruits and vegetables. With the key problems like constipation, but also deficiencies in certain vitamins, antioxidants, and mineral salts.
Besides the deficiencies, does this diet have effects on daily life?
In addition, it can cause nausea and dizziness. It is also not recommended to practice the ketogenic diet in case of renal insufficiency. You should know that the weight loss induced at the start is notably due to a great loss of water since each gram of glycogen is linked to 3-4 g of water in the body. Ditto for people suffering from cholesterol, this diet is not recommended since it promotes lipids.
In general, we must be very careful about the fats that we bring to the body in order to protect against cardiovascular diseases.
What do you recommend instead of the ketogenic diet?
Eat a healthy and balanced diet. But if people come to see me for the ketogenic diet, I would rather refer them to the low carb diet which recommends consuming not 50 grams of carbohydrates per day but 130 to 150 grams. While also rehabilitating good fats and increasing proteins a little to preserve muscle mass.
The specialist warns: “Quite quickly, there is a lack of fiber intake, initially present in fruits and vegetables.
This can cause digestion, constipation, or diarrhea problems because the diet is too fatty. ”
Ketogenic diet and lack of fiber
Has the specialist forgotten that the ketogenic diet contains a lot of vegetables and that vegetables are rich in fiber
She continues: “The list does not stop there: lack of antioxidants mainly present in plants, risk of hypoglycemia following too low sugar intake (and therefore dizziness, discomfort, pallor) …”
Ketogenic diet and lack of antioxidants
Would the super-specialist have forgotten that green leafy vegetables and green vegetables in general are the first pillars of the ketogenic food pyramid?
And guess where there are the most antioxidants and vitamins?
In plants and in green vegetables!
In addition, ketones have been shown to reduce the amount of semen in one coenzyme Q, thereby decreasing the production of free radicals (Veech, 2004).
What a specialist!
Our specialist continues (she is tenacious!)
“A patient who follows this diet after having undergone chemotherapy could see his condition worsen.
When you have patients who are in chemotherapy, it causes stress related to the disease but also by chemo, which triggers undesirable effects.
On the contrary, when a patient is in the therapeutic phase, we try to make the food bring him breaks, pleasure. ”
Make food make her happy? At the expense of his health?
A study shows that rats on a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet had much slower tumor growth than their counterparts fed on high-carbohydrate foods! (Van Alstyne & Beebe (1913) J. Med. Res. 20: 217 / Otto et al. (2008) BMC Cancer 8: 122)
Does she know that what stresses people the most is not necessarily to eat meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and fat, no, it is to have cancer that progresses!
Does she also know that the diet of humans before industrialization absolutely did not include cereals or McDonald’s?
She continues: “In absolute terms if we suppress sugars, we could suppress cancer cells because they feed on them. But in reality, we would also destroy the other cells, which also need sugar to function properly, warns Dr. Cellier.