An update on beliefs about the ketogenic diet
Also called “keto” in English, the ketogenic diet, high in fat and low in sugar, has been on the rise for several years with stars in Los Angeles, sports tops and certain dieticians or nutritionists. But is it really good for your health? What (real) results can we expect? And how ? We disentangle the true from the false in 5 received ideas.
1/ It is difficult to follow
TRUE AND FALSE. It all depends on your tastes and eating habits. If you're more salty, this diet will be easier for you to follow than for someone who tends to binge on sugar throughout the day. On the other hand, as it is necessary to follow it to the letter to obtain the first results, it is better to arm yourself with a steel mind before you start.
2/ It causes side effects
TRUE. Until the body is keto-adapted – that is, it understands that it must now get used to a new source of energy, ketones instead of glucose – a time adaptation is necessary. During this initial period, which often lasts only a few days, slight discomfort may appear such as headaches, nausea or an unusual feeling of fatigue. But rest assured, it's a pretty good sign, proof that the diet works. At this point, it's all about holding on until the bloodwork improves and the cravings go away. After about ten days generally, you really feel better!
3/ He forbids desserts
FAKE. If we follow it to the letter, the ketogenic diet formally bans carbohydrates, in other words: goodbye to sweets and other delicacies. But who said that desserts had to contain sugar? Instead of the traditional strawberry pie, we opt for "keto-compatible" treats such as dried fruits (to you grilled almonds, pistachios, walnuts, etc.), pastries made from flour hazelnut, chocolate bars with coconut, honey and/or pecan nut cakes or even popsicles when the weather is fine. The most sophisticated will shop in a specialized store (or on the net) for all the trendy ingredients of the moment such as powdered collagen, the fake natural sugar of monk fruit (the new sweetener that is buzzing), the ultra-energizing Maca powder (nicknamed Peruvian ginseng), coconut butter or even clarified butter, a mainstay of Indian Ayurvedic cuisine.
4/ It can be dangerous
TRUE. If a severe restriction in carbohydrates pushes the body to draw on its reserves, and therefore facilitates weight loss, it can also upset the needs for carbohydrates-lipids-proteins, necessary for the proper functioning of the body. Like any very unbalanced diet, there are therefore risks in adopting it, especially in the long term. The best thing is still to practice it in the form of a cure, for a maximum of three months. And at the slightest doubt or abnormal feeling of fatigue or digestive problems, go to your doctor or a nutritionist. Moreover, originally, it was only prescribed by doctors.
5/ It has health properties
TRUE. It is not always known, but this diet has been used for more than a century to treat various neurological diseases, including epilepsy. By reducing the level of glucose in the blood, the ketogenic diet pushes the body to adapt to the deprivations and to draw on its reserves to produce energy. Instead of finding it in carbohydrates, the body sources itself in fats. The liver then produces acetone and acetylacetate, before transforming them into ketone bodies (or ketones), responsible for supplying the neurons with energy. This is why some specialists think that this ultra-restrictive diet would have the property of slowing down Alzheimer's disease but also that of stopping the progression of certain cancers, for example, by modifying the way that the diseased cells have to supply themselves.
Article Mag marocMorocco Interview by Éléonore A. Bénit, journalist and influencer