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Is Keto Diet Regimen Beneficial For Cardiovascular Health And Weight Reduction?

In the past, when I adhered to a low carbohydrate diet regimen for weight reduction, I found myself feeling disheartened and neglecting to contemplate the repercussions of a specific eating approach. I was wholeheartedly determined to shed weight as quickly as possible. I successfully shed 40 kg in weight but subsequently regained it over the following years. It dawned on me that I needed to commence my keto diet regimen once more to lose weight. I will narrate what happened this time, but before that, let us delve into the realm of Keto Diet.

What Exactly Is the Keto Diet?

The ketogenic, commonly known as keto, diet is a dietary approach that significantly restricts carbohydrate intake. This diet is heralded as an expedited method for weight loss. It facilitates weight reduction by limiting the intake of carbohydrates and increasing protein and fat consumption in the daily diet. By consuming a low to no carb diet, the body enters a state of ketosis where fats are used as the primary energy source instead of carbohydrates. Ketosis involves the conversion of fats into ketones which the liver metabolizes. This process results in substantial weight loss, lowered sugar levels, and alleviation of various health issues.

Reflecting on my personal journey, I successfully shed 40 kg in almost a year and maintained it for over five years. However, upon reintroducing carbohydrates into my diet, issues like heart palpitations arose due to the high fat and seed content in my diet. Reducing fat intake left me feeling hungry and drained of energy. While I had shed weight, I felt unwell internally. Calcium deficiency weakened my bones, compelling me to revert to a conventional diet. While the Keto diet brought me joy, it also led to the nadir of my health.

A significant drawback of the ketogenic diet is that it may pose challenges for individuals who are ardent aficionados of vegetarian Indian cuisine to sustain it.

Keto Diet Food Selection?

The key to achieving weight loss with keto diet involves limiting carbohydrate intake to not exceeding 20%. These 20% carbohydrates should be sourced from whole foods such as whole grains and vegetables. Let’s explore the recommended food items when following a keto diet plan:

  • Eggs
  • Fatty cuts of meat like chicken, pork, and beef
  • Fatty Fish such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel
  • Seeds and nuts like flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, pecans, and macadamia nuts
  • Avocados
  • Dairy products like butter and cream
  • Olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, and avocado oil
  • Leafy greens like spinach, mustard, amaranth, lettuce, and kale
  • Low-carb vegetables including tomatoes, onions, capsicum, cucumbers, gourds, etc.
  • Herbs and spices
  • Cheese and mayonnaise
  • Fruits such as berries

Keto Diet Impact on Cardiovascular Health

Although the keto diet is a commendable means of weight reduction, the question arises regarding its suitability for cardiac health.

It undeniably aids in decreasing inflammation, managing oxidative stress, which benefits blood vessels, and regulating blood pressure.

For individuals with diabetes, the risk of heart disease is a concern, which can be mitigated by reducing sugar consumption. Decreasing sugar levels through the keto diet can contribute to alleviating heart issues.

Based on my personal experience, Indians may find it challenging to adapt to and sustain a ketogenic diet in the long term. Coping with excessive fat and non-vegetarian fare may present difficulties. Once accustomed to this diet, reverting to a regular Indian diet can prove taxing on the body. As an Indian, I could not persist with it for more than five years, and even today, if I consume coconut oil and flax seeds, I experience cardiac issues.

The reason may be that some staple foods of the keto diet are rich in saturated fats and cholesterol such as fatty fish, meat, and eggs.

I believe further research is imperative to ascertain whether the keto diet is a completely safe weight loss dietary choice for individuals with heart conditions and sensitive hearts. Moreover, in specific instances, it has been observed to elevate the risk of hypoglycemia in diabetic individuals. If dietary supplements are not integrated into your keto diet, it can lead to nutritional deficiencies, as exemplified by my own case.

I recommend consulting your physician before embarking on a keto diet for weight loss. If you have a family history of heart ailments, seeking advice from a cardiologist would be prudent. From my personal life encounters, I opine that the most effective diet regimen is one that is sustainable. Extreme diet plans like keto diet regimen should be avoided unless urgent weight reduction is necessary, such as for medical procedures.

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