Innovations in Biotechnology and Medical Sciences

What is Ketogenic Diet?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Ketogenic Diet

Mains level: Not Much

Ketogenic or Keto Diet is popularly followed as a weight loss diet across the world.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Regular intake of fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended in the diet since they are a good source of antioxidants. How do antioxidants help a person maintain health and promote longevity? (CSP 2014)

(a) They activate the enzymes necessary for vitamin synthesis in the body and help prevent vitamin deficiency.

(b) They prevent excessive oxidation of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the body and help avoid unnecessary wastage of energy.

(c) They neutralize the free radicals produced in the body during metabolism.

(d) They activate certain genes in the cells of the body and help delay the ageing process.

What is Ketogenic Diet?

  • The Keto Diet is one of the most popular weight-loss diets the world over.
  • It consists of a high-fat, moderate-protein and low-carb diet.
  • It helps in weight loss by achieving ketosis — a metabolic state where the liver burns body fat and provides fuel for the body, as there is limited access to glucose.

What constitutes a keto diet?

  • A classic keto generally requires that 90 per cent of a person’s calories come from fat, 6 per cent from protein and 4 per cent from carbs.
  • But there are many versions doing the rounds since this one was designed for children suffering from epilepsy to gain control over their seizures.

How does it impact the body?

  • If we starve the body of carbohydrate, after burning out the glucose, the liver starts breaking down fats for energy.
  • Ketosis is common in all kinds of fasting, but in a keto diet, when one is feeding it by giving a lot of fats from outside without carbs, it can become mildly toxic.
  • It may lead to many nutrient deficiencies such as carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins (especially vitamin A, D, E, & K) and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, sodium.
  • Extreme carbohydrate restriction can lead to hunger, fatigue, low mood, irritability, constipation, headaches, and brain fog, which may last days to weeks

What impact does it have on our kidneys?

  • Even the moderate increase in protein needs to be carefully monitored, especially in those who are already suffering from chronic kidney disease, as it could lead to kidney failure.
  • One should get a thorough assessment and make sure they have normal kidney function before choosing this diet.
  • This diet could lead to increased stress on the kidneys and result in kidney stones, as they are made to work overtime.

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