What are the effects of ketogenic diets on nutrient adequacy, gut flora, and heart disease risk?
Given decades of experience wearing ketogenic diets to treat certain cases of pediatric epilepsy, a large amount of safety data has been accumulated. Nutrient deficiencies seem to be the obvious problem. Inadequate intake of 17 micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals has been documented in people following strict ketogenic diets, as you can see in the graph below and at 0:14 of my video. Are ketogenic diets safe?
Dieting is a particularly important time to ensure you meet all your essential nutrient requirements, as you may be eating less food. Ketogenic diets tend be so nutritionally empty that one evaluation estimated that you would have to eat more than 37,000 calories a day to obtain a sufficient daily intake of all essential vitamins and minerals, as you can see in the graph below and at minute 0: 39 of me video.
That is one of the advantages of more plant-based approaches. As editor-in-chief of Journal of the American Dietetic Association to say that could Would it be richer in nutrients than a vegetarian diet? Choosing a healthy diet may be easier than eating more than 37,000 calories a day, which is equivalent to putting 50 sticks of butter in your morning coffee.
Nor are we just talking about not reaching the daily rations. Children have contracted scurvy on ketogenic diets, and some even deceased due to selenium deficiency, which can cause sudden cardiac death. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be solved with supplements, but what about the shortage of prebiotics, dozens of types of fiber, and resistant starches? found concentrated in whole grains and beans that you would miss?
It is not surprising that constipation is very common in ketogenic diets. As I mentioned before, depriving our microbial being of prebiotics can have a whole series of negative consequences. Ketogenic diets have been shown to “reduce the species richness and diversity of the intestinal microbiota”, our intestinal flora. Changes in the microbiome can be detected within 24 hours of switching to a high-fat, low-fiber diet. Lack of fiber starves our good gut bacteria. We used to think that dietary fat was almost entirely absorbed in the small intestine, but according to studies using radioactive tracers, we now know that about 7 percent of the saturated fat in a high-fat meal can reach the colon. This can result in “detrimental changes” to our gut microbiome, as well as weight gain, increased leaky gut, and pro-inflammatory changes. For example, there can be a drop in profits bifidobacteria and a decrease in the overall production of short-chain fatty acids, which would be expected to increase the risk of gastrointestinal disorders.
Getting to the heart of the matter, what could all that saturated fat be doing to our hearts? If you look In the case of low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause mortality, those who consume low-carbohydrate diets suffer “a significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality,” meaning they live, on average, significantly shorter lives . However, from a heart disease perspective, affairs If it is animal fat or vegetable fat. According to the famous Harvard cohorts, eating a more animal-based, low-carbohydrate diet was associated with higher mortality rates from cardiovascular disease and a 50 percent higher risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke, but not found such an association for low-carbohydrate diets based on plant sources.
And it wasn’t just Harvard. Other researchers have also found that “low-carbohydrate dietary patterns favoring Sources of protein and fat of animal origin, such as lamb, beef, pork and chicken, were associated with higher mortality, while those that favored the intake of protein and fat of plant origin, such as vegetables, nuts, peanut butter, and whole wheat bread, were associated with lower mortality…”
The production of cholesterol in the body is directly correlated to body weight, as you can see in the graph below and at minute 3:50 in my video.
Every pound of weight loss by almost any means is associated with a drop of approximately one point in blood cholesterol levels. But if we put people on a very low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet, the beneficial effect on bad LDL cholesterol is reduced or even completely neutralized. Changes that counteract LDL or HDL (what we used to think of as good cholesterol) are not considered enough to offset this risk. You don’t have to wait until your cholesterol build in your arteries to have adverse effects either; Within three hours of eating a meal rich in saturated fat, a significant deterioration in arterial function can be observed. Even with a ten kilo weight loss, arterial function gets worse follow a ketogenic diet instead of getting better, which appears as is the case with low carbohydrate diets in general.
To learn more about ketogenic diets, check out my video series. here.
And, to learn more about your microbiome, watch the related videos below.