In a review of existing scientific studies on trendy ketogenic and intermittent fasting diets, researchers concluded that these diets do seem to help people lose weight in the short-term, and modest evidence suggests they may contribute to cardiovascular health.
Alternatively, these diets also allow the consumption of foods that are known to increase cardiovascular risk and are unlikely to be as effective at preventing heart disease as well-established nutritional guidelines currently really useful by health experts.
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“With diets like keto and intermittent fasting, social and popular media has been flooded with claims, promises and warnings that are at best unverified and at worst harmful to your health,” said Andrew Freeman, MD, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health and co-author of the study. “Diets really useful by health experts, such as plant-based and Mediterranean diets, have been extensively studied for safety and efficacy, and demonstrated conclusively to make stronger cardiovascular health.”
Keto is a very low carbohydrate dietary approach that sends the body into ketosis, a metabolic state in which it has reduced access to glucose and is instead mostly fuelled by fat. While the limited study of the keto diet shows those who follow it first of all lose weight, it has a tendency not to be sustainable according to 12-month data. Additionally it is unclear if the weight loss is caused by ketosis or simply by calorie restriction.
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Researchers also have concerns approximately the kind and amount of fat consumed by those following a keto diet. While existing studies strictly controlled the kind of fat and foods participants consumed, many who try keto consume high amounts of unhealthy saturated fat, which is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and high lipid levels in the blood. There may be evidence that eating a keto diet for an extended time frame may lead to stiffening of the arteries, and several studies found that those who eat a keto diet have a greater risk of death.
Keto does, then again, show promise as a potential remedy for diabetes, with studies showing improved glucose levels, in addition to lower fasting glucose and insulin levels in mice, fed a keto diet. Further research is needed to confirm these benefits and assess risk before keto is clinically really useful.
Researchers are also optimistic approximately the potential health benefits of intermittent fasting but are concerned approximately imaginable pitfalls. There is a variety of practices being called “intermittent fasting”, with some fasting without food an entire day and others restricting meals to sure hours of the day. Experts also worry that the hunger-induced by fasting causes many of us to overeat when it’s time for meals, or make unhealthy choices that have adverse effects on their cardiovascular health.
A majority of the present evidence regarding the potential benefits of intermittent fasting come from animal studies, which have shown increased longevity, weight loss, decreased blood pressure, improved glucose tolerance and controlled lipid levels.
“The potential risks of intermittent fasting that require further study include effects of hunger and how it is going to affect organ operate,” Dr Freeman said. “It is especially important for diabetics to speak with their doctor before trying intermittent fasting to talk about how to keep an eye on their disease and the risk of hypoglycemia that may come with skipping steady meals.”
While there is modest evidence regarding beneficial effects of both dietary approaches, neither the keto nor intermittent fasting is really useful for the remedy or prevention of any condition until large, long-term studies can more definitively inspect their affect. Instead, experts recommend diets which have been extensively studied and scientifically proven to prevent or even reverse cardiovascular issues, which come with the Mediterranean diet, a whole food plant-based diet and the National Institutes of Health’s Dietary Approaches to Stop High blood pressure (DASH). All of these share a common foundation that includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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