Does Keto diet raise blood pressure? – Overview
Keto diet, or ketogenic diet, is a low carb, adequate-protein, high-fat diet. The main purpose is to force your body to burn fats and proteins for calories instead of carbohydrates which offers many health benefits. The Keto diet has been used to control epilepsy, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and weight reduction. There are some studies suggesting this diet also helps lower blood pressure. When you restrict carbohydrates (< 50 gm per day) in your meal, your liver starts producing ‘Ketone bodies’ from fat that serves as an alternative fuel source throughout the body. On a keto diet, all your fuel systems are shifted to burning fat all day long to produce ketone bodies, which in turn produce a ‘ketosis’ state. This has many advantages besides some disadvantages.
There is no one diet for everyone. Rather, the best plan differs from person to person basis. In general, the carbohydrate is restricted to less than 50 grams a day and about 70-80% of total calories from fats. A typical 2000 calorie keto diet may contain 165 gm fat, 75 gm protein, and 40 gm carbohydrate.
Benefits of Keto Diet:
- One major benefit of the keto diet is that it helps you lose weight effectively and you may not even keep track of your intake! Some researchers suggest that following a keto diet reduces your BMI, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, insulinemia, and even inflammation – all of which help control dyslipidemia and obesity.
- The Keto diet proves to be beneficial if your blood sugar level is higher. It also improves insulin sensitivity and helps reduce Hemoglobin A1c level – positive signs of improvement in diabetes.
- This diet has also been proven to be effective in managing epilepsy in children.
- The Keto diet is currently being tested as a treatment option for certain conditions such as cancer, brain injuries, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. There is a need for more research to establish its useful effects for the above-mentioned conditions.
- Keto diet helps you with a steady supply of energy, without marked fluctuation or swing as seen on carbohydrates, which in turn can enhance your focus and concentration and increase physical endurance.
- It may also help to reduce your acne and control migraines.
- Keto diet has been exposed to manage heart diseases including hypertension considering its good lipid and blood-related action.
Keto diet and Hypertension:
Hypertension is a condition in which your blood pressure is more than normal (120/80 mmHg). It can occur due to multiple factors, including dietary patterns, associated secondary conditions, use of drugs or chemicals, genetic factors, and so on. Persistently higher blood pressure is detrimental to your health and a higher risk factor for developing other cardiovascular diseases. Symptoms generally include severe headaches, shortness of breath, or nose bleed. Only a few patients exhibit symptoms and the symptoms may vary with the underlying cause. There are a
number of medications available to treat hypertension. However, following a keto diet also can help you reduce the increased blood pressure.
There are some studies showing the keto diet has a positive impact on blood pressure. Many people, on a keto diet, find their blood pressure regulated and improved. Carbohydrate restriction in overweight people has been reported with a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. A study suggests that the keto diet showed blood pressure-reducing effects of 14.4 mmHg systolic and 8.1 mmHg diastolic. There are other researches that, at the same time, show that the keto diet does not significantly reduce blood pressure. More research needs to be carried out in order to establish its potential use in reducing blood pressure.
Side effects of a Keto Diet:
Following a keto diet is extremely strict and you may find it difficult to maintain. Keto diet comes with some risks. The first-appearing side effects, also called ‘keto flu, occur due to carbohydrate restriction, can last days to some week and include: feeling hungry, fatigue (weakness), irritability, low mood, constipation, headache, and brain fog.
- Ketone bodies are primarily excreted via your urine and hence you may have increased urination. This might cause increased electrolyte loss from your body and make you feel dehydrated.
- You may also have increased sugar-craving and confusion.
There are some detrimental side effects of a keto diet suggested by research studies. This primarily includes the risk for kidney stones and osteoporosis. There may also be increased blood level of uric acid – a risk factor for gout.
You may be deprived of essential nutrients if you do not include all varieties of nutrients in your diet plan. You make sure to include adequate fibers, B vitamins, and minerals (magnesium, iron, zinc).
You need to highly understand that there is no one magic diet that is appropriate for everyone and you may need to consult your dietician for determining what works best for you.
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