On the keto diet? Ditch the cheat day

For the test, researchers recruited nine healthy young males and had them consume a 75-gram glucose drink before and after a seven-day high fat, low carbohydrate diet. The diet consisted of 70% fat, 10% carbs, and 20% protein, similar to that of a modern ketogenic diet. “The ketogenic — or keto — diet has become very common for weight loss or to manage diseases like type 2 diabetes,” says Jonathan Little, associate professor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at UBCO and study senior author. “It consists of eating foods rich in fats, moderate in protein, but very low in carbohydrates and it causes the body to go into a state called ketosis.”

Little says the most likely culprit for the damage is the body’s own metabolic response to excess blood sugar, which causes blood vessel cells to shed and possibly die. People also tend to suffer from Keto flu – a condition where most feel hungover and ill for a couple of days – if they consume junk food while on the diet.  Headaches, nausea, fatigue, stomach pain and body aches, brain fog, vomits and mood swings are other side effects. The only way to avoid that is by being 100% committed towards eliminating the stored carbs in your body and not disturbing the body’s cycle by introducing additional carbs. If you cheat once you will have the craving to cheat once again and this cycle is hard to control. Not only does it hamper the process, but also resets your taste buds towards junk food, making it difficult to ignore cravings.

Some says the most likely culprit for the damage is the body’s own metabolic response to excess blood sugar, which causes blood vessel cells to shed and possibly die.

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“Even though these were otherwise healthy young males, when we looked at their blood vessel health after consuming the glucose drink, the results looked like they might have come from someone with poor cardiovascular health,” adds Little. “It was somewhat alarming, My concern is that many of the people going on a keto diet — whether it’s to lose weight, to treat Type 2 diabetes, or some other health reason — may be undoing some of the positive impacts on their blood vessels if they suddenly blast them with glucose,” he says. “Especially if these people are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease in the first place.”

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