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The often-adopted "cheat day" is a recurring theme in many diets, and the popular ketogenic diet is no exception. A new study on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Okanagan indicates that a single dose of glucose of 75 grams – the equivalent of a large bottle of soda or d & # 39; 39; a plate of French fries – while a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates can cause blood vessel damage.
"The ketogenic diet, or keto- diet, has become very common for weight loss or management of diseases such as type 2 diabetes," says Jonathan Little, associate professor at the School of Health and Exercise School of l & # 39; UBCO. "It's about eating high-fat, low-protein foods, but at a very low carbohydrate level, which causes the body to go into a condition called ketosis."
According to Mr. Little, the diet can be very effective because once the body is in ketosis and deprived of its preferred glucose, the body's chemistry changes and it begins to burn aggressively its fat reserves. This leads to weight loss and can reverse the symptoms of diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
"We wanted to know what happens to the body's physiology once the glucose dose is reintroduced," says Cody Durrer, PhD student at UBC Okanagan and first author of the study. "Since the decline in glucose tolerance and the increase in blood glucose levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, it made sense to look at what was happening in the blood vessels after a sugar crisis."
For their test, the researchers recruited nine healthy young men and asked them to consume a 75-gram glucose drink before and after a seven-day diet high in fats and carbohydrates. The diet included 70% fat, 10% carbohydrate and 20% protein, which is comparable to that of a modern ketogenic diet.
"Initially, we were looking for an inflammatory reaction or a reduced tolerance to blood sugar," says Durrer. "What we found instead are biomarkers in the blood that suggest the vessel walls have been damaged by the sudden spike of glucose."
According to Mr. Little, the culprit most likely to cause harm is the body's metabolic response to excess sugar in the blood, which causes death and death of blood vessel cells.
"Even though it was healthy young men, when we examined the health of their blood vessels after drinking the glucose drink, the results seemed to come from a person with a healthy cardiovascular, "adds Little. "It was a bit alarming."
The researchers point out that with only nine people included in the study, additional work is needed to verify their findings, but that the results should give those who follow a keto-break diet a break when they are not. they are considering a cheat day.
"What worries me is that a lot of people who follow a keto diet – it's about losing weight, treating type diabetes." 2 or another reason because of their health – could cancel some of the positive effects on their blood vessels if they blow it with glucose, "he says. "Especially if these people have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease."
"Our data suggest that a ketogenic diet is not something you do for six days a week and that you take it on Saturdays."
The study was published in the journal nutrients with funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR).
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