Ketogenic or Keto diet is a very popular low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many benefits to our health. The keto diet menu is very similar to that of the Atkin’s diet. Many clinical studies have shown the keto diet menu can help you lose weight and improve your overall health. It has also been linked to improvements in the fight against diabetes, alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer. But is the keto diet menu good for our dental health?
What Is On The Keto Diet Menu?
The keto diet menu is rich in meats, fish, nuts, cheese and low carbohydrate vegetables (yes….some vegetables are high in carbs!). The keto diet menu involves drastically reducing intake of carbohydrates and placing fats into your diet. This carbohydrate reductions puts your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Once in the state of ketosis, your body becomes extremely efficient at burning fat for use in our energy needs. Your body will also be able to turn the fat into ketones. This occurs in the liver and can supply energy for the brain. Since, carbohydrates are reduced, your body will experience a huge reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels.
Types Of Keto Diet Menu
Health Benefits Of A Keto Diet Menu
Research has shown that the keto diet menu can have wide ranging health benefits beyond just weight loss. These can include:
-Cardiovascular disease. The keto diet menu can increase HDL cholesterol levels (good cholesterol), decrease blood pressure, body fat, and blood sugar.
-Cancer. The keto diet menu has been used to slow tumor growth in certain cancers. Cancer thrives in a high sugar environment.
-Alzheimer’s disease: The keto diet may slow progression and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
-Epilepsy. Research has proven that following keto diet menu can cause massive reductions in seizures in children with epilepsy.
-Parkinson’s disease. More research needed but there have been small studies to show the diet slowed the effects of this disease.
-Polycystic ovary syndrome. Due to the keto diet menu effectiveness in reducing blood insulin levels. Increased insulin levels are believed to play a key role in polycystic ovary syndrome.
Foods To Avoid On Keto Diet Menu
Any food that is high in carbs should be limited. Avoid carb-based foods like grains, sugars, legumes, rice, potatoes, candy, juice and even most fruits.
-Foods High In Sugar. Examples include sodas, fruit juice, candy, cake, and ice cream.
-Grains or starches. These include rice, pasta, and cereals.
-Fruit. All fruit with the exception of small portions of berries. Raspberries and blackberries contain as much fiber as digestible carbs.
-Beans or legumes. Includes Kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas.
-Root vegetables and tubers. Includes potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips.
-Low-fat or diet products. Often highly processed and high in carbohydrates.
-Unhealthy fats. Limit your intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
-Alcohol: Due to their high carbohydrate content, alcohol can throw you out of ketosis.
-Sugar-free diet foods. These are often high in sugar alcohols, which can affect ketone levels in some cases.
Foods To Eat On Keto Diet Menu
-Meat. Includes red meat, steak, ham, chicken and turkey.
-Fatty fish. Includes salmon, trout, and tuna..
-Eggs. Preferred eggs are pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.
-Butter and cream.
-Cheese: Unprocessed cheese including cheddars, blue, and mozzarella.
-Nuts and seeds. Include almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds.
-Healthy oils. Primarily extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
-Avocados. Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole.
-Low carb vegetables. Most green veggies, tomatoes, and onions.
-Condiments. You can use salt, pepper and various healthy herbs and spices.
How Does Keto Diet Menu Affect Dental Health?
–Bad Breath (also called Halitosis). Since the popularity of the keto diet menu, a new term has emerged….Keto Breath. Keto breath usually has a fruity smell. This keto breath develops from the way our bodies are able to break down the fats we are ingesting off the keto diet menu. As mentioned earlier the development of ketones occurs thru the bodies processing of a higher fat diet. One of these ketones, acetone, is unusable by our bodies processes. Acetone is released from the body via urine and our lungs. Acetone is what gives the keto diet advocates their bad breath.
–Tooth Decay. While bad breath may be a negative side effect there are positive side effects of the keto diet menu to our dental health. By avoiding carbohydrates we are also avoiding processed sugars. These sugars and carbohydrates are necessary for the oral bacteria to grow and flourish and cause dental damage. A reduction in sugar will likely equal a reduction in tooth decay.
–Periodontal Disease (Gingivitis and Periodontitis). A low carbohydrate diet may also help reduce inflammation in the mouth. Recent clinical studies have found that a diet low in carbohydrates and high in omega-3 fatty acids actually helped decrease rates of gingivitis and inflammation.
Dental Health Tips For Fresh Breath
-Chew sugar free gum for saliva stimulation and to freshen your breath.
-Make keto diet menu adjustments. Adjust your intake of complex carbohydrates (like leafy green vegetables and whole grains) while continuing to avoid refined carbohydrates.
-Brush your tongue daily with a tongue blade or separate toothbrush just for your tongue. The bacteria on your tongue is different than bacteria found in the gums. The papilla on the tongue can hold more debris increase malodor, and change the way things taste.
-Brush and floss. Just because you are eating less sugar does not mean that debris is less worrisome. While lack of sugar helps prevent decay food debris can increase plaque and periodontal problems.
-Drink Plenty Of Water Throughout The Day.
-Avoid alcoholic beverages. Alcohol will dry your mouth by decreasing saliva flow. This increases malodor.
-Try oil pulling after brushing. The oil will help lubricate your mouth, decrease bacteria, and increase saliva.
-Add fresh herbs to water and tea. Herbs such as clove, cinnamon, mint and fennel can act as natural fresheners of your breath.
Keto Diet Menu And Dental Health Conclusion
While the keto diet menu has many perks there are some drawbacks to be aware of. Following a few simple steps can make your body healthier as well as your smile. Remember to maintain regular dental visits and good dental hygiene while on any diet.