¿Dieta baja en hidratos de carbono o dieta cetogénica?

¿Dieta baja en hidratos de carbono o dieta cetogénica?

En este artículo quiero acercaros todos los aspectos de una dieta baja en hidratos y una dieta cetogénica, dos conceptos que no debemos confundir.

La dieta cetogénica, término acuñado por Wilder en 1921, tiene como objetivo generar una situación de cetosis (formación de cuerpos cetónicos) similar a la del ayuno. Tal situación se logra bien por un aporte insuficiente de alimentos, o bien por una restricción de alimentos ricos en glúcidos (consumiendo alimentos ricos en proteínas o en grasas). Este tipo de dietas sólo se deben aplicar bajo control y durante un tiempo limitado, (un ejemplo que muchos conoceréis de esta dieta es la popular dieta Atkins.)

Cuando el cuerpo está en ayuno o tiene una ingesta por debajo de los 50 gramos de hidratos al día, en algunos casos menos aún, el cuerpo entra en un estado de cetosis para sacar energía a partir de los ácidos grasos. Es decir, cuando no hay reservas de glucógeno y no se comen hidratos de carbono, para transformar la grasa en glucógeno el páncreas sintetiza una hormona llamada glucagón, el cuerpo empieza a estimular la oxidación de las grasas para obtener la energía, y con esto se liberan cuerpos cetónicos (acetona, acetoacetato y beta-hidroxibutirato). Estos cuerpos cetónicos se acumulan en sangre y hacen entrar a nuestro cuerpo en estado de cetosis o cetoacidosis, que es un estado conocido por nuestro organismo y salvo excepciones (como diabetes), éste, lo puede regular perfectamente sin ningún riesgo para el individuo. Debo decir que es muy importante beber mucho agua para ayudar al riñón a compensar los estados de acidosis, así que lo primero que se debe hacer es aumentar la ingesta de agua en torno de los 3-4 litros diarios.

También debemos diferenciar los tipos de dieta cetogénica:

  • Estándar, donde todos los días se ingieren alimentos con pocos hidratos de carbono.
  • Cíclica, caracterizada por el proceso de carga y descarga, 2-3 días se consumen pocos carbohidratos y 1-2 días se aumenta su ingesta, aunque esta técnica puede tener más de una variante.
  • Dirigida, cuando sólo se ingieren hidratos de carbono a determinadas horas del día, lo más normal es que su consumo sea cercano al entrenamiento, de este modo el organismo los utiliza rápidamente bloqueando la acumulación de grasa y mientras se previene el incremento de insulina. 

Algunos catalogan esta dieta como una herramienta eficaz para la pérdida de peso, y es cierto que es muy común en el mundo del fitness y culturismo, pero hoy en día ya es popular y practicada por la gran mayoría de la población. Quiero recordaros que esta dieta SIEMPRE debe estar vigilada por un profesional que sepa adaptarla, que no debe prolongarse excesivamente en el tiempo, que conlleva una estabilidad psicológica importante ya que el cerebro funciona con glucógeno y al faltar este podemos tener bajones emocionales; también observaremos si seguimos aportando suficientes vitaminas y minerales al cuerpo y desde luego adaptaremos el entreno al estado en que nos encontremos, es normal que no se levante el mismo peso, ni se aguante el mismo tiempo entrenando, pero sobre todo, debemos saber volver a los hidratos, no tiene porque ocurrir el famoso efecto rebote si se cumple una buena y progresiva pauta.

Concluir insistiendo en que una dieta baja en hidratos o «low carb» tiene una reducción de los mismos, pero nunca hasta los niveles de una dieta cetogénica.

María José García
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