Smoking is now widespread in our society. You can see someone lighting up a cigarette on almost any given street corner. Whether it’s in place of breakfast, on the way to work, or in the lunch break, those who start smoking tend to increase the frequency of doing so without even realizing it. It starts to become normal–a habit. A quick grasp in the pocket, and it’s already in the mouth.
In the past, the negative effects were unknown. Today, that is not the case. Nevertheless, so many people reach for cigarettes several times a day. How dangerous is this really? And does it affect the keto diet in any way?
Does Smoking Affect the Keto Diet?
In today’s post, we will talk about cigarettes in the keto diet, how smoking can affect ketosis, and how it is simply dangerous in general.
What are cigarettes made of?
If you ask someone on the street what their cigarette is made of, they will probably say tobacco and nicotine.
Nicotine, in addition to its appearance in cigarettes, is also used as an insecticide.
But that isn’t all that is hidden in this conspicuous, additive, substance! In addition to nicotine, you will find carcinogenic substances, such as naphthlyamin, cadmium, urethane, dibenzacridine, polonium, and vinyl chloride, as well as the highly toxic substance arsenic. Furthermore, you’ll find ammonia, acetone, methanol, and toluene in cigarettes.
Still, yet you may find insecticides, such as DDT, and moth repellent, such as naphthalene, as well as hydrogen cyanide.
A real poison cocktail.
Yet people put this all in their bodies multiple times a day!
What are the effects?
Actually, when smoking, the amount of nicotine contained isn’t sufficient to poison you in a life-threatening way immediately. In fact, nicotine causes more and more damage gradually. It is a very strong poison and we usually do not notice its effects until it is too late. If you swallow or eat tobacco, it can be fatal, and with that children and infants are especially at risk.
As you probably already know, the by-effects of smoking are cardiovascular diseases. Damage to the blood vessels and the calcification they cause not only worsens the oxygen content of the blood, but also the blood circulation. This results in a drastic deterioration of the oxygen supply to the organs. Consequences are for example strokes, general circulatory disturbances, or even a heart attack.
In addition, people who smoke regularly or are exposed to fumes, i.e. passive smokers, age much faster. The skin tends to slacken and wrinkles appear earlier. Yellow teeth and fingertips are also a sign of nicotine consumption. In addition, there is a generally weaker immune system, which can already be a problem in old age.
The best known, however, are probably the diseases of the lungs, which are clearly promoted by smoking. The risk of developing lung cancer is considerably higher among smokers than among non-smokers. Passive smoking is also a real problem here. In addition, the occurrence of chronic obstructive bronchitis is more likely to occur because the pollutants contained in cigarettes impair the self-cleansing of the bronchi with the help of their cilia and thus develop inflammations more quickly and easily.
Another factor that smoking can influence is sugar metabolism. Studies have shown that cigarette consumption has a significantly negative effect on the insulin sensitivity of cells, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Inflammation and damage to the gums and teeth are common. Cavities are more common, teeth become yellowish and often fall out. The gums, on the other hand, are poorly supplied with blood, which often results in rot or inflammation.
In addition to the side effects mentioned above, there are other forms of cancer that affect the liver, kidneys, or pancreas, for example.
During pregnancy, smoking is particularly harmful to the unborn child. There is a marked increase in the rate of malformation and mortality. Premature, miscarriages, and stillbirths are not uncommon. In general, newborns often suffer from worsened development and have a significantly higher risk of developing cardiovascular, cancer, or respiratory diseases.
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Does smoking affect ketosis?
With a ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are reduced to less than 50g per day, whereas the intake of fat is drastically increased and attention is paid to moderate protein consumption. This is essential in order to get into ketosis at all and subsequently maintain it.
In the beginning, the remaining carbohydrate stores are emptied until the body finally has to learn to convert the fats effectively into ketone bodies and use them as energy instead. Once this metabolic state of fat metabolism has been reached, you are in ketosis. The process is similar to the one that takes place during a prolonged fast. Originally, the body’s protective mechanism was to extract energy from its fat reserves in order to survive hard times.
Nowadays, ketogenic nutrition is based on this very principle in order to help people to feel better about life and to burn fat more easily. The latter can help to permanently lose superfluous pounds or to simply keep your figure. In addition, there are countless other benefits, such as improved cognitive abilities or constant energy levels.
As mentioned earlier, tobacco consumption affects the insulin sensitivity of cells and can lead to resistance, which can have life-threatening consequences. This can be a serious problem in a traditional diet, where a large part of the food intake consists of carbohydrates and sugars.
However, since the ketogenic diet relies on fat metabolism for energy and less on sugar metabolism, smoking does not affect nutrient uptake very much. So far, no link has been found between ketosis and tobacco consumption. It is therefore not affected by the latter, so smoking during a ketogenic diet is not a problem.
The only thing that can make smoking a rather unpleasant affair is in the initial phase of the ketogenic diet. Nausea and general symptoms of the initial keto flu can cause an unpleasant mouthfeel.
Smoking is associated with countless bad effects that can be extremely life-threatening. The poison cocktail that is present in cigarettes would probably not be drunk voluntarily. Nevertheless, many of us still consume tobacco and gradually become ill.
Even if ketosis is not disturbed by tobacco consumption and smokers could benefit from a ketogenic diet, smoking is certainly not recommended, in or out of the keto diet. If one dares to take the step to a healthier lifestyle, why not also to a tobacco-free life?
Do you have any experience with smoking on the keto diet?