People all over the world are interested in taking control of their health and making better decisions about what they eat. One diet that is gaining in popularity is the ketogenic, or keto, diet.
While there is a lot of buzz and hype around this diet, it’s important that you understand the positives as well as the negatives.
By evaluating the pros and cons of the keto diet, you can make an informed decision about if it is right for you.
This ketogenic diet review will help you determine if you want to give this diet a chance to improve your health.
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First, you need to understand how this diet works. This is a natural way of eating that has a very specific makeup of fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
People on the keto diet, eat meals that are made up of 75% fat, 20% protein, and just 5% carbs.
What this does is allow the body to enter ketosis and forces the body to start burning fat, not carbs, for fuel.
It’s important to enter ketosis, as this will help ensure that you enjoy all of the benefits of this powerful diet.
But people need to remember that it can take days to weeks to enter ketosis. The amount of time that it takes you depends on not only what you eat, but your body type and activity level.
The Pros of the Ketogenic Diet
Lower Inflammation and Insulin Levels
One of the biggest reasons that people start eating a keto diet is to lower the insulin in their body. This can result in reduced inflammation.
Higher levels of insulin is linked to higher levels of inflammation, which can cause a number of different health problems.
Like many low carb diet benefits, the keto diet does a great job lowering inflammation throughout the entire body.
It’s important to eat high-quality grass-fed meats combined them with plenty of low-sugar cruciferous and green vegetables.
A balanced diet will achieve and maintain decreased levels of inflammation.
With lower insulin levels, the chance of Type II Diabetes drops dramatically. This is great news for anyone who has a familial risk of this disease.
Cutting carbs from the diet will reduce how much insulin the body releases. This will decrease the chance of insulin resistance.
Eating More Healthy Fats
Many people erroneously believe that eating all fat is really bad for you, but this simply isn’t true. As long as the fats consumed are healthy, you can eat more fat.
By eating more wild fatty fish, avocados, and nuts, followers of this diet can enjoy great health benefits.
Eating healthy fats has a long list of benefits. Some of these include building more muscle (making it easier to burn fat) and building stronger bones. Lowered cholesterol and risk of heart disease are also also possible
Not everyone on the keto diet will lose weight, but most people do. People report losing as much as 12 pounds in the first week. This is due in part to how much faster people become full when eating healthy fats.
Since fats will balance blood sugar and slow a person’s digestion, they keep people feeling full for longer. This can reduce a person’s daily food intake.
Additionally, people on the keto diet tend to cut out sugar. This not only improves overall health but eliminates empty calories.
Carb heavy foods, such as bread, pasta, and starchy potatoes, are also eliminated. This decrease in carbs and sugar can really boost weight loss.
Not only will cutting these foods help a person lose weight, but doing so will also stop water retention. When people aren’t retaining as much water they will look and feel thinner.
Possible Reduce Risk of Cancer
More research is being done on the cause of cancer and what people can do to decrease their likelihood of being diagnosed.
While not a treatment for cancer, it is a great way to help decrease the chance of developing cancer.
Because ketogenic eating removes sugar from the diet, it can actually starve cancer cells in the body.
Scientists are currently performing research on whether a keto diet is a good diet for cancer patients. It is also being studied to determine if it can aid in recovery and treatment of the disease.
The keto diet is not yet recommended as a treatment, but it is a great option for as a food plan that may aide in cancer prevention.
Improved Mental Clarity and Enhanced Mood
Another one of the best keto diet side effects is an improvement in clarity and mental performance.
People who follow the keto diet find they have enhanced memory and increased focusing capabilities. This is partly because of DHA, which is located in fatty acids.
Additionally, healthy fats help to keep people feeling calm and ward off mood swings.
Possible Prevention of Seizures
Many people don’t know that the ketogenic diet was originally designed to help prevent seizures in patients.
While this doesn’t work in every patient, it is a great option for people who struggle to control their seizures with traditional medications.
Patients who have been diagnosed with intractable epilepsy, as well as others, may be good candidates for eating a keto diet.
This diet is generally recommended for children, and not for adults, who suffer from seizures.
As long as there aren’t any mitochondrial or metabolic reasons to avoid the diet, this can be a great option.
Additionally, it is sometimes used when a patient is going to be stopping or starting anti-seizure drugs.
One criticism some people have is experiencing brain fog and fatigue in the early weeks of the diet. This is because of the changes that your metabolism is going through.
While this stage can last a few weeks and can be disheartening for some people, generally it passes quickly.
As soon as the body gets used to burning ketones for fuel, the energy returns. Blood sugar levels will also stabilize.
During the adaptation period, there are some common side effects. These symptoms are often referred to as the “keto flu.”
These side effects include moodiness, headaches, difficulty sleeping, bad breath, weakness, nausea, constipation, and extreme fatigue.
While there is an end in sight with these side effects, many people struggle to make it through the “keto flu” to experience all of the benefits of this diet.
This is one frustration that some people have with the keto diet making it difficult to stick with long term.
People on the diet usually are very restricted in what they can and cannot eat. While there is a lot of leeway with fatty foods such as butter and bacon, eating a keto diet has a lot of restrictions, especially on carbs.
This can make it very difficult to eat out and causes most people to cook for themselves.
The limited diet can not only be a source of frustration but can also end up working against your overall health if you are not careful.
Skipping out on certain foods, such as whole grains, can cause health problems in the future if you’re not careful.
These foods are packed with fiber and vitamin B, and people who follow the keto diet need to make sure they are getting enough of the proper nutrients.
It’s Easy to Go Overboard
While people love being able to eat fatty foods on this diet, they need to make sure that they are careful with how much they eat.
When faced with fatty choices such as bacon or a healthy salad, many people on the keto diet will reach for the bacon. This is fine in moderation, like most things, but can decrease a person’s overall health if they are not careful.
Just like with any diet, people on the keto diet need to be aware of what foods they eat. This is especially important if you are prone to medical problems.
Working with a doctor who will track you health while on the keto diet is a great way to ensure that you are making the right choices for you.
Long-Term Weight Loss May Not Occur
While many people lose weight, when they first start the keto diet, not everyone does.
People who already eat a relatively healthy diet will not see the same incredible weight loss as others do. Additionally, many people have difficulty keeping weight off for extended periods of time.
difficulty keeping weight off long-term is one major keto diet criticism. This is generally because people find the diet very difficult to adhere to for a long period of time.
As soon as more carbs and sugars are added back to the diet, people will begin to gain back any weight that they may have lost.
Irregularity Can Occur
Eating a keto diet means not eating as many foods high in fiber as you should.
When people start the keto diet and immediately increase how much fat they are eating while at the same time decreasing their carbs, it’s very common to suffer from gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea or constipation.
While this is something that will generally resolve as your body adapts to the new diet, this is something to consider before starting a keto diet.
The liver, gallbladder, and pancreas all have to adapt to be able to correctly digest the higher amounts of fat that are present in this diet.
Possible Triggering of Ketoacidosis
One last con of the keto diet is that it can sometimes trigger ketoacidosis. This occurs when there are too many ketones in the blood, which can actually lower the pH of a person’s blood.
The main problem with this is when a person is diabetic, as problems with blood sugar can occur. If this occurs, then it’s important to talk to a doctor right away to resolve the condition.
It May Make Social Gatherings Difficult
Even if you are fully committed to the keto diet, being on a keto diet long term can be difficult.
Finding a meal at a restaurant that fits the plan can be a challenge. This may lead to frustration when eating out with family and freinds.
If you are committed to the keto diet, then you can offset some of these problems by making your own food and bringing it to gatherings. Researching the options that a restaurant has before going out to eat can also help.
While the ketogenic diet is a great way for some people to improve their health and lose some weight, it is not the best diet for everyone.
It can be tricky to determine the best foods to eat, especially in the early weeks of the diet.
If you are ready to deal with challenges that can occur while following the keto diet, the ketogenic food plan can be a great option for you. The low carb diet benefits can easily outweigh the cons of eating keto.