Weighing out The Pros & Cons
Following a ketogenic diet has been gaining more and more popularity recently, but is it the right way to go? Let’s take a closer look…
What is the Keto Diet?
The general characteristics of a keto diet is that of a very high fat, low carb meal plan that forces the body into a state known as ketosis. Ketosis is when your body uses fat for energy rather than the usual carbohydrates.
A typical ketogenic diet consists of 75% fat, 20% protein and about 5% carbohydrates so foods such as fish, meat, chicken, eggs, fats and low-carb vegetables are recommended; whereas fruits, breads, pastas and whole-grains as well as legumes are not allowed.
Yet, before you decide to give it a try, consider its pros and cons first:
Here’s the BAD news
Ketosis: maintaining a keto diet for a long time will cause your body to produce high levels of blood acids which may lead to poisoning the body and in severe cases coma
Fatigue and Low Energy: your brain needs carbohydrates for energy and eliminating carbs will result in chronic fatigue until your body adapts to the restriction
The Keto Flu: This type of flu is a group of symptoms experienced by some people when they start the keto diet as their body is adapting to very little carbohydrates. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, headache, irritability, weakness, muscle cramps, poor concentration, difficulty sleeping and sugar cravings. Drinking enough water, avoiding heavy exercise and getting enough sleep are all important to help prevent the keto flu
Kidney Stones: research shows the formation of kidney stones is a big side effect of the keto diet
And now for the GOOD news
Helps with Body Fat Loss: research shows the ketogenic diet has a significant impact on fat loss. Stripping away the body's main source of energy (carbohydrates) forces it to adapt by using body fat for fuel. Moreover, eating higher-fat foods can help minimize cravings and increase feelings of satiety, ultimately helping control your food intake
May help Reset Insulin Resistance: a period of low-carb intake may help boost your sensitivity to insulin, ensuring you can safely reintroduce carbohydrates at a later stage with no side effects on weight. Studies show it may also help manage type 2 diabetes
Helps manages Seizures and Epilepsy: studies show the ketogenic diet is especially effective for decreasing seizure activity among people with epilepsy
So, what’s our Final Verdict?
We understand that every person is different; and so what works for one person may not work for you!
The keto diet though is not meant for long-term use, as it can place you at risk of different side effects. Understanding the pros and cons of it, consulting with a licensed dietitian and a medical doctor and most importantly listening to your body and keeping an eye out for any signs or red flags it gives us is very important for sustainable weight loss.
Ultimately a healthy lifestyle based on quality of ingredients, moderation, variety and balance is always the best way to go!