The keto diet continues to rise in popularity thanks to the results shown by many when it comes to weight loss, but is it the diet for everyone? Between the high fats and restricted diet plan, it can be hard to follow for many and easy as cake for others.
There are also many variations of the diet, making it hard to decipher what the correct way to perform the diet is and what is marketing to sell a product.
Here’s everything you need to know about the keto diet and whether it is the right choice for your lifestyle plan.
The keto diet is a lifestyle change that consists of a high fat, low carb eating style. The ratio of calories eaten will be 75 percent of calories from fat, 20 percent of calories from protein, and only five percent of calories from carbohydrates.
Your goal is to go into ketosis. Ketosis is the process of your body utilizing ketones, which comes from fat cells, as your main energy source rather than carbs. Carbs are our body’s first source of energy because they are quickly stored in muscles rather than organs.
Keto stems from a version of a low carb diet that was shown to reduce seizures in children. A noted side effect of the diet was its ability to produce great weight loss results.
Since the diet is based around high fat, foods high in fat are the basis of the diet. Foods that are a staple in the diet will be coconut oils, avocados, and meats.
One of the most popular options for getting the body into ketosis is adding medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) into the daily routine. Many people will add this liquid into their coffees. MCTs do not have a tendency to be stored as fat and are often quickly utilized as an energy source compared to long-chain fatty acids and short-chain fatty acids.
Meats are also very prominent in the diet, especially those of beef and pork. This is because meats do not naturally carry any carbohydrates on them and are strictly fat and protein. Many people tend to eat a good amount of steak and bacon while on the diet.
The number one pro of the diet is the amount of weight lost while people are on the diet. Because our body normally stores a lot of fat for emergencies, it is not normally utilized for energy compared to carbs. Once our body adapts to utilizing ketones as the main energy source, it pulls from the stored fat to supply this source.
Another major pro for the diet is the reduction of Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes occurs when the body can not produce enough insulin to uptake or expel the amount of glucose/sugar that is in our bloodstream. This occurs from an increase in the amount and consistency of excess sugar in the diet.
Because the amount of carbohydrates is limited while on the keto diet, Type 2 Diabetes seems to be easier to manage. In certain individuals, diabetes was even reversed.
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One of the more overlooked benefits of the keto diet is the pallet change after being on the diet for a while. Most individuals who are on the diet for more than eight weeks have noticed a decrease in cravings for sugary foods.
One of the biggest cons of the keto diet is “keto flu”. This “flu” stems from the lack of carbohydrates our brain is missing for normal function. Carbs make up around 20 percent of the energy needed for healthy brain function, and while this does go away for some, it does not go away for everyone.
The other issue is cardiovascular diseases. Heart disease is the number one killer in America and the keto diet can increase the symptoms associated with heart disease. Heart disease can lead to heart attacks from high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, so be sure to consult a doctor before attempting the diet.
Another issue is that not everyone responds well gastrointestinally to keto. If your body has a hard time digesting the high number of fats that are within the diet, you might find an increase in nausea, diarrhea, and bloating.
Those symptoms do seem to be relieved with an increase in digestive enzymes.
Keto is meant for those individuals who thrive off of high-fat diets. They feel more awake and alert throughout the day and fatigue never seems to set in. The fat melts off the body and you might wonder why you never attempted the diet in the first place.
Keto is perfect for those who are also used to eating only once or twice a day. Intermittent fasting is very commonly paired with keto to increase the weight loss experienced as well as giving the body the ability to digest food more appropriately while on the diet.
Intermittent fasting is the process of only eating in a specific time frame usually at a 16 hours off and eight hours ratio.
Keto is not meant for those who are under high stress constantly and have any cardiovascular diseases. The increased risk associated with keto and heart disease makes it too risky to engage in the diet. Getting these issues under control first is recommended before starting the diet.
The keto diet is always going to be around, whether it be because of popularity or for medical reasons. Following a keto diet plan is not for everyone and should be considered with your doctor before attempting. There are modified versions of the diet that can be adjusted to fit your needs.
For those looking to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle and losing weight, be sure to check out our other articles. If you know someone who has been looking for more information on the keto diet, be sure to share this article with them.