We have been hearing this term keto quite a lot lately. It may seem new to you but this is not the fact. You may feel surprised upon hearing that the ketogenic diet is almost a hundred years old phenomenon.
It became in limelight in the 1920s when it was proven to be helpful for epilepsy patients, whereas it is still used for the purpose.
Today, this high-fat diet is again the talk of the town because of the weight loss benefits associated with it. When so many people are talking about it, you might have also started planning for a keto diet. Before jumping on the running train, you must know what this diet exactly is and what are the pros and cons.
What Is Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet or keto diet is a low-carbohydrate and high-fat diet that is extremely useful for weight loss and healthy life.
In keto, you reduce the amount of carbs intake drastically and replace it with the amount of fat intake. This reduced carbs intake put your body into ketosis, a metabolic state.
When this happens, your body starts utilizing the fats for energy instead of carbs. And it does so by converting the fats into the ketones to provide energy.
Apart from an efficient way of weight loss, the ketogenic diet is even beneficial against several diseases such as cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Numerous types, which one to choose for weight loss?
Yes, that’s true! The ketogenic diet has numerous types and you may find it difficult to choose the right one for yourself.
Among several other types, we suggest you go with the standard ketogenic diet (SKD) that is absolutely suitable for weight loss. Whereas, the others are for athletes, bodybuilders, and patients with different diseases like epilepsy, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s disease.
The standard ketogenic diet is a very high-fat diet with a very less amount of carbs intake and with a moderate intake of proteins. Like following SKD, you will have to take 75% fats, 20% of proteins, and 5 % of carbohydrates.
The must-know pros and cons
Now you know at least something basic about the keto diet. However, these are the pros and cons you must know before starting it.
1.Reduces appetite and supports weight loss
In a ketogenic diet, you eat food that makes you feel full for a longer time than other diet meals.
Moreover, these meals may also help in reducing hunger-stimulating hormones. Resulting in a reduced appetite that leads towards a rapid weight loss within less than ten days.
2. Improves acne
In many people, acne is associated with diet and blood sugar levels.
A high-carb diet can increase or drop blood sugars significantly. Both of them cause skin-related issues such as acne.
Eating high-fat and low-carb meals may help to reduce acne in some people, improving their skin health.
3. Helpful in a number of diseases
If we start counting the health benefits of keto for a variety of diseases, we can’t cover this many benefits in one go.
There is a long list of illnesses that we can prevent and even treat with the ketogenic diet.
- Reduces Seizures in epilepsy
- Can treat and prevent certain cancers
- May improve metabolic syndromes
- Beneficial for some types of glycogen storage diseases (GSD)
- Helps a lot in hormone balancing and weight loss in PCOS
- Helps control blood sugar in diabetic patients
- Improves symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
- May improve migraine severity
- Very effective for treating obesity
- Can improve symptoms of many brain-related diseases (such as Parkinson’s disease and GLUT1 Deficiency Syndrome)
- Amazingly effective against metabolic syndromes, such as heart diseases and diabetes.
1.The keto flu
In the early days of the ketogenic diet, you may encounter a group of symptoms like headaches, nausea, brain fog, irritation, constipation, sleeplessness, and fatigue. We call them “keto flu”.
It may start as soon as the first day and may last as long as a month. However, in most cases, the duration is only a week, whereas some people do not have keto flu at all.
2. Nutrient Deficiency
Being on a strict diet like keto, your body shows changes with the change of diet. The low-carb diet reduces the sugar levels in your body causing nutrition deficiency.
You may have a deficiency of magnesium, selenium, iodine, biotin, chromium, and some vital vitamins like vitamins A, E, and D.
Taking supplements, drinking more water with a pinch of salt, and eating more vegetables can solve this potential con of the keto diet.
3. Bad breath
Bad breath is something you will definitely experience in a ketogenic diet.
A sweet fruity smell in your breath is due to the elevated acetone level, the ketone that is found in human urine, and breath.
The keto breath is temporary, you will get rid of it within a few weeks.
Drinking more water, eating less protein, practicing good oral hygiene, and covering the breath with gums and mint may help.
4. Kidney stones
The low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet increases the acid load in kidneys, becoming a risk of developing kidney stones.
When the body uses its own fats to produce energy, it releases more acid. The acid level in the blood and urine increases and it may increase up to 90% that is an alarming reminder for kidney stones.
5. Low blood sugars
Though with it’s undeniable effects in controlling blood sugar with diabetic patients, the ketogenic diet is extremely recommended.
However, it can lower the blood sugar drastically that is dangerous for patients with type 1 diabetes.
The bottom line
Even though the ketogenic diet is very effective in weight loss in obese people and beneficial in improving seizures. However, we cannot overlook its dark sides.
Likewise, it may not suit everyone, therefore, we strongly recommend taking your health provider advice before planning a ketogenic diet.