Pros and Cons of a Keto Diet
There are a lot of ways to help you get healthy, and a ketogenic diet can be one of them. Learn the pros and cons of a keto diet so you can start making food work for you.
The keto diet is more than just a diet trend. In fact, it has been used for years to help adults and children who have epilepsy. There’s a strong link between your diet and your overall physiological well-being, and the high fat, low carb keto diet might be exactly the diet you’ve been looking for.
The good news is that there’s a lot of good food that’s part of the keto diet. Bacon is not only part of the diet, its consumption is encouraged (with moderation, of course). The most difficult part for many people isn’t the foods you can eat, but the foods you can’t. Carbohydrates are such an integral part of a traditional diet that it can tough when people realize how many foods have carbs.
The theory behind the keto diet is that, by reducing your overall carb intake, more fat is broken down. Instead of your body burning all the sugar from the carbohydrates, it will burn ketones that form in the kidneys instead of the sugar from carbs. Basically, you are making your body a more efficient, fat burning machine over long term span of time.
Helps with Weight Loss
Almost everyone wants to lose weight and finding a diet that helps to support weight loss can be difficult. With a keto diet, you are eliminating the carbohydrates and sugars that are known to store fat in the body. When you change your diet to a high fat diet, your body starts to burn fat instead of sugar because it has no sugars to breakdown.
Can Help with Diabetes
When looking at the pros and cons of a ketogenic diet, another pro is that it helps to regulate the levels of insulin in your body. Most doctors recommend diets that are high fat, low carb for diabetics to help them control their blood glucose levels. In some cases, especially with overweight people, this change in their blood glucose levels resulted in them no longer needing insulin, or at least a lowering of their doses
Helps with Migraines
A diet with a high fat intake can help with chronic migraines. Doctors have been using this diet to help children and adults with epilepsy to control the root causes of epileptic seizures. The way this diet is able to counteract the brain inflammation that causes migraines is still something that researchers are trying to figure out, but the potential, especially in overweight individuals, is worth looking at further.
Can Help with Fertility
Fertility, especially with women, is something that has been problematic for a long time now. Studies showing 12 percent of women age 15-44 have problems with conceiving children. Much of these issues can be associated with diets that are high in carbohydrates. When women switch to a high fat, low carb diet, there is an improvement in the hormones that fuel reproduction.
Eat More Fat and Less Sugar
It used to be that the goals of a diet were to decrease your overall fat and caloric intake. However, this was really only targeting saturated fats. Your body needs healthy fats that are found in fish, nuts, and foods like avocados. These fats are necessary for your body to run as efficiently as possible.
Another added benefit is that the diet is very low on sugar intake. Since you are not eating carbs, you’re also limiting your overall sugar intake. Excess sugar intake can lead to a myriad of problems that include: hypertension, increased body fat, and a lack of energy.
Learning the Diet
One of the biggest drawbacks, though, of the pros and cons of a keto diet is the difficulty to learn everything you need to know in order to follow through with it. It takes time to truly understand the balance between fats, carbs, and protein. You have to teach yourself how to shop and cook all over again. It’s not as easy as just cutting out sugary foods or soda like you do with other diets. It can be easy to lose your momentum in the short term when you are learning how to shop and cook this way, but there are easy keto recipes out there, so don't be so quick to give up!
The goal of a keto diet is to achieve a state of ketosis, where your body has higher levels of ketones in your body which helps to burn stored fat. However, when the levels of ketones along with your blood sugar levels are too high, you are a risk of ketoacidosis. Basically, your blood acids are too high and you might find yourself needing insulin or IV fluids, as if you were diabetic.
Keto flu can happen when you first begin the keto diet, and is one of the things they don't tell you about a keto diet. Any article discussing the pros and cons of a keto diet should address this issue. It takes your body a while to adjust to the lack of carbohydrates in a keto diet. Your body normally burns sugars for energy, but, when you eliminate almost all the sugars from carbs, you run the risk of keto flu. Basically, you will experience flu like symptoms even though you don’t have the virus.
Good Versus Bad Fats
Many people who start a ketogenic diet are attracted to the amount of fat that you need to eat. However, not all fats are created equal. Often, people think that any fat intake is good for them. It’s important that the fats you ingest, especially from beef, aren’t saturated fats. Sure, that fast food burger with the lettuce wrap seems keto friendly, but it might not be as good for your diet as you initially thought. Lean meats, eggs, fish, and certain vegetables are great sources of healthy fats that are part of the keto diet, but bad fats are plentiful and must be watched out for as much as carbs and sugars. Try some keto chili instead of a Big Mac, and thank us later.
The keto diet, when committed to properly, is full of healthy fats which are great for the body, but it doesn’t leave much room for fiber from fruits and grains that help with digestion and are otherwise beneficial for other functions of your body. Some people report digestive issues when they first start a ketogenic diet.
There are many pros and cons of a keto diet, and, as with any diet, it’s important to make sure that you know exactly how it is designed to work best for you. If you are interested in a keto diet, vegetables, eggs, regular exercise, and plenty of water are going to be your allies. Don’t be afraid to modify it to suit your needs, since the ultimate goal of a diet should be your overall health, not just aesthetics.