Since I brought up the Keto Diet already and it’s been the most searched diet plan on Google, I decided to kick off our segment with this very popular diet plan.

Looking to lose weight FAST? The Keto Diet, which researchers originally designed to help control epilepsy in children, has become a popular way to do so.

In a nutshell, the Keto Diet works by slashing the carbs you consume and instead filling up on fats, thus safely causing you to enter a state of ketosis. That’s when the body breaks down both dietary and stored body fat into substances called ketones. Your fat-burning system now relies mainly on fat – instead of sugar – for energy. While similar in some ways to other low-carb diets, the Keto Diet’s extreme carb restrictions – about 20 net carbs a day or less, depending on the version – and the deliberate shift into ketosis are what set this increasingly popular diet apart. So you’re able to visualize what 20 carbs daily looks like, picture one side of a hamburger bun. That’s it.

But there’s a lack of definitive research proving that Keto is safe and effective for the long haul. What we do know is this high-fat, moderate-protein, and very-low-carb diet has a reputation for being challenging, especially if you’re doing it without medical supervision. When you go off the plan, you might gain back all the weight you lost.

What’s more, for all the buzz about the health benefits of Keto (for type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, and more), long-term randomized, controlled trials in humans are lacking, Harvard Health notes. The problem I see with Keto is that it restricts foods that help fight cancer and heart disease, like fruits, whole grains and legumes.

What’s more, there are so many ways to approach Keto, and not all of them are healthful. To do Keto the right way you should be eating a lot of spinach and kale, but most people generally eat bacon and eggs which leaves out important disease-fighting nutrients, including fruits and fiber-rich foods.

𝗣𝗿𝗼𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝘀-

𝗣𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝘀-

Epilepsy: The ketogenic diet was first used clinically to treat seizures. It has been used to successfully reduce seizures for many years, with research to back up the benefits outweighing any cons.

Weight loss: There are some great metabolic changes initially with this diet plan.

Type 2 diabetes: Carb restriction can have a direct impact on glucose concentrations, lowering them over time. It may be a straight forward way one could get their diabetes under control. You should consult a registered dietitian before utilizing this strategy, as a general healthful diet and carb control can produce the same results.

Cancer: This is a growing area of research for the ketogenic diet. The Warburg effect has established that tumor cells can break down glucose much faster (specifically 200x faster) compared to typical cells. The theory is that by “starving” tumor cells of glucose, you can inhibit their growth and help prevent cancer.

𝗣𝗼𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝘀-

Some negative side effects of a long-term ketogenic diet have been suggested in a review of the diet by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, including increased risk of kidney stones and osteoporosis, and increased blood levels of uric acid (a risk factor for gout). And the biggest areas of concern below.

Nutrient Deficiencies: Because whole food groups are excluded, nutrients typically found in foods like whole grains and fruit that are restricted from the diet can lead to deficiencies, especially if the diet is followed incorrectly or without proper guidance. It is vital to incorporate a wide variety of foods while eating such high amounts of fat. Each food group offers different essential nutrition. Focus on meats, seafood, vegetables, some legumes, and fruits to make sure you are getting fiber, B vitamins, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc. It would be best to consult with a registered dietitian to alleviate the possibility of any deficiencies.

Keto Flu: During the diet transition you may experience uncomfortable side effects from significantly cutting carbs, sometimes called the “Keto Flu”. Hunger, headaches, nausea, fatigue, irritability, constipation and brain “fog” may last days. Sleep and hydration will help, but it may not be a pleasant transition into the diet.

Adherence: Point blank, following a very high-fat diet may be challenging to maintain for most. Keeping yourself satisfied with a limited variety of food and food groups and not being allowed to have some of the more pleasurable foods like fruit, rice dishes, ice cream, or cream based soups may be challenging to maintain. This is very individual, but adhering to healthy diet is important. To truly gain long-term health benefits, one must have healthy habits in place year round, not 30 days at a time.

Gut Health: Using the restroom may be difficult since removing whole grain and fruit will greatly lower ones fiber intake. Not great for gut health.

𝗕𝗼𝘁𝘁𝗼𝗺 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗲-

I wouldn’t recommend the Keto Diet for most people. If not done properly, it can be dangerous and could result in eating a diet high in saturated fats, low in fruits and fiber and cause irritability and digestive problems due to the virtual elimination of carbohydrates and low fiber intake. I question the long term health implications of staying in a state of ketosis and doubt that most people can or should make the Keto Diet a long term weight loss plan.

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